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Monday, November 15, 2010

Adoption Sunday

My husband and I were asked if we would be interested in speaking about our adoption experience as part of our church's "Adoption Sunday" service yesterday. Our pastor desired, through our stories (ours, as well as othersin our church body whose lives have been touched by adoption) to bring greater understanding to us regarding what it means to be adopted as sons and daughters into the body of Christ.
Talk about adoption? You bet.
It's obviously near and dear to my heart so I was immediately on board. My husband had to work, so it would be up to me to speak on our behalf.

I began with how we came to the decision to adopt, which unlike many Christian couples, was not based on a calling we felt God had placed on our hearts. Rather, we felt lead, through our personal circumstances, to
-open our home to children in foster care,
-to help families in crisis,
-and to adopt if God desired us to do so.
In that order.

I went on to explain that, through various circumstances over time, God showed us His will for us regarding family. Some doors were opened, while others closed, all while He moved us forward to what He ultimately had in store for us, a family formed through adoption. It was kind of like seeing a puzzle come together, realizing how each "piece" fit in a specific way to form something wonderful.

I was asked, too, to share how adoption blessed us as a family. The obvious answer to that is that we get to be called "Mom" and "Dad" by four of God's precious children, yes? Definitely, YES!

But there were other blessings I mentioned as well. The blessing of greater patience, for example. During the years in which we waited on God to show us when, how and if we would have a family, I often felt as though He were asking me, "Am I enough?" God definitely taught me patience while I waited.

And we've grown in compassion too. Compassion for other couples struggling with fertility challenges. Compassion for single women who wonder if God will bless them with a loving marriage and family. Compassion for families in crisis. Compassion for the children in those families.

I closed by mentioning the old Wayne Watson lyrics that stated, "God aint gonna stay in the little box I put Him in." Our mighty God is soooo much bigger than the box we often try to squeeze Him into. And I believe that God defines family in a similar way. Biological families are a beautiful part of His design, but they are not the only way He forms families (consider Jesus growing up as Joseph's son, for example). His definition is soooo much bigger than biology.

And so I'll leave you with the same closing thoughts I shared in church today.
Have you opened your heart to the possibility of loving outside the box?
My husband and I have never regretted capturing God's vision for us regarding family. And we want to encourage you to consider God's "bigger than the box" view if you too are feeling pulled toward adoption.
If you have ever been curious about it, if your heart has ever been stirred to consider it, or if you find yourself in a situation of childlessness and you desire a family, will you fully open yourself to where God may desire to lead you?
Because sometimes when we lay down our plans, our will, or our hearts desire and simply walk with Him, He reveals unforseen beauty and purpose beyond our wildest dreams.

Proverbs 16:9 In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.

Live wise in Him!

~Toni~

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