Many of you that walked with us as we brought our son and daughter home from Ethiopia know that I have a great burden for international adoption. Having been to Africa and seen the absolute poverty and desperation that people live in on a daily basis has changed life for me. It's one thing to read about it and see pictures and even videos, and for my heart to be moved in that way. But to be there and speak to people face to face about their lives, that's a whole different thing. These are people that don't know where they will come up with food to eat, don't know how they will feed their children, and are fortunate if they live in a one room hut with ten extended family members because the other option is to live on the street. Children in orphanages will graduate out upon adulthood, and then have no where to go and no way to make money.
We have such cushioned, comfortable lives in comparison. And there's nothing that we have done to deserve it.
After seeing first hand what life is like for the average person in Ethiopia, my desire has been to grow our family only through international adoption from very poor countries. But God has a different plan for our family, and His ways are always better.
Through a series of events, God has orchestrated things so that it will take more than two years before we'll be able to bring another child home from Ethiopia. We feel that we are able to add to our family before that, and we greatly desire to do so. As we get older we also see wisdom in moving forward sooner rather than later. The Lord has graciously made us aware of the possibility of adopting domestically while we wait for an international adoption, and it seems to us like a perfect fit.
One of the things God has taught me through this is humility. Who am I to think that I choose how God will grow our family? Just as God determines those that He calls to be His children, He determines whether our physical children will come from Africa or America. And He does what is right.
I've also grown to love domestic adoption, especially the more I find out about our absolutely wonderful agency, Life Choices. I'm sure I'll be posting more about that as we get further into the process with them. I love thinking about how the Lord has been preparing our hearts to be excited about domestic adoption through things like Speak for the Unborn, a sermon by our friend Denny Burk called "A Biblical Response to Abortion," and friends like the Blocks and the Van Nestes who have adopted both internationally and domestically.
As my friend Amy Block says, "A child needing a family is a child needing a family- whether they are in your home town or across the world. What matters most is that you follow where God leads you personally. He will call some of us to Africa and some of us to China. He will call some of us to the US foster system, some of us to older children and some of us to special needs. If he called us all to Guatemala then who would take the kids from Russia? If he called us all to adopt older children then who would take the babies? Sometimes we just have to learn to hear and trust His plans." The Lord will direct each family for His good purposes and for His glory.
I've told several people lately that I'm thankful He leads us despite us.