What is it to wrestle with God? Up until this point in my life, I couldn’t imagine telling Him “no”. Boy, how arrogant I can be! He showed me very quickly that I’m all about saying “yes” to Him until He’s asking something VERY difficult of me. Libby’s adoption story isn’t just about how she came to be our daughter. It’s also about how God showed me that I need to follow Him even when I’m terrified of the outcome.
My Dad grew up for part of his life in a children’s home. It’s a LONG story but suffice to say he didn’t have a great model of being in a 2 parent home where love abounded. His father also had a very rough up-bringing so this had a huge impact on me at an early age. At the same time I learned of this, I read (as did every girl back then in the 80’s) Anne of Green Gables. Between my Dad’s history and this book, my heart was toast. I KNEW I wanted to adopt someday.
Cut to many years later. Adam and I have 2 boys around the ages of 7 and 8 (ish), we’re living in Seattle, and we have ZERO intentions of growing our family. Adam was in a high stress position with the Navy and we were living a comfortable life. We weren’t swimming cash, y’all, but life was moving along pretty smoothly. We loved this chapter in our lives. The boys were no longer tied to taking naps, no diaper bag, no stroller, no sudden potty breaks…we were more independent than we’d ever been and it was so wonderful.
At some point, I heard a sermon by Francis Chan, (Crazy Love), and I was wrecked. I found myself sobbing, and heart-broken. Something deep inside of me stirred and I knew this was going to be life-altering. His point in this sermon was that Christians are NOT living earth simply to wait for death and enjoy Heaven. Yes we should be very excited about Heaven but NOT to the point of neglecting our responsibilities here.
Look at the life of Christ. He worked. He served. He used every minute of His time here to minister to the hurting, the destitute, the forgotten, and the abused. If we call ourselves followers of Him, shouldn’t we model Him for the world?
Oh man, how does this apply to my life? God used this sermon to let me see that I was coasting….just doing living my quiet little comfortable life when there were MANY children suffering.
Let me be very clear. Adam and I absolutely did not want to jump into the adoption pool for real. I had always “wanted to adopt” but when it came time to actually get in the nitty gritty, I would come up with excuses like “Adam isn’t interested,” “We can’t afford it,” “We are afraid of falling in love with a child that won’t remain ours,” and ALL of the “What If’s”. And to be completely transparent with y’all, I didn’t want our lives disheveled. We liked our independence of not being tied down to a little one anymore and we were TERRIFIED of the therapies/behavior issues we were certain would come with adopting a toddler/older child.
But God was speaking to my heart in such a loud way that I could no longer ignore Him. Y’all. For the first time in my life I couldn’t eat, sleep, or relax. It was like the Holy Spirit was causing me unrest until I was willing to obey His calling. In the middle of one of these long nights wrestling with Him, I said, “okay Jesus, I’m yours. I’m all in. If this is something truly from you, YES YES YES! But you are gonna have to move BIG TIME in the heart of Adam ’cause he has said ‘no’ to this before.” All I knew at this point was that I had to tell God “yes” and let the rest fall where it may. I didn’t want to disobey Him because I love Him.
Part 2 to come…