Yesterday was a monumental day in our lives.
After much consideration and prayer, we sent the official application to the agency who will be handling our Ethiopian adoption. It's intimidating, exciting, stretching us in our faith.
This was not a quick decision. We had been pondering it for a long time, and since we are not new to adoption, we know it will have many challenges. The seven kids we have added to our family since 2001 have enriched our lives in so many ways (even in the tough days and weeks!!)and we look forward to what the year ahead will bring. We have no idea who God will add to our family. But when I was pregnant with my first three children, the feeling was the same. There are decisions ahead, and we are praying for wisdom at each step of the way.
I have had several people tell me we don't need any more children. After all, we have 10 all together!! But I have considered that statement so many times over the last few months and realize it's not about us having more kids at all. What our endeavor is all about is that we have been touched by the plight of scores of real orphans - children in war torn, poverty stricken lands who are alone and frightened. Children who need the security of food, shelter and love, even if it means being transported to another country, worlds away from all they know, to get them.
I am tired most days from caring for an active houseful of children. I need time away somedays, craving peace from the active world of schedules, little voices and meeting multiple needs 24/7. I tell Mike that he "gets to go to work." He doesn't really get that most of the time. But my heart cries for the little one out there that could thrive with us in our crazy world called life. It's not perfect here, and Norman Rockwell would have a hard time painting our life story. But there is a child in Ethiopia who needs parents, a family, a place to heal from their pain. Somewhere he can find food when he's hungry, sleep when he's tired, and education as he grows. Someday maybe the child we bring to our home will have the confidence to return to Ethiopia and make a difference for other children that we can not reach on our own.
It's a big responsibility, one that we are preparing for daily. We know it won't be easy. Raising children never is. But we are grateful for the opportunity and trust we will be faithful to the calling. Our hearts are open to the child that God wants to put there.