January 2016, I held a 6 month old, a chubby cheeked Lucy, in my arms. I sat down on a stool in a Sunday school classroom with my bible study small group. We each went around sharing prayer requests. My heart beat out of my chest at the thought of sharing a secret but I knew I had to get it off my chest.
It was no surprise, I started to cry as I spoke the words, I think I want to adopt. My bible study friends listened intently as I poured out my heart, my words probably making no sense at all, but alas they listened. To be honest, the desire to adopt didn't make sense to me either. We had our 3rd child, whom we had long prayed for and just a year prior we said our family was complete.
The ladies agreed to pray for me and we left it at that. A month later, we visited Scott's parents in Florida and they watched the kids for a coveted date night out. We chose a fancy bayside restaurant and while enjoying Scott's favorite (not mine) Oysters Rockefeller, I told him I had, what seemed like, random but deep-seeded, desire to adopt. He listened and I told him he should pray about it and that I was praying about it. The evening ended on a series of different subjects with the adoption discussion finished for the time being.
That's the way the adoption conversation went for a long time. It would come up from time to time but the subject usually faded into another conversation and that was that.
I'll never forget the Sunday, my friend Azlyn stood up in front of the congregation to share about her desire to become a full-time missionary serving the orphans in Togo, Africa. She told story after story complete with pictures of gaunt-faced babies without moms and the Holy Spirit within me grieved. Tears trickled down my face as my heart yearned for those orphans. I have sat through many amazing missionary speakers and not once had I ever been moved in that way.
I knew enough about God to know He was moving in my heart and creating a desire but we had witnessed some difficult scenarios with adoption in the past and the idea of adoption scared me. I didn't want to go into the process and fail. So, I wiped my tears away and told myself it was too hard. Scott wasn't on board and the pain of the past was too much to proceed.
But God did not relent.
In August 2016, Scott attended a mens breakfast where the speaker shared how he adopted several children from Africa. Of course in my infinite wisdom, I though that would change Scott's heart. I probed as a wife might do and to my great astonishment and discouragement, Scott said he had a great time but he never mentioned how God moved his heart toward adoption.
At that point, I figured I must be hearing God wrong about adoption because how could I have this desire if Scott wasn't on the same page. If Scott was praying with no change of heart, I needed God to change my heart. Although, deep down I knew God was for adoption, I must have heard him wrong.
But God did not relent.
In January 2017, we headed out on a week long Caribbean cruise. The funny thing is when you get away from your kids you have time to talk, not just about the day to day, but dreams, desires, hopes for our family and our future. One afternoon, over our favorite chorizo bean dip out on our balcony, I asked Scott if he had been praying about adoption.
He said no.
To say I was hurt was an understatement and thankfully God took hold of my tongue. Instead of yelling and screaming, I calmly shared that the desire of my heart had not changed in over a year. I still felt called to adopt despite asking God to take the desire away. I told Scott, adoption scared me to death and that I really needed him to pray about it.
For the first time, I think he realized this desire of mine wasn't fleeting and I was dead serious. He agreed to pray and we dug deep into our fears of finances, failure, family dynamics, caring for an orphan...you name it we went there. It was scary and vulnerable and we did not have all the answers.
For the next several months, I did my best to not nag him. I had to trust that Scott would stick to his word and pray. It was hard because I like to help by reminding him but I kept hearing God say, he would work it out if I just zipped my lips. What a lesson that was for me!
I waited and prayed as Scott prayed and waited.
Until next time, keep on keeping on with a simply purposeful life. #tribekoko
Linking up with Lindsay
for her Wednesday Link-up