Tuesday, December 27, 2011

For those Considering Adoption: It is for the Weak

I have had a month, now, to think through the whirlwind this past fall has been.  Sometimes it doesn't even seem like we were in Ukraine, or that we adopted Blake.  It seems like he has been here all along.  My only reminders are when people ask me about specific things that happened here at home while we were gone, and I have NO clue about them!  But as I have let me mind wander back to what has happened in my life the past 6 months, I realize how much I have been changed by this experience.

If you have even a slight inkling that adoption might be a possibility for your family, or even if you are completely denying any possibility at this point, then continue reading.  I just want to share some of my experience and my reflection on it.

For starter's, I realize that I had to be "made weak, so God could be strong."  Before we committed to adopt, I felt called to let go of my fitness studio uptown, no reason to give, really, just let it go.  I only had it up and running for 1 year, so to let go of all that I had put myself and my work into, go...?  Talk about a huge ego hit.  People would ask why I was closing up shop, and I had no other answer but..."God has called me to do this."  After that time, I felt this heaviness that I could not describe.  A heaviness on my heart that would not go.  I turned to Scripture and prayer.  I sought out Scripture to lift my Spirit and renew my soul. Looking back, I believe I was going through a mourning period, as well as a fearful time of going through the 'unknown' for what was ahead.  I kept feeling God prompting me and leading me to something bigger, but wasn't sure what it was.
This was the time I felt closest to the Holy Spirit and His lead on my heart...I was down and hurting, and that was when my spirit was sensitive enough to hear God's still, small, voice.
SO my reflection point #1:  Be sensitive to the Holy Spirit's leading.  It is okay to be weak, so He can be strong.  Feeling down and fearful of the unknown isn't always a bad thing.

This weakness feeling carries on throughout the whole process, actually.  After you make the commitment, you then make a sacrifice of your time and energy to do paperwork.  Many people discuss the financials being a sacrifice, of giving up conveniences to help save money...but many people forget about the sacrifice of time and family.  The paperwork requires acute attention.  Honestly, this part wasn't too difficult for us.  I imagined it being worse.  You spend nights up with your spouse signing papers, answering questions about why you want to adopt, viewing webinars for education of children raised in orphanages, meeting with notaries, etc.  But even more, you then have to relinquish control of everything.  This is a weakness of mine.  You then send your paperwork off and you are living on someone else's timeline, priorities, and concerns.  I had to become even more submissive during this time.  (If you are not a person of faith, I would be curious where you would draw hope from during times where you are not in control.) Then, you get in-country, and you have a driver, a translator, a facilitator, another government, another timeline, and NOTHING is in your control.  If you admit to your weakness ahead of time, like I mentioned above, and let Christ be your strength and guide, then you will breeze through this part.  I had to constantly surrender myself, my time, and my situation, every minute in prayer.  Again and again, the ongoing theme of "when I am weak, then I am strong" piece is played out.  I am just now realizing how all of what I went through leading up to this adoption, helped me to recognize the need for this weakness of myself, so I could immediately surrender this to Christ and let Him lead...otherwise I'd probably have no hair left on my head due to pulling it out.  When we are weak, we are vulnerable, and able to hear and be sensitive to things we may not otherwise be.  And then we experience a freedom and a heaviness lifted that is indescribable.  Much like floating.

I will continue to share my reflections as they are brought to my attention. And I will also continue Blake's perspective on things too, he had some pretty good observations during Christmas.   

Here are a few snapshots:


  1. Amazing and so refreshing. Thank you for always sharing. You all are the most beautiful and inspiring family I have known. Blessed to call you my friends.

    Brandi Hembree