Today is the last day of National Adoption Awareness Month… a year ago, I didn’t even know that was a thing.
A year ago, my world seemed to be crashing beneath my feet as I was dealing with our final miscarriage… and bitter ending… BUT, this is not a post on that. It’s only what I share to set the stage for what I didn’t even realize would soon enter my life…
A year ago, as my heart broke open… I had no idea something was coming… or that what would begin as a small heartbeat, would give way to a pounding in my chest…
It’s “funny” what a year can bring…
A year ago, I didn’t understand how my own words might have hurt others by my ignorance. I knew nothing of the differences between international, domestic, foster, closed, semi-open, or open adoption… I’d never heard of adoption consultants, and words like “home study” or “profile book” had never been a part of my vocabulary.
A year ago, I’d never weighed what a birth mom goes through or how misunderstood she might be. I had never considered the cost of adoption… or how people afforded it. I didn’t realize what the process was, how long it took, or how MANY children there were in foster care that were waiting (and ready immediately) for families to love them.
A year ago, I had no idea how soon adoption would be knocking on our door… or all the prayers, paperwork, and pain that would follow our decision to walk through it…
WHEN THERE’S A KNOCK…
When adoption came knocking on our door, Mike and I heard it loud and clear in different ways… but we knew…
When God knocks, you have a choice as to whether you’ll open it to see what He has for you on the other side… or, leave it closed.
Some of the greatest things Mike and I have ever been a part of, came from the biggest leaps we were willing to take… and we knew that we would forever wonder what might have happened if we didn’t open the door, take the chance, and leap into the unknown…
If you never leap, you will never know what it feels like to fly. ~The Movie, “Leap”
Mike and I knew so little when we started our adoption journey in April, and while we’ve learned many things, we know one thing is always certain… nothing is certain. Adoption is full of variables and moving targets… “tentative” is the word used when trying to plan… for anything, and while the rest of the world moves forward, adoption creates a kind of “flexible limbo” where you seem to live “in THE between” of it all…
ADOPTION IS NOT EASY. Parts may go fast. Days may be less encumbered. Moments may pass without you being completely consumed by the enormous finances of it all. Chapters will bring joy… but the story will be full of ups and downs (both yours and complete strangers), and even the strongest believers will waver if they take their eyes off of the One who knocked on the door in the first place.
Leaping into the unknown is scary because the landing is so… unknown. Let’s face it… when you leap into the air, you don’t always know what the landing is going to look like and so much depends on what happens while you’re in the air. And then there are the people standing by watching… (evaluating and even ridiculing). It can make you wanna fall right outta the sky if you forget what you’re doing… or WHO asked you to do it.
Taking a BIG risk when God knocks on the door of our hearts, can move us (and our faith) in ways that are truly unfathomable… but the enemy isn’t gonna just sit back and allow that kind of impact go unchallenged. He doesn’t play fair. He doesn’t give time-outs. And, he doesn’t take a day off when we’re at our weakest… in fact, that’s when he brings. it. ON…
The devil will use the people in our lives, complete strangers, “the ghosts” of our past, and our negative self-talk to stir doubt into our weak hearts…
- “What if you can’t…”
- “I don’t think that’s God’s will for your life…”
- “No one is gonna stand behind that…”
- “Are you sure you heard God right?…”
- “Maybe God didn’t mean right now…”
- “I don’t think you can (should, will, etc…)”
- “What if God doesn’t?…”
Oh yes… the mother of all doubt… the one that breaks even the strongest believer at the knees and renders them immobile to the possibility of ALL that God can do because our enemy knows if we lose hope, there is no need to take anything else from us… we have lost everything.
God IS the great I Am… He IS the possible… and when we believe that, we find Hope. But, when we fail to expect Him to be anything less than that, we suffer… right along with the rest of the world.
I wonder how many times God wants to do something absolutely incredible, but there is no one willing to stand out and make a scene. How many times God wants to show Himself, but there is no one willing to prove who He is because we’re too busy playing it safe, living our lives dumbing down who God is by asking for answers to prayers that we can do ourselves.
I will make you proof of My Power… will you stand in front of everyone? Will you leap into the unknown? Will you trust Me?
When we refuse to leap into the unknown, God cannot meet us there, in that moment… the place where we could have landed. He cannot meet us there because we decided not to take the risk.
SETTING THE EXAMPLE
I don’t want my children to become products of the world’s standards. I don’t want them to give in, give up, or give away the very things that make them unique. I believe my children are one-of-a-kind individuals, created to make a positive difference in an ugly world… and as their parent, I have been gifted with preparing them for that amazing task. I don’t want them submit to anyone’s weak dreams… or do nothing with evil is present.
I canNOT dream of them to doing great things if they see me unwilling. I canNOT hope they will be strong if they see me weak. I canNOT wish for them to persevere if they see me give up. And, I canNOT hope they will have great faith if I never step into the impossible.
TAKING THE LEAP
I would love to think that by this time next year, my family will have grown in love through the addition of another life (or lives)… truth be told, I wish it would have happened this month… but I don’t have any idea how long it will take, what’s going to happen along the way, or how this part of our family’s story will turn out.
I’ve experienced God saying no to what I want… impossible things I couldn’t accomplish on my own… miracles where He could have revealed His power… but He didn’t… not in THAT moment anyway… not the way I wished for… but I also know NOTHING is wasted with God. No moment… no pain… no sacrifice… and certainly no person willing to take the risk to believe and trust in the One who is Hope.
God is waiting for more people willing to trust Him to do something unbelievable in their life… something that only He can do. He doesn’t have favorites. There is no degree of level of achievement required. God will use ANYONE willing.
Don’t convince yourself you have tomorrow. Stop thinking that it’s too late to do something different. Quit allowing other people direct your steps. Refuse to believe (and make the excuse) you need to wait until God shows Himself instead of trusting Him to provide the space to land after you’ve jumped. And the next time you hear that familiar whisper, dripping with hopelessness… “What if God doesn’t…” keep your focus on God and what He has led you to do and respond…
“BUT WHAT IF HE DOES?”
Has God been knocking on the door with a new opportunity, but you’ve been unwilling to open the door, take a chance, and leap into what He has for you? What has been keeping you from opening the door? What fear do you need to let go of?
The new year is right around the corner. Where ever you’re at in your journey, write a letter to either…
- …remind yourself all the reasons why you opened the door, took the risk, and leaped into the unknown this past year
- …OR to encourage (and challenge) yourself to open the door, take the risk, and leap into the unknown in the coming year!
Keep the letter for the next time you’re struggling, or Doubt is trying to take you down. Sign the letter, “Hope”. Then, find at least one person who will lift you up, encourage you when you’re down, and help you stay the course and keeping leaping!
ONE MORE THING…
Mark your calendar and set a reminder to help/encourage someone touched by adoption (or helping others to adopt) on the following dates next year…
- World Adoption Day… November 9th
- World Kindness Day… November 13th
- National Adoption Day… Saturday before Thanksgiving
- Giving Tuesday… Tuesday after Thanksgiving *Read, The Ultimate Irony of “Giving Tuesday”
My calendar is set… and I’m excited and curious about what I’ll be sharing with you one year from now!… “Bring it on God!”