Saturday, January 2, 2010

Adoption--it's a LONG one!

I've had many people ask me about wanting to adopt.  I can't say I always knew that it was something I would someday do....but I did know that all I ever wanted to be was a mommy.  I played with dolls and treated them like my own children until it seemed no longer appropriate to do so.  I knew I would have HUNDREDS of babies!  I have, although, always had African children in my heart, but not necessarily from Africa--I thought some day I would be the mum of a child with dark skin.  Why?  I don't know...must be something God planted in me from the beginning of time.  

So we have our three beautiful boys and I always thought 3...or 4 was a good number of kids, maybe because my parents had four.  After we had Luke I started thinking that I no longer needed to have a baby to be fulfilled...that life was rather fun and we could go in a moments notice without having to stop and change diapers, or nurse a little one.  And then we met some new friends at church.  And before I talk about that I want to say that we really had never gone to church as a family before....some Christmases, or maybe a Mother's Day or two.  So THIS was an amazing thing (all of us going together) and something I had prayed about before marriage or children.  So God placed these people in our lives and we became connected. Soon after our meeting we learned that they were adopting from Africa.  And, of course, we became a part of this as we were close friends.  Because of them I had begun to follow Bloggers all over that were either adopting or play a very large part in doing God's work on the continent.  I had fallen in love with Africa-I developed a love for people I had never met before.  But after watching them go through the trials and tribulations of adoption I had decided that if we ever did adopt it would be domestically. 

Last July (2009) our church was planning to host a children's choir from Uganda--called the Matsiko Children's Choir (if you've followed my blog at all you have seen pictures and heard stories--to see more: click here) and I was put in charge of placing 25 boys and girls with host families.  In the end we had three girls to ourselves.  For four days I got to have GIRLS in my house!!!!  It was the best experience our family has had together ever.  We knew these children came from poverty and disappointment and yet they held God up and praised Him and they cherished their lives and constantly wore their beautiful smiles.  They now have a chance at life because of the International Children's network.  They toured the U.S. for 9 months and they will go back to Uganda this month.  Now they have opportunities--they have shoes and clothes and food.  There has been a house built for them and they will go to school and be successful.  It broke all of our hearts to see them go.
Dic (my hubby) has never shared my desire to adopt.  We are limited financially and I think this is the biggest reason--which I know is a concern for most men.  But when the girls left, they left a piece of them in his heart.  He started to see my desire for adoption as well as for the African people.  We really started talking about what it would entail.  There were days when we were both gung-ho, and then days when we, Dic especially, would get scared about how we would pay for it.  So it has been off-and-on for many many months.

I have been working on just giving everything to God.  As a family we have never taken leaps of faith.  I tend to do it more on my own, but it took me this long to realize that when I felt soo passionately about something that it was God who had put it there.  It took me this long to realize that God has my life all mapped out for me...He has since the beginning of time.  So to just let go and let Him take the lead hasn't been easy.  I don't think it ever really is, but now that I know that I just need to listen and wait I feel more at peace.  God has known all along that this was something we were going to do, and I believe that this HUGE step will take us even further.  I was thinking last night about how much God is leading His people to the aid of the less-fortunate.  Not that there haven't always been those with huge hearts giving all over the world.  Maybe this is just MY generation and our turn to take the lead.  Maybe...just maybe, there won't be an impoverished world in the coming age.  God is keeping His promise--that He will take care of His people and it's all in His time.

I look back at the years and see how everything has fallen into place.  Now it isn't so surprising that Dic all the sudden started going to church, or that we started going to the church that we did, or that we became such good friends with the Oswalds, or that the children from Uganda came to be with us, or that we would worry about the finances.  Because everything is the way that He planned it...all in His timing.  And today I feel at peace that I'm sending in our adoption application, because I know that this was the RIGHT time...the PERFECT time.

We are beginning a journey that we never knew we'd be on.  And contrary to belief, we aren't doing it just because someone else has done it, but it sure helped lead us.  I have had so many positive comments and many more negative, which I was warned about.  And in the end it doesn't matter how anyone feels about it but us.  I just hope that our journey and our story will lead others in the same direction, wherever that may be.  Adopting a child that may not ever have chance otherwise is soo very humbling.  If I could find homes for all the lonely children, I would.  And maybe that is the NEXT chapter in my life.  Who knows what else God has been planning since the beginning of time.


Deena / TEAM MARQUIS said...

Kendra, What an awesome post! I am so happy for you and the peace you are feeling as you embark on your adoption journey! I can totally relate to your obstacles along the way... my husband was not always on board ;) I know we are both still a little freaked out at times. I just keep trying to remember that God is in control, and so we are working hard to follow the course that has been laid out for us. Adoption can sure be a process of growing deeper in faith. When I started researching adoption, I came across this verse from Proverbs 16:9 "In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps." Good luck with your next steps. I will be following along with you!

The Love's said...

Isn't He amazing? I am so looking forward to hearing more about your entire journey. I too have or am pondering adoption and then I think, "Am I just copying?" NO!!!! We (both of us) have had the pleasure of knowing a special family and their gracious, classy way is contagious and the outcome has been AWESOME! But you had it ALL along.

Kendra said...

Anyone who thinks they have been "copied", can go talk to God--lay it down for Him. If it's meant to be it WILL happen, regardless of what everyone else thinks. So do we turn our backs on the millions of orphans for fear the someone else did it first? What???

~love said...

yay, yay, yay!!!!

i've had people e-mail and say just that to me, "i'm not trying to copy you, but..."

seriously? to them i say, "COPY AWAY!!!"

this love for orphans, for the oppressed, for the children we're supposed to spread it. so proud of you for doing that. you WILL be blessed!

yaaaaaaaaaay! 147 million minus 1 more.

Amy said...

EXCITED to see what God does through your family!

Erin Reil said...

You have an amazing heart and an amazing family. Many great things are in store... I am so pleased that we are able to keep in touch in such a way that we can know and understand these wonderful adventures that you are on! Very exciting times!!! <3 Erin

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