The past 14 days have left us humbled and insanely grateful that our mighty God would speak so powerfully to us!
Here is a glimpse of what God has done to get us to what we know so far:
We prayed for God to show us how He wants us specifically to be involved in orphan care. He gave us an answer almost immediately. Psalm 68:6 says " . . . God sets the lonely in families." His ultimate desire is not just for orphans' needs to be met, but for them to be embraced and grafted into a family. Our family. So we are definitely adopting!
On Tuesday I woke up praying about adopting, but my mind kept going to the financial aspect of it. I was worried and started confessing my fears to God. I know that if we could just write a check our faith wouldn't grow, but the cost just seems so huge! I began to think of ways we could cut and save (which is good and we will be doing), but sadly my heart was creeping toward being greedy as I thought of moving some of the money that we have been giving away each month to our adoption fund instead. I asked God to speak in His Word to assure me that He will provide and He led me to Philippians 4:19, "And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus." At first this was very encouraging, but then I read the whole paragraph and God spoke directly to my heart. The Philippian church had sent a financial gift to Paul EVEN THOUGH they had their own needs. Paul was thanking them for their generosity despite their own need and assuring them that God would indeed meet all their needs. God knew my heart and spoke clearly that we should continue to be generous as He leads and completely trust Him to provide for all our needs. As if that Word wasn't enough, God decided to give us a tangible sign that He is sufficient. That same afternoon I opened a letter from some dear friends who have been praying for us about this process. God led them to give in an incredible way toward our adoption. I completely fell to pieces! :) God is our Provider and we will trust in Him!
Since we began talking about adopting, we both felt like we would adopt a son. The world and Church have such a need for men that will wholeheartedly follow Christ and lead their families and churches to do the same. We would be blessed to raise another man to honor Christ! So we're adopting a son!
We still had no direction about international or domestic and really couldn't go any further until we knew this step. On Wednesday night I wrote a prayer in my journal. I asked God to answer that one question (I'd love to have the whole plan, but I realize that usually isn't how God works!). I asked for Him to tell Chad and I individually, but that we would be unified. Then I asked Him to confirm it in a radical way. I usually don't pray so bold(as I should), but I guess I had the confidence since God had been speaking so clearly and powerfully. I honestly was leaning toward domestic, but confessed to God that it might be for selfish reasons (it could be quicker, cheaper, and we could get a newborn). Thursday morning I started reading the newest Compassion magazine. The first two articles were about orphans in Africa. Okay God . . . is this you? I prayed more and then asked Chad if God was telling him anything. His response: "I keep thinking about Africa." So there it was . . . Africa. We thanked God for speaking and asked that He confirm it that day in a way that only He could get the credit. I started telling Chad about the Compassion article and began to cry (I don't know if I'll ever stop with this process!). Ava asked why I was crying. We hadn't talked to Ava about us adopting yet so I just started telling her that I was crying about orphans in Africa. As soon as I said Africa, God opened my eyes. We do family worship every night and use the Operation World book to pray for a different nation every day. However for the last few months, Ava has asked to pray for Africa EVERY NIGHT. We have never understood why she had such a desire to pray for Africa, until now. Through our precious little girl, God has had our family praying for Africa for months! This was definitely the radical confirmation we had asked for not five minutes earlier! So we're adopting a son from Africa!
Isn't God so good?! Our next step is to choose a country and agency. Please be praying for wisdom!