Just before Micah left for a medical mission trip to Haiti in April 2010, I (Angie) saw a picture on a blog of a team who was at Mountain Top Ministries (MTM) just before Micah's team. I've attached it here.
When I saw this picture, I was heartbroken for this little girl and wondered in my head, “Is this all we can do as American's—send bags of rice? Even our (at that time) 2 bedroom home would be a mansion for these kids. Even if we had to cut back on some things in life, we would still have so much more than they would ever have in Haiti.” I just wanted to bring one of them home and give them a chance at a loving home with more than they would ever have there. I shared this with Micah that evening and to my surprise, he had been having his own thoughts or stirrings from God about whether he would find himself in Haiti on this medical mission trip and instead return wanting to bring one of these children home.
We began to pray that God would open our hearts to His will and that we would get a strong sense of direction given to Micah while in Haiti. We were praying for distinction between what was emotional feelings to help those less fortunate than us and what was a true calling to adopt. We also had several of our close friends praying for the same things for us. When Micah returned he didn't have a strong sense to adopt and I was also fine with this leading. The Haitian adoption process was closed at that time due to the earthquake anyways so we knew it wasn't the right timing anyway and took these things to be a closed door for the time being. We didn't necessarily feel like God closed the door completely, but was for sure saying this is not the right time and perhaps this was more of an emotional decision. So, we left it at that. Over the course of the year He has continued to keep the idea of adoption on the back burner. There was Carlin Yoder speaking at our church, Maple City Chapel, who had adopted from Haiti or other random connections to adoption in general. Each time we prayed for guidance and still felt the answer was “No, it's not the right time”.
Around 5 months ago there were so many things that brought this idea up again and again: our friends from church are finalizing their adoption, a friend was traveling to an orphanage oversees, our neighbors were fostering a little boy, I've had a deep longing for Lily to have a sister relationship and she had recently been asking if she will ever get a sister, I ran into a friend at a garage sale and found out she's in the process of trying to adopt, a Wendy's commercial aired telling of the needs for adoptive parents, my friends from college were adopting from Haiti, etc. We couldn't help but wonder what God was now saying to us. So, we began to pray and seek once again. This time, however, we didn't get the same answer as the many times before.
Worship songs were encouraging the idea of being obedient to the Lord and spoke to the longing of our hearts. Scriptures were screaming to obey the Lord. Specifically, when Micah's team was preparing to head to Haiti I took some time to look up Scripture for each team member and wrote them out in a little note of encouragement for their trip. I truly feel each Scripture was inspired by the Holy Spirit for each person. The one I felt God put on my heart for Micah was this text—2 Corinthians 8:10-15. When I was making his Haiti scrapbook I put this verse on one of the pages and while looking through it again while praying for God to speak to my heart about this adoption stuff I began to read it again with new eyes. It was an amazing affirmation of what the Lord's will was for us...
“And here is my advice about what is best for you in this matter: Last year you were the first not only to give but also to have the desire to do so. Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means. For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have. Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. Then there will be equality, as it is written: 'He who gathered much did not have too much, and he who gathered little did not have too little.'”
That's the NIV version and this is the Message version which is also so cool,
“So here's what I think: The best thing you can do right now is to finish what you started last year and not let those good intentions grow stale. Your heart's been in the right place all along. You've got what it takes to finish it up, so go to it. Once the commitment is clear, you do what you can, not what you can't. The heart regulates the hands. This isn't so others can take it easy while you sweat it out. No, you're shoulder to shoulder with them all the way, your surplus matching their deficit, their surplus matching your deficit. In the end you come out even. As it is written, 'Nothing left over to the one with the most, Nothing lacking to the one with the least.'”
Wow! That is about as clear as Scripture gets!
We felt we were hearing from God that over the past year He was building us up for such a time as this. That this, indeed, has not been an emotional thought...that this has been a God-given desire to help a child who needs us to be her family. That this is the time to include another blessing into our family too. A blessing that was unexpected and unplanned, but a blessing nonetheless. Our children are now older and more independent than last year, we are in a larger home that can accommodate the growing needs of our family, we are both in a much more free and confident place in our spiritual walks, we have a HUGE support system in place of friends and family who believe we are making the right decision, we have 3 others in our church who are currently adopting and we are supporting each other in our journeys....I could go on and on, but the point is that God's timing on something He is calling us to do is perfect and because we were patient and willing to listen to His voice, we are getting to experience the joys of that diligence. Now, obviously, our work is not over—to a degree it has just begun, but knowing this calling is something God has placed in our hearts over a year and a half ago and has been developing ever since gives us a peace that passes our understanding that we are making the right move. This is not an off the cuff decision or one we take lightly—this is a decision that has had prayer support from ourselves as well as others who care about us. We are excited to be on this journey even when it defies our own logic. Another Scripture that spoke to our hearts was Philippians 4:4-9,
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”
God was asking us to put into practice the growing desire to love on one of these beautiful children who needed a family. We feel God has called us to be that family. That is some of the background that has led us to this decision. We would love to share even more with any of you if you ever want to talk more about it. It is something very dear to our hearts and something we love to talk about. Even if you are wondering if God may be calling yourself towards adoption--please don't walk that road alone, we'd love to walk it with you!