Since we last updated our blog, many things have happened on our adoption journey, both in our hearts and in the process of our adoption. First of all, we want to thank all of you who contributed to the matching grant we received. We were able to match it completely and even go a few hundred dollars beyond the $5,000. Yay God! We are so grateful and feel blessed that so many of you have invested in our adoption financially and through your prayers.
We had our family profile, (which is a book about our family), shown to a birth mother for the first time back in September. Since then, we have had our family profile presented 8 times. All the birth mothers have said no. Sometimes it's a little disheartening and it's easy to go down the slippery slope of wondering what is wrong with our family. Why hasn't a birth mother chosen us yet? But then God reminds us that He has already chosen our baby and will bring us together in His timing. As good as it would feel to be chosen, we trust and know that God's plans and timing are always better than ours. When we finally get that "Yes," we know it'll be worth the wait.
God is so awesome in that He weaves so many details together in the process of our journey. We will never know until we get to Heaven all those details, but we have a few we want to share with you. When we began this journey almost a year ago, I(Alyssa) had a perfect picture in my mind of how this whole thing would go. At least, I thought it was perfect. We would be matched with a wonderful mother who had no drug or alcohol problems, the father would be willing to sign the adoption papers without issue. Also, we would keep it a closed adoption so once we got our baby, we could move forward and raise our child in a protected environment away from the reality of why they were placed for adoption. God has slowly been tearing down my vain imagination of how this adoption should go so I can see the reality of what is going on and what He ultimately has planned for us, our baby, and the birth mother and father.
First, He dealt with the drug/alcohol issue. I have been praying protection over our baby since the day we decided to adopt; physically, mentally and spiritually. I have prayed that no matter what decisions the birth mother makes, the Lord would be a shield around her and her womb and He would protect our baby even when she is not a good covering. So when we were presented with an opportunity to have our profile shown to a birth mother who drank alcohol the first three months of her pregnancy, my faith was really tested. I've seen firsthand the effects alcohol can have on a child in the womb and it is not pretty. Everything rational in me said no. I not sure I could handle a child who has fetal alcohol syndrome. Then God said, "What have you been praying for, Alyssa? Why are you doing this anyway? The whole point is to save a child." This birth mother drank the first three months of her pregnancy because she wanted to abort the baby. Then she felt God telling her not to. Still her family pressured her to have an abortion and she found herself in the abortion clinic parking lot one more time, but she remembered what God said, and God saved her child again. Her story lined up with exactly why we decided to adopt in the first place. The only thing holding me back from saying yes was wondering if God would come through. Had He protected the baby during the first trimester of drinking? I heard God say, "Absolutely! I love this baby more than you do and I heard your prayers. Now say yes!" So we did. She chose another family. But for that one week while we waited, we prayed for that child like he was our own and we invested into his life and his mothers life like nobody else except for the other two families she was being presented to. By saying yes, not only did God do amazing things in our hearts, but the birth mother was affirmed in her choice to save her son's life. She was blown away that three wonderful families wanted her son.
Now when we are asked if we want our profile shown to a birth mother who smokes or has done drugs or alcohol during some point in the pregnancy, we don't even hesitate to say yes. We know God is bigger than that. He has even opened our hearts to an open adoption. The more we've researched it, the more we see that it's healthy for an adopted child to have relationship with their birth parents, even early on. It helps fill in the blanks of such a huge question, and it really helps the birth parents make the right choice for their child knowing that he or she won't be out of their lives completely. Plus, kids are smart. They know who their "mom and dad" are compared to a birth parent.
The reality is, most of the situations we are going to be presented with are not going to be pretty. It's more than likely that the birth mother has gone through abuse, has no family support, has turned to drugs, etc. All of these circumstances that could put fear in our hearts and cause us to say no. But God has slowly helped us to realize that He still wants us to say yes and believe Him for great miracles in the midst of such pain.
So once again, we continue to wait. We know this is all part of the process. We may hear "no" twenty times before we get the "Yes!" When it comes, all the waiting will have been worth it all. In the meantime, God has been challenging me to live in the moment. It's so easy for me to get caught up in thinking about what I need to do next. Sometimes I feel like all I do all day is rush from one thing to the next. Before I know it, the day is over and I realize I didn't take time to enjoy it. My kids are at a wonderful, fun stage right now. I want to soak in as much as I can because I know I will blink and they'll be going to college or getting married. I have a wonderful husband and two lovely children. I'm excited for our next child to join the family and I pray eagerly for that. But a good friend reminded me today of just how blessed I am and to enjoy this season with just the four of us. That's exactly what I needed to be reminded of. God takes us through seasons in life and they only last so long. So enjoy the season you're in. Before you know it, you'll be on to the next one.
Thanks for all you prayers and support. We will continue to keep you posted.