I couldn’t help myself in having a little fun with the title of this post :). As you can imagine, I’ve told the “brief” version of our adoption story about 9 million times in the 6 weeks we’ve been home and I’ve been out and about with our newest children.
In telling our story, I’ve learned more about myself. Interesting how that works, isn’t it?
In explaining our first adoption of Emma and Micah, the explanation came easily. We had a daughter with Down syndrome, wanted to adopt, decided to adopt special needs, and headed to “the least of these” where the children wouldn’t have another way of being a part of a family since so few people were ‘into’ international special needs adoption. After all, why pay $25,000 to adopt when you can do so for free here in the US and even receive a subsidy to help with their care.
Our second adoption was of James and was also fairly easy to explain. I’d been advocating for children overseas and here a child becomes available here in our own ‘backyard’ (two hours away). Though we hadn’t been looking to grow our family quite so soon after having Lynae (she was 3 months old), we felt called to do some foot work and put our name in, knowing that we had plenty of love and that it was in God’s hands if we were ‘chosen’ to parent James or not. (In the foster system a team determines the child’s family, you don’t just “pick” a child and adopt him/her.)
Our third adoption—not quite so easy. I feel like I may as well say “I was sitting naked outside under an apple tree when a fruit plunked me on the head. I picked it up and saw that it was none other than—an apple. I knew just then that we were supposed to leave our 6 children for 8 weeks and travel around the world to bring home two more kids that are not only disabled but also older than most of our other kids.”
Of course that’s not what happened (those of you that know me couldn’t get past the “naked” word…).
I may as well say “I was running laps for my half-marathon when God showed up in the form of an armadillo and started talking to me right there in the street. He said “Meredith, I command you to raise $20,000 in the next 6 weeks and do something unheard of for me… Go adopt 2 more children from the East”. So I went to my husband who said he had a similar encounter with a squirrel and the rest was history.”
No, that’s not quite it either :).
Instead, we felt that God said “who will go” and we said “send me Lord!” And He provided, and He blessed, and He brought us signs and wonders that left NO MISTAKE that He was there with us and leading the way every step of it.
MERCY. Yes, it was mercy that brought us to Wesley. And it was LOVE that brought him and Aleksa home. And it’s a HEADACHE some days having 8 kids! And yet, I wouldn’t trade ANY of our kids in for even a week worth of good sleep :). God planned for us to drive a 15 passenger van, and I’m so glad we were able to hear that call and listen!