Today’s post is from someone that I look up to with so much respect and admiration.  My friend Amber-Rose is one of the best women I know.  She loves her family & her husband so well.  She teaches me so much about loving God with all I have.  And it doesn’t help that she is one of the most fit women that I know.  Yeah I’m basically really jealous of that!!  🙂

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I love the way that God comes through on his promise to equip His children for the works He puts before them. The means are sometimes small, seemingly insignificant details, but God is always at work in them.

God set me into a family which appreciated different races and cultures. We befriended refugees and housed international students. One of my closest friends was my cousin down the street, who was adopted from South Korea. My aunt loved adoption and beautifully articulated its beauty. Her five children came to her in all different ways – international adoption, domestic adoption, her own womb, and guardianship. She often told me that adoption and childbirth were both gifts from God and equally miraculous, and I believed her.

After I married my husband, we tossed around the idea of adoption, but it didn’t seem real or urgent. Our biological children came quickly and easily, and after baby number four, we certainly seemed to “have our hands full”.

But God.

My husband, who had previously merely entertained the idea of adoption, started digging into theology. He heard that God had crossed incomparable barriers in order to make us His sons and daughters, and that adoption was a picture of the gospel. He got excited.

Around the same time, a switch flipped in my soul. Whereas I always had a soft spot for adoption, all of the sudden the orphan stopped being anonymous in my head. I really truly believed that God had a child for us, and that this beautiful thing called adoption was going to become part of our story. We wanted to welcome another child into our family. I imagine that if God bends our hearts toward adoption in the future, He will again warm our hearts and spur us to action in a similar way.

The hardest part of the process was starting it. We began by thinking about regions or people groups that we felt God had drawn us to in some way, and landed on Ethiopia. Sending in our paperwork felt like bungee jumping – we prayed, held our breath, and trusted God to control to process.

I think one of the tricky things about adoption is that it’s a very intentional process. Sometimes I wonder if that doesn’t fool us into believing that we’re somehow in ultimate control of the results.

Fellow Believer, rest in the ability of our God to set your process in motion and guide its every turn. Trust that He will use the unique experiences, proclivities and giftings that cause you to choose – Houston or Haiti, infant or adolescent, single or siblings – and He will act through your actions and determine through your decisions. You are not more powerful than God’s plan. Be prayerful always, cling to His word to nourish and guide you, and trust that He is the One working. His work is sweeter than any plans we could conjure up for ourselves.

The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
surely I have a delightful inheritance.
I will praise the Lord, who counsels me;
even at night my heart instructs me. I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
Psalm 16:6-8

IMG_1822We prayed about everything we could think of. We asked God to care for the hearts of our child’s birth family. We asked him to be our physical and spiritual provision so that we could open our arms to another child. We asked that He would equip us with the extra wisdom we’d need to parent a child of a different race. We asked him to bond our child’s heart to us and ours to his, just as He had done with our biological children.

And He did. And He does.

Thank God for the beauty of adoption.  It is my spiritual lifeblood, and my privilege to partake in this grace played out in the physical realm of family.  God says that He is the one who sets the fatherless in families, and that our children are blessings.  Our ties are not determined by flesh and blood.  They are secured by the will of a God who speaks things into existence, and framed by His goodness.
Thank God for the way these small, significant circumstances, which come with their own blessings and trials, will surely be used by Him for good.

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102812_4648Amber-Rose Zimel lives in Austin, TX, where she loves, learns and dreams with her husband, Adam, and their five children.  She is a lover of people watching and espresso and the Pacific Northwest.  God has impassioned her heart for global orphan care, local community and female discipleship. More than anything, she desires to spend her life for God’s glory.

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