If you have known us for any amount of time, you likely already know that as a couple, we have felt called to adopt for quite some time. It was just over six years ago that we sat in an Orphan Sunday/Adoption Sunday church service in Mansfield, TX and felt an instant connection. Knowing that this process is in our future is something that draws us both together and impacts our day-to-day life.
I've been sitting on this post for a while. When we first talked about starting this blog, it was a post we both knew we needed to write about. It's been one of the most difficult for me to write. Not because it's a difficult topic and definitely not because I don't want to write about it. But because I need to do it justice. I need to do my child justice. Now when I say "my" child, I'm not at all trying to make it seem like it won't be Ethan and I's child, or that Ethan won't be the sweetest most bestest dad on the planet. But with this piece being my point of view, I want to write it as a momma. My side of the story. My hope when you're finished reading this post, is that you will be able to see and understand the greatest calling Ethan and I have received from God.
Ethan and I used to attend a wonderful little church called 412 Community Church. This particular Sunday our church was celebrating Adoption Sunday by having a family come and speak about the trials and blessings they faced while they were currently in the process of bringing home their son from Africa. When the service was over, we sat in Ethan's car in the parking lot for an hour and wept. It was like the Lord had revealed His purpose for the both of us and we were beyond overwhelmed. And as wonderful and blessed as we felt, it was also frustrating. I was 17 years old. Ethan had just started his freshmen year at DBU. Marriage was a goal, but nowhere in sight. So children were obviously not any closer. As we began to share this calling we had received with friends and family, it was not 100% well received. We were young. So we got many of the "bless your hearts" smiles. Even worse, there were a few people that didn't understand why we wanted to do this. Why wouldn't you want a baby of your own? Why would you want a baby from another country? Why wouldn't you want a baby that looked like you? The key word I want to address in all these questions is "want". This is not something we decided we "wanted". This was something the Lord commanded unto us. And when you receive a calling from the Lord, nothing else will bring you more joy.
So let's fast forward 7 years. I still feel the same way I did the day in that parking lot. Joyful. Blessed. Overwhelmed. But y'all, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't even more frustrated. I am a mommy to a child I have never held. That I have never rocked. That I have never told I loved. That I have never even seen. And my heart breaks because of that just as much as it beats for that. My arms physically ache to hold my baby. But I thank God everyday for the woman out there who is my rocking my sweet baby to sleep ever
y night. And for my little one. Mommy loves you so much. She thinks about you every minute of every day and she promises she'll bring you home just as soon as the Lord wills it. I love you. I love you. I love you.
Emily’s adoption anthem:
So, Adoption Sunday has been my favorite Sunday of the year since my first exposure to it, six years ago. Emily and I were instantly and undeniably called to adopt on that day and the experience is hard convey to some. We sat in a service at our small church and watched a video and got to talk with a family who were friends of our pastor and one that our church hoped to help, financially, with some of the burden of adopting. It was such an inspirational story -- hearing how they were in the process (having already made the decision with their son and spending time in Africa, navigating the legal footwork). They had three biological children prior to starting the process and had just found out they were pregnant with another and something about their story just resonated stronger than I could shake. I remember getting in the car, with Emily, as we were getting ready to head to lunch (because that’s what you do in the South, after church) and telling her “I know this is weird… but I think we’re supposed to adopt”. To expand on this a bit, Emily and I weren’t even engaged yet. She was a senior in high school and I was a freshman in college but something about adoption just stopped us cold.
Fast forward to 2017. Emily and I are married and have already had numerous conversations on starting a family and our passion is still there. Adoption resonates with us even stronger, now that we’re preparing for the logistics of children and family. We have friends considering adoption and have watched dozens of families in our church and social circle complete the process and bring precious babies and children into their homes. Emily will wake me up every now and then and tell me that she’s dreamt about our child. It’s a strange concept -- if you wanna laugh at us or think that we’re weird… we’d understand. We get that this is the part of our story where God seems to be moving in supernatural ways, but we also know that our God is not bound by the social construct of normality. The fact that our child could very well already be born and that he/she has taken breaths in this world is a sobering one. It’s one that makes you intentional about the kindness you put out into the world and how you interact with others. Personally, it puts an added importance for Emily and I to be in a financial, physical and emotional position to provide for our children and be the loving parents that we’ve been called to be. We know it won’t be an easy road and it’s a road that will require the support and kindness of those around us -- we’ll need you to ground us in our passion and support us in the valleys that will inevitably find their way into our adoption story. But we absolutely look forward to sharing the unthinkable joy that awaits us, when we bring our child home.
Ethan’s adoption anthem: