Tag Archives: adoption

Adoption-in-Progress: Home Study Complete

home study conplete

It is my Birthday tomorrow, and I am celebrating our adoption home study being complete and paid for! God has done great things through this adoption process. As I document our progress for the twins (due July 2014), I figured I might as well add a few progress reports for our adoption as well. If you are new to our family-making saga, catch up here.

How far along? Home study is complete! We have now been officially in this program for 8 months now. If this were a pregnancy, I’d be nearing the home-stretch. Adoption takes a bit more time, so I’ll say we have finished our first “trimester”. The next stage is submitting our Dossier to South Africa, then wait 1-2 years for the right child (the one God has in mind) to be placed with us (the family He has chosen for this child).

World-traveler size: Who knows!? Our beautiful “baby C” might not even be born yet. Our program designates a child between the ages of 1-4 years.

Best moment this season: Receiving God’s provision, financially and emotionally, through this whole process. Though the adoption process slowed down to accommodate the coming twins, we continue to take steps in faith and great expectation! Every financial milestone we encountered in this last year, God has provided effortlessly.

Gender:  Not sure (I think it will be a girl, Shane thinks it will be a boy).

Lullaby of the Season:  Somewhere, Beyond the Sea from Finding Nemo… I sing this song often while thinking about our dear world-traveler. Whenever and however God chooses to bring us together, it will be a great adventure indeed.

Truth I’m dwelling on: Experiencing pregnancy and adoption at the same time has been a whirlwind. I deeply appreciate Romans for bringing perspective:

“For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together with labor pains until now. And not only that, but we ourselves who have the Spirit as the firstfruits—we also groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. Now in this hope we were saved, yet hope that is seen is not hope, because who hopes for what he sees?” Romans 8:22-24

Wow! All of creation—the trees in my yard, my dog on the couch, the babies in my belly—we are all longing for reception, completion, and the perfection of meeting our Father face-to-face. I am so excited to meet our world-traveler in person (even just to have a picture!), but none of it compares to the longing I have, along with all creation around me, to be one with Christ.

Looking forward to: Doing more training and working on the next set of documents.

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What about the Adoption?

carnivalWHAT ABOUT ADOPTION?

We are now 4 months pregnant with twins. In this time, many have asked, “What about the adoption?”

Allow me to catch you up on the Rosty family saga:

In the summer of 2013, we sensed God’s leading to start a family. In obedience, we pursued both pregnancy and adoption at the same time. We had faith that God would lead us each step of the way and make his plans clear (FYI, this was definitely not what we expected, but they were still His plans!). I was in the middle of getting my health in order. I saw a naturopath to deal with long-standing food allergies that I did not want to have when I got pregnant. At the same time, we looked into a preliminary phase of adoption from South Africa, which wasn’t an available program at the time (for the agency we were interested in).

Suddenly, in the beginning of October, a program opened, we got in, and began filling out paperwork. From there, things went surprisingly quickly and smoothly to adopt a small child from South Africa. Each step of the adoption was so clear, and repeatedly confirmed. (Read more about our adoption story here.) We were almost finished with our home-study paperwork by the end of November… for those who don’t know much about the home study for adoption, this is lightning fast. At that point, we were so sure that adoption was God’s plan to grow our family.

Then BOOM: pregnant. We were surprised, yes, but excited. I honestly thought it would take my body at least a year to get my hormones, allergies, and new eating habits in line to conceive. In fact, it was only a few months.

Still, in my head and heart, I kept saying “this is doable.” We can have a baby and adopt within a year of each other. It will be insta-family. “We wont be having twins,” I mused, “but we will be twice blessed.”

Then BOOM! actual TWINS! I was brought to my knees when I grasped what God was doing. Every step of this journey toward building a family has been “doable” for me. I was overwhelmed yes, but I kept reminding myself, “I got this.”

Unfortunately my attitude was one of self-sufficiency. When we learned about the twins, I understood at last that I can not handle any of this. I couldn’t all along, but the Holy Spirit revealed my ignorance when I saw that second heartbeat on the ultrasound.

How it all makes sense:

About a year ago, I asked God to “wow” me. I was in a place in my walk with Him which was steady and beautiful, but not full of wonder or desperation. God did not bring in a big moment of awe for me that day, as I had expected. I didn’t have an emotional response in worship, an aha moment about my future or my identity, or even a moment to witness an outright miracle, per-say.

But as I look back over this year, I see God was preparing me for this moment:

  • He taught me how to fail gracefully. How to relax and “have breakfast” because He has finished all the work.
  • His spirit blossomed in me an attitude of love, instead of a spirit of fear, from which I am able to produce good fruit (I guess that was literal).
  • He disciplined me to build practical habits, like consistent Bible study and a Fantastic Morning Routine.
  • He renewed my mind and opened my perspective to the beauty of family-making as a reflection of Him: through both pregnancy and adoption.
  • God pushed me past my procrastinating-tendencies and allowed me to finish writing a book! (I have yet to hear back from the publishers, but it is another on-going lesson in trust).

And now, here I am:

Adoption Fundraising Concert
October 2013 Adoption Fundraising Concert

Two pieces of paper away from a finished adoption home-study… (the process slowed down quite a bit with a pregnancy on the way)…

18 weeks Pregnant with twins…

Feeling like a very blessed future mama of 3…

Never been more grateful in my life for the gift God has given me in Shane…

A jumbled bundle of failures, faith and freckles…

and yes, completely WOW-ed!

So, the answer to your questions is this:

“Yes, we are still going to adopt.”

We asked God to lead us, and this is what He gave us. Call it unconventional, label it illogical, but we are going to obey his calling, and HAPPILY I might add, until He closes the door or sees it through to His glory. Our families and our adoption agency support this decision. It might take a little bit longer, but within the next 2 years, we should have all 3 of our precious kids in tow.

There are days I ask what the heck is God thinking. It’s going to be a carnival, for sure. But it brings me back to that place where I remember I was never supposed to be self-sufficient. The impossible tasks are the ones God has planned for me, in order to ever increase my faith and reliance on HIM!

So I am begging for His help. Seeking him constantly. Desperate for his spirit to be with me. Overwhelmed by his grace to lead me to this place. To choose me.

I know the Christmas season is long over, but like Mary, I am choosing to treasure all these things, pondering them in my heart. (Luke 2:19)

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2013 Recap (and some Big news!)

Happy New Year!

Shane and I have a very special announcement:

The Rosty Family is adding two babies to their quiver.The Psalm referenced in this picture is a very accurate description of 2013 for the Rosty home:

Unless the Lord builds the house,
the builders labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
the guards stand watch in vain.
In vain you rise early
and stay up late,
toiling for food to eat—
for he grants sleep to those he loves.

Children are a heritage from the Lord,
offspring a reward from him.
Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are children born in one’s youth.
Blessed is the man
whose quiver is full of them.
They will not be put to shame
when they contend with their opponents in court.

From the house we are still building, to our ministry and growing family, the Psalm 127 truly gets it!

I apologize for my absence from this blog for the last few weeks. I have been a bit exhausted, both physically and mentally, from processing all that God is doing. But don’t worry! I have documented each step and I plan to catch you up on the Rosty life in the coming weeks.

For now, allow me to give a more detailed recap some important moments from 2013:

Ministry:

We had a splendid Spring semester as college ministry directors. Every year we are amazed at how God works through our amazing students to grow us and build this ministry. Our ministry trips to Laramie, WY; Ohio; Casper Mountain for youth camp; and Glorieta, New Mexico held incredible memories and opportunities to expand our understanding of God, people, and the world around us.

BCM

1454974_10200997147879675_967620186_nHouse:

We continue to work on the house, bit by bit, this year. By the end of 2013, we had a roof, plumbing, electrical, and gas all done! We look forward to moving in the spring of 2014.

Jobs:

1014452_10200393978840826_724204849_nShane received a promotion at NSI, and spent much of the summer as a Team Leader. His role shifted from managing paperwork to being more involved with the students’ program day by day. With the job, God provided a new living situation, which we fell in love with! Our new home is surrounded by cows, lamas, turkeys for Mr. Darcy to chase, a flowing river, and lots of room to breathe. Through various circumstances, Shane’s job shifted back to case-management at the end of the summer. This re-shift came as a blessing, as Shane’s hours as a case-manager were much more conducive to our ministry (and marriage). Still, we are quite grateful the we get to continue living on the campus in our new home. I was able to convert the upstairs loft into my personal writing studio, where I have had plenty of creative space to write.

Summer:

rosty summer 2013Camping, kayaking, moving, a new job, and enjoying sunshine with family and friends made our summer quite eventful. With a spacious house and a steady job, Shane and I realized it was time to start a family. As we sensed our hearts and the Holy Spirit leading us in that direction, we began to look into adoption and pregnancy. I embarked on a journey to deal with some deep-rooted allergies, get fit, and build healthy-habits. During this time we also registered with an adoption agency in hopes to get into a program to adopt from South Africa. At the time, such a program was not available. As I was pouring all of my time and efforts into adoption research, God tapped on my heart.

Book:

God prompted me to be faithful with what God already gave me. I have been working on a book: a Bible study curriculum to guide young women through the coming of age process, according to God’s Word. In obedience, I set everything else aside and wrote/edited my heart out! I sent in a book proposal to a publisher on October 2, 2013.

Adoption:

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It just so happened that 6 days later, an adoption program to South Africa opened up (on October 8th). Our heavenly Father NEVER ceases to amaze me. He called me to obedience, not just to honor Him with the vision He gave me for the book, but also to work out His perfect timing for adoption. We applied, and were the 10th family (out of 10 available spots) to get into the program. Again, God reminded us of His sovereignty. I had no idea how he was going to work all this out.

Through the whole month of October, my mantra was Ecclesiastes 3:11: He will make everything beautiful in it’s time. So many moments confirmed that this was God’s plan for us. Got brought new and old friendships with people from all over South Africa, who are all praying for the day we finally get to pick up our “World Traveler.” Things were falling into place!

In the coming weeks we gleefully slaved over paperwork, surprised at how fast the process was going. We received training that proved difficult and emotional, but so good for us. Jesus was sifting us to become parents in His likeness. Then on November 18 and 19, we had our home inspection and adoption interviews. Again, Shane and I were shocked, but so blessed, at how quickly God was working out the process to adopt.

Baby!

All this time, we were unaware of what God was also doing inside me. Shane and I weren’t expecting any fertility issues, but we did expect it to take a while for my body to get on board with the idea. On Thursday, November 21, just 2 days after we completed our home study interviews, I took a pregnancy test. Never in my life have I been more surprised to see those double lines!

Twins!?

1558645_10151809577017283_1013917072_nAfter getting over the initial shock of it all, I wanted to get sonograms to use as Christmas presents for our parents. On Thursday, December 12 we received an ultrasound at Legacy Pregnancy Center in Sheridan. Turns out, we got more than we expected.

I jokingly asked the technician, “there’s just one baby right?” And she replied, “well this is suspicious,” as she circled the arrow around a spot next to the baby, “but I think it’s just your ovary.”

5 minutes later, she transitioned from an abdominal (on the belly) to a transvaginal ultrasound… and her suspicions were confirmed. “Oh, there’s another baby in there.”

“What!?” Shane and I couldn’t believe it. I will never forget laying on the exam table, throwing my hand on my forehead and staring at the screen while the tears started coming. Tears of joy, wonder, confusion and excitement. I also will never forget how Kathryn, another Legacy employee in the room, burst out laughing and clapping for us.

I went home and researched everything I could about twin pregnancies. It took me hours to catch my breath and eat again (which was hard enough as it is). We went to dinner with my dad that night, and played it completely cool. At this point, no one even knew we were pregnant. My dad said, “your little sister is gonna get married and have kids before you two do.”

Shane resisted the opportunity to say, “Oh really?”

I am glad we waited, because our families’ reactions when we told them was sincerely priceless (more on that event later).

Praising God:

The next day, we had the privilege of performing a song for the Legacy Pregnancy Resource Center Christmas Concert. (Seriously, if you have a PRC in your community, please show your support. They mean so much to the men and women with unplanned [and sometimes planned but surprising-anyway] pregnancies.) That night, our song “Rejoice” by Dustin Krensrue, became our anthem for this wonderful season. The lyrics say:

For the one who holds the heavens and commands the stars above, is the God who bends to bless us with an unrelenting love.

God has bent to give us a double portion of His grace this year. We appreciate your prayers for wisdom and relentless pursuit of God’s will as we expect a beautiful family!

Blessings to your 2014. May it be as blessed as ever!

Becky

Stay tuned for weekly updates on my baby-bump, God’s faithfulness through our family-building process, and as always, more Bible Study and relationship tips for day-to-day thriving!

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A Christmas Prayer for Adoption

Friends and Family, will you join us in prayer for our adoption? We have a significant meeting regarding our adoption today at 1:30pm MST, for which we are asking for wisdom, strength, and a holy perspective of the coming months.

adoption ornament

This Sunday, our pastor preached on the day Mary received the news of her baby, the Savior of the world. She did not question the power of God. She did not question the promise of a Son. But she did question the process… “how can this be, since…”

I can relate to Mary today. Our life is a big jumble of God power and promise, without a hint of HOW the process will work out.

However confused, unsure, or afraid Mary was, her final statement defines her: “I am the bonds lave of the Lord. May it be done to me, according to your word.” (Luke 1:38)

My prayer today is that I, like Mary, would be submissive to the God who is so much bigger than I. That my final word would be “I trust you.” After all, He can see the end of this road, and how all things will work together for His glory and our good (Romans 8).

If I were to sit outside of myself, this is how I would pray for the woman in my shoes:

Lord, You are good. Remind Becky of that truth. Thank you for each blessing you rain down on the Rostys.

Help Becky to submit to your call on her life, even when it doesn’t feel logical. Give her foresight to see how you are making everything beautiful in your perfect timing. Provide strength–physically, mentally, and emotionally–to stand firm on your truth, unwavering at the slightest hint of anxiety or negative thinking. Like Elizabeth’s words to Mary, I praise you Lord, for “blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her by the Lord.”

Even as I write, my thoughts are drifting to our world-traveler today. I don’t know when we will get to meet him or her; but for today, I choose to rest and be still. My God has the whole world, including our child, in His hands.

Thank you for your prayers!

 

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Adoption Update: Two Stories

Well folks, we are now in month 2 (ish) of creating a Beautiful family. The journey-stage of this month is the home-study. We have an incredible team at Bethany Christian Services making the process efficient and speedy.

A home study is simply a grand story. Through paperwork and interviews, Shane and I get to tell our story, the story of our families, and the story of what we hope to create as a family through this adoption. If you know anything about me, you know that all of this story-telling has been a blast!

On the morning of our home-inspection and interview, the Holy Spirit led me Psalm 139:

O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O Lord, you know it altogether. Psalm 139: 1-4

I sensed the Holy Spirit whisper, “I have already done your home study. I  know you through and through and I have chosen the Rosty family to bear my image as an adoptive Father.”

These verses affirmed God’s plan for us to be adoptive parents. He prompted us to look into adoption. He guided us through obedience to wait on his timing. At just the right time, He opened up a pilot program to the country we wanted to adopt from. Then, God allowed us to be the 10th family out of 10 accepted into the program! He brought numerous people native to our adoption country to encourage us directly, even in the very beginning weeks of the process.

But God is not only sovereign over our journey to adoption. God is also sovereign over the life of our child. The rest of Psalms 139 reminded me of this promise:

For you formed [our son or daughter’s] inward parts; you knitted [him] together in [his birth] mother’s womb. I praise you, for [our child is] fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. [Her] frame was not hidden from you, when [she] was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw [his] unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for [our precious child], when as yet there was none of them. How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you. (Psalm 139:13-18) ESV

God has been affirming this truth from the very beginning. This kid is HIS, from the moment of conception, through the first gasp of breath, to his home in the hands of beautiful nannies and care-takers. And though Shane and I are only human, God has also invited us to be a part of this little life. However, God is now, and always will be, the one holding the life of this child.

Right now, these are 2 separate stories of Gods sovereign grace. Two individual “home studies” from heaven. Someday they will join together, and we will be a Beautiful family.

With our interviews and home inspection finished, we eagerly wait for the next stage of the journey (hint, it involves more paperwork and many dollar signs 🙂 )

This video, by Matt Bieler, is a lovely reminder of exactly what each step is leading up to…
What each month I am waiting for…
What each day I am praying for.

Though we have a long way to go… here’s to hopeful dreams from a future mama!

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We are Expecting!

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Yes, Shane and I are adopting! We first started praying about this on the drive to our honeymoon flight. We knew God was leading us to start a family this summer (2013), so we began plan A: get kids however we can 🙂

So why are we adopting? Lets just say, Adoption is not a biological issue for us, it is a theological one.

Romans 8:15– So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.”

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Isaiah 1:17– Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows.

The following sermon is exactly what Shane and I believe about adoption. We hope it encourages you as well!
Adoption: Pondering the privileges

I will be posting more about our journey to adopt our child. Until then, worship God with me, in His willingness to pursue and rescue us!

And for the record, Mr. Darcy, our pup, is still not sure about all this (as you can see in the picture).

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Open Letter to Momma’s waiting to Adopt

This post was originally published in 2012.

I recently read a blog post by a woman who is in the process of adopting. Her words were heartfelt and beautiful. She and her husband wrestled with the waiting process, the longing for their child. It could be years of waiting.

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Like many waiting to adopt, this woman expressed her concern for the child, who is also waiting:

Who’s taking care of them?

Who’s making sure they are fed?

Is anyone reading them books?

Who’s tucking them in at night?

A flood of emotion hit me as I realized that, although they may be lacking the normal life that you and I know, they are still loved by Him. He knows their name.

Her trust in the Lord touched me deeply. Read her story here.
I LOVE that I can respond to this woman with the assurance she is absolutely RIGHT!

Dear Mommies and Daddies waiting for your precious child to come home,

I want to encourage you. Each orphan waiting for a forever home is so deeply loved by their Father in Heaven. And He loves them in such a tangible way… He even occasionally gives us the honor of being His hands and feet.

How do I know first hand?

In the summer of 2012, the Lord called me to a first hand experience as His tangible love for orphaned babies in Johannesburg, South Africa. So, although I may not have held your future child, I did hold someone’s baby, and was so blessed to be a steward of such a precious gift. It was only a month, but I am happy to announce to all patient parents on the adoption waiting list:

Yes, someone made sure your baby was fed… I did. Actually, I gladly welcomed slobbery orange baby-food spit in my face in order to keep your baby nourished. I prayed for him to swallow each bite, even when his tonsils were swollen and he struggled to breathe and eat.

It wasn’t just me. Several beautiful young women, a couple of great guys, and an amazing local team with warm hearts clocked-in to love your baby day-in and day-out with a smile.

We read books to your daughter. No, we didn’t just read stories to her, we created stories about her, how she would ride the great seas as a strong sea captain, or fight off evil lobsters with her trusty first mate.

Did I tuck in your baby at night? Of course. I snuggled him in a cozy set of footsie pajamas, the kind with the bear ears on the hood; then I tickled his tummy, sang him and lullaby, and prayed for God to bring him to salvation through faith at an early age.

Not only that, but we danced. We crawled together. We giggled and played. We took pictures. We got thrown up on. We cried. We still cry.

But we were thinking of you the entire time. Your little boy and I exchanged glances now and again, knowing this was only a temporary blessing. Someday the wait would be over and he would meet you: his mom and dad. The ones waiting on the other side of the world.

Your little one left his fingerprints all over my heart. God knows when you will hold her, when you will rock him to sleep, when you will get thrown up on; but until then, we who live as the Hands and Feet of Jesus are truly blessed to give temporary snuggles.

Those snuggles will last a lifetime in my memory.

Yours (and your child’s) truly,

Becky Rosty

*Photo features my dear friend, Andy, who offered just as much love for your soon-to-be son or daughter. We never stop praying for them.

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Pictures of Selfless Love for a (future) Mama, Part 2: Pregnancy

pregnancy

This week, God has led me to explore the pictures of God’s love through parenthood. Many of my friends will be celebrating Mother’s Day in a few weeks, which lends to me thinking more and more about the idea. I am not a parent yet, but the Holy Spirit is definitely rearranging my perspective of having children.

In the last post, I explained my view of adoption as the most beautiful picture of God’s unconditional love. Recently, the Holy Spirit has opened my eyes to another, equally beautiful, reflection of God’s perfect relationship offered to us: pregnancy.

So here it is…. Pictures of Selfless Love for a (future) Mama, Part 2: Pregnancy 

As usual, the transformation of my mind came through God’s Word. In bed with a sore throat, I spent some time with my podcast app in effort to engage my spirit and mind, though my body was out of commission (it was an epic sore throat, ok). I listened to this sermon on Philippians 2, from Timothy Keller, pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church:

If then there is any encouragement in Christ, if any consolation of love,   if any fellowship with the Spirit,   if any affection and mercy,     fulfill my joy by thinking the same way,   having the same love,   sharing the same feelings, focusing on one goal.  Do nothing out of rivalry   or conceit,   but in humility   consider others as more important   than yourselves.  Everyone should look out not only for his own interests,  but also for the interests of others.  Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus, who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God  as something to be used for His own advantage.  Instead He emptied Himself  by assuming the form of a slave,  taking on the likeness of men.  And when He had come as a man in His external form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death — even to death on a cross.  For this reason God highly exalted Him  and gave Him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow   — of those who are in heaven   and on earth and under the earth   — and every tongue   should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,  to the glory   of God the Father. (Philippians 2:1-11 HCSB)

Keller explained that many of us do not actually love or serve others out of selfless motives. He theorized that most of us love others as a means to meet our own needs: the need for love in return, the need for relationship, the need to be needed. As Keller puts it, God is calling us to love from a place of having already been satisfied, as Christ did.

God–Father, Son and Spirit–did not create man out of a need for relationship. As a complete trinity, the Three had already experienced perfect satisfaction in their friendship… before the beginning of time! Thus, God’s willingness to create was an overflow of His love and relationship from within.

His satisfaction inspired creation! God created that He might share that perfection of love and friendship with more beings: angels, humanity, etc. His love is not just displayed in redemption of creation (adoption) but the creation of humanity for relationship in the first place (conception).

Keller’s point, of course, was that we should be so completely satisfied in our relationship with the Lord (as Jesus was), that our “considering others greater than ourselves” is an outpour from satisfaction, not a pursuit to fill a need.

But God works in funny ways. What Keller meant for general Christian charity, the Holy Spirit meant for a dramatic shaping of my perspective of pregnancy and childbirth. The Holy Spirit used this message to show how creation of another human being is not always rooted in selfish motives (as was my fear). How incredible is God’s Word!

I am now grasping the depth of these pictures of God’s love for us. His first act of love was creation in the first place! He conceived humanity as the fruit of perfect connection and relationship within the trinity. God was so pregnant with love, so expectant to sharing that relationship with others, that He created! What a picture of love. What a picture of God and relationship.

His second act of love was redemption. The overwhelming longing to bring in the lost and broken children of the world, He sacrificed everything to adopt us.

Both creation and redemption are equally beautiful and both equally necessary for relationship.

Both conception and adoption are equally beautiful pictures of that relationship we have with Christ.

So, I guess what I am trying to say is, I am starting to get this whole “having a baby” thing. All my misgivings, doubts, and frustration with the idea vanish in light of the sweet selflessness of God to both create and redeem me.

Again, this is not a pregnancy announcement (I’ll be way more creative when that time comes). This is just me, being transparent with what God is doing in my life, in hopes to encourage you.

By God’s grace and undeserved blessings, we will get to experience both pictures of unconditional love as parents: through the overflow of love that inspires creation of a new being, and the overflow of love that inspires adoption and redemption of a lost one.

I’ll keep you posted on the journey till then.

What do you think about pregnancy and adoption? Have a different perspective? Please share!

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Pictures of Selfless Love for a (future) Mama: My journey to celebrating both pregnancy and adoption.

adoption

 

I think I might be finally getting this whole “home-made” kid thing. “Home-made” meaning, having a baby (vs. adoption).

It has been a long journey of confusion, fear, selfishness, doubt, excitement, and waiting… of course the waiting. And no-this is not a pregnancy announcement. I simply wish to be transparent with how God is shaping my heart and mind for His glory. (Sorry if I got your hopes up; not just yet.)

So here it is: Pictures of Selfless Love for a (future) Mama, Part 1: Adoption.

God has blessed me with a heavy heart for the orphan. I have longed to be a part of adoption for a very long time. I still look forward to the day God leads Shane and I to step in that direction.

I have always seen adoption as an exceptional picture of God’s unconditional love for humanity. The Bible refers to adoption several times as an example of how God invites us into His family (Galatians 4, Ephesians 1, Romans 8).

I am overwhelmed with the thought: that God would take in this dirty, homeless child and make me His daughter. Washing me clean of all the stains of broken relationship, He made me His own; giving me full inheritance to His kingdom, He invited me to take part in the family business. Complete and whole, I have been given a new name in Christ, declared worthy and accepted.

I can’t wait to offer that to a child someday! I pray that the day Shane and I adopt a child will be celebrated as a divine picture of God’s love.

But…. there is another picture of love that I have been ignoring. Love is not just displayed in adoption, but also in creation.

I will admit something here: I have been turned off to pregnancy and having a “baby of my own” for a long time. My disposition to this miraculous process has various roots:

First, my own sinful rebellion. Always wanting to “take the path less traveled,” I saw having a “home-made baby” as following the crowd. It sounds ridiculous (it is), and I know that this reason is not God-honoring. I confess my inclination to deviate from the “norm” (even a God-honoring norm) is sinful and fleshly.

I also experience a plethora of fears in this area. God has used many wonderful mothers (who make a lot of graceful mistakes) to help me trust God instead of give in to fear. This blog post, from Women Living Well, was particularly helpful.

After repenting from my prideful attitude and my fear, I realized I still felt hung up on the idea. Almost every argument in the favor of having a baby still sounded so selfish to me:

“Don’t you want to have kids that look like you?”

“Don’t you want to feel what its like to be pregnant?”

“Don’t you want to raise kids with your traits and talents?”

“Having your own children is better than adoption, because you have control from the beginning how they are raised.”

Again, God has blessed me with an overwhelmed heart for adoption. I see the need of a thousand children all over the world who aren’t privileged with parents who believed (or could fulfill) the above comments.

In the face of such a need, each question sounded very self-serving. All about me: what I see, feel, experience, or have an easier time with. After repenting from my original prideful reason for preferring adoption over pregnancy, I wanted to steer far away from the idea of pregnancy again, just to avoid a new motive of pride and selfishness.

I came “to terms” with the idea of having a baby, knowing it would be glorifying to how God made my body, and honoring to my husband, who wouldn’t mind have babies with me (what an amazing guy!).

But I was still wrestling with the perspective of all those precious babies already waiting for a home. Sure, God says that children are a blessing; but that includes HIS babies, orphaned out there somewhere, waiting for someone to be the tangible display of our Father’s selfless love.

My intentions are not to belittle anyone’s desire to have a baby. I love my friends and family (and my parents) for having that desire! I am simply trying to be brave by communicating my journey in this area. It has been a difficult road to be open about my misgivings and doubts about pregnancy vs. adoption, without sensing negative criticism from others.

Also, I do not mean to lessen the importance of womanhood or “be fruitful and multiply.” For whatever reason, my perspective has just been in favor of adoption.

Till now…

…Stay tuned for my conclusion on having a “home-made” baby…

*Does anyone else LOVE the photograph above? Head over to the blog, Adding a Burden,  to read about her beautiful story of adoption.

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Who gives snuggles while you wait to adopt?

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I recently read a blog post by a woman who is in the process of adopting. Her words were heartfelt and beautiful. She and her husband wrestled with the waiting process, the longing for their child. It could be years of waiting.

Like many waiting to adopt, this woman expressed her concern for the child, who is also waiting:

Who’s taking care of them?

Who’s making sure they are fed?

Is anyone reading them books?

Who’s tucking them in at night?

A flood of emotion hit me as I realized that, although they may be lacking the normal life that you and I know, they are still loved by Him. He knows their name.

Her trust in the Lord touched me deeply. Read her story here.
I LOVE that I can respond to this woman with the assurance she is absolutely RIGHT!

Each orphan waiting for a forever home is so deeply loved by their Father in Heaven. And He loves them in such a tangible way… He even occasionally gives us the honor of being His hands and feet.

Last summer, the Lord called me to a first hand experience as His tangible love for orphaned babies in Johannesburg, South Africa. So, although I may not have held this woman’s future child, I did hold someone’s baby, and was so blessed to be a steward of such a precious gift. It was only a month, but I am happy to announce to all patient parents on the adoption waiting list:

Yes, someone made sure your baby was fed… I did. Actually, I gladly welcomed slobbery orange baby-food spit in my face in order to keep your baby nourished. I prayed for him to swallow each bite, even when his tonsils were swollen and he struggled to breathe and eat.

It wasn’t just me. Several beautiful young women, a couple of great guys, and an amazing local team with warm hearts clocked-in to love your baby day-in and day-out with a smile.

We read books to your daughter. No, we didn’t just read stories to her, we created stories about her, how she would ride the great seas as a strong sea captain, or fight off evil lobsters with her trusty first mate.

Did I tuck in your baby at night? Of course. I snuggled him in a cozy set of footsie pajamas, the kind with the bear ears on the hood; then I tickled his tummy, sang him and lullaby, and prayed for God to bring him to salvation through faith at an early age.

Not only that, but we danced. We crawled together. We giggled and played. We took pictures. We got thrown up on. We cried. We still cry.

But we were thinking of you the entire time. Your little boy and I exchanged glances now and again, knowing this was only a temporary blessing. Someday the wait would be over and he would meet you: his mom and dad. The ones waiting on the other side of the world.

Your little one left his fingerprints all over my heart. God knows when you will hold her, when you will rock him to sleep, when you will get thrown up on; but until then, we who live as the Hands and Feet of Jesus are truly blessed to give temporary snuggles.

Those snuggles will last a lifetime in my memory.

*Photo features my dear friend, Andy, who offered just as much love for your soon-to-be son or daughter. We never stop praying for them.

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