I said a while back that I would share the story of how we came to the decision to adopt from China.
It started over 10 years ago. I was working as a nurse at a dialysis clinic. One morning one of my co-workers, Liz Woodard, came in talking about a program she had seen on tv about girls in China–about how many of them are abandoned. She said that she might like to adopt a daughter from China someday after seeing that program. I though to myself, “I would like to do that, too.”
God kept this seed planted in my heart alive over the years with many little reminders. One that I remember vividly was shortly after our second son, Caleb, was born. I was very sick with mastitis and was at the doctor’s office. Tommy was working in Columbus 30 minutes away and was unable to come home. So I had called my mom to leave work to keep Eli and Caleb. As I sat in the doctor’s office I had a little pity party, “I’m aching all over. I have a 104 degree fever. And I have to take myself to the doctor.” I was very upset and trying unsuccessfully to hold back the tears. (I also was only a week or two postpartum, so I’m sure that all the hormonal stuff didn’t help me emotionally.) To distract myself I picked up a parenting magazine, and I found an article about a mother who adopted a daughter from China. As I looked at the photos of this mother and daughter, I was overwhelmed with the feeling that something bigger is going on here. I am HERE TODAY to see this article–to be reminded of that seed that God planted years before. It really is hard to describe, but I distinctly remember the feeling that I had.
Fastforward to Titus’ birth–I had always thought in the back of my mind that I would like to have three sons and then a daughter. When Titus, our third son, was born in July 2003, Tommy laughs because my response was in a humdrum tone of voice, “Oh, another boy.” I REALLY was not disappointed. It’s just that if it was a girl that would have been something new and different. But another boy–I know how to do boys. In the delivery room I did think to myself, “God gave me my three boys. Now we can adopt our daughter from China.”
Over all these years I would mention to Tommy that “We are going to adopt from China one day, right?” He never responded positively or negatively. Then around 2004, we were in a Bible class taught by our dear friend, Greg. He has a passion for helping others handle their money in a godly way, so that’s what the class was about. One Wednesday evening, Greg passed around a box of money and asked everyone to take some and use it to further God’s kingdom during the next week. It’s kind of strange, but I prayed more about what to do with my $12 more than I have ever prayed about any of the other $$ God has blessed us with over the years. After a day or two, I came to the realization that God wanted us to use this money to start our adoption fund. I told Tommy that I had an idea of what we needed to do with our money and that I was praying that God would show him the same. Well, we were babies at listening to God back then. 🙂 So the following Wed. Tommy called me from work and said, “God’s not telling me anything. So you’re going to have to tell me. ” I told him. He said that he would think about it and pray about it. That night with tears in his eyes Tommy shared with the class our decision to begin saving to adopt a daughter from China. He cried as he read the song by Steven Curtis Chapman “What Now?” (Read more about this on his Sept. 22nd post entitled “What Now?”)
This past summer some friends of ours from church, Brad and Tatum, moved down the street from us. One afternoon Tatum and the kids came over to play. As Tatum and I were sitting in our backyard watching the kids, she asked me if we were still planning to adopt. We talked about adoption for a while because Tatum also has an interest in adoption. This conversation was God’s nudging to me that “It’s time.” It’s amazing to me to think back on it! God’s timing is perfect! I had planned to wait until early 2007 to begin. If we had done that, we would not be able to adopt from China because more than likely our dossier would not be logged-in before the new China adoption requirements went into effect in May 2007. We would not be able to adopt because I have been on antidepressants for the past 6 years. Since we started when we did, our dossier will be there in plenty of time, and we will be grandfathered in under the old regulations. (At least that’s what our adoption agency understands to be true–PRAY, PRAY, PRAY!)
You never know what God’s going to do with those “casual” conversations you have throughout the day! After my conversation with Tatum, I began looking at different adoption agencies online. I found out that Bethany adoption agency was having an informational meeting on international adoption a few hours away from us at the end of Sept. We attended the meeting. And we prayed intensively over which adoption agency to use–Bethany or Lifeline. And we sent our application to Lifeline in Oct.
Before I post our adoption timeline, I want to share a story about our oldest son, Eli. About a year ago when Eli was 9, we were riding in the van when he asked me when we were going to adopt. (We have always told our boys that someday we would like to adopt.) I responded that I didn’t know and explained that it cost a lot of money that we would have to save up. Eli replied, “Well, if God wants it to happen, it will happen.” I just LOVE that boy!!
1995–Kim has conversation at work about China adoption–1st seed is planted!
2004–Tommy and Kim make the decision to adopt
Sept. 2006–Attend Bethany information meeting on internation adoption in Oxford
Oct. 15, 2006–Made decision to use Lifeline Children’s Services in Birmingham, AL
Oct. 24, 2006–Began home study with social worker at New Beginnings in Tupelo
Dec. 15, 2006–Home study complete and mailed to ICPC (Mississippi’s DHS)
Dec. 22, 2006–Home study mailed to CIS (immigration) in Metairie, LA from ICPC
Dec. 26, 2006–Home study received by CIS–the wait for approval begins
Whenever I think about my secret desire to have 3 sons and then a daughter, my mind goes back to all the years that I prayed about my husband and my children. I guess I was unusual in that I started praying daily for them when I was about 12 or 13. I have always wanted to be a wife and mother more than anything. I truly consider it my calling. This all reminds me of the following verse:
Psalm 37:4–“Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.”