Thursday, November 11, 2010

Our Family's Story

This Sunday is Orphan Sunday.  There are over 143 million orphans in the world.  As a person of few words, I like to keep posts short.  In honor of Sunday and to possibly encourage others, I thought I'd share how Mike and I really came to where we are today.

Christmas 2007, Mike and I felt the clock ticking for our family. If we were going to try for a third kiddo, it was now or never.  Comments that season, including one about the fact that odd numbers do not work well at amusement parks, seemed to seal the deal. We both were ready to call our family complete. Gentle 4 it would be.

January 2008 came. I was happy with our decision. Two weeks later, I had my first real lightening bolt, strike-you-down-in-your-tracks message from God. How was I going tell Mike that God was calling us to adopt? Mike would think I was nuts!  (Posting THIS may make you think the same.  But oh well!)  God doesn’t do things like this to people like us. We had served about every possible role in our church, but He didn’t talk to people like me or ask for more than our Sunday duties. Did He? I was an engineer before mommyhood. I didn’t feel terribly gifted at my motherly duties. Other moms always seemed and still seem so much more put together. Would God really call ME to adopt? It took several nights of chickening out before I was brave enough to tell Mike, “Umm…I think God’s calling us to adopt.” There wasn’t much of a response. He may not admit it, but little messages started coming to Mike too. By February 1, 2008, we were ready to sign on the line and commit ourselves to another life.

Our paperwork process was slow. Documents supposedly went into our secretary of state’s office never to return. Mistakes with our home study were made. With every step along the way, there were strange, unexpected delays. At the same time, my dad was diagnosed with an aggressive form of ALS. We knew there was a reason everything was taking so long. We were able to be there for my parents when they needed us most. And we figured the child God intended for our family wasn’t ready.

Here we are almost three years later. Dad died December 27, 2009. Jack entered our family March 1, 2010. People who meet Jack cannot believe he is such a new addition to our family. He is amazing, has incredible spirit, and is definitely our little lightening bolt.

God’s gift of adoption for our family has been a privilege and very humbling. I am amazed and in awe of all the families who adopt without lightening bolt experiences. I pray that Mike and I are encouragers to other average adults to truly examine whether they are being called to adopt. You don’t have to be an exceptional parent or experience a lightening bolt moment. Through our faithfulness, God has blessed us in so many unexpected ways.

Before we adopted Jack, I named this blog Gentle 5.  I was CONFIDENT God WOULD NOT ask us to adopt again. I was right. This time, I know God DOESN'T NEED Mike or I to accomplish His will. We need Him. If we answer His Biblical call “to look after orphans and widows” James 1:27, we will be blessed. I’m not taking the chance of renaming the blog Gentle 6. I really don’t know where God’s leading our family anymore. But it is so very sweet to follow.

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