How did we come to the decision to adopt? Well, that is such a hard question to answer here in this space. I could do a much better job if I could just share my heart over a warm cup of hot chocolate!
Tripp and I have the typical husband/wife adoption story in that I wanted to adopt long before he did. For the last year God has been gently nudging me and making it clear to me that adoption was going to play a role in the story of our lives. And after much prayer together and apart, God brought Tripp to that same realization.
When I started to think about everything that has brought us to this point of wanting to adopt, every single thought started with loss and ended with life.
It is the beautiful tapestry that is woven throughout Scripture and yet remains such a mystery to me. How can loss or death lead to life? Our ultimate example is Christ and the life he lived which lead him to Calvary. John 12:25-26 says: Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him. Jesus invites us to follow him, to die with him, to hate our lives with him and by doing so we live out the gospel message before the world and come to find that good life, that joy-filled life, that forever life we've been longing for.
God has been lovingly teaching and revealing these truths to me for some time now - and not just in the losses I've had in my life, but through my marriage to Tripp, through mothering my three precious kids, and by living in a culture that is not my own.
Psalm 39:4 says: O Lord, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am. This life is so short and I want to live this life I've been given to do one thing - honor Him. And the only way I can do that is follow Him to the cross.
So what does this have to do with adoption? Well, I recently read a post by Rachel Jankovic that really resonates with my heart and expresses our heart for wanting to adopt. Here's what she says:
"Christian mothers carry their children in hostile territory. When you are in public with them, you are standing with, and defending, the objects of cultural dislike. You are publicly testifying that you value what God values, and that you refuse to value what the world values. You stand with the defenseless and in front of the needy. You represent everything that our culture hates, because you represent laying down your life for another—and laying down your life for another represents the gospel."
This is why Tripp and I have chosen to open our lives, hearts, and home to the fatherless - because we want to value what God values:
He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow. Deuteronomy 10:18a
A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families. Psalm 68: 5-6a
Because we want to lay down our lives for another:
Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute.
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. James 1:27
And through this death to our desires, our time, our wants, and our plans for our family, we find the ultimate life and in return can give life to one of the least of these, to our little Xiao Li (pronounced Shao Lee). Several of you have asked if we already know who Xiao Li is and the answer is no, not yet. We decided that during this time of waiting, instead of calling her "our child", or "little sister Flythe", we'd call her Xiao Li. We hope to find out who she is in the spring/summer.
So while people may wonder why we would want to have another child through adoption and go through all the stresses of filling out tons of paperwork, disrupting the peaceful flow of our home (it's really not peace-filled all the time anyways), going through all the logistics of getting her into Indonesia and then back to the States again to get her US citizenship, we know that this life is not our own and that what we do here on this earth will count for all eternity.
We know this journey will not be without its own heartaches, pains, and hurts, but it is so worth it to be able to go down this road of loss so that we might truly live.
Below is a video I found several months ago that I haven't been able to get out of my mind. Watch it and you will be changed.