It's been a long time since I've written a blog...too long, really. Since January I have been filling in as the interim Children's Pastor at our church, which has added a whole other element to our family dynamic (I think the word is "crazy-busy"). So as usual, when my free time is limited, writing tends to be put on the back burner.
I want to change that, though, because our family is just starting on a new journey that I want to share with the world. We have started the process of international adoption. Many of our friends and family are aware that in the fall of 2009, God began shifting some things in Derick and I. Through an incredible book called "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan, we were challenged, convicted, humbled, and empowered to make a greater difference for Christ than ever before. Let's just say, God pretty much rocked our world.
Through the process of God opening our eyes to the need in the world around us, He began dealing with our hearts about adoption. We had talked about adoption being a possibility for our distant future, but never imagined it would be something we would embark on with two small children already in our home. I could feel the Lord tugging on my heart, calling me to this very scary thing called "international adoption." I prayed and asked the Lord to give Derick and I His clear direction. I decided not to say anything to Derick just yet.
One day, Derick walked through the door after a day at the office and, out of the blue, said, "I think we need to adopt." I was surprised, but not really, because I knew that God was orchestrating this behind the scenes the whole time. So, I began researching, reading, Googling, asking questions, and looking for answers. I am so thankful that God placed some precious people in my life who had walked this road before me and were able to give some extremely helpful advice. We found an adoption agency in Georgia and began the preliminary paperwork to get started.
Many people have asked why we chose international adoption, and more specifically, South Korea. Why we chose to adopt internationally really has much more to do with God and less to do with us. It is simply what He put in our hearts to do. We are just being obedient to His leading. As for why South Korea, over 35 years ago, my grandparents also had a burden for the people of South Korea. They chose to leave their home in Oklahoma for several years and serve as missionaries there. My mother lived there during her junior and part of her senior year in high school. Growing up, it just felt like the culture and language of South Korea was a part of my family. So when it came time to choose a country to adopt from, we felt that it would be such an incredible blessing to continue the heritage of love for the people of South Korea that was birthed in my grandparents by adopting a child from there.
Unfortunately, when we started the process in early 2010, we were told by our adoption agency that we would have to be put on a waiting list because the quota of children to be adopted from S.K. had already been filled for that year. It was disappointing, but we trusted God had a better plan. And He did! In July of 2010 we moved to Tomball, Texas, and if we had been further along in the process, all our time and money would have been wasted because the agency we were using doesn't have an office here. I am so thankful that God's timing is perfect!
When we moved to Texas, we couldn't start the process here until we had our own home, and it took a frustrating and long 10 months for our house in GA to sell! During this time, my heart ached to continue the adoption process and bring our sweet child home, but our hands were tied. It was a season of much prayer and trusting in God.
Finally, in April of 2011 our house sold. As much of a blessing as that was, due to the economy, our house was worth much less than what we owed on it. We had been saving towards adoption and had to take the (miraculous) $14,000 we had saved to pay off our house. My dreams of adopting were devastated. How in the world could we afford an adoption that could cost up to $25,000 when we had literally nothing left in savings? But slowly, quietly, God reassured me that in my great need, He can do greater miracles.
So, the research began again. Finding an agency. Filling out applications. Saving money...sometimes pennies. We were accepted into Holt International's Korea program in June and will be sending off our homestudy paperwork to our local agency tomorrow! After that, we have a series of interviews and training to do before our papers can be sent to Korea for approval and a child referral.
Right now, when I think about the huge financial, mental, and emotional mountain we have in front of us, I am overwhelmed. In my human mind, I see no way we can afford this. But God is able. He has called us to this journey, and I am trusting He is leading the way. I am so excited to add another precious child to our family, and give a child a home and a family that wouldn't otherwise have one. I am thankful that God would choose us to be a part of His plan for a child's life that is across the world from here. I am humbled that I get to be the mother of yet another gift from God. And I am confident- that with God, all things are possible!!
Thank you for your prayers, support, and encouragement during this time! We will keep you updated on our progress. :)