Yep - you guessed it!
The Garrison family is growing again!!
We are so excited to tell you that the Garrisons are adopting from Ethiopia again!! We are just as excited about our eighth child as we were the first!
We have come to this decision through much consideration, discussion, and prayer. When there are 9 people in a family already, there is a lot to sort through and think about. When we first started talking about this several weeks ago, I will admit I had many reservations. Was this the responsible thing to do? Should we stretch ourselves (in every way) even more? It was overwhelming to sort through all of the concerns we needed to consider. I wrestled through many conversations with God, and finally wrote out a list for Him of why I thought, just possibly, He had the wrong family for this gig. After my "reasons", you can see the responses I found as I took them to scripture. It went a little something like this:
- We already have seven children. Maybe it's just too much. Maybe I can't handle it.
"I am still not all I should be, but am focusing my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead. I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus is calling us up to heaven." Phil. 3:13
"For I can do everything with the help of CHRIST who gives me the strength I need."
- Most of the time I do not feel like an adequate mother to the children I have.
"Your heavenly father already knows all of your needs and will give you all you need from day to day if you live for Him and make the kingdom of God your primary concern."
Matthew 6: 32-33
"Do not be afraid, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will uphold you with my victorious right hand."
- I am getting too old for this. :)
I was reminded of Abraham (Genesis 21), who waited for his long awaited Isaac to come at a very old age. (But I hope I won't be doing this when I am 100)
"Even in old age they will still produce fruit...they will remain vital and green."
"So, I tell you, do not worry about everyday life - whether you have enough food, drink, or clothes...."
"So don't worry about these things, saying, 'What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?' These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs."
Matthew 6: 31-32
Do you notice anything about all of these reasons? Do you notice that they are all about ME? I've focused on what is comfortable for ME, what's easier for ME. Hmm.....didn't find many verses telling me to put my concerns first, or to take the easy road. But, I did find these verses:
"The LORD has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God."
"Children are a gift from the Lord, they are a reward from Him."
And so, if I'm honest, I wrestled with all of this. I wrestled with complete surrender. I stood in church one Sunday singing these words...
So I'll stand with arms high and heart abandoned,
In awe of the One who gave it all.
So I'll stand my soul Lord to YOU surrendered,
All I am is YOURS.
...and I wondered if I really meant them...? And so, my friends, I've given it all to Him. All of the fear. All of the anxiousness (not that it doesn't creep back in and I have to give it over again). All of my selfishness that doesn't want to do the paperwork or other hard parts of adoption. All of my pride that REALLY doesn't want to fund raise again. My concerns over my at-home children. It's all HIS.
So...that leaves me in THIS place...this place of expecting....this place of excitement about what God is going to do in our family....this place of anticipating the gift of another child! Once I got myself out of the way, I was able to focus on the blessing of adding to our family, and we can't wait for that part!
We've prayed through birth order and decided it is best for our children at home to bring a child home that is younger than the boys, and preserve the birth order. So, we are requesting a referral for a child younger than they are. (Solomon turns 3 this week).
Please pray for us...for all to go smoothly, for God's provision for our adoption, and for our child in Ethiopia and their birth parents.
Here we go again!!!