My husband and I have nine children and yes, we know what caused it. You however, may gulp in surprise to know the whole truth. I’m glad I didn’t know when we got married over twenty-seven years ago, what I know now. Every gory detail of childbearing, coupled with God’s perfect timing, and sense of humor has shown me His plans never fail. Over the last thirteen years in an effort to add to our family, we prepared, labored, prayed, trained, and traveled to distant cities and countries. We fostered to adopt our first adopted son stateside after having five biological sons and daughters. We then adopted our sibling group of three from Eastern Europe. We are continually thankful for God’s mercies in our riveting fostering to adopt journey and our beautifully intense orphan hosting opportunity. Yes, my husband and I officially adopted four out of our nine children. As I type this, I’m in awe as maybe you are. It’s only been eight years since we became adoptive parents with quite a story to tell!
We didn’t plan to adopt four children, but God did. God protected their birthmothers just like I asked Him to. I prayed long and hard for them and our future babies long before we ever knew how we’d adopt. He placed a hedge of protection around our children’s little bodies within their birthmother’s wombs and compelled them to deliver our children into the world. My thoughts, long before I ever knew they existed, were never far from them. During the many wanting and waiting years before, I had often wondered if my nagging thoughts and prayers about future adoption were selfish because they were so strong. I wondered if I was discontent with the five beautiful blessings God had already given us. I’m glad I ignored those lies. Regardless, I knew not everyone was here yet.
So what specifically were we thinking when we adopted four children a few years after our fifth child was born? Well, when it came to heeding God’s voice and stepping out on faith–maybe our rational or practical thoughts simply took a back seat. Maybe we loved Him more than our comfort, more than our bank account, more than a clean house, more than sleep, more than approval from others, or even a few friendships. Or maybe we were intoxicated with the idea as God surrounded us with people we could talk with and ask many questions of. Regardless, God knew that we would stay the course with His help, and help He did. Help He still does.
No provision has been too great for Him. No miracle has been too terrific for Him. God has shown up day after day and placed us first in the city where we needed support and now in a small town where we can grow together. Our many, many, many tears over our children’s struggles and our need have watered the tilled tender soil of our hearts. We continue to die to ourselves, our ideas, our plans, and our dreams day after day. Through it all we continue to break, surrender, and ask God to help us. We now pray like we never had before we adopted, somehow they are more intense, urgent, and critical. We now see God’s grace in our lives up close. He has even allowed us to witness and better understand what a believers adoption into God’s eternal family really looks like. It’s a wonderful comparison!
- Grafting in.
While the world continues to shout its judgments, our kids are living proof of the value God places on children from hard places. They aren’t perfect, but truth be told, neither are we. We needed them to show up and hold a mirror to our faces, we didn’t know how great our own issues were! Our babes are the personal extension of God’s grace and His love to us we always hoped for. Our adoptive sons and daughters remind us to never stop praying, never stop believing God, and never stop giving up hope. God loves them too. Many in the world says unplanned children are unwanted, but my Bible doesn’t say that. My heart knew He had a plan many years before they were even born. I know now, that we were always planned for each other.
I trust and believe God has a plan for every panicked birthmother wondering what in the world she will do now that she is pregnant. God has a plan for every waiting adoptable frozen embryo sitting in storage right now. He has a plan for every orphan that has lost their ability to cry to have their needs met in foster homes, orphanages, and children’s homes all over the world. He has a plan for every child born into their circumstance with special needs. He has a plan for every neglected child crying in the dark for someone to show up, and every nameless soul that hasn’t been given life. If He has a plan, we must also. If every believer did something, anything, more children would truly live and more children would have that promised hope and future. Church, won’t you allow God to use you for such a time as is? First, the Unplanned movie amazes and will stretch your heart. Second, it’s one thing to see an incredibly moving movie–but another when we say we support life. Let’s step up and become the loving hands and feet of Christ and receive all those unplanned babes that were given life. Birth mothers will need help more than ever in the many years to come. Church it’s time. Adopt or see the list below in ways you can support the lives around you–you won’t regret it. God has a plan for them and for you!
(*Look for our foster–adopt and international adoption story blog posts this week!*)
Adoption Sunday November 10th, 2019 & National Adoption Day November 29th, 2019–let’s prepare now with help like this for your church!
Church, make a plan. How will you support life and adoption?
Here are a few ideas!
- Volunteer at a local pregnancy center.
- Become a Safe Family.
- Become a foster parent.
- Offer respite for those caring for children that need a break regularly.
- Bring a meal to someone struggling to care for needy children often.
- Offer hand-me-down clothing to these families.
- Begin a local support group at your church.
- Promote Orphan Sunday and/or foster parenting. (see link above)
- Pray for birthmothers and the unborn regularly.
- Orphan host for a few weeks in the year.
- Get involved with foster parent/child Christmas events.
- Pray for local families in crisis, local foster children, and their foster families.
- Financially support one or more of these needs.
“…God sets the lonely in families…” Psalm 68:6a
“In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will–to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.” Ephesians 1:5:b