For us adoption is something we have always considered. I remember talking to Justin about it before we were married. Our stance was always that we were open and would be obedient if God ever called us to adopt. Believe me we have a list of reasons why we shouldn't adopt. We don't have all the money needed to fund our adoption. We have two young children at home who require all of our attention. We don't want to wait a year or more to bring our baby home. We worry about how a transracial adoption will be accepted in our small town. The list goes on and on. We all have reasons why we "can't" do what God calls us to do.
Phillipians 4:13 has always been one of my favorite verses. "I can do all things through Him who gives me strength." Every time I doubt that I will be able to do what God is calling me to do He reminds me of this verse. He reminds me that I can't, but He can if I will just allow Him the opportunity.
I was looking back in my notes from the Adoption for Life conference we attended back in February. One of the speakers, Jed Medifind, said, " The world's pain will always overwhelm your sense of obligation and enthusiasm. Guilt, duty, and enthusiasm have a place, but they are not enough. We love because He first loved us." It is not enough for me to say I love the orphans. For me one way to show God's love is to adopt one of His children. After all, He adopted me as one of His.
I am not saying that I think everyone should adopt. I just know that this is what the Lord is calling us to do. This is just one of the ways we can "love one another."
When we first started seriously thinking about adoption we had no idea where to adopt from. I for one was overwhelmed with the needs of the world. We went to the conference praying that God would show us what country he was leading us to. At this point we were pretty sure that we would adopt internationally. We wanted to know what nation to adopt from and what agency to use. The conference was only 2 days, but we were praying that God would reveal to us during that time where to go.
We met a lot of people who had either recently adopted or were in the process of adopting from Ethiopia. During the last session of the conference I looked at Justin and said, "I think our baby is in Africa." He looked right at me and said, "I do too." We left the conference with the intentions of adopting from Ethiopia. We were able to have breakfast with a couple who had adopted from Ethiopia using All God's Children International. We were able to learn a lot more about the agency and the Ethiopia program.
When we got home I contacted AGCI and filled out a pre application. We were told by the agency that we qualified to adopt from Ethiopia or Rwanda. Now, Rwanda had never even crossed my mind. I didn't know anyone who had adopted from there or that they even allowed adoptions. We found out that the Rwanda program is new to AGCI. No children from Rwanda have been adopted through AGCI, yet. In fact only 16 children were adopted from the entire country last year. We found out that there are an estimated 1 million orphans in Rwanda, so obviously there is a need. We prayed about it and we now know that our little girl is in Rwanda. There are pros and cons of adopting from a country that is new to adoption. We have been told over and over again "to be flexible." There are so many unknowns. This is not always easy for someone like me who likes to have a plan and hates surprises. That is not really a bad thing, though. It makes me rely on my heavenly Father and He knows everything. My prayer is that He receives all the glory through our journey.