So I’m beginning to realize as I write more regularly that my blog is a little skitzophrenic. One minute I’m ranting about nonsense, and the next minute I’m pouring my heart out on some deep and serious issue. Sorry about that.

But…I guess if my blog is to be a true reflection of me then this is probably what’s going to have to happen…not that I’m skitzophrenic (I hope), BUT  I laugh hard and cry hard. I guess I can’t get away from doing BOTH on here, so I really  hope you all can withstand the roller coaster ride :)

ANYWAY…here we go.

I love my job with Catalyst. I only work a few hours a week, but it is so cool to be a part of a HUGE church network. Since I’m the one who maintains the website, I get a bird’s eye view of all the awesome events around my area. But… sometimes I get so used to opening emails and posting the events online, I hardly look at them. That’s what happened when I was emailed about a Prayer Vigil for Adoption Agencies and Adoptive Families. I threw it on our website and never thought twice. Then suddenly, a couple of days later, it popped in my head again and I was drawn to look over the details. I made the decision that I wanted to go.

Ryan and I have actually been talking a lot over the last couple of years about adoption. It’s never something I’ve thought of before…especially since you usually think of that being reserved for people who can’t have children of their own. I’ve been blessed with three beautiful, healthy children so I never felt the need or desire to think about it before. But for the past couple of years, it has seemed like I can’t go ONE STEP without someone talking about adoption or hearing about how important it is. It was on the radio when I turned on my car, then someone would be talking about it at a church potluck…and then I found myself in the movie theater watching The Blind Side.  It was EVERYWHERE. And Ryan was having his own experiences with this, too.

Okay God what are you trying to telling us?”

This seemed like a crazy idea to me. First of all, let’s not forget my little guy currently sleeps in our CLOSET. I don’t even  have room in my house for the kids I already have! It has been really difficult to even THINK about another child right now. ALSO,  let’s remember who we’re dealing with here. You guys all know my struggles…motherhood is already challenging enough! I am NO Martha Stewart. I wasn’t one of those little girls who always dreamed of being a wife and mom. I actually wanted to be a ballet dancer AND a painter in the Big City. (We can all dream right?)  I’ve NEVER been naturally “domestic”. I used to STINK at cooking, I LOVED time to myself, and HATED a lot of noise. I also essentially grew up as an only child until I was 10 years old in a very quiet home. So…having lots of kids never really seemed to fit into my dreams for myself.  Actually, at one point in my life I told my mom I was pretty sure I didn’t want to have any children. 

But…God had different plans for me and I got pregnant two months later. Hello! My daughter turned my life upside in so many ways. And one of those was to give me a new heart for children…and motherhood. SO STRANGE. Despite the fact that this is not the path I would have necessarily chosen for myself AND the fact that I don’t feel AT ALL capable, God  has deepened my love for children and motherhood anyway…and continues to put me in its direct path. WHAT GIVES?! I find it incredibly difficult to do it WELL, but I still would never choose to do anything else. And then God decides to give me not just ONE child, but THREE children…and now  He’s not only growing my heart for my own children, but for ALL children. WHAT is He doing?!  I am SOOOO  the least likely candidate for this life I am leading. This is just so bizarre. To a woman who never even thought she wanted kids, I’m blown away that God would be taking me in this direction.  

To say that “God works in mysterious ways” is an UNDERSTATEMENT.

But, life isn’t about what I want. It’s about what God wants. And I want to trust that God knows what He’s doing. So when we felt like He was asking us to take on one more, I felt like it was something we could and needed to do (in several years of course). We had always talked about possibly having four kids one day…so we decided perhaps we were to adopt the last one. I envisioned a little girl from China or maybe one from right here in the U.S.  Maybe we CAN do this. After all, what’s one more right? :)

But…the story doesn’t stop there. Just when I wrap my mind around this, lately I’ve started to feel another familiar tug at my heart…a tug  for something even MORE. It’s like the squiggly lines you wait in at big theme parks… just when you think you’re about to get to the roller coaster, you turn the corner and realize you have another half an hour to wait. I feel like I just start to accept one idea, and then I realize it’s getting even bigger. I suspect God does that on purpose, I don’t know.

As we’ve thought about this the past couple of years, I had always assumed we’d adopt a little baby…it makes sense. SO much easier. A baby you can shape and mold to fit into your family from DAY ONE. It’s an easier transition for everyone….and, if I’m honest, I worry about my ability to love an adopted child as much as my other children. I know having one from birth would make that less of a worry for me.

But despite ALL of this “logic”, my heart is increasingly being drawn to older children. I keep thinking of all the kids who’ve been kicked around from family to family, looking for what agencies call a “forever home”. These are the kids no one wants, the ones that people are afraid of…the ones many families feel are just too much of a burden to take on. These are “the forgotten”.  And I haven’t been able to get them off of my mind the past few months.

Then just last night, my husband and I go to this Prayer Vigil and I really had no idea what to expect. I felt almost COMPELLED to go there. I felt like God was going to use it to plant a seed, and I just wanted to be obedient. In my experience, this is how God leads me. I feel a calling on my heart and take one step at a time. Through each baby step,  he reveals more and more of the bigger picture.

Needless to say, my heart was stirred when I get to the Prayer Vigil and see that the room is surrounded with huge portraits of kids who need loving homes… “forever homes”. I am now looking into the eyes of kids who’ve been shuffled around in the system most of their lives… and who have never been able to find any families willing to take the risk of welcoming them home. I didn’t see a SINGLE picture of a little baby. And, as we listen to the prayers of the agency workers and other adoptive families, all that they seem to be talking about are these kids that no one wants…these forgotten children. (Keep in mind this was just a Prayer Vigil. Almost everyone in the room was involved wtih adoption already. They weren’t trying to “recruit” anyone…just to simply pray for the kids). At one point, I heard someone refer to the children as “hard to place kids”. I wrote it down in my notes and just stared at it.

“Hard to place children.”

I looked over at my husband, and he was looking at what I wrote. He just nodded and smiled at me. He was feeling it too.

“God what are you doing?!”

I don’t know the answer to that question exaclty just yet. I still believe all of this is a long way away. And, while I could conceive of adopting a little baby, this is WAY out there for me. I am now officially in over my head.  I CAN NOT do this without God’s help. But…I feel affirmed that my heart has been leading me to this place. 

There is someone out there who needs us.

Last night, I found myself praying for that little boy or girl. I thought of how they might already be born. I wondered what they might be doing right now, on this first day that I prayed specifically for them. I think of the day I will be able to ask them…and let them know that I began to pray for them so many years before. I know that God is working all things out, and I just asked Him to protect my little one. Like in the movie I watched, I prayed that he would have someone in his life to “cover his eyes”. I prayed that God would begin to prepare BOTH of our hearts until we are united. I prayed  that we will start doing the work now to prepare OUR family for this moment some day.

 I always used to think that it takes a special kind of person to do something like this, and maybe that’s true…but I think it’s truer to say that it’s a special kind of GOD  who allows us to. I could never, EVER think of doing this without Him. I wouldn’t have. My heart isn’t big enough. Maybe some are, but not mine…so I’m FOREVER grateful He gave me a little bit of His. I still think He works in really WEIRD ways, but it  makes life an adventure. I’m looking forward to where it all takes us :)


  

These are just a couple of the kids that are available now for adoption. The first picture is of FOUR siblings who need a home. For them not to be split up, they need to find someone willing to take in – not just one – but FOUR grown children. And the little boy on the right – I had the privilege of praying for him last night. What a peanut!! There are more kids on the Illinois Heart Gallery website if you’d like to take a look or consider praying for these children.

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