I have had a desire all day to write about adoption.
It possibly could be because today is Orphan Sunday or maybe because I have watched my Facebook page blow up in the best way with posts from sweet friends sharing their prayers for orphans around the world. Or most likely, it is because as I sit here and watch these reminders all over social media of the statistics of the needs of orphans, I get to cuddle with one of these very statistics.
You see, my family has had the honor of being an answer to a prayer for one of these children. Ha! As I write that it makes me laugh out loud. We have NEVER felt that we were an answer to these prayers for her, even though we know for a fact there were many that had prayed for a loving family for her before we even knew she existed. I guess through that we could be considered that answered prayer. But our reality is we know without a shadow of a doubt Hope was the answer to our prayers!
We walked a very long, overwhelming, sometimes what felt like impossible journey to bring Hope home…for good. She was placed in foster care as a six month old baby. Her story is different from most in the foster care system because she only had one other placement before us. At nine months old, On February 7, 2007 she came home, even though it would be an 18 month journey until her last name would officially change to reflect the rest of her family.
The statistics are staggering regarding the number of orphans in the world. I know you have seen them. I also know you probably have seen the statistic that “if every Christian family (not even person, but family) would adopt just one child, there would be no more orphans in the world.” But, I want you to forget the statistics. I want you to forget that it is “Orphan Sunday” for one moment.
I don’t like Orphan Sunday. Don’t get me wrong, I truly believe this day is necessary. And that is the very reason I don’t like Orphan Sunday. Because it is necessary. Because it seems to me, unless we have a day, once a year to remind us of the the statistics, to remind us of the need for prayer, to remind us that this is a very real issue, we don’t think about it. We choose not to think about it.
There is no judgement by what I am saying, because I know I did.
All I can share is what I know to be true to me as a result of our personal adoption story. I am saying it because until we adopted, until we surrendered to the Lord chasing hard after us through the means He used to get our attention on our journey, this had never been something we worried about.
Other than maybe one or two sermons a year when I felt we were guilted into worrying about it. That’s honestly the way I felt. And I would pray. I would pray for the child. I would pray for the people to come to those children. Because this was something other people did. Something that we honestly never even considered until…
Until…I met a little brown-eyed girl in my dreams.
Until…my husband saw a burden of pain in my heart longing for a little girl we never met.
Until…God’s will for this became inescapably clear.
Until…prayers, our prayers and the prayers of others, became intertwined in ways we did not know until later were even occurring at the same time.
Until…action, as a result of prayers, brought home our family’s daughter, sister, & grand-daughter.
This same call to action also brought about one of the hardest seasons of life that our family has endured. You see, we have also experienced an “interrupted adoption placement”, and with that came some of the worst pain that we have ever endured. However, it was still a part of God’s plan for our family. It was still a part of an adoption journey. We choose to trust that Truth.
So, after sharing all of this, it is with one purpose. It comes with a plea for action. I cannot personally promise you what the end of your journey would look like if you embrace adoption for your family. We have had two journeys, each with two very different endings.
However, I can promise you what the journey will likely look like…
It will likely be as difficult as it is fulfilling.
It will likely be filled with as much laughter as it is with tears.
It will likely be the most heartbreaking and heart-filling journey you will ever experience.
It will change you. In ways you could not have even known you would want, or knew you needed to be changed in…no matter the ending of your story.
So, pray for these children. Pray for the people to come forward to change each orphan’s life. Prayer DOES change their lives. But, let me challenge you to maybe, just maybe, change your prayers~
Pray boldly that YOU can be the answer to a child. Pray that God will show YOU how to bring a child home. Most importantly, listen and be obedient, to His promptings in response to how you are praying. How does He want you involved? Obey, out of faith.
I used to think that “those” people who do adopt had a special calling for “their” lives. No, I found out “they” are just like me. “They” are broken & imperfect, but the difference was that “they” were willing to say yes. “They” are scared to death, but “they” are obedient to something so much bigger than them, that God would have to get credit for seeing them to the other side.
My family became “them” and I will tell you this, becoming one of THEM to become a Mommy, Daddy, and family to Hope was one of the best answers to prayer we were ever able to experience.
As I look at this picture, I am so overwhelmed by an unrelenting God that is the Author of each of our stories. This photo would look so different without that little girl holding her Daddy’s hand. It’s almost poetic. We would still be walking forward, but she would not be there to help remind us to look back. To be thankful for answered prayers.
So, as we pray across the world for these children, please…don’t forget to pray scary, good, big prayers. Prayers that you could actually be the one that is an answer to that one child’s prayer. We did not adopt as a response to a statistic. We did, however, adopt as a response to prayer.
And, I guess it’s really not so much that I don’t like Orphan Sunday as much as it is that I deeply desire it to become an unnecessary day. Don’t stop praying when tomorrow comes. And most importantly, be obedient to the answers you may get through your prayers.
It is worth the journey. No matter what.