He is Always Good

I've decided that international adoption is not for the faint-of-heart.  Were it not for my strong-willed, stubborn, kid-loving heart, and were it not for Jesus, I think I'd  be in pieces right now.  Literally.  There have been times when I've felt like I was in pieces, but somehow, because of His goodness, my heart is still intact.

As I look back at the very beginning of this journey, I'm amazed at how it's changed so much--how the path we've traveled has had so many more bends and u-turns than I expected.  Some of these bumps and curves have thrown us.   Most of the unexpected changes to our plans haven't been easy to take.  But we belong to a God who is good.  And although it's taken me awhile to see it, God has been in each and every redirection.  Each roadblock has been a gentle course-correction that is meant to lead us to the children that He has chosen for our family.  And when I think back to the day that God first spoke to me about adoption, I'm thankful that He didn't show me the whole plan all at once.  Because I think I would have run for the hills!  But my Father knows my heart, and He knows what it can and cannot handle.  And in His mercy, He has only given me small pieces of the puzzle to process.  I've learned not to get too attached to any one idea of what this adoption will finally look like when it's all said and done.  God is always course-correcting.  He is always guiding--even when things seem so messed up that it's hard to believe that He's in it at all.  But there has been purpose in every tiny detail of this.  He is always good.

Over the past two months, I've spent a lot of time asking God what in the world He is doing and trying to determine what I know to be absolutely true.  My heart gets too easily attached to my dreams.  And sometimes I'm afraid that I can't trust it to steer me in the right direction.  So, right now, this is what I know to be true: 1. God called us to adopt.  2. God has given us a heart for Latin America.  

Right now, we are still technically country-less, but I know that won't last for much longer.  God is moving.  He's opening new doors even now.  He is always good.  

When we started this, we assumed we would adopt a baby or 2 siblings under 4.  It "fit" with our family.  It "fit" with our dreams.  And that's why we felt God leading us to Colombia.  It was the only Latin American country where younger children were available for adoption.  It just fit.  But all along, God has been doing something vastly different.  He has been slowly shaping our hearts for something new--something we couldn't have handled 6 months ago.  He is calling us to adopt waiting children.  Waiting siblings, to be exact.  Probably 3 of them.  Maybe 2.  But probably 3.  One of them might be around Asher's age.  One or 2 of them may be slightly older than or close in age to Landyn.  But they will not be babies.  They will be children.

If God had revealed this to me that first day in April 2011, my heart could not have taken it.  My heart wanted a baby.  In a lot of ways, it still wants a baby, but God is gently taking that desire and replacing it with an irrational, wreckless love for His children who are alone and hurting.  This is not what I signed up for!  But over the past 6 weeks, God has been remaking my heart.  I  have felt like I was going to break almost every day.  I have ugly-cried...a lot.  And I have been holding my hands out, open, before the God who called us to this, asking Him to take from me anything that isn't of Him.  And He is good.  Always good.  When He takes something, He fills up that empty space with something from Himself.  And then, somehow, I end up wondering how I ever lived at all without the parts of me that He has made new.  He makes beautiful things...

And, in His goodness, God hasn't left me alone in this.  He's been remaking Michael's heart, too.  He's given me a husband who is willing to obey God even when it scares him.  He's given me a husband who remains calm and prays for me even when I scare him...with my ugly-crying.  He has given me a husband who is an amazing father to our kids, and who, when the time comes, will be a beautiful example of Abba to our new children who will desperately need to know God as their Father and Healer.  God has also given me 2 precious kids who love God and who are incredibly flexible.  They didn't even blink when I told them we won't be getting younger baby siblings.  He has given us extended family who are super supportive and a church family who prays for us constantly. 

So, right now, we have 2 doors that are open.  We are waiting to see which door God leads us through.  I'll have a whole lot more to share once a few more things have been decided.  And I have some pretty controversial issues to write about, like birth order and artificial twinning...Let's just say, we're getting ready to break some pretty big rules in the adoption world.  But that's a post for another day!

For today, I'm gathering and packing up all of our baby stuff to give to a friend who needs it more than I do.  Although I've known for awhile that a baby isn't in the plans for us, I haven't been able to part with most of my baby gear.  There are so many memories attached to each and every object and outfit.  And giving it away means facing the fact that the baby chapter has come and gone for our family.  So, it wasn't without tears that I scrubbed the high chair and the swing clean and gathered the scattered pieces of Asher's favorite jungle mobile from various parts of the house.  But we have to make room...both in our house and in our hearts, for who God is adding to our family.  And this is a good place to start.