Our New Journey (pt. 2)

I mentioned in the previous post that Jason and I had been talking about adoption since we were dating. Let me share a little story from that time in our life…

We were probably three dates into our new relationship and Jason and I were fairly certain that this relationship would lead to marriage. We were sitting out by the Cedar Valley River after dinner and somehow our conversations turned to children. I had wanted a large family of my own since I was a little girl, and at the time, I was pretty sure they would all be biological, potentially an adopted child in the mix…maybe. The first words out of Jason’s mouth in regards to children that night were “I don’t think I want any of my own. I’d like to adopt all of my children.” Now, you have to remember that this was Sarah from three years ago and not the Sarah today who has grown and matured. I about broke up with him on the spot. Literally.

He then went on to explain his heart. He had recognized how blessed he had been growing up with such a strong, godly family and he wanted his home to be home of refuge to orphaned children and he also wanted to be a better picture of the Heavenly Father than what they may have experienced elsewhere. My resolve softened and I decided that we could keep dating, but believed that he would come around sometime to us having our own as well!

We laugh now about that “prophecy date” because little did we know that God would be leading us down the road of adoption within two years of marriage!

To bring it back to the story…

During this past year, adoption had become more of a topic in our household because our best friends here in Tucson were in the process of adopting an infant domestically and a child from Ethiopia. In June, they were placed with their little baby boy (domestic) and our hearts swelled with thankfulness for God’s provision and His timing for them, along with a love for this beautiful little baby. So, needles to say, adoption became a true reality in our lives.

In our conversations throughout the year, the timing of when we would adopt kept getting closer to the present. God began to chip away at my plans and changed my heart on adoption after I read a book “7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess” by Jen Hatmaker. In the book, she shares a bit of her journey with adopting two of her children from Africa and my heart began to break for the orphan. Along with that, I began to read Adopted for Life (haven’t finished it yet) and the beauty of the gospel shown through adoption began to stir in both Jason and I a desire to be a part of that redemption story for someone else through adoption.

Four weeks ago, our feet started to match our talk. We felt ready (but who really feels ready? more like we finally listened and obeyed!) to take a step of faith into what we had been praying about for months and desiring for longer, we were ready to be parents. I made a phone call while we were in Madison to an adoption agency in Tucson. In my shaky, nervous voice I told the woman on the other side of the phone that Jason and I were interested in a domestic infant adoption. At the end of that phone conversation, a meeting had been scheduled to talk with her about the next steps to take as prospective adoptive parents.

That meeting took place about four days ago. We have signed papers and been given more paperwork than I know what to do with! But it’s official! Jason and I are adopting! Yesterday I turned in our initial paperwork and tomorrow I get started on what’s called a Home Study.

Jason and I have so much more to learn, but one thing we are most thankful for is that God did not lead us down this path alone. Our best friends Josh & Katie have been some of our biggest cheerleaders and encouragers in this journey as they are just finishing up one part of theirs and waiting for their Ethiopian baby to be home with them. We are thankful that our parents are behind us and that we have a church community that loves and supports us. We don’t know what the road looks like from here, but we do know that we have a great God who adopted us into His family and desires His best for us. We know that He will provide the finances needed to bring this baby and others home. We know that He has already hand chosen our children, He knows their names, their eye color & skin color. He knows those babies and loves them more than I ever could. Yep, I don’t have to worry. God knows.

Advertisements

Our New Journey (pt. 1)

This morning I was reminded by a close friend that I needed to get the story I’m about to share “out there already”!

So here we go…

It was almost one year ago to the date that Jason and I started walking (what we would find to be) the long journey of becoming parents. A day in October of last year, I went in to see a OBGYN because of some scary things that were happening to me the night before. It was there that she told me she believed I had a very early miscarriage, but that I’d be fine and she sent me on my way (not the best way to handle a first time miscarriage-never went back to her…). I didn’t really know how to process her information because we weren’t trying at the time to become pregnant, but through that experience Jason and I decided that we should start trying! We decided it was best to wait at least a month to give my body a chance to recover from what happened. We were so excited with the idea of becoming parents!  We had our Missional Community begin praying for us and I thought that in a matter of months I would be getting pregnant and preparing to live my life as a mommy.

As the months continued to tick off, I wrestled and wrestled with God about why things weren’t happening in my time frame. What I wanted was good, to be a mom and to grow our family, why wasn’t it happening? Everyone else seemed to be able to make it happen, why couldn’t we? Was there something wrong with one of us? I became obsessed with my cycle, what my temperature was, and all of the other things that I could figure out about my body that could help me control the situation. This cycle of questions and control continued for at least the first six months of trying, then God broke through my prideful & short-sighted thoughts. I was clinging to the identity of being a mom more than I was clinging to the identity of being a daughter of God, chosen and adopted into His family by the work of Jesus on the Cross.

It was in June that I opened up my tightly clenched hands to let God move and act in our life and in the future of our family. I still didn’t know what that would look like and I often had to confess my idol of control and ask for a patient and willing heart. Looking back now, I’m so thankful for the grace of God in that season, boy did I need it!

In July, we took some tests through our amazing chiropractor, Dr. Tim, to see if there were any hormones out of whack that we could regulate because I was starting to physically feel miserable. Sure enough, my body was pretty out of sync. Jason and I took a weekend get-away to talk about how we, as a couple, could naturally relieve the stress on my body, since I was suffering from adrenal fatigue, along with a few other things. We decided that even though we were not close to bringing a baby home, I would leave my job in September. Our plan had always been that when we had children, I would stay home. But we began to see just how important it was to my health and our marriage that I start that journey sooner. We also made a decision to not use modern medicine and hormones to try to make me pregnant (that was a personal choice and not one that we think everyone should choose). We also made a few more changes in our lifestyle to help ease the hormonal stress I seemed to be suffering from. Our hopes were that this would, most importantly, improve my overall health, but also possibly allow my body to maintain a pregnancy.

Since we started taking those steps, I have felt tremendously better, not 100% but I can actually enjoy my days without wanting to sleep ALL THE TIME. As God began to restore my health, He also began to restore my heart and to open my eyes to the way that He created family…

Since almost day one of dating, adoption had been a part of our plan to expand our family, but because of the financial cost of it and how I wanted to control the situation, we always thought it would happen 10+ years down the road.

But God always knows what’s best for us and prepares a way all the time….

#shereadstruth

SheReadsTruth

About two weeks ago I stumbled upon a hashtag over on Instagram that said #shereadstruth from a blogger that I recently began to follow (naptimediares.com). I was intrigued by it, so I did a little further study and found that it was a group of women online, who live all over the country, having quiet times in the same book of the Bible with a little devotional thought to be challenged and encouraged with throughout the rest of the day. The book they were starting to study was Ephesians and ironically enough, that is what Revolution (www.tucsonrevolution.com) is going through this Fall! I decided that it wouldn’t hurt to join up on my YouVersion app, on my Kindle, for 17 days and read along with them. I’m so thankful I did!

The short study each morning has been helpful to keep me focused and diligent on spending time in the Word & in prayer, but it has also opened up a whole new world of ways to connect with people online. It’s been a blessing to see other women’s thoughts on their quiet time and how they have applied that to their lives as wives, moms, friends, etc. Here’s my thought from today as I read from Ephesians 6:1-4:

As I was reading this morning and reflecting on how I can take this to heart today, I read from the ESV study bible notes and it said that “obedience is evidence that you know God”. I may not have children to train up to obey God & his/her parents, but I am called to obey God, my Heavenly Father. The only way that my heart can truly obey God is if I am daily communing with Him and if I deeply know His heart and His desires so that I can live a life of joyful obedience. I may just put this thought in my future parenting idea book! If my future children don’t know the greatness of God’s love & also don’t know my heart, how will they know how to obey God or myself? My prayer is that I will always be seeking God & growing closer and closer to His heart and out of that I live a life of obedience.

So, if you’re a woman & you feel like you are needing a little help to keep up a consistent quiet time, maybe this is the answer! Go on over to shereadstruth.com to check it out! Shameless plug…I know 🙂