September 4, 2011

We're Adopting Again!

Two weeks after we came home from Ethiopia with our son and daughter, I wrote an email to our adoption agency director to ask her about adopting again.  If you've been to a third world country, you probably understand.  The conditions we saw were devastating.  It really opened our eyes to the comparative riches that God has blessed us with.  And it's pretty hard to think of leaving children in those life-and-death circumstances when we can bring more into our family.  Plus, we love our children so much and it would be a joy to have more!

Wisely, my husband and mother encouraged me to wait until our kids were a little older before we brought more children home.  So we've waited.  And we've prayed.  And we've talked about it countless times since then.

Now we feel that the time has come.  Our hope is to bring home two children from the Democratic Republic of Congo, a boy and a girl, about a year and a half from now. 

God has provided some of the funds we will need through an unexpected tax credit that we received for adopting the first time.  It was put into law only a few weeks after we brought our children home from Ethiopia.  Even then, as God was placing more children on our hearts, He was already providing some of the means for us to bring them home.  He has also provided a larger home for us to live in, which fell in our laps at a price you would not normally see for this size and location.  And we already have most of the stuff we need for two...two highchairs, two cribs, two infant car seats, a double stroller, and a wardrobe for a boy and a girl.

Now some of you might be thinking about the fact that our kids will only be three years old when we bring two more children into our family.  Believe me, I've thought about that too.  In His grace, the Lord has crossed our paths with two other adoptive families that have four kids ages three and under, and between us mommies there have been a few verses out of God's word that have been a real encouragement to me.
2 Corinthians 9:8  And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.

Psalm 41:1-2  Blessed is the one who considers the poor!  In the day of trouble the Lord delivers him; the Lord protects him and keeps him alive; he is called blessed in the land; You do not give him up to the will of his enemies.
Colossians 1:11-12  May you be strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.
I'll admit, when we decided to start looking around at adoption agencies and countries, I felt a little fearful and inadequate when I thought about having so many little ones.  And God did a kind thing.  Over a period of a few weeks, as I researched online and made phone calls to agencies... I was not comfortable with any of the options that we were finding.  Our desire has been to find an ethical, reputable agency, one that takes a strong stance against child trafficking and doesn't have a questionable history.  We also would like to adopt two babies that are younger than our two children.  We would love to bring them home from a poor country in under two years, preferably making only one trip to that country.  Though we found four agencies that seemed at first to fit that criteria, one proved far too expensive and we were concerned about the integrity of the others.  It didn't seem like adopting two babies was going to be a possibility for us.  And I grieved that.  We desire a large family.  We desire to help as many orphans as we can.  And we're not getting younger.  So I prayed about it, asking the Lord to allow us to adopt two babies, and God used that time to help remove the fear in my heart.

I also read this excellent post on Desiring God's website a few weeks ago.  It speaks much better than I could about the beauty and priority of motherhood.

A Rock-Bottom Job?

The truth is that years ago, before this generation of mothers was even born, our society decided where children rank in the list of important things. When abortion was legalized, we wrote it into law.

Children rank way below college. Below world travel for sure. Below the ability to go out at night at your leisure. Below honing your body at the gym. Below any job you may have or hope to get. In fact, children rate below your desire to sit around and pick your toes, if that is what you want to do. Below everything. Children are the last thing you should ever spend your time doing.

If you grew up in this culture, it is very hard to get a biblical perspective on motherhood, to think like a free Christian woman about your life, your children. How much have we listened to partial truths and half lies? Do we believe that we want children because there is some biological urge, or the phantom “baby itch”? Are we really in this because of cute little clothes and photo opportunities? Is motherhood a rock-bottom job for those who can’t do more, or those who are satisfied with drudgery? If so, what were we thinking?

It's Not a Hobby

Motherhood is not a hobby, it is a calling. You do not collect children because you find them cuter than stamps. It is not something to do if you can squeeze the time in. It is what God gave you time for.

Christian mothers carry their children in hostile territory. When you are in public with them, you are standing with, and defending, the objects of cultural dislike. You are publicly testifying that you value what God values, and that you refuse to value what the world values. You stand with the defenseless and in front of the needy. You represent everything that our culture hates, because you represent laying down your life for another—and laying down your life for another represents the gospel.

Our culture is simply afraid of death. Laying down your own life, in any way, is terrifying. Strangely, it is that fear that drives the abortion industry: fear that your dreams will die, that your future will die, that your freedom will die—and trying to escape that death by running into the arms of death.

Run to the Cross

But a Christian should have a different paradigm. We should run to to the cross. To death. So lay down your hopes. Lay down your future. Lay down your petty annoyances. Lay down your desire to be recognized. Lay down your fussiness at your children. Lay down your perfectly clean house. Lay down your grievances about the life you are living. Lay down the imaginary life you could have had by yourself. Let it go.

Death to yourself is not the end of the story. We, of all people, ought to know what follows death. The Christian life is resurrection life, life that cannot be contained by death, the kind of life that is only possible when you have been to the cross and back.

The Bible is clear about the value of children. Jesus loved them, and we are commanded to love them, to bring them up in the nurture of the Lord. We are to imitate God and take pleasure in our children.
It will be a hard job at times, no question.  But as my own mom said, having four children at any ages will be hard.  It will be limiting.  And it will be worth it.  Our hands will be full... of good things!

To go back to my story about researching agencies... I emailed two friends to ask for some advice.  One of them let us know about a Christian adoption agency, Lifeline Children's Services.  They are everything we're looking for and more.  We are thrilled and very thankful to have found them!  If you are looking into international adoption, I highly recommend this agency.  I've done hours of research and I'd love to share more with you about that to save you time if you're starting the adoption process.  (And in case you're interested, my recommendation for domestic adoption is Life Choices.  I'd be so thrilled if God used all my research to direct several families to choose these two wonderful Christian agencies!)

So here we are, a family of four preparing to be a family of six!  Thank you for caring about us and sharing our exciting journey!

8 comments:

  1. YAYY!! You chose Lifeline!!! :O)

    Soooooo excited for your family!! I will be praying for ya'll!

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  2. Can't WAIT to meet the new little Philpots. They will definitely be blessed to call you "mom" and "dad". We love you guys and will keep praying for your growing family!

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  3. YEA!! We are so incredibly excited for y'all! Praying for y'all and your journey to bring home your sweet babies!

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  4. How exciting! You'll love having a house full of kiddos, and you'll be exhausted, but it will be totally worth it when they make you smile. And what an amazing opportunity to share and display the gospel, as a Mom to her children, one of the most sanctifying and humbling and rewarding experiences of all. I'll be praying with you for your two new little ones.

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  5. The Sutton's are so excited about more Philpots to love! :)

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  6. wwoohoooo!!!!! God's grace IS sufficient and He is made perfect in our weakness!

    Praying for you!!

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  7. SO exciting! You two are such blessings. I'm so proud to call you a friend!

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  8. Wow! That is really exciting!
    My family is adopting from Congo too! We started in January and we are hoping to bring our children (a 3yr. old boy and 3 month girl) home in September. If we can help with anything, please let us know!

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