And now we're in process of adopting David from China. What?! Adopting? Didn't we already try that once? Don't we have a baby so we don't have to adopt anymore? Oh my, the crazy questions we have fielded since we told the world we were running hard after our son who just so happens to be on the other side of the world. So here is the story of adoption in our family:
We talked about adopting before we were even married. We wanted bio kids, but we also thought it would be awesome to have adopted kids too. We agreed that local adoption was the way to go. We had our family plan all worked out. So a mere two months after we go married we started trying to get pregnant. 6 years later is when God finally brought our miracle boy into my womb. 6 years of hope, disappointment, questioning, and learning much about the goodness and graciousness of God.
In the midst of that we were asked to consider adopting a beautiful 12 year old girl. We said yes! It started as "get your house ready, she'll be home in less than a week." Then it became "her extended birth family has taken her away, she's in danger." Then later "are you still interested? We know she's almost 14 now, but we can get her home soon." Finally there was the fateful "we wish there was more we could have done." Her birthday is 2 days before our wedding anniversary, and my grief comes right up to the surface for days/weeks before and after. She was mine for a time. She is God's always.
I thought that was it. I was done discussing adoption. My heart hurt too much, I couldn't even dream of going through that again.
Then I was subpoenaed. A student had confided in me, I had fought for her to be protected and years later was required to give account of what I knew. I sat in the waiting room with kids who may not have had one safe person in their world. I came home to my boy in the arms of a dear friend who had spent the entire time I was gone praying for my son and snuggling him. That night I told J I was ready to talk about adopting again. We have a whole community of safe people in our son's life. We have so many people who have wept and rejoiced with us on this journey and love our son not just because of who he is but because of all that he represent in being our first born. There are millions of kids who need one safe person, we have safe people in spades! J looked at me with the sweetest smile and said, "I've been waiting for you to come back around!" What patient, long-suffering love.
Then a few months later I saw a boy on Show Hope's Facebook page. He was beautiful. Three months younger than Rees. I loved him instantly. For a week I said nothing. Then I showed his story to J. And he loved him too. We contacted Show Hope, who suggested we contact an adoption agency they have contact with. We added our names to his "interest list." We went on a date to fill out a "medical conditions checklist," which was us looking up medical conditions we had never heard of, for hours on end, and then deciding if we felt equipped to provide a good home to a child with said medical conditions. Most emotional date ever. We told them that we were willing to wait to hear about this boy. His file hadn't been received from China yet, and we were ok with taking it slow and waiting to see what happened.
And then a job change became available for J. It was a better choice long term for him physically, but a difficult adjustment for us as it meant less income. I decided it wasn't a good time to pursue adoption. We just needed to take ourselves off of that boy's list. But I was sleep deprived, and life got busy, and God had other plans, so never actually did it.
Then the call came. I assumed it was family from Colorado calling, but it was the voice of a kind woman I had never spoken to before. She wanted to know if we would consider adopting an amazing 3 year old boy. I wanted to say that we had other plans, but what came out of my mouth was a request for more information, pictures, his story. Once we looked at what they sent us, and did some research on his medical needs, we requested updated information. And while we waited for a response, we both individually came to the same realization, we knew he was ours.
But he wasn't local. We had had an opportunity to adopt some "local" kids and we just knew we had to say no. And this would mess up birth order. We had it all planned out with this other boy who was younger than Rees, but not by much. And we don't have the money for a quick Starbucks once a month, how on earth could we pay agency fees, and orphanage fees, and home study fees, etc.?
God's ways are not our ways. God's thoughts are not our thoughts.
We have until January to get our dossier to China. My personal goal is November. I want him to have the best chance at not having another birthday away from his family. I want my boy home. Rees needs an older brother. I need an older son. And we all hope that by some great miracle a younger brother can some day come home too. We have not forgotten the boy who stole our hearts with a smile and started us back on this crazy journey.
And we wait, and fight hard, and run after our David. He is ours. And he is so worth every second.