Saturday, November 7, 2009

Orphan Sunday, 11/8: What if he says no

Orphan Sunday, 11/8, makes me think of our adoption story, which begins here.)

Part 8

I mentioned earlier the phone call asking if we'd consider adopting a little baby girl. And I said that soon brought me face to face with a capital-C Challenge.

In the process of our decision-making that might affect our future fathering and mothering, God caused me to experience something that would affect my future life as a wife. Looking back this seems doubly appropriate, because my being a mother is so intricately woven with being a wife and because if we adopted, it would be this particular little girl, who might someday become a wife. And, Lord willing, I'd be a mentor to her along the way.

For 2 weeks, we talked about pros and cons and about how life would be different if we adopted. We tried to imagine what affect adopting an African-American child would have on us, on our other children, on our extended family, on our church.

I'd understood for a long time that if you want to know whether a couple are trying to live together in a biblical way, sometimes the best way to tell is by observing how they handle a decision that they've discussed well but still haven't been able to come to agreement on.

I don't think there had been any significant decisions like that for us. Just smaller things where it was relatively easy for me finally to say, "Well, we've listened well to each other, so you know what I think, but I'm fine with whatever you decide."

Now, here was a decision that I really cared about. It was a decision that we had to agree on. We couldn't adopt if I was the only who thought we should do it.

But for 2 weeks, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't tell which direction Johnny was leaning, and his answer is what the final decision waited for. It's hard to imagine, but I truly didn't know whether to prepare for yes or for no.

Of course, I'd be ecstatic if he said Yes. But what if he said No? What would happen then?

God used those 2 weeks to get me ready for a possible No, which also meant teaching me much more deeply and personally what it means to be a biblically-oriented wife. If Johnny said we shouldn't adopt, I knew I would be bitterly disappointed. I knew there would be tears. But I also knew that if he said no, it meant that God had other, better plans for us; I would turn my eyes toward that better future and away from adoption.

And so, I was ready--as ready as I could be--for the possibility of No. And whatever the decision, God had made me ready to be a better wife of Johnny and mother of our 4 -- or 5?-- children.

(to be continued)


Laurie M. said...

I've only in the last few days begun following your blog. I must say, I'm thoroughly enjoying your retelling of your adoption story. I'm on tenterhooks, even though I know how it turns out.

Nancy Snyder said...

I also desperately wanted to adopt (again). We were parents of three sons (two by birth and one by adoption). Our Colombian son was having problems that we thought might be related to being the only child in the family who had been adopted and was non-white. (Turns out his struggles were much deeper and were related to his pre-adoption history, but that's another story). Because of the problems that son was facing, my husband said no to another adoption. I gave away all the toddler clothes, crib, etc., and spent a couple sleepless nights crying and praying while all my guys slept. Then my husband preached through the book of Hebrews. Some couples may conceive their children after reading the Song of Solomon, but God brought us our youngest son through the book of Hebrews. Next spring, he will marry a wonderful young woman. His biological grandfather will perform the ceremony. All three mothers will be involved: the bride's mother, me, and his birth mother. Love reading your special story.