Maybe you are like me and woke up this morning with a heavy and discouraged heart about the path our nation is continuing to go in. Or maybe we disagree and you are thrilled for four more years of the same. I’m sure we each have our reasons and thankfully we can be friends whatever the case. A sweet friend posted on Facebook that the reality is that this morning there are still orphans that need to be adopted, people still need to know the love of Jesus, and we need to be the hands and feet to serve others. So very true. I hope this post will encourage you to do these eternal things.
I’m honestly not sure where to start in this story, but let me start with the end, which is really the beginning! Like the post says, we are now expecting TWO Baby Owens’ (both from Madagascar even though it isn’t pictured below)!!
Ever since about Dec. of last year I have thought about adopting two children at the same time. Mark and I discussed it briefly but for a variety of reasons chose to not follow through. But the weirdest thing has happened. It has continued to come to mind and countless people have asked if we are adopting two. I never knew so many people asked childless adopting couples if they were adopting TWO!! But apparently they do. Or maybe it has just been to us. God’s way of keeping it on our radar.
But since roughly the end of July or beginning of August “TWO” has just been on my heart. A lot. I am not one who likes to go around loudly proclaiming “God told me.” Many well meaning but misguided people have used that phrase through the years to justify both good and bad deeds. So I cautiously say that through God’s Spirit and through His Word, the Bible, I believe He continually showed me the past few months that He was going to bless us with TWO children in the coming days. I believed what I thought He was saying and kept moving forward with my life. But as time went on the conviction in my heart that I was to DO something about this increased. It burned inside of me that I/we needed to actively pursue our second child like we are doing with the first.
It was something I fought for many weeks. Conversations with God went something like this, “But how will we pay for the additional costs associated with adopting a child when we still haven’t figured out where the remaining $16,000 or so from the first adoption are coming from. This will double our need. You can’t be serious.” “What will my husband, our parents, our family think?” ”What will people think? They will think we are crazy.” “We don’t even know how to parent one, how can we parent two? Can we really handle two at the same time?” “But how much longer will this take? I’m ready to be a mom now.”
But God kept “whispering” His answer over and over and over – “You are asking the wrong question.”
My eyes became opened and I understood that the only question I needed to be asking was “Is this what I/we believe God is leading me/us to do?” If so, then nothing else ultimately matters. God will provide for what He calls us to do. In life so many times we just use logic to assess our situations. Don’t hear me wrong, God has given us logic and wisdom to know His ways, but at the same time we need to be open to God-sized workings too. We need to have FAITH when God asks something counter-logical of us. Sometimes God directs in ways that don’t make a lot of logical sense. The Bible is replete with examples of men and women who followed what they knew God was asking them to do even when it was “crazy.” Just think of Noah building a massive ark for years and years when there had been no rain, or Abraham preparing to sacrifice Isaasc, the one God promised to make a nation through. It was at this point that I came to a crisis of belief. If I truly believed God was asking me/us to adopt a second child then I had to act on that belief. I had no choice.
I prayed. A lot. Then I went to Mark and confessed all. I shared much of what I shared with you and asked him to pray with me to know if this was indeed the path we should take. Through various conversations with each other, our agency and a few other trusted friends, about two weeks ago we decided to move forward with TWO!
And just in time for our desire for a second child to be written into our Georgia home study we are still trying to get finalized, and then in time for it to be included in the update that has to go to the US Government (USCIS).
Fast forward to this weekend. Our church in TN where my dad is the pastor celebrated “Orphan Sunday” for the first time ever on Sunday. It’s a Sunday in November for churches to raise awareness about the orphan crisis and foster care opportunities. See the below video for more info on Orphan Sunday (if the video doesn’t show up, click the link to see it):
They had a fabulous guest speaker, Oksana. A young lady who was in an orphanage in Russia until she was 10. She received a shoebox gift from Operation Christmas Child and was later adopted by an American couple. My dad called me Sunday after church saying on Tuesday when her testimony was on their website I needed to listen to the recording because it was an amazing story of what God had done in her life. So it’s Wednesday morning and I’m working at home today and found it online.
I was instantly captivated by Oksana’s Story (click the link to get the mp3 file, you’ll have to click “Oksana’s Story” on the next page too). But it was around the 18 minute mark that tears started streaming down my face. Just listen to Oksana’s testimony as told at Tulip Grove Baptist Church on Nov. 4, 2012. If you don’t have 23 minutes to hear the whole story, then at least go to 17.44 for a few minutes and hear the part about how she talks about her parents trying to figure out what God wanted them to do about adopting Oksana.
Y’all. What if they didn’t listen to what God was prompting their hearts to do? Even if they thought their family was complete. Even if they didn’t have the money. Even if they thought others would think them crazy. Even if they were adopting “out of order.” Not only would Oksana most likely have aged out in the Russian orphanage system at 16 years, but this story of God’s amazing faithfulness to a 10 year old girl and a family across the world would have been missed by all of us hearing it, and God’s greatness would not have been seen. One couple obedient to what they thought God was asking, as crazy as it seemed. I want that to be us.
So I leave you with this. You may not understand, you may think we are crazy, you may wonder what in the world I’ve been talking about, you may not get why adoption is a growing passion in our hearts, but hear this – the story is just getting started! Stay with us. Keep watching. God is about to do some BIG and MIGHTY things that only God can do as we surrender our lives to Him in this way. Is it scary? Absolutely. My list of fears is longer than your list of “you’re crazy.” But if I’ve learned anything in nearly 30 years of following Christ it is this- if God asks it of me, IT WIL BE AMAZING. Not easy, not perfect, not for my looking good to others, not for me having tons of money, not for me to be comfortable, but AMAZING because HE will be glorified, He will bring others to Himself, He will do things no one thought possible, and He will be faithful to completing His work.
In a world and country that is less than I want it to be, I have a God who is more than I could ask, more than I need, and fully capable and able to bring TWO children to us at the same time. Thank you, Lord! We want what you want. Don’t let us miss the blessings you have for us in this life by asking the wrong question or living for the wrong things.