Monday, September 5, 2011

Adopting as a Single

Sometimes when you tell people you're adopting as a single - you see this look on their face that hurts your heart. That look of - are you crazy? And then the questions and comments start coming "Do you really think you should adopt a boy? Boys need a dad." and "Don't you want to be married first? Being a single mom is gonna be hard." My heart hurts when I hear those questions and comments. And I think Jesus is saddened by it too. First of all, I don't think parenting in general is easy. I don't know of any parent friends of mine who have ever said "this is a piece of cake" whether they have a husband or not. And who says easy is better anyway. The things in life that build the most character and are used the most by God to transform us to more of a likeness of Christ are usually not the things that are easy. Quite the opposite. Secondly, I never said I didn't WANT a husband but I don't have one so I'm just trusting God in it. Also, I agree that boys need dads but I also think girls do too - just as much. But at the same time - I see and hear stories EVERY day about dads who aren't very loving or good to their kids or dads who are absent or end up leaving their families later for whatever crazy reason and then there's a single mom who has no choice but to be a single mom because dad just jumped ship. That is tragic but it happens. People get pregnant and don't end up staying with the father of the child and sometimes those kids are boys. The moms make it work. And you don't say to a pregnant woman - hey, better not do this - your child needs a dad. Yeah, a little too late for that kind of a comment cause the baby is on the way. So why is it any different for adoption? There is a child and that child needs a parent. The baby is on the way - it's a paper pregnancy! And isn't one parent better than none? Isn't one loving mom who will devote her life to this child, who will care for his every need and be intentional to keep Godly men around him to be a positive influence and who will teach him about Jesus and how God adopts all of us into His family and how this mom chose him and wanted him and went to the ends of the earth to bring him home - isn't that better than a child sitting in an orphanage waiting, hoping, praying that someday maybe he'll have somebody to love them? The bible doesn't say "care for orphans and widows once you're married"! We are all called. And for some, married will come first. For others - they'll care for orphans in other ways like going or sending or financially helping or all of the above. But for me - I'm gonna keep working in orphan care at Visiting Orphans and sending people out and I'm gonna always have a heart for what I do because I've gone, I've seen, I've held and I've loved orphans around the world and I have God's heart for them. But it's no longer enough for me to go and love and then leave - I want to make an eternal impact - an everyday investment into a child that deserves a chance, deserves someone to put them first, someone to tuck them in every night and someone they can count on for the rest of their lives. God is calling me to be a mom. So if you ask me if I'm sure - I will answer 100% yes. I've been feeling this tug for a long time and the tug has gotten stronger since Dec 2010. Since then, I've prayed and prayed and prayed. I've gone back and forth between two prayers - "Lord, I don't want to get ahead of you if you are telling me to wait. I don't want to get impatient and run ahead of you and do it unless you are calling me" and "Lord, if you are calling me to adopt as a single woman then I do not want to be afraid or hold so tightly to the order I thought things would happen (marriage first) and miss out on your plan. I want to be open to your plan looking differently than mine and trusting you in it." I had to grieve the plan I thought was gonna happen. It's not in the order I would have chose but you know what - God sees a bigger picture and I trust Him. And so the order it's in is the right order. And who am I to question that? So am I sure - yes. Why now after all these months of praying? Because someday changes to now when you hold a child in your arms that feels like yours, who lays his head down and holds on tight as if "he's home". It changes when it's not just the idea of a child out there somewhere but it's a real child you hold in your arms and he falls asleep and you cannot fathom this child not ever having a home and you can't imagine him not being part of your family.

I wasn't even supposed to go to Ethiopia with that team originally. We were all along going to Uganda and Ghana. It's been planned for over a year. And literally the week we were about to purchase the flights we had on hold for 2 months - I felt like we weren't supposed to go to Ghana but instead were supposed to go to Ethiopia. I wasn't totally sure why but I knew all the in-country details of Ghana were NOT coming together, the cost of the flights to go there were crazy high and when it came down to it - we would only have 3 full days there as opposed to 6 days in Ethiopia. My team of 24 people were presented with 3 options - keep with Ghana and only have 3 days, go to Uganda only for the whole time or do Uganda and Ethiopia - we'd have 6 days in each. Every single person chose Uganda/Ethiopia. I knew God had something big in Ethiopia. For 24 people from all over the country who had never met to be in 100% agreement to completely change countries at the last possible minute - that is truly amazing! God was in it and I was excited to be on a team that was already so flexible. I knew something big was gonna happen but I didn't know it was going to be me meeting my son! But God knew. And He gave me this amazing team to encourage me - they have been so amazing in this whole process. I've been blown away by them and almost everyone in my life who has been encouraging, supportive and positive. So while I talk about the looks you get and the questions and comments people make - I'm thankful to say that has been few and far between. I honestly thought I'd get more of that. I got more of it when I was "thinking" about adopting as a single than I have now that I am actually pursuing it. And even those who do ask those things - I don't think they have bad intentions. I truly think they are trying to be helpful and realistic. But I just think God is so much bigger than all of our fears - we can't let less than perfect conditions keep us from moving forward. We can't let our own ideas keep us from being open to God's. If we do, we may just miss out on the best decision we ever made. I am not afraid. I am also not naive. I know it will be hard. But I'm not gonna miss out on all the good stuff just because it might be hard. I'm called to be a mom. I've always known. It's who I am. And sometimes when God calls you to something, it may take awhile before you see that dream fulfilled. But if He called you, He will be faithful to bring it to pass. I'm excited to be a mom. I'm excited to watch God move and provide and orchestrate details to make it happen. He is already writing this story and I hope that the more I share about what He's doing in it, the more it will glorify Him and encourage others to step out in faith too in whatever He's calling them to. I'm excited that Jesus loves that little boy even more than I do and I know He will move heaven and earth to get him home. God is so much bigger than any fears I have. He's so much bigger than the $30K it costs to adopt internationally. To Him, that's nothing - He is the God of the Universe after all. And I'm just excited to see what He's gonna do!
Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. - Ephesians 3:20(NLV)


I love how the Lord works. Turns out the exact same blog that really encouraged me earlier this year is one that several other single moms I know that are now adopting had come across and been encouraged by too. This is the link of any of y'all want to read this awesome blog about single's adopting: http://aplacecalledsimplicity.blogspot.com/2009/08/should-single-woman-adopt.html
That blog has probably the most comments on it of any blog I've ever seen.

8 comments:

  1. I love this Autumn. I know God is gonna get your little boy home to you in no time. :)

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  2. Your blog encourages me so much. All I've ever wanted to do in life is rescue children and be their mama. Right now my heart is thousands of miles away in east Asia...and I trust that my great God has a purpose for placing my heart there, and that someday my dreams will meet reality. I am praying for you.

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  3. So happy for you Autumn!!! Keep believing God and following him!!!

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  4. Yes -- one parent is better than zero parents. Especially if that parent is you!!!

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  5. so, is "m" yours, yours, yours on paper now???????

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  6. Thank you! Those words don't seem enough but this post is exactly what I needed to "hear".

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  7. Carmen - no - he's not mine yet. With international adoption - it's not guaranteed until you have the child home with you. But it is moving forward and all doors are opening so far so I'm just believing God is gonna keep opening doors! Would love continued prayers. My home study will be done at the end of the month and it will take a little bit until I get the fingerprinting done and have the official home study approval document. Keep on praying! And thanks for all the comments and encouragement.

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