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Our adoption update – my journey to “selfless”

By June 11, 201214 Comments

I wrote this blog post last week and am tired of trying to edit it to death….So here it is in it’s rawness:

I am sitting in the Fun Run in Liberty, MO. watching my 3 kiddos run around and play.  Too much time at the pool yesterday left us needing an inside activity today.

We have been waiting patiently for several days for an adoption phone call that could change our family forever. And I just got that call a few minutes ago.

I am randomly meeting eyes with people in the Fun Run and I am thinking……is there a hole in my chest where my heart belongs? Can they hear the beat of my heart? Do they know I am praying under my breathe? Is it obvious? Do they see my eyes brimming with tears in a back booth?

The birth mom of a 2 year old little girl was supposed to look at our adoption profile today (along with several other profiles)…..but she cancelled her appointment.  She may reschedule.  But for today, she couldn’t bring herself to look thru profiles. 

And I just have to be ok with that news.

Last month, I traveled to Orange County, CA with 2 amazing women from my church.  We attended the Orphan Summit at Saddleback Church (the head pastor is Rick Warren…author of ‘Purpose Driven Life’).  I was surrounded by 1800 like-minded people….all of whom have a passion for children / adoption /foster care.  And after that experience, I am convinced more than ever that the plight of the orphan is the heartbeat of our Lord.

Today I finally “get” one reason why. 

At it’s core…..adoption is selfless

Adoption doesn’t allow you to be selfish with your time (I can’t force this to go any faster). 

Or your finances (geesh is all I will say). 

Or your family (we are in this together). 

Or your heart (uh yeah….it’s on my sleeve). 

Or your dreams of what your life should look like .

Adoption demands you lay down your own ideas.  Your own prejudices.  Your own wants.  Your own dreams for the will of The Father.

It demands you trust the Lord with your whole heart and lean NOT on your OWN understanding (Prov 3:5).

It demands that you keep putting one foot in front of the other even when you can’t see where you are going.

It demands you walk a tightrope between not getting your hopes up every time your profile gets viewed….but trying to connect with a photo of a child on your computer screen at the same time.

It demands that even if you feel no emotion over a photo, that you trust the Lord will bring the emotions around in time.

It demands that you and your spouse get reaaaaaaaaaally real with both of your dreams for your family.

It demands that you keep moving forward even when your flesh wants to quit.

It demands that you get your fingerprints done for the 3rd time in 15 months (insert raising of voice here) because I forgot to print the results out on a hard copy before the fingerprint company erased them.  And the private sector doesn’t share info with the state run foster to adopt program and on and on and on and on.  Until you are utterly exhausted.

Being this selfless is painful.  Cuz’ it’s not an emotion that comes naturally.  At least to me. 

Apparently…..I have a long way to go to “selfless”.

I like my nice little family the way it is. 

I like having control of my life.

I like knowing what tomorrow will look like.

I like knowing how many plane tickets to plan on for our next family vacation.

I liked knowing I had 9 months to plan for my biological children. 

I like my life all lined up…… my kids all behaving just so…… my schedule all nice and tidy and frankly….. adoption just messes that up.

An adoption journey equals one huge question mark.

My flesh wants this journey to be over soon.

I don’t want it to keep dragging on and on.

I don’t want it to be painful.

I don’t want for it to drain us financially.

I don’t want it to be hard for my other children.

I don’t want it to be an inconvenience.

I don’t want to go thru 13 weeks of foster training.

I want our journey to be easy.

And easy does not equal “selfless”.

Perhaps this is why our journey is taking longer than we would like. I still have a long way to go to “selfless”.

Still, the Lord demands that we trust Him.

In His timing.

In His will.

And for His glory.

I know He has a story to write over our life.

I know He DOES put the fatherless in families (PS 68:6).

I know we WILL see the goodness of God in the land of the living (PS 27:13).

I know He who HAS begun a good work in me WILL be faithful to complete it (Phil 1:6).

I know He works ALL things together for good (Rom 8:28).

In reality, we really do have the “easier” part.  I am sitting at Fun Run exposing my heart to a computer screen in this snotting-all-over-my-keyboard blog post.

That birth mom is doing the hard part.

I can’t imagine what she is feeling as she wrestles with the decision of putting her toddler up for adoption.

But God knows. 

And He cares.

Please join me in praying for baby V and baby V’s birth mom as they wrestle with hard life decisions. 

And thank you for letting me be very vulnerable with the very real emotions that our family is going thru.
One of these days….you guys are gonna get an amazing blog post with a picture of our new daughter…..whoever she is.

I believe it.

P.S.  If adoption is at all on your radar or you feel God speaking to your heart that your family is to care for orphans in some way, would you please send me an email?  There are many books and resources that have been very helpful to me in getting us this far in the journey.  Caring for orphans is more than just adopting, there are huge needs in this country for foster care parents, respite care providers, mentors, financial providers, etc.  We all have a part.

P.S.S.  My family and I are really, honestly doing great with navigating this emotional journey. But as I cruise the Internet and read so many wonderful adoption stories on blogs…I do think it is important to show another side of the journey.  Most days I am doing well, but on the days like the one when I wrote this post….it’s just plain hard. Thank you for reading.


  • Great post… & I will be praying for that little girl that will be part of your family, where ever she is..
    We recently took in a girl, (after 3 boys who are grown & gone)
    & it is all those things you wrote above, our life was all in order… not any more.. : ) we didn’t think, she needed a place, we had empty bedrooms…
    Somedays, I think, “What were we thinking”? BUT, I love what you said about being the Lord’s heartbeat…
    May your dreams soon be reality.

    For our good, for His Glory

  • I understand all of this to a T. I waited 7 long years for my son and it was the most incredible thing that ever happened to me.

    The wait for the right one is worth it! xoxo


  • Jerusha says:

    Selfless isn’t super fun…I get it. 😉 Love and grace to you.

  • So beautifully and honestly written. I love the part where you state that you liked knowing you only had to wait nine months whilte pregnant, yet adoption can be a months or years of waiting. Many of us wouldn’t know this struggle if you hadn’t shared it. So, thanks for sharing so we can pray and intercede with you! Grace to you and your family.

  • Frugal Jen says:

    Praying for you and your family. Thank you for sharing and please know when you don’t have the strength you’ve got some prayers being offered up for you.

  • Dixie Mom says:

    Hang in there. I hope you hear good news soon. I know I’m too selfish for that trip!! But you will be wonderful.

  • After going through 2 International adoptions I have great empathy for you. It is hard and may be the hardest thing you will ever go through as a family but it’s so worth it. Some day you will be on my end trying to encourage others in their adoption journey but until that day come just know that so many are praying and lifting you up in prayer.
    Love, hugs, and prayers,

  • Praying for your family, baby V and her mother. While visiting my sister this past week we went to church with her family and her new priest’s first service sermon was about failure. It was a really interesting and good message. He spoke about accepting failure and not dwelling in the disappointment of it because it is inevitable and oftentimes necessary on the path to whatever we feel is our reward or task. You will succeed. My husband and I have talked about adoption for the last few years and after spending time with my three and my nieces and nephews this last week I feel it is even more in our future. We are taking care of some things right now, but I think that in about year we will start the formal process. God bless you and V!

  • Unknown says:

    Thank you for sharing. I remember all too well the feelings that you share. I would like to talk with you about our adoption experience and put you in touch with our lawyer. We adopted 7 years ago…a set of twins.

    Blessings to you,
    Jennifer Lathrop

  • Unknown says:

    Thank you for sharing. I remember all too well the feelings that you share. I would like to talk with you about our adoption experience and put you in touch with our lawyer. We adopted 7 years ago…a set of twins.

    Blessings to you,
    Jennifer Lathrop

  • Thanks for your example of what it looks like to follow the path that God is leading you on….even when it is completely unclear where the path is heading (or rather, who the path is leading you to or when!!!). Prayers for your continued trust in the plans He has for you and your family (including Baby V and her mother).

  • Penelope W says:

    Wow! What a powerful post to show how selfless we have to be to put it ALL in His hands. I will be sharing this!

  • Sarah Hubbell says:

    Oh. My. Goodness. I don’t know you and have never read your blog before but it’s like you read my mind this morning. The Lord put this post before me today and I’m sitting here at the gym holding back tears. We learned yesterday that our adoption from Haiti is in jeopardy because the government ratified the Hague treaty which has the potential of closing adoptions from Haiti for a long time. Since we don’t have our homestudy done, we might not get grandfathered in even if that happens. I have been selfish lately, wanting to control things, speed things up. Wanting to picture my house and life with our Haitian daughter. I know better. I know it’s not about me. Thank you for this.

  • Wow! Your post really blessed me! We are adopting siblings from Hungary and it is a long but rewarding journey. You can visit our blog

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