I recently read an article entitled "Adoption Decisions"* about the fact that many wives want to adopt but their husbands do not. Honestly, I think I could've written the article myself. In fact, as I read the article a second time, I thought to myself, "This is our story!"
Two years ago tonight, January 19, 2012, Jason sat me down at the dining room table to tell me that he wasn't ready for a fourth child and didn't want to move forward with adopting a little girl. Hearing these words was HEARTBREAKING. I had spent several months researching adoption agencies and had decided on the one we would use. Jason and I had talked about adopting from certain countries and felt the Lord leading us to China. And we were finally on the same page with regards to the age of the little girl being at least two years old but closer to three if possible (Jason preferred older, I preferred younger). But aside from these facts, hearing my husband say these words was HEARTBREAKING because I longed to give an orphan a family and share the love of Jesus with her.
I sat at the table in tears, crying and in shock. There were no words to say. And to be honest, I felt very sad, angry, hurt, and disappointed.
The three "tips" the author of the article gives to wives who are in the same boat that I was in two years ago are to close your mouth, pray with urgency, and wait patiently.
1) Close your mouth.
I think one of the reasons this article resonated so much with me is because of this "tip." As hard as it was to not continue bringing up to Jason my desire to adopt, I literally closed my mouth and shut the folder of papers I'd accumulated on adoption. I didn't keep talking about it, I didn't nag him about this, and I didn't judge him for not wanting to do this even though I felt it was God's will for us. Now I will say that I was too quiet for a while, not wanting to talk to Jason about anything because I was so sad and disappointed. But in time, the Lord helped me deal with this because I had to trust my husband's decision, as HARD as it was to do this.
2) Pray with urgency.
While this seems like a no-brainer, praying for God's will and NOT MY OWN was critical. It is vital for husbands and wives to be united in their decision to have children, whether biologically or through adoption. I had to get to the place of praying like Jesus, "not my will but Thy will be done." As much as I longed to have a fourth child and provide a loving family for a little girl in China, I couldn't override my husband's desires and had to surrender my desires to the Lord.
3) Wait patiently.
Of these three "tips," this was the hardest. Who likes to wait, especially when you really want something? Not me! I was ready, so why wasn't Jason? I remember on Valentine's Day, Easter, Mother's Day and other occasions in 2012 hoping Jason would surprise me with good news, saying he was ready to adopt. But I couldn't rush him and I couldn't rush God. His timing is always perfect, and even if I never got that "surprise news" from Jason, I had to trust God and love my husband as I waited. Easy, no. Possible, yes...but only through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Over the next five months, this is what I did...kept my mouth shut, prayed, and waited. And it was HARD. Then on June 22, 2012, I was packing for the long 10+ hour drive to Ohio to go see my mom with the three kids. Mom was very sick with cancer and I was upset knowing she'd been admitted that day to the inpatient hospice facility for observation. I took a break from packing and Jason asked me to sit on the sofa to talk. From the tone of his voice, I could tell this was serious...I thought he'd lost his job or we had to move or something else life altering. But within a few minutes of him sharing his heart and how the Lord had not let him go over these past five months, he said these beautiful words, "I'm ready for number four."
Once again, I was speechless. I wasn't expecting this at all. But instead of feeling heartbroken, my heart was FULL of joy and thanksgiving.
And I had GREAT news to tell my mom when I saw her in Ohio that beautiful summer day in June 2012.
Now here we are, two years after that heartbreaking night, and our sweet daughter, Jenna, AKA "number four," has been home with us from China for almost two months.
Have the past two years been without struggle? ABSOLUTELY NOT! God's Word never promises an easy life, even when we do follow His will. But He does promise us His peace for the journey, even amidst the struggles.
So what's the moral of this story?
There are several things I learned:
No matter what our plans or our desires are, God is sovereign and His will and His plan will be accomplished.
As you wait for whatever it is you are waiting for, cry out to the Lord.
As you wait, pray, and draw closer to Him, your desires become His desires.
And whether or not Jason would've ever said "YES" to adoption, I learned more than ever (and continue to learn every day) that God loves orphans and He is the one who puts them in families.
I am so very thankful that He changed Jason's heart and put Jenna in our family. It's true, "With God, all things are possible." (Matthew 19:26)
*Article from HomeLife, LifeWay Press, April 2013