Saying “YES” to adoption!
(But not in the way you think.)
God has burdened my heart to share a message about adoption. This is something that was planted as a tiny seed in my heart many years ago and has grown to a point that I literally feel that I am disobeying the will of God at this point in my life to ignore it.
And it is a message I feel called to share primarily with fellow believers.
I am usually hesitant to confide in others (outside my inner circle of confidants) about “hearing God” speak to me, or even that I am “sensing” His direction in one way or another. I am also especially wary of confusing God’s hand on something, or His voice, with circumstances that seem to align too perfectly to be anything other than direct confirmation from Him.
There’s been one too many times when I was swept up in the emotion of someone sharing about how a particular set of circumstances provided “proof” that (as we are all familiar with) “God was all over that” or something was a “Total God Thing” or “God-ordained” or even simply “meant to be”. And it all sounded really good…until I shook off the trance and realized, “Wait! That’s totally contrary to Scripture!”
Sometimes we simply see what we want to see instead of seeing what is really there (and this is well-documented: Motivated Visual Perception, Confirmation Bias, Self-Fulfilling Prophecy, etc.) We, in effect, cause circumstances to align in a way that “proves” we are doing the right thing or walking in the right direction. Then we all start speaking Christian-ese and like to remind each other, “There are no coincidences!”
And if someone is sharing that “God was all over” something or that it was a total “God thing”, it seems very disrespectful to question that. So we listen and absorb, and fail to point out when these stories seem “off”…or just plain wrong.
While I believe that God does speak to us (directly and through other people and even circumstances), and we have the Holy Spirit to guide us in even some of the smallest and seemingly mundane decisions (like parking spaces! 🙂 ), a literal lifetime in the church has brought me to a place where I talk about this sparingly, and only in circumstances where I am willing to bet my life that I’ve heard from The Almighty God.
While I believe that I have heard from God, I have been praying for an entry into speaking more publicly on the subject of adoption. Though this has been my heart for awhile and I have written pieces that I have sat on for months, even years, at this point, I have been afraid to share.
One of my biggest defenses (to God) has been that most of my thoughts concerning adoption have stemmed from conversations with my mother who has spent the last 20-plus years researching and writing the book Rethinking Adoption. Through the years, I (being a writer) have edited various versions of her manuscript and have spent countless hours quizzing her down on her thoughts and ideas, more countless hours thinking and rethinking everything we’ve talked about, looking at Scripture, and pouring over adoption stories on the Internet.
This study and reflection forever changed my heart on adoption but what really sealed it deep was having my own daughter, who you all know as Muffin 🙂 Since then, the desire to share has been amplified.
So I’ve reasoned with God that this is probably my mother’s story to tell. This is her research, Bible study, and connecting of the dots. I’ve reminded Him that He should prompt her get a move on! I’ve promised to be ready, willing and able to assist in any way I can…you know, anonymously, behind the scenes.
And I’ve tried to gently goad my mom into issuing a gag order. “You don’t want me stealing your thunder, do you? I’ll pretty much just be regurgitating half of what you’ve told me and probably half as good…right?” And her response is always to write and speak the truth as much as you can, to as many people as God shows you, and to let them hear it from as many sources and avenues as possible.
(And I thought my mother loved me.)
Today, I spent most of my afternoon and evening honoring the Sabbath by finally painting the woodwork in my family room 😉 While painting, I listened to sermons to bring my humility into check (or so I told God) and wrestled.
I’ve been avoiding this project for many reasons but mainly because each attempt leaves me alone with my thoughts and remembering my closest aunt who lost a short and fierce battle to pancreatic cancer at this time last year…and who at this time, many years ago, painstakingly patched, sanded and painted the walls and ceiling of that room with me all night until dawn so it would be ready for a party that she knew was very important to me.
The whole project has been a weary exercise in procrastination, and grief. (Just check my Instagram to get an idea of how long this has dragged on.) And just like with my painting project, I have been completely unable to move forward in this calling about sharing on adoption…though it has dragged on longer.
And both have made me miserable.
But today I had a break through. On both fronts. After hours and hours, the room is so much closer to being done (and looking cheerful!) and while thinking about death and dying (and having some sweet conversations with my husband about it) I ended up pausing the Ipad to pop over to the social media account of someone I met once, years ago. Right then, in the middle of my long-procrastinated painting project. And the most recent update was about today being the first day of National Adoption Month.
Would you let me call it a “Total God thing” that He met me right where I was (overcoming sadness in the middle of a messy painting project) to lead me to an intangible place that I would not normally visit otherwise? That He would answer the question that I was allowing to be my hangup (“Well, how do I start this topic? What’s my catalyst?”)
And I felt a burdened lifted. I had my catalyst. So while we have this month of thinking about, talking about, and celebrating adoption, I want to add to the conversation. I want to share with you what I believe is biblical precedence in regards to adoption.
My aim is to use this time and space to share with you the writing that’s already been poured out, but that I’ve held back…and let the words go where they’ll go, reach whom they’ll reach.
So now I’m saying “YES” to adoption!
(But still not in the way you think.)
I’m saying “yes” to letting the Lord speak through me, about this burden He will not lift from my heart, this “thing” He has only intensified through motherhood.
And I hope my heart, and my words, and my tone, will be in line with what the Lord wants me to share. And I hope you will hear my heart and walk this quick short journey with me.
And p.s. I got started late and time flies when I’m writing! It’s appears to no longer be Day One of National Adoption Month 🙂 ….and I’m off to finally wash the paint from my shins and elbows.