(Orphan Sunday, 11/8, makes me think of our adoption story.)
Before we were married, we had our family all planned out--2 boys, 2 girls--2 born to us and 2 adopted. Then we married, time passed, and reality happened. One after another our 4 blond, round boys were born--the cookie cutter kids, Johnny called them.
And anyway, as we understood it, adoption wasn't really possible, and so therefore probably wasn't needed. All we heard about were the long waiting times to adopt. And so adoption faded from our minds. What we didn't realize was that those facts were true only about white, healthy infants.
Our assumptions were shaken when our friends adopted Micah and began to tell us and anyone who'd listen about the need for adoptive families for minority children. My dreams of adopting came alive again.
Over the next few years, periodically I'd bring up the topic to let Johnny know I was thinking about adoption. The conversations helped each of us to know the heart of the other, but in the end each talk drifted off without a decision.
Our conversations went many directions as we explored the what-ifs. One seeming obstacle was this: Johnny was concerned about our age. He imagined us white-haired and near retirement as we guided another child through the teens. How would he or she feel about such old parents, and would we have the energy for the adolescent years again? Besides, weren't we on the verge of a new chapter of life and ministry now, free from the afternoons of being soccer dad and carpool mom?
But to me, our age never seemed an issue. Yes, we'd be older and probably less energetic. But perhaps in our years of parenting so far we'd gained some wisdom that might help. Besides at the time of these talks, I was still younger than my mother had been when she bore her last child, and I had not yet passed out of the years of childbearing possibility.
During the months between those conversations, I prayed that God would change the mind of one of us, the heart of one, so we could come together to a definite yes or no. Of course, to be honest, that wasn't all I asked. I wanted the change of heart to be Johnny's.
(to be continued)