Our adoption story. How this whole journey began and why. This could be a novel, so I'm going to do my best to summarize and just hit the high points. We'll see how that goes.
I've wanted to adopt...for like, forever. I had a desire to adopt long before I ever had the desire for biological children. I wasn't one of those typical girls growing up who day dreamed about their wedding, and their future children. I never sat around wondering how many kids I would have and what their names would be. I just didn't. I didn't not like kids. I baby sat alot as a teenager and was comfortable around kids and thought babies were cute. But I didn't desire children or motherhood. I was super boy crazy, so there was no doubt that there would be marriage in my future(hopefully sooner, than later), but the whole white-picked-fence-stay-at-home-mommy-of-several-children thing? Um, no thanks. A hot husband and a cool career was pretty much my life goals as a teenager. One day, when I was married, successful, and ancient(like 35), I would have a couple of kids. I had no real desire to give birth, so I thought it would be cool to adopt. Help someone less fortunate or whatnot. So when I became this really old dried up 35 year old, I just adopt me a couple of a kids. That was my plan.
Then college came around, and after a couple of years of trying to head down the career path that I thought I wanted, it came to decision making time. The career I was pursing was 7 day a week(usually), 12-15 hours a day, high stress, life consuming job, that didn't leave room for a family. Not only that, but it was going to take me a good 8 years or so, from that point, to finish all the necessary schooling, training, and qualifications, to be able to achieve my desired career. By that point(about 20 or 21 years old), I was starting to feel my first motherly pangs. I started thinking, maybe it would be cool to be a mom one day(not that I had despised the idea before that, it just had not ever been something I had given much thought to). So I decided to abandon my career dreams and pursue a more "family friendly" career. Teacher education. That sounded like a good career for someone who was going to possibly be a mom one day. Plenty of family time in the evenings and weekends and summers, because Lord knows I wouldn't be staying at home, homeschooling or anything crazy like that. Sometimes it's fun to look back at the plans I had for myself and just laugh.
Over the next couple of years my desire to have children grew, but the desire to adopt never faded. After Luke was born you would think that the completely amazing and forever life changing experience of becoming a mother would diminish any previous desire I had to adopt a child. But it did just the opposite. After Luke's birth it was like a switch flipped in me. I began to realize what an amazing gift a child is. An utter miracle. The idea that there were children out there somewhere in the world that didn't have parents that felt about them how I felt about Luke, was appalling to me. I would love that child, where ever he or she may be. That warm fuzzy feeling of "it would be so neat to adopt one day", turned in to a burning desire of "I KNOW adoption is in my future". I knew that I was capable of deeply loving a child that I didn't give birth to. I wanted to be a mother to a child whose mother either couldn't, wouldn't, or didn't want to be a mother.
Josh and I get married and over the next several years the topic of adoption is brought up. Often. I won't say that Josh completely resisted, but he wasn't passionate about it like I was. We'll just say that he was ambivalent, at best.
We had Raylen. That didn't slow me down too much. I dropped bits of adoption information here and there. I knew that it was not the right time for us to adopt right then, but I didn't want Josh to think that I had lost interest. I guess I thought if he heard it mentioned enough, that it would get stuck in his brain or something. He was still ambivalent though.
Then we had Treyson. I stayed in a grief induced mental and emotional fog for months after his death. Once the fog lifted, I was back on the adoption train. FULL FORCE this time. Treyson showed me how short life is and that it must be lived to the fullest. I did not want to live my life with regrets. I was so wounded from the loss of Treyson, that while I still had a desire for another child, I was unsure if I ever wanted to be pregnant again. That made the thought of adoption even more appealing. I was adoption crazed! I read adoption websites, adoption blogs, adoption anything I could get my hands on. I showed Josh videos and articles and pictures. Still, there was nothing but a polite, "That's cool", on his part. The more I pushed, the more he resisted.
Before you go thinking that Josh is heartless or anything, he is actually the exact opposite. He is a very tenderhearted person with the spiritual gifts of service and mercy. He has such a servant's heart and is always putting other's needs before himself. That is why it baffled me that he wasn't completely on board with this adoption thing. He felt sorry for orphans and the less fortunate and had a desire to help them, but it wasn't the permanant kind of help that I had in mind. The best I could get out of him, as far as a commitment to adopt, was that one day a long time away when we had more money a bigger house and older kids, he might consider us adopting. And let's just face it, the only reason I got that much out of him is because Josh rarely tells me no to anything. This was his way out of committing to something he didn't want to do, yet not have to straight up tell me "no". (oh, and did I mention that the man doesn't like confrontation, either?)
By this point I was really frustrated. I was passionate about adopting one day, and Josh just plain wasn't. I was stuck between a rock and a hard place. Here I was with a deep passion for something that I thought that God had called me to do one day, yet it seemed like that day would never come. I couldn't force Josh into agreeing to adopt. That has to be something that you go into in complete agreement. And even if I could get him to agree to it, that wasn't the way I wanted to do it. That wouldn't be fair to a child. I wanted Josh to be just as passionate about the whole thing as I was, but he wasn't.
I was faced with a decision. I could either 1. Continue down the path I was on of trying to convince Josh that adoption was a wonderful thing and we needed to do it in a couple of years, or 2. Let go and give it to God.
As much as the thought pained me, I knew that the right thing to do was to give it to God. That meant, completely taking my hands off of it, and trusting that if God had truly called me to adopt, then he would call my husband to the same thing at some point.
So on April 29th, 2009, I gave my desires to adopt to the Lord and stopped trying to control my husband and force him in to MY calling. If you are wondering how I know the exact date, it is because I journaled it in my spiritual journal. I don't journal alot, usually only fervent prayer requests and petitions to the Lord, and other major things. But this was a major thing to me. On this day I completely let go of it. As painful as I anticipated it being, it really wasn't. It was freeing. It was no longer my issue. I prayed that God would give Josh and I the same vision, in regards to adoption, whatever that vision may be. I was truly willing to give up my dream, if that was what God had for me.
Giving it to God gave me so much peace. I quit the research. I quit the adoption blogs and websites. I quit talking to Josh about it. I quit dwelling on it all together. I thought that this would be very hard, but really it wasn't. I had full faith that if it was meant to be, that the Lord would give it back to me, this time with Josh on board. And if it wasn't meant to be, then that meant that he had something even better planned for my life. Because he does know best, you know?
Two months later, I found out that I was pregnant with Kellen. It briefly crossed my mind that maybe this was somehow God's final answer about the whole adoption thing. That thought hurt, but I chose to trust that whatever his will was, that was best.
The months rolled by. No adoption talk. No adoption thoughts. If I heard of someone adopting I would think that it was wonderful for them, but in the back of my mind I thought that that was probably all it would ever be. Someone else's adoption story. If the Lord was calling me to minister in another way, then I was willing to do it.
Then July 1, 2010 happened.
And I will never be the same.