It was a typical, hot, Oklahoma summer day. The kind where the air even seemed a little dusty because the heat was so intense. Shane, Allen and I were coming back from a food run: Chick-fil-A and Buttersweet cupcakes, if I remember right. And that’s when it all got serious.
When Allen was just a newborn, Shane and I agreed that we wouldn’t even talk about kids until after his first birthday. That newborn stage was a doozy, and it probably didn’t help that we were unprepared for the addition to our family, both starting new jobs, moving to a new place and buying our first house. Oh, and remodeling while living IN the house. Not recommended, if you can help it. Our lives had changed dramatically- and although Allen was a relatively easy baby, we were still sleep deprived, stressed and overwhelmed. But, knowing we wanted to eventually be on the same page with our desire for kids, we determined to take a break from arguing- I mean- talking about it for several months, if nothing else but for a little respite from the tension.
Allen’s first birthday came, and I tentatively brought the subject back up. My heart had softened to Shane’s side a little- I had just went through a very trying period, and was not as eager to revisit the teething, un-explainable crying, and 11, 2 and 4 o’clock wake up calls that I was finally getting a break from. However, I still could not bring myself to say I was done. Shane, however, was. He was done. The conversation was short, unfinished, and left to me to stew for a few more months. I think, without saying it, we were agreeing to disagree for the moment. Or I wasn’t confident enough in my own desires to argue any further.
Fast forward to that hot Oklahoma summer day I started talking about: we are full from good food (you seriously need to try Buttersweet cupcakes if you haven’t already!) and happy to be doing something as a family. I can’t remember who started the conversation- but I remember that Shane was the first to mention adoption- and how he was much more open to that way of growing our family than starting over with another baby. Maybe God had been working on my heart in those previous months, bringing my husband and I back into unity on the whole baby-situation; because, for the first time in our entire relationship, I agreed with Shane about not having another baby. I felt very complete in my child-bearing journey. I had done it once, and surprisingly enough, felt no desire or lead to do it again (to the dismay of both our mothers!) But I did not feel our family was complete. So, in strengthening unison, we agreed to pray and talk more about adopting.
The next few months are a complicated, and somewhat sad, blur. We leave our church and home in Edmond, OK that we had loved dearly for two years, and move to our new church and home in Muskogee, OK. (We quickly loved our new church and home, as well. It’s just a very emotional process when you’re in ministry- but that’s another topic for another day.) We hadn’t even settled into our new life when I set us up an appointment with an adoption agency in Tulsa. Typical for my passionate and sometimes impulsive personality. We were going to do this, no need to put it off any longer now that we were relocated. So, on October 14th, 2016 we found ourselves parking in a lot next to a tall, glass office building that housed the office for our future adoption agency. I thought about taking a picture of us by their sign- but none was to be found. A room number plate doesn’t make for a very impressive photo, and in my haste to begin our journey I quickly forgot about the Instagram worhty photo- op idea. So, in what seemed to be a very businesslike visit- we talked with our agent about our options and the process. Lots of talking and e-mails later (seriously, I have sent over 20 e-mails, these ladies are going to be sick of me) we have a fairly clear path to journey on.
I write all this to say, adoption is for us- not because we necessarily felt a divine, parting-of-the-clouds-voice-speaking-down-in-affirmation moment, but because we want another child and God commands us to “care for orphans and widows in their distress.” James 1:27. There are many ways to obey that command, no doubt. But for us, this adoption is our obedience. It will also be our trial at times. It will be a source of joy, and of despair. Much like the life of Christian, it will not be perfect, but will be covered in the fingerprints of God.
Thank you for being interested enough in our lives to read about this journey we’re undergoing. Please pray for us- in all the ways you feel led- and never hesitate to reach out to us. We hope this adoption touches others just as much as we know it will radically change our lives, and the life of one orphaned child “haffway” around the world.
To God be the glory