It's a bit scary for me to write this post, and put our plans out there on the internet, but the past few months, I've really felt called to publicly share our journey. Maybe it's for therapeutic reasons, maybe it's an inner need for support that I didn't recognize before, maybe it's more of a chance to witness and plant a seed in someone else's heart...I don't know. All I know is that I'm sitting here at the computer, trying to put the past three years into words, and really failing. Forgive me if this seems like incessant babbling, and/or is completely incoherent. Eventually.....hopefully....I'll be able to fill in more blanks and it will hopefully make more sense!
Three-ish years ago, we gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. He was perfect. My health, on the other hand, was not so perfect. A post-partum trip to the ER, weeks of being unable to leave the couch or my bed without the risk of a stroke, medication changes and cocktails, trying to find the right combination, all combined with normal post-partum recovery made for a pretty scary experience. Knowing that the same complications have crept up with every pregnancy - and were getting worse with each one - Mike and I knew that we needed to make some changes if we were going to remain open to life, as we are called to be. After adjusting to having three children under the age of 5 in my constant care, Mike and I set out on a joint mission of understanding what had happened to me, and doing what we could to prevent it happening again. Enter in the "getting healthy" journey (see the tab above for more details). While I can say that so far, that journey has been successful, with me a mere 8 pounds away from losing 20% of my starting weight, and no longer being on medications, and having very, very good lab and blood pressure results, this process has opened our hearts to another, similar journey: adoption.
In that three year period, while Mike and I were researching my health and planning a way to improve my health, the path to adoption was brightened over and over again. While we no longer fear the medical implications of becoming pregnant....we wholeheartedly believe that it was no coincidence that our oldest entered a school where a good portion of his classmates (and our future friends) had been adopted. We wholeheartedly believe that God had placed these people in our paths to show us just how beautiful it can be when you open your home to an orphan and he/she becomes your child, your family, and to provide us with trusted friends to ask the questions that were rolling around in our hearts and minds. It was no coincidence that some of our first friends in Arizona are - independently of us knowing this about each other - at the same place we are on this journey. It was no coincidence that time and time again, I'd be reminded of the love and dignity found in every human life...and be reminded of that need to help the poorest of the poor: those suffering from the greatest poverty of them all, the poverty of being loved.
The call to adoption is a strong one in our lives. We have the ability to open our homes to children who need one - and so we have. We are still open to pregnancy, if that is how God calls us in the future, but at this time, we know we are being called to reach out to a child in need and love him.
Meetings and orientations have been attended. Decisions, costs, our abilities have all been weighed. Phone call conversation after phone call conversation have been held. Pennies have been counted...saved...and counted again. Papers have been filled out. Countless hours have been spent in prayer, discerning God's will for our family.
The journey, it appears, is beginning. Our family is growing.
As we move forward in our journey to adopt a special needs child, I ask you for prayers. There may come a time when we will need more than prayers: hugs, words of support, help with adjustment and traveling, more hugs, sympathetic words and smiles, and even more hugs. For now - and throughout our journey - I ask that you pray for our family: those who currently live in our house, and our children who are still to come home. Pray that we are able to love fully as God is calling us to.
Stay tuned for updates. :-)