The Garrisons

Follow our journey on adoption #3 for child #8!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I Could Have Missed This

One year ago today, we met and fell in love with this sweet boy. I remember it as if it were yesterday, and yet I can't believe we've only had him a year. Time is crazy that way!

As we celebrate a year together, I have been reflecting on the past year and the events that led up to our adoption of Elijah. As I thought of the many things that had to fall into place before he became ours, I panicked as I had this realization: I could have missed it all.

I mean it - I really could have missed it. Nathan and I had talked about international adoption five years before starting the process with Elijah, and came to this conclusion: It was too expensive. It didn't seem to make sense for our family. And, after a little time, it seemed that Emma (our youngest) was getting too old for this to be a very good fit for us anyway. (I crack up at this now, because she was probably all of five!!)

So, we moved on...our kids all went to school....I went back to teaching...and we kind of forgot the whole thing. I mean, I was still stirred when I heard other people's adoption stories, and I always thought it was a great thing to do, but we had already decided it wasn't for us, right?

Well, fast forward to Spring 2008. I can't pinpoint one experience or idea that is alone responsible for the stirring in my heart, but suffice it to say that God would not leave me alone about the idea of adopting. It was everywhere I turned. I found myself teary at videos and stories, and ran into people everywhere who were in the midst of or who had adopted. And here's the biggie: As I turned to scripture to see what it had to say about orphans, the message was unmistakable:

"A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy dwelling.
God sets the lonely in families." Psalm 68:5,6

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. "
James 1:27

"He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so it went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" declares the Lord. Jeremiah 22:16

"Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the orphan. Fight for the rights of widows." Isaiah 1:17

"Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says."
James 1:22

As I continued to research the plight of the orphan, these statistics would not leave my mind:

  • There are 147 MILLION orphans in the world.
  • If you gathered all of these children together in one location, they would make up the world's eighth largest nation. Think of it, an entire nation of fatherless children.
  • If you lined these children up shoulder to shoulder (1700 per mile), in one long line, that line of precious children would be long enough to circle the globe more than three times. (CAN YOU IMAGINE??)
  • Here's the kicker: If only 7% of the 2 Billion Christians would adopt/care for a single orphan, there would essentially be no such thing as an orphan crisis.
Are you kidding me - 7% ??? To eliminate the orphan crisis? Doesn't it seem so simple, if the church would be the answer to caring for the orphan??

I recently also found a list of all of the reasons that adopting did not make sense for our family.....we didn't have the money, I had gone back to work, we wondered how this would affect our children, our kids were getting older, we wondered if we could afford another child, etc. The list of reasons that this just wasn't practical was long.

So, you see....I could have missed it. I could have missed out on being this sweet boy's mom and all of the blessings that come with it. It brings tears to my eyes just to think of it.

And then I think of those of you who may be wrestling with some of the same thoughts and fears that we did before we decided to 'take the plunge'. And I pray that if God is calling you to it, you won't miss it. You cannot fathom the blessing on the other side...the blessing of faith grown because you've depended on God for the strength to get thru the process, the money to pay for it, and His grace to weave your family together. The blessing of a life redeemed thru adoption, and the blessing of being the one He uses to play a part in that. The blessing of another child (or children) to call you mommy or daddy and find their security in your arms.

I'm grateful beyond what I could express that I didn't miss it, for the lessons He's taught me thru adoption, and for this sweet child of mine.


The Thomas Family, Artesia, NM said...

Love your post! All of the blessings we could have missed if we had not followed our heart! Thank you for sharing!

sarah t said...

Love, love, LOVE this post. It's absolutely so true. I only hope and pray more Christians can step up to what God is calling us to do.
Miss and love you guys.

Jennifer said...

God is good! There is such peace in knowing you are following His plan for your life. I can't wait to see to whom He is leading you next!!

Freedom Hollow Farmgirl said...

Happy one year anniversary! My husband and I are just starting our adoption journey to find our little one that God has hand picked just for us.

Blessings to you and your family.