Tuesday, November 3, 2015

National Adoption Month: And Then A Light Bulb Came On

I’m really enjoying all of the adoption related posts that have been going around social media this week as we’ve entered into National Adoption Month. I’ll be writing about our journey with adoption here & also on my adoption Instagram account (@theadventuresofbabyk) throughout the month of November. On Instagram, I'll try to post daily all month long using the Knit Together by Adoption series of prompted topics (you can read my posts & more from families impacted by adoption by searching the hashtag #knittogetherbyadoption on Instagram). Today’s topic is on how I felt about adoption before it impacted my life. In addition to my Instagram post, I thought I’d also share a longer post on that topic here on the blog today.

Although for most of my life I've been very uneducated on the process, adoption has always been something I have felt drawn to. I guess you could say that God wove a passion for adoption into my heart from a young age. From the time I was a little girl, I imagined having a multi-racial family someday. For as long as I can remember, I've also felt a strong pull in my heart towards international adoption. In high school, I had a picture similar to the one below on my MySpace (oh yeah, that's right...throwing is back to the ole MySpace days) page. It's pretty amazing how God works, because even though Isabel was born in Georgia, she is half-Hispanic. The Lord gave me a desire for a multi-racial family, and began to weave those desires into His plan for my life years & years ago.

Even though this is a total adoption cliché, my high school celebrity icon was Angelina Jolie. Her beautifully diverse family captivated me & was the picture of international adoption that I carried around in my adolescent mind. 
Throughout my life I've found myself drawn to & interested in foster care. My heart is so burdened over the injustice the precious children in the system endure. My extended family has been personally touched by foster care adoption, as my cousin adopted three kids from the system. 
Thanks to my family's pro-life beliefs, I grew up believing strongly that domestic infant adoption was a beautiful, life-giving option for unplanned pregnancy. My extended family has also been impacted by domestic adoption, two of my older cousins were adopted as infants.
 Even though some of my cousins were adopted & my family is pro-life, adoption wasn't really a frequent topic of conversation in our home when I was growing up. Even so, I believe God used many aspects my family life to plant seeds for adoption & life in my young heart. I'm amazed at how God's unexpected plans unfold as we are now starting to pursue our second domestic adoption & have such a passion for it! We also have hopes of one day adopting both internationally & through the foster care system. I am excited to see how God leads us in those areas in the years to come. 

I've always had a spirit of mercy & compassion, as well as a desire for seeking justice & offering redemption for those in need. As I've grown in my relationship with God, those passions have increased, as my understanding of His love & redemptive plan for the world through Christ has deepened. Throughout my teenage & college years I questioned what my purpose was & I longed to deeply make an impact on this world. Even though I didn’t know how it would all unfold, I felt like God was calling me towards something “big”. Whenever Cary & I got married, my focus shifted to being a wife & trying to start a family. Adoption became a dream we would pursue "someday" after having biological children. Little did I know, that God had much different plans, as our infertility diagnosis was about to change the course of our plans dramatically. When we first started seriously considering adoption, it scared me a little bit. For so long, I had desired a biological child & I worried if I would be able to let go of that dream & fully embrace adoption. I worried about how having an open relationship with birth family would work. I was shocked when I learned how expensive adoption is. I was overwhelmed by the paperwork & complicated process. All I could see initially were all the ways the process could go wrong. After weeks of prayer, research, conversation & soul-searching, I laid my plans down before the Lord & asked Him to take over. That's when everything changed. All of a sudden I went from scared & overwhelmed to filled with joy, peace & confidence that God was calling us to adoption. All my doubt disappeared & it was like a light bulb came on...so many of the desires, dreams & qualities He had given me throughout my life finally came together! 
That’s the Holy Spirit & call of God for you! 

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of instruction."
~2 Timothy 1:7

"Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus."
~Philippians 4:7

"A man’s heart plans his way,
But the Lord directs his steps."
~Proverbs 16:9

Since surrendering our plans over family planning, I have felt such a renewed purpose for my life. Of course I definitely still get overwhelmed by how complicated adoption is & continue to deal with grief from infertility, but overall, I’ve never felt so sure that I am becoming the person God always intended me to be. Adoption has been such a huge part of my personal growth & journey. I’m thankful that God has taken my “I’ll adopt someday dream" & manifested it in the here & now of my life. Being Isabel's momma has been the greatest joy of my life & I wouldn't trade this love for anything!  

My "before" picture of adoption was filled with big dreams & good intentions, but lots of naivety. Stay tuned to our blog this month to learn more about what we've learned our adoption journey :)  

If you’d like to support our next adoption adventure, you can do so by shopping our Etsy shop. 

We have many more fundraising ideas in the mix as well & hope to get started on some of them soon. Since we’ve had a few people ask about how to give to our new adoption fund, we have now added a PayPal donate button to the top right hand side of the blog.

 I hope this post gave you a deeper insight into my heart for adoption. We so appreciate your prayers as we continue to enjoy life as a family of three & pursue the call of God on our lives. SO incredibly grateful for every single person who has encouraged us over the past year & a half!  

With love,

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