Monday, August 16, 2010

Our Testimony

First off, I wanted to say thank you for thinking about us today. Our son had a great first day (at least from his viewpoint) of preschool. He excitedly told me all about what he did, what he ate for lunch, etc. He was WIRED by the time we got home. I will try to remember to tell you a little more about our afternoon together (after school) tomorrow. For tonight, I am wiped out so I am cheating a little bit on this entry.

Recently our church children's director asked for our testimony about why we chose to adopt. We have some families at our church who have just adopted or are adopting. The director asked for a short article to share in our children's ministry newsletter. Because of some miscommunication, I received the request the day before it was due. It also happened to be the week of swimming lessons. I thought I would share this tonight since I am too tired to think of anything new and original. :) Forgive any errors. I really had less than 24 hours to type it up. (The newsletter showed up in our mailbox like two days later, story intact.) On a side note, some adoptive parents don't like questions about the adoption. I really don't mind, though it seems to bother our daughter if anyone asks in front of her (I try to be subtle :). If you do ever wonder about the adoption process, just leave a comment and ask. :)

"Why did you choose to adopt?"

We get this question often.

I never quite know what to say, so I always just shrug my shoulders and say, "It is a God thing."

In the summer of 2005, we were a family of four. We had a son and a daughter. I often heard that we had the "ideal family" (a boy and a girl). In my mind, our family was complete. Yet that summer, a series of events changed our hearts and our minds. I stumbled upon an adoption waiting list website. Our church went on a mission trip to Mexico and came back with many pictures from an orphanage there. One day in extended session, we had the privilege of speaking with one of the children who was adopted; we quickly saw how her life had been changed. A seed was planted in my heart.

After seeing the photos from the Mexico mission trip, I was positive we needed to adopt from Mexico. I stayed up late at night researching adoption in Mexico only to discover it is very difficult and very challenging and often unsuccessful. I was positive that was what we were supposed to do. One night I went to bed and just prayed to God, "Please change my heart or change my mind!" The next day when I awoke, I returned to that adoption photolisting and decided to look at Guatemala which was at that time open to adoption. I am almost positive our daughter's picture was the first picture I saw. My heart was changed. After much prayer and discussion, we decided to pursue international adoption. Though we were sure that our opportunity to adopt our daughter was slim (since hadn't done a lick of paperwork at that point), God again, as He did MANY times throughout our process, demonstrated His faithfulness and love when we accepted her referral a short time later.

It would take days to share all we learned throughout the adoption process. We came to rely on God in a completely new way. We learned more than ever that God is in control as we watched paperwork get bounced around the government bureaucracy in both countries. We felt the power of prayer through the prayers of our church body, family, and friends. We were able to share God's faithfulness through our family blog. Our life verse, Proverbs 3:5-6, was uttered and recited many times throughout our process.

In August 2006, we traveled to Guatemala to bring our daughter home as our new daughter and a new American citizen. A year and a half later, we returned to Guatemala for a special Christmas gift...our new son.

Parenting adopted children has not always been easy (nothing about parenting is easy!); it presents unique challenges to us as parents. However, Mark has often said, "We did not bring these children home to love us but for us to love them." I am reminded daily who WE are as adopted children of God through the lives of my own children. And we are thankful for the gifts we have been blessed with, because children are truly a heritage from the Lord.

More later,

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing! It's funny to me now, because I never think of Maria and Joshua as adopted. They're just Cloud's!


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