This is going to be one of those posts that I start and then hand off to Jeremy to “fix”. This is one of those posts that we write to get all the thoughts out of our heads... and then end up wondering if we should post at all. By actually posting we become vulnerable and we open ourselves up for judgment. But by sharing our thoughts (and prayerfully considering our words) maybe we can encourage someone else! At the very least, we can encourage you to pray for us.
We have been praying about adopting. The boys have actually been asking when we are adopting again. I love that they have the heart of God. We bought a 12 passenger van and Tyler literally said, “Check! One thing off our list so we can adopt!” It is no secret that God has given us the desire to add to our family through adoption. What some may not know is that as we have been praying we have felt God tugging at our hearts towards exploring domestic options before we venture overseas again. We had the opportunity to talk to a domestic and older child social worker last Saturday at the Bethany International Dinner. So our journey begins! On a side note: We also spoke with our International Adoption Social Worker, who encouraged us to call her when we are ready. :-)
Through talking with the domestic social worker (who we will call “Kay”) we learned that there are children who need homes in the US. (OK- we all know that- if only it were that easy!) Our challenge is to find a boy who is under the age of 4 that has special needs that our family can manage. Kay told us about a specific little boy who is 2 years old, in desperate need of a family, and is available for adoption NOW. We will call him “Fred”. This all sounds good... but Fred has several medical needs.
Here is where I digress. We are searching to find the fine line between what can we honestly handle as individuals; what we can handle as a family; and being selfish. How selfish? Questions start in my mind... easy ones... like “Will Fred disrupt my sleep?” and end with hard ones like “Will Fred need care for the rest of his life?” There are a ton of questions in the middle ranging from “Will Fred be able to go to the beach because of his medical needs?” to “Will Jeremy and I get to go on a date again?” to “How will Fred living with us impact the other kids?” and on to “Will Fred require so much care that it takes away time from the other kids?” The questions go on and on, keeping me up at night.
Another a side note- (and this is where it would be easy to start judging) we experienced none of these questions when we saw Jonathan's picture. We saw a little boy, who needed a family. Yes, he was missing his leg, but we somehow sensed we could deal with that. Our transition with Jonathan has gone so smoothly. Almost too smoothly. It makes us wonder if the second time will go as well.
When I look at Fred's face, I see a little boy who needs a family and love for him begins to grow in my heart. But I also see a list of needs most that I don't understand. Not understanding breeds fear.
We have requested extra medical information on Fred so that we can review it and have a doctor explain it to us.
We know God has given us the desire to add to our family through adoption. We are obeying Him as best we know how. We feel drawn toward domestic adoption this time. But we are learning that most toddlers in the USA system have either medical or emotional needs that make us hesitate in a way we did not with Jonathan. The toddlers that are considered “healthy” are being adopted by others ... and that is wonderful! Every child deserves a family.
So here we are. We're having trouble drawing the line. In admitting that, we make ourselves vulnerable. Will people judge us if we don't adopt Fred? Maybe. Will people judge us if we end up adopting from China again? Maybe. But none of that matters. In the end we are accountable only to God. And so we are left with the question- a basic question- that Christians have been asking for years, “What would Jesus do?”
- I don't believe Jesus wants us to live in fear.
- I don't believe Jesus wants us to take on needs that we are not qualified to handle.
- I don't believe Jesus wants us to do something (especially adopting a child) out of obligation.
- I do believe Jesus wants us to step out in faith.
- I do believe that He will close doors and open doors, leading our way.
- I do believe that He wants us to lay down our fears and follow Him. Trusting Him to lead us down the perfect path for our family.
We are trying to figure out where to draw the line between faith and reason; responsibility and recklessness; fear and courage. Please pray for us as we consider all these choices, all over again.