Thursday, September 13, 2007

A Command

I often wonder at the apparent apathy towards adoption within the church as a whole. I’ve never heard a sermon on this topic or heard a pastor publicly encourage church member to consider adoption. That’s not to say that churches aren’t supportive of a family adopting but rather to point out that it seems the general attitude is that it's nice for that family. (I am happily aware that not all churches fall in this category.)

The Bible clearly states that as believers we are to care for orphans. Therefore the church and individuals within the church should be actively seeking ways to fulfill this command. Now, I’m not saying that everyone has to adopt but how about being foster parents or respite foster parents, or volunteering for a Crisis Pregnancy Center, girl’s home, or Big Brother/Sister organization? Giving to CPC’s, adoption agencies, adoptive families, or child sponsorship ministries are perhaps other ways of applying this command but too often, this can be an "easy way out" when in reality active involvement may be what God requires of you.

Please consider how God is calling you to fulfill this non-optional command. It may take you out of your comfort zone but I would contend that maybe that isn’t such a bad thing. :)

Thursday, September 6, 2007

My Story

Just for some background, here is my story. My husband and I met at a college conference in Jan. ’98. We were friends for a few years and then began dating in 2001. We were engaged in November ‘01 and married in March ’02. Before we married, we discussed having children (as I’m sure every couple does). I remember asking my husband if he was open to adoption because I had always wanted to adopt. We both have adopted family members and he expressed interest in adopting at some point.

Fast forward a couple of years and we decided that we were ready to start a family - only it wasn’t so easy for us. We experienced the month after month disappointment of no pregnancy and finally went to the doctor. The diagnosis was not good – the possibility of conception for us was not high. We were told that our only option was in vitro fertilization (IVF). While we do not have a conviction regarding IVF, we did decide not to pursue this route for a number of reasons including the likelihood of success.

Infertility is the single most difficult thing either of us has ever dealt with. We did not share with anyone outside of our family and a few close friends what we were going through because of the pain and because we didn’t really know others who had struggled with infertility. We were surrounded by large families in a church that valued childbearing - though not a bad thing in and of itself, it meant we were constantly confronted with our lack of children and it felt like a lack of blessing.

After much prayer and consideration, we knew that God had a different plan for starting our family. He wanted us to adopt now (not the several years down the road we had planned).

We began our research and fairly quickly decided to pursue international adoption for our first child. We looked at various countries but God made it clear that we were to go to Kazakhstan. We started the process in August/September ’05 and brought home not one but two sons in October ’06. It was a hard road but completely worth it! One of our sons was born with a cleft lip and palate so we just recently had the first surgery to repair them.

We do not feel that our family is complete yet. We plan to adopt again and are back to the beginning considering where our next child is. Our lives have been made richer through the addition of our boys and through the experience of adoption. We are so happy that God chose this path for us. God has blessed us beyond measure!

*The photo is of our two little blessings: C & P.