It’s been more than a year since our precious foster daughter moved out of our home and in with her relatives. And, honestly, despite our wonderful experience overall, I was ready to return to only having our two children in the home again. This entire year, I’ve been content with our two biological children, having no desire to add to our family. But I knew Steve still wanted more.
Not being in the same place as my husband regarding the number of kids we wanted has been a new and troubling feeling for me. We’d talked about having a bunch of kids, both biological and adopted, since we were engaged. We had always been on the same page. Until we weren’t.
A couple of months ago, Steve asked me where my heart was on the adoption issue…was I ready to get back on the list? My answer: No. I don’t want anymore. BUT…I’m willing for God to change my heart. He’s changed it before.
I didn’t want to be a homeschooling mom. But, God changed my heart and now I love the privilege of teaching our children at home.
I didn’t want to add to our family through foster care. But, God changed my heart and blessed me immensely when I dared to trust Him.
As I prayed through this concern, hating the fact that Steve and I weren’t unified on this major issue, I started to see that fear was behind my “lack of wanting” as I called it. I was afraid my having diabetes would get in my way of effectively loving and parenting another child. I was afraid of making the “forever” commitment that adoption entails. I was afraid that the callings on my life to write, to teach, to homeschool would all get pushed to the back burner again. I was afraid I just wouldn’t be enough.
One morning recently, God began to peel away the fear and started to speak directly to this concern. He told me, “You have more to give than you realize.” As I stood testing my blood sugar, I heard those words resonate in my spirit. And, even though my sugar read high at that moment, I understood that He is bigger than that pesky number. Diabetes is no limitation for Him. And, He encouraged me, it is no limitation for me either.
He also revealed something pretty huge: a lie I’ve believed for six years. While I was in the hospital for complications during my pregnancy with my daughter, my doctor asked me if we planned to have more children. I replied, “Oh, yes! We want to have at least five!” His response: “That will kill you.”
In a moment, a huge part of our dream was dashed. And, somewhere along the line, I took this statement and molded it to apply to having children through adoption as well. What my heart began to believe was this: Having children will kill me.
Now, that is not what my doctor said at all. He was referring to biological children only and the negative effects my body experienced with the mixture of diabetes and pregnancy. But, the enemy twisted this statement in my heart and I agreed with it unknowingly. No wonder I was afraid!
A couple of days later, when my heart leapt at the sight of a cute baby on a diaper commercial, I knew God had done a major shift in my heart! Now, instead of dread was a longing. Instead of fear, there was hope.
As if all this wasn’t enough, I dared to ask Him for one more thing: a picture of what my family looks like to Him. Since He sees the past and future as equally as the present, I knew He could give me insight on how our future family could look. And, wow, did He ever answer this request!
Right away, I saw what appeared to be an outdoor family portrait session. There I was, standing with a shrug and a smirk as if to say, “Yep, this is our craziness and it’s awesome!” My husband was diving in between kids with loving tackles and tickling. My son was hovering over a smaller, toddling boy with his usual love and sensitivity for little ones. My daughter sat in the grass, cross-legged, knee-to-knee with a little girl as they both brushed their dolls’ hair. And, I had a sense that there may even be more kids running around just outside the picture’s frame.
God spoke to my heart, “Courtney, you can say ‘no’. You have that option. I will still love you and bless you and your family. You will still walk in your purpose and callings. But, if you say ‘yes’ you will be blessed beyond measure. You will still walk in your callings, though they may look different than what your expectations currently are. Though, honestly, regardless of which path you choose, your calling will look different than your expectations because My timing is not subject to your expectations.”
So, I know we’ll begin moving forward on this soon, preparing to open our home and our hearts again, in fresh ways, to more children and to God-possibilities rather than merely Courtney-possibilities. His are far greater than mine ever could be.
Is there something in your heart that God wants to change? Perhaps something you’ve said “no” to that He wants to shift? Are you willing for Him to move your heart?
Check out more of our journey: getting licensed as a foster/adoptive family, actually living that out, and what happened when it came time to say good-bye. If you’re interested in getting more information about the foster/adoptive process, check out Chosen Ones, an A-MAZING support group for foster/adoptive families and those considering.
Do not be afraid to let your guard down with those you love most. Jesus should be included in that group. Sing your heart out to God, be willing to make a fool of your self.
All you saints! Sing your hearts out to God ! Thank him to his face! He gets angry once in a while, but across a lifetime there is only love. The nights of crying your eyes out give way to days of laughter.
God showed me this verse and it just screamed, “l am a man.” As men we know how to worship, it just seems that we put a wall up so others don’t see how we truly feel, especially when we are hurt or when we think we are not good at something. It may also be that we have never been taught how to express ourselves. Just act like your at a “_____” (fill in the blank with a band you love to listen to) concert and rock it out, sing your heart out to God. Just because your vocal cords don’t allow the words to keep the same pitch as a worship leader doesn’t mean your not pulling at the heart strings of God when you just let it go.
Extend this to your family and I think it is a great beginning to bettering your family. Where it says him put your wife and children’s names. When you get angry make sure it is over quickly, you talk to them, apologize and ask for forgiveness “to their face” afterwards. In addition make sure it is it is only once and a while, if it’s more than that help through a men’s group, local church or counselor can help. It is important how those you truly love, truly see you. You should want them to feel and say, much like the scripture above, “although he got angry once and a while, across his lifetime there was always love,” not vice versa. Do this and keep doing this and it will help the pain and bitterness in your house give way to days of laughter.
What is the Holy Spirit saying to you, I would love to hear from you.
Years ago, Steve and I discussed our shared vision for adoption. I haven’t included this in my bio or posted anything about this subject up until now, I suppose, because this is still an “in the works” heart’s desire. But in the midst of our preparations for our lives to change, I felt a need to share our heart for foster care and adoption.
We get the question “Why?” a lot…sometimes in words, but usually just through people’s eyes.
Why go through the hassle to open your home to kids you don’t know, possibly face danger or hostility and be inconvenienced like that?
Why, when you have two amazing kids already…why do you want more?
Why, when you’re homeschooling and your schedule is already so full?
Why, when you aren’t overflowing with wealth and have to watch your spending very carefully?
There’s some truth in those honest questions: it won’t be convenient…we are content with the kids we have…our schedule is full…we are very prudent with our finances and don’t often get “extras.” But when God spoke to us, His voice of invitation trumped all the objections.
He gave us a desire years ago for a house full of kids…not really a specific number, just a bunch. He also gave us a clear vision statement for our family: There is always room in our home and our hearts for just one more.
One more child…one more friend…one more family member…one more son or daughter-in-law…one more grandchild…one more person who is searching or lonely…one more.
So, where are we at in this process right now? We are at a place where we are unable (aside from a healing miracle from God) to have more biological kiddos. We have kids who are amazing helpers and love babies, who are intelligent and caring. We have completed the classes, the required reading, most of the forms. We have a few hoops to jump through before we are certified to be foster parents, as our agency assures themselves of the safety of our home and the character and readiness of our family.
The kids ask several days a week, “When will a baby come?” And I reply, “Soon…just a few weeks…whenever we’ve finished our requirements and God says ‘It’s time.'” Soon…
So, why? Because God has adopted us. He is willing to deal with our messes and be inconvenienced. He is our Provider and isn’t concerned about what money is or isn’t in the bank at this moment. He knows that kids aren’t a burden in life, but a blessing. He is our Protector and will keep us safe in every situation. He has given us the calling to homeschool our kids as well and He will give us the strength and wisdom to adjust our other commitments as needed. Why? Because He loves us. He has invited us to partner with Him in loving those who have been neglected and abused, forgotten, and cast-off.
“Religion [A spiritual life] that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” James 1:27
Perhaps He is inviting you in some way too. Maybe He’s asking you to say that you are willing to be inconvenienced…to trust more in His power than your own…to set aside the plans you have that make perfect sense by the world’s standards and be open to His plans that are beyond your own logic. Maybe we can turn our “why’s” into “why nots”. Just a thought.
If you’re a foster/adoptive family or are considering it, visit Chosen Ones! God brings special families together and this amazing ministry provides support and encouragement to make these families successful. They have immensely blessed us in our journey and I can’t imagine having walked this road without them!
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