It seems to me that when the Lord plants a passion in a person, there isn't much way around it. All the rationalizing, predicting, and philosophizing doesn't matter.
I think of my Beppe who had a passion for Africa. There were many more reasons to not go but it still wasn't enough to keep her here. She packed her three small blonde daughters out to remote Nigeria to then birth two boys while there. In spite of near death experiences, language barriers, and malaria- she has such sweet memories from her time there.
When S. fell in love with youth ministry, there were many reasons to find something more professional in his projected field of speech communications. Reasons like- you should stop pulling all nighters when you get to a certain age, the money is typically not there, who really wants to get panicked middle of the night calls from teenagers who aren't yours?, no group of people think they know so much and really know so little... and the list goes on. The list doesn't matter to S. He may have battled anxiety, never had a normal weekend, spent nights away from home counseling students and days counseling their
parents, but the thought of youth ministry still brings an excited grin and a stream of creative ideas.
For me it's adoption. I was six when my brother was adopted so it must have started some time after that, but it feels like it was always there. Of the 45 of us cousins on my Dad's side, nearly half are adopted. I never tired of hearing the details of each story.
When I was in high school, my best friend's parents did foster care. I loved spending time at their house watching his impassioned mom love on kids and ultimately adopt a handful of them.
I've watched numerous challenges arise from families adopting but no matter what I see and hear, I can't make it deter me. It's too ingrained to be severed with reasoning.
Over a year and a half ago S. and I decided to act on it and pursue adoption. For the first time we were both on the same page (at the same time) and excited to see where the journey would lead. Then we moved, then we were pulled a thousand directions, then we moved again, changed jobs, and for much of our year had nothing to call a 'job'. At different times we stopped and started the process to get our foster license with the ultimate goal of adopting.
For most of my life I assumed of course God wants me to adopt. He tells us to care for orphans, I've seen Him work some amazing stories for so many children...surely we'll have our own story. Yet as God has given me this passion, surrounded me with an amazing church body adopting children left and right, with my own sister adopting, with resources, and a degree in education- He has also been teaching me to hold my hands open. I am understanding that even the dreams He has given me need to be surrendered to Him.
An interesting way He has been leading has been through children who we anticipate having in our home. In the course of our marriage, 4 times we have thought "maybe that's the child we'll have in our home!" Each time we have known the child's name, his or her story, and prayed fervently for God's best in their life. We've come to a place- each time- of being willing to swing the door open and add to our family. Each time we think we are swinging the door open... it swings shut instead.
In January I was able to hear an update on one of the little boys we had thought we might adopt. I learned he was adopted by a couple who loves the Lord and are unable to have biological children. Hearing about how events transpired allowed me to release all my questions about the situation. I had a great peace knowing God had called me for a season to intercede for this little guy until he could get home.
I had needed the encouragement because in September we were told we were getting a baby girl. I waited to get things ready because I know how these things go in foster care. The social worker called and said she'd have her to us within a couple hours... but then other events transpired. I tucked the car seat back into storage and trusted that for whatever reason I was again called to pray for a little one I'll never meet.
A week and a half ago we got a call. Again. We were guarded yet knew we were called to pray. Again we were told "you'll have her later today". Still not ready to get hopes up, we waited. When the social worker called and said, "I'll be on my way within the hour" I finally pulled out some blankets and pajamas to wash.
Half an hour later we found out "not tonight- hopefully tomorrow". More events transpired and it's not looking probable that she will be a Taylor either.
I don't pretend to comprehend the roller coaster of a journey we are on. I don't even pretend to know which way is up. I do know that the Lord doesn't waste these experiences. Our prayers for these kids do not go unheard. I know that even without adopting ourselves, the Lord is using our family to pray on the front lines. Listening to my kids pray for the last little girl brought me to the brink of tears multiple times last week.
We have been required (by the grace of God) to hold everything with open hands and I trust that even if our hands are never filled up the way we anticipate- our passions will still not go to waste.
In the meantime, I am thoroughly enjoying this little trio.