Pray. Take a step. Listen to your desires. Trust God.
My husband and I are on our first adoption journey of probably many. And I don’t say that because this specific journey has been easy, or even fun. It’s been hard. It’s been refining, yet there is a deep change happening in our souls. God is breaking our hearts for the orphan and He is cutting through and destroying my control idol.
Eight months ago, we decided to embark on this crazy road of adoption. We had been trying to conceive for a year with no success. We knew that God had called us to adopt sometime in our life, so we thought that this was that time.
Right now we are in the midst of adopting two beautiful children from a war-torn country in Africa. Eight months ago, however, we walked into an adoption agency that worked with parents wanting to adopt either out of the foster care or an infant. We thought the costs of this option would be much less expensive (which is true) and we were also afraid to enter the international adoption world. We weren’t sure if we wanted to adopt out of the foster system or an infant, so we started the paperwork (paperwork was the same for both options initially at our agency) for both options. We went to a foster-adopt class the next month and realized that we were not called to adopt out of the foster system. We felt it in our gut that that was not where God was calling us to at the time. So we pursued an infant adoption.
We had taken a step and God used that step to move us to the plan He had for us. Four months into our adoption decision, I was moving very slowly through the paperwork, partly due to the lie I was battling that I was not adequate to adopt or be a mommy. I also had a nagging feeling that we weren’t in the right place. Call it my gut, call it the Holy Spirit, but it was there and I didn’t know what to do with that feeling. At the end of the four-month period, we received a call from our agency telling us they were increasing their fees for infant adoption. Jason, my husband, wisely advised that stop our paper-chasing for a month to pray.
In that month of December, God revealed our lack of trust in His provision and His plan. He gave us the courage to take yet another step to leave our agency and call an international adopting agency a friend had suggested. You see, I had wanted to adopt from Africa since I was 20 years old. I took a college mission trip to a country that was ravaged by AIDS and I spent time in an orphanage. I had seen the orphan crisis first hand and my heart broke. I knew that God didn’t waste experiences and I knew that experience was to plant a desire in my heart that would lead me to adopt from Africa some day.
We are now four months into adopting from Africa. It’s going to take a long time before our children can come home, much longer than our initial plans, but that’s okay. We know that this is what God has called us to and we will continue to trust Him through all of the bumps along the way.
I don’t have the answer on how to figure out which type of adoption you should do. I can tell you to keep your hands open to what God wants to do as you walk your adoption journey. Most importantly I want to encourage you to cover everything in prayer, listen to the desires the Holy Spirit gives you, and trust God as you take a crazy step of faith-He will move mountains to show you His love for you and for the children you will bring home.
Sarah Wood lives in Tucson, Arizona with her husband, Jason, and soon their two kids, who currently live in Central Africa! She loves coffee, a good book, Crossfit, and Paleo. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, or read her blog, In Truth and Grace.