Thursday, September 11, 2014

Orphan Ministry and next steps. . .

Orphan Ministry. . .how do you define such a thing? I don't know that you do. You might start off trying to define what it means to you but then it just grips you. God opens your eyes and peels back your heart. You no longer have much choice. . .you just move out of love and compassion.

Our journey with orphan care started out of infertility and not passion. It started as self care. That is a harsh but true statement. Oh, we were interested and compassionate about the plight of the children  but only to a certain degree. Then God brought two little boys into our lives. We were young and naive. They were traumatized and in many ways broken by the many hard places they had been. Their family failed them and then foster home after foster home failed them. Honestly, it was six years later before we came up for breath. It was that hard. One day we realized that we had breath and stated out loud how wonderful it was. But God saw hands that were about to relax and He said no.

It was time for the next part of the journey. But as I said, we were content and had no need. But He told us as clearly as writing on the wall that we had a daughter in China. What could we do but go get her. The Lord God had already pronounced her on loan to us. And the second journey began. We paper chased for a year. But then one day a FedEx envelope appeared at our doorstep with a picture of our baby girl. I cannot say it was instant love but it was as if I had always known her. This child that I had prayed for over the past year was already there with me in many ways. So we anxiously jumped on a plane for the long flight and brought home our daughter.  She has been a joy and delight. Finally, our family is complete.

Fast forward seven years. God opened our eyes to even a deeper level to the plight of the orphan and His heart for these children. Specifically, the many children that are forever orphans without families many of which are trafficked. So we began advocacy and began to really get involved in other families who foster and adopt. We even licensed to foster parent. But we felt like God clearly said "no, this is not where I want you." That took some time and prayer to digest and understand.

So we settled back. . .what next Lord? He began talking to us about "living life for eternity" and living "hands wide open".  These terms are still proving hard to grasp. After all, only our Savior could truly master that.  Meanwhile, we tried making plans for the next steps in our life but doors keep getting closed. While I am so thankful to not be allowed to go in the wrong direction, those doors are starting to get a bit bothersome even painful at times.  Yet at the same time it is clear to see God is up to something. He is preparing us for something. Both my husband and I are fully aware of this but what?

To my surprise, discussions from the most unlikely of places started surfacing about adopting again from China. But this time an older girl (in China they age out at 14). What???? Since we decided long ago that we were too old, too poor, too tired, etc to adopt again and that we would never adopt an older child. . .where did this come from? Hum? It is overwhelming and it will take a HUGE step of faith. Financially, we are not at a point to do this. God will have to provide it ALL. We have seen Him do that before but yet it feels more daunting now than ever. We covet your prayers. I jokingly said a few months back as I watched others do adoption fundraising that I would go back in a heartbeat if someone handed me a $30,000 check (that is how much it cost roughly). Um well, I think God is testing me on this but without the $30,000 check.

I have no idea what. . .if. . .when. . .etc.  We need desperately to see God's hand. There is nothing our God cannot do. We are sure of that. Prayerfully, we can be fully willing to do whatever He ask of us. Even if that is to prepare pile upon pile of documents, travel across the World, fund-raise tirelessly, parent patiently a little girl who has spent too many years as an orphan already. Again your prayers are greatly coveted. Please pray that we see God's plan more clearly, that He provides provisions and resources if we are to move forward, and that we will be His willing servant.

In order to help us take the first leap of faith,  would you consider purchasing a piece of the puzzle?If so, go to the next blog entry. . .Be a piece of the puzzle!

Thank you so much!