Saturday, January 14, 2012

Our Adoption Story ... so far

Hello friends,

How many times have I started a blog with a statement like "I can't believe it's been so long since my last post"? Too many. So let me get the apologies out of the way (I'm sorry!) and jump straight to fulfilling my promise from last year of telling you our adoption story.

Lori and I have been very blessed with three lovely daughters who are even more amazing than their names, Joy, Faith and Hope. Over the years, however, we had discussed adopting a boy to round out the family, but I had generally shot down the idea because I wasn't concerned about the "empty nest" creeping up on us. So although we had discussed it, it really wasn't something that was on the forefront of our thoughts.

Then two years ago this month, on January 12, 2010, Haiti was hit by one of the most catastrophic earthquakes in modern history. Lori and I sat transfixed to the television watching coverage of attempts to save lives and marveling at each success story. And crying together over the tremendous devastation and loss of life. Over 300,000 lives were lost and over 1,000,000 people were homeless, without hope. It was a horrific situation. We felt hopeless to help from so far away.

On Monday, January 18, our church joined with many others in participating in the online prayer service hosted by Healing Place Church in Baton Rouge that was being broadcast over the Internet. It was an amazing time of worship and prayer as Healing Place was able to connect with many national leaders and begin a systematic approach to providing tangible help for Haiti, including boots on the ground opportunities as well as strategic giving opportunities.

During our prayer time I was reminded of the story of the little boy and the starfish. It tells of a man seeing a boy throwing starfish back into the ocean that had been washed up during the high tide, believing they would die if not returned to the water. The man comments on the many miles of beach, the size of the ocean, the countless number of starfish and the smallness of the boy, essentially telling him he can't make a difference to such a big problem. In response, the boy picks up one more starfish, throws it back into the ocean and says, "I made a difference for that one." (I later found out this story was adapted from an original story by Loren Eiseley called The Star Thrower.)

That story struck a chord in me as I prayed about the countless victims of the Haiti earthquake. There was no way we could make a difference to so many. I pastor a small church in a small town in a small state. What difference could I make? But then again, was there a difference I could make to one? The faces of the many orphans flashed through my mind as I prayed through my tears to a decision.

I went to Lori and told her that if she still wanted to adopt internationally, I was in. Little did I know that during this same prayer time she had surrendered her desire to adopt on the altar. Seeing all the children in the news had rekindled her longing to adopt, but she knew I had been opposed in the past. So she told the Lord she would die to that dream and wouldn't bring it up to me again - that if the Lord wanted us to adopt, He would have to put it on my heart. We wept together as we committed to the Lord to explore the journey of adopting internationally. Little did we know how long that journey would be!

to be continued...
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