In the very beginning of our adoption process, God was clear with us about some things. He would provide for this adoption. He would guide us to bring home the child He knew would end up in our family (aka we weren’t going to screw this up and bring home the wrong child). He would provide the endurance and grace to walk out what felt like initially to be a very overwhelming process.
There was something else. He spoke clearly to us to live our adoption out loud. I read a statistic recently that said something like 95% of people who consider adoption never act on it. For a long time, we were those people. We thought about adoption and sort of wistfully said, “maybe someday”.
God said to us in the beginning of the journey – be open in this process and your child will not be the only one who comes home because of your yes. Be open, I want to make adoption feel reachable to people like you – average people. You are one of many who has considered this, this journey isn’t just for you.
I’ll be honest, it felt awkward.
Through the years I have become more introverted. At times during this adoption, I have felt like I was putting my most raw and vulnerable out there for the whole internet world. I had no guarantees of how any of this was going to go and it was scary to be putting everything out there week by week.
But I wanted to be obedient.
We were a couple of months into the process and still walking on very, very shaky legs at the beginning of March last year when I got a phone call on a Sunday evening from my friend, Tonia. God was calling them to adopt.
To summarize what is obviously their own more lengthy, faith-filled journey, they had considered adoption for many years on and off. They had looked at different avenues. They had never been on the same page at the same time and much like us, had never moved forward. Adoption often seems so daunting, particularly international adoption. When we began the process, it began to click with them that they COULD do this and they began to pray through it again. This time, it was a yes for them.
We were overjoyed for our friends. We were OVERJOYED that another orphan would have a home and a family.
But for us, there was a deeper thing that happened after they said yes to adoption.
It was the first answer, the first response, the first “yes” we heard from God in our adoption process. While no part of us felt like our adoption process was the sole motivator for our friends to adopt, we saw that He really did use our scared vulnerability for something, just as He had told us He would.
It began to click that if He had done this thing He told us He would – used our openness about our journey to spur on the conversation about adoption with those around us, than we could trust Him to do the other things He said He would. We could trust Him to provide the money. We could trust Him to lead us to our daughter. We could trust Him to get us to China and back. We could trust Him in the first days, weeks, and months home. We could trust Him to guide us to raise a daughter we didn’t give birth to.
It was a beautiful piece for us in seeing God’s faithfulness in our story and beyond. That He was bigger in this than we could have ever imagined. Our legs began to feel a little less shaky as we kept on walking forward.
This week, our friends met their daughter. I cry just typing that. In the next weeks, they will bring her home. And again, I am filled with such joy for them. This side of the adoption process has had many hard moments for me, but it has felt like walking on sacred ground as well. God was great to get us to the point of bringing Elliott home, and He has been great as we watch her become cemented into our family and begin to thrive. I look forward to watching Corrie become a part of her forever family and watching God continue to write this story that He has been writing.
Today we celebrate being home with Elliott for four months. Four months as a family of five. It was also one year ago today that we experienced the beauty of the New Testament church at the garage sale of our lives.
I’ve felt so tender the past few days, as I have prayed for our friends through their China journey. As I reflect on His provision for us, the way He has carried us to China and back, the redemption and transformation we have all five experienced in the last four months, and the miracle of seeing Corrie Song placed with her parents today, it’s been a reminder to me, God really is faithful.
I don’t have to know and understand the way ahead. I don’t have to see how all the puzzle pieces fit together. I don’t have to feel the confidence to act on what I believe to be true. I don’t have to “get” why God is asking certain things of me. That whether I feel scared or not is not an indication of whether God has this. As flawed and fearful as I am, I get to say yes and watch God do what only God can do, be greater than I ever could ever dream.