How God opened and moved my heart to adoption

I’ve always said I was half-adopted. I came from my mother’s first marriage. My dad said that he chose me as much as he chose my mom. They married a week before I turned five and then my adoption was finalized when I was eight. I was definitely a daddy’s girl growing up and I wasn’t treated any differently than any of my siblings. Thus I grew up with positive feelings toward adoption and wasn’t ever closed to it.

After our first year of marriage we decided it was time to have a baby. I found an OB and went in for preconception counseling. She tested me for rubella immunity and gave me some prenatal vitamins. When the test results came back, she gave me the all clear to start trying. We became pregnant on our first try. We were thrilled! We loved our baby, talked to our baby daily and read updates at night about how developed our baby was. When we went in for our checkup at 11 weeks, no heartbeat could be found. We had a sonogram and learned our baby had stopped developing around week 8. We were devastated.

My husband’s first question for the doctor after we regained our composure was how soon could we try again? We first had to wait for me to fully miscarry, which took a few more weeks. At our checkup the doctor told us we should wait three months and then try again. The last thing she said to us as we walked out of her office was, “see you in three months!”

At three months, an amazing thing happened: Brandon became a believer! We were going to go on a trip to Hawaii with my family. This was less than half a year after Sept. 11th and Brandon was terrified about getting on a plane without knowing where he would go and if he would ever see our baby should our plane go down. We had an appointment with the pastor of the church we were attending and Brandon accepted Christ.

The months crawled by and kept coming. Month after month and still I wasn’t pregnant. I was told to relax; I was still young. I was young, and I was miserable and my arms were so very empty. I bought a fertility monitor, still nothing. I called our doctor and she agreed to see us and do some preliminary fertility testing even though a full year hadn’t quite passed. The results were hard to bear. In human wisdom, it would be almost impossible for us to have any more children.

I began to research adoption. It was hard to think of not having biological children, of not having a full term pregnancy and birth experience and of raising my child from birth without the fear of someone taking my child back.

I approached Brandon with the idea of adoption. He was adamantly against it.

Over the next few months the Lord began to work on our hearts and convict us in many areas. He opened our hearts to adoption, soothing many of our fears over the subsequent years and also opened us to allowing him to dictate our family size.

During that time I read off and on about different adoptions – foreign and domestic, closed and open, special needs and sibling groups. I even attended an adoption seminar. My husband put all my fliers and packets in a folder labeled “extortion”, his protest over the expense involved. We discussed adoption as a someday. The time was never right and our finances certainly weren’t.

We also had many different babies in our lives at this time, my littlest sister was 19 years my younger and one year older than our baby would have been and we greatly enjoyed our time with her. I also babysat several of my friend’s babies while they worked, a beautiful African-Vietnamese baby boy, a reserved Cambodian baby girl and a sweet Caucasian girl. As time went by, I gave my life freely to the Lord and his will for our lives. I was at peace with not having children if it was His will.

I changed my email signature to “If you know of a baby who needs a good home, please keep Brandon and I in mind.” I began telling people I was open to adoption. We figured if a baby was plopped into our laps, then we’d take it.

Four years after we lost our precious baby, the Lord graciously opened my womb and we conceived. While telling an acquaintance that we were expecting she told me she had been saying the solution for us was to adopt a baby, but now we wouldn’t have too! I was very taken aback, but didn’t say anything. That night I relayed what was said to Brandon and his reply was that just because we were having this baby didn’t mean we weren’t going to adopt!

We had our first born at home, a precious baby girl. Abigail has changed us in so many ways. God used parenthood to teach us how selfish we really were. Abigail taught us how much more we needed to grow. Nothing could have prepared us for parenthood, but parenthood itself. God taught us that He gives us what we need as we need it and that it is in trials that He makes us more Christ-like.

When Abigail was a few months old we met a family whose youngest daughter had Rhett’s syndrome, which is similar to autism. We stayed in each other’s homes whenever our travels took us that way. I was amazed by how their sweet girl won our hearts, Brandon’s especially. We discussed how we would be open to a child with special needs should the Lord provide it to our family.

God has seen fit to open my womb a second time and bless us again with a daughter. We have had to decide if we truly trust in the Lord and have the faith to allow Him to direct our lives, especially with regards to the size of our family. Lord, we do believe, help us to overcome our disbelief!

In early August of 2008, I had a few days of sadness. Though I had a lot going on in my life and many stressors at the time, two deaths, a divorce and a birth in the family within the previous three months, there was no particular trigger to this sadness. On the third night I sat on the couch next to my husband holding our three-month-old daughter in quiet contemplation of my great unhappiness when I was struck by the fact that I was holding my infant daughter and contemplating my unhappiness! How could I be awash in sadness while holding my beautiful baby girl? I told my husband my revelation and suddenly began to see my home with new eyes.

I saw not only my baby girls and my husband, but I also saw so many other things. I looked at the laundry basket waiting to be folded and saw all the beautiful clothes we are able to give our children. I saw our fruit basket overflowing with food. I saw our kitchen faucet that brought clean drinking water into my home! I saw even the many luxuries we have, our phones to communicate with our family and each other when we’re apart. I saw our computer that we use to talk with Christians all over the world and learn so many new and amazing things.

I saw our Bibles on the table. We have more Bibles then people in our house. There are persecuted Christians in other parts of the world who would give so much to be able have a single Bible to just read in secret to learn God’s word. We have the freedom to have ours openly displayed. We spent some time literally naming the many blessing we could see just from our spot on the couch, not as some exercise we read about somewhere, but from the hearts that God is ever turning towards him.

I believe the Lord allowed that time to open my eyes to how very much I must bless his name for the great things he has done. I also see how much we have been given and realize what a responsibility that is and how very much will be expected of us.

I do not know where the Lord will take us from here. I have no doubt that he has been preparing and orchestrating something wonderful for our family and I will watch in awe as He brings it to pass. Blessed be the name of the Lord!

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