Every Good and Perfect Gift

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Every gift is perfect as it’s coming from The Perfect Gift Giver.  He gives us grace and grace and more grace and when we think we have enough, He pours on more.  We are so thankful for this gift.  One of the many gifts that He has already given to us are the MANY friends and family members who are walking this path with us. I’m sure by the end of it they will feel as if they have adopted a baby too.  We are not even a month into this process and we have had so many encouraging words, hugs, prayers and love poured on us, our future little Walter and for the birth mother.

As we go back and re-read these words, we will be truly amazed at the ways His hand has guided us.  I know that, I have confidence in this promise.  I know (as I’ve already experienced) that this path will not go how in my mind I think it should go.  I know that this isn’t going to be easy nor will it be without bumps and probably some big potholes.  BUT I do know that without a doubt, God will be with us.  And as The Perfect Gift Giver, He will give us the grace to get through this just like He gave us the strength to get through the difficult times about 6 years ago.

6 years ago was the time that we sought medical help to add to our family.  It’s a time that seems like a blur to me – I don’t really remember the time – well I remember the daily shots, blood draws and doctor visits, but my emotions – nope they are gone.  I think I was completely numb during that time.   Even in the midst of all of the fertility treatments I was reminded of a song that I feel like really ministered to me. It’s by John Waller and it’s called “While I’m Waiting”.  

During that specific time period it was really hard, but God gave us a gift that some may think is one of the strangest forms of a gift- MIDDLE SCHOOLERS.  Yep you heard me 6-8th graders!!! We were still serving back in the middle school room. Who would have guessed that 50+ Middle Schoolers would help us in the healing process and probably unaware)? That was what brought healing and purpose back to our lives especially me.

Hopefully this little note gives you a little encouragement.  You may never know what shape or form every good & perfect gift may be given to you – in our case 50+ middle schoolers.:)

It’s Official

We are officially making it known via social media: Facebooking/Instagramming/Tweeting our news:  We Are Adopting.

Some may be think this statement came out of the blue, but in fact this decision has been in prayed for, thought about and pondered for a long time (15 years to be exact).  However, the fruition/playing out of the decision has come out in the last few weeks.

A few years ago a friend approached me and asked if we ever considered adopting.  I replied oh yes, we have thought about it but that’s as far as it went – a thought.  My friend approached me again asking to go for coffee to hear about their adoption journey.  This same friend approached me a few months ago and said I really want to talk to you about adoption and I think you should consider it.  After a week or so we agreed to meet up at Starbucks.  She let us know she is now working with an adoption agency and wanted to discuss the process and give us more to think about and consider.  To be honest, we met a little hesitantly not because we were nervous or didn’t want to – it was because we were leaving for a vacation to Colorado the next day and we had A LOT of packing to do and getting ready for the trip – you know last minute cleaning and vacuuming (all of the things we hate doing but for some reason are important as you are ready to leave for vacation).

We met and she let us talk about ourselves and our thoughts about adoption.  Adoption is really important to Gary and I – it’s embedded in our lives and history.  As we were talking, the discussion made me realize just HOW much adoption has been part of our lives – up front and personal not a “we have a second cousin’s brother in law’s daughter who recently adopted” but more like I’m (Hope) adopted as well as my sister and nieces and nephew.

As I reflected on all of the ways adoption has touched our lives, instead of seeing life events as singular, I began to link all of the pieces together and I could see God’s hand weaving our stories together.  Honestly, I’m not sure why it took so long to link it together, but it was definitely an “AH HA” moment.

So after the meeting, Gary and I packed up and headed west to Colorado.  I wish I could say that we focused on discussing it and hashed out all of the details and had a plan.  But alas, nope.  I think the discussion went like this:

Me:  “so do you think we should adopt?”
Gary: “Yes do you?”
Me: “Yes”
Gary: “Do you think we’re ready?”
Me: “I think we’ve been ready.  We just needed a push.”

and with that my friends is how our final decision to push forward came about.  After our discussion at Starbucks, we thought it would be easier to put together our profile book first and do the paperwork after it.

We enjoyed our trip out west came back and I started to think (kind of) about putting together our profile book.  For being a first born child, I’m a procrastinator.  I hate making decisions,  I would rather be part of the crowd than leading the charge, I dislike deadlines which is kind of ironic since my job is all about deadlines and multi-tasking.

I think we naively said Yes to creating a profile before we actually realized all of the details and paperwork that was needed.  But that was actually a GOOD thing because I think if we really sat and looked at all of the paperwork that we would need to fill out to complete the homestudy, it may have freaked us out and may have hindered us from moving forward.

I started to work on the profile book (can I just say I’m thankful for Facebook & Instagram? those two apps made it SO easy to upload photos to our photo book).  We found out we needed to have our profile completed pretty rapidly i.e. we had 2 days.  So I fell to my college days – the ALL NIGHTER – those words still cause me to shudder.  Armed with our lap top and cups and cups of tea I started.  I couldn’t even decide on a background – if I couldn’t even decide on a background for the book how in the world would I even be able to be a mother? After a few tries, I finally settled on a background that fit our personalities.  I may or may not have asked our case worker that it would be easier to ‘friend’ a potential birth mother on Facebook than putting together the book.  But I’m pretty sure that would be violating something.  Writing our story actually came easy to me.  It’s easy to write about things/people you love and our photos are full of them – family, friends, kids from church, promises from the Bible.  I didn’t realize the profile book would be the easy part.

THE PAPERWORK

I neglected flipping through the manilla folder which held paperwork.  The forms were what I expected – government forms asking for date of birth, social security numbers, addresses, the normal information.  Then I found the check list and I began to panic.  Do we have updated rabies shots for our cats- can our vet get them in? We had to have physicals performed – can our referred physician fit us in or is he even taking new patients? We had to have referrals – would those we ask say YES? We have to have fingerprints completed- where in the world do you go for that?  Gary can you fill this form out? Gary can you fill out this form? Are you listening to me? I may or may not have tried to bribe him to fill out the forms (it didn’t work).

Any joy of adoption was quickly falling under the cover of THE PAPERWORK and my emotions.  As I started going through the paperwork feelings of panic, overwhelmed, insecurity, realizing the money we would need to find to pay for it started taking over.  I realized that it had been days since I read the bible, prayed, remembered the promises I placed in our profile book.  I was trying to do it all on my own and in doing so, I was a mess and illogical and grumpy.

I was reading from one of my favorite authors Nancy Leigh DeMoss and on her website “Revive Our Hearts” they have quite a few 30 day challenges.  I found one 30 Days of Gratitude and I thought this might be a good reminder in the midst of THE PAPERWORK there can be joy in it.  In fact, in every daily task or event (regardless of how mundane we think it may be) there is Joy and we can have an attitude of gratitude.  The days focus around some of my favorite verses (they were read to us at our wedding).

Colossians 3:12-17 (the Message)

12-14 So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.

15-17 Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.

I needed an attitude change and a reminder that this journey isn’t about how fast we can complete the work or grumble about THE PAPERWORK but rather to think about all of the ways God has showered blessings on us and our family even before the little Walter will arrive.  God has orchestrated this adoption and He has called us to serve, love and follow Him.  This journey is a step of faith in so many ways: will we be matched, will the funds come in on time, will the adoption be finalized, will we have a healthy baby? A bunch of “Will we’s” That if we are not careful the doubts and fears can overwhelm the JOY and promises that God gives to us.  Promises that “He will never leave us or forsake us, promises of giving us a hope and a future, promises to always be with us, promises to love us with an everlasting love, promises of peace and comfort”.  PROMISES that is what He gives to us.

The adoption is off to a fast start, but we know it will be a long journey and we have God who will be with us every single step of the way – in fact He has gone before us and will carry us even in the hard days.  And He has blessed us with a huge group of friends and family members who are encouraging us and praying for us and praying for the Little Walter who will be joining us.

We are thankful for you joining us on this ride!