Sunday, November 22, 2015

One Year Reflection

This week we've been remembering a lot of “on this day” moments, as Micah was born a year ago Wednesday, kicking off our 3-week journey to bringing him home. The journey to adopting Micah and his first year of life have changed us so much. To say that this year has been easy would be completely false. To say that our hearts are fuller today than we ever could have imagined would be absolutely true.

As we've reflected on Micah's birth week, I feel like we'd be missing something without pausing to look back at the beautiful story God wrote in bringing Micah into our family. If you are a new reader and aren't familiar with our adoption journey, feel free to read through our blog archives, but in short, parenting three small ones under the age of 5 has been the wildest ride of our lives, a ride we didn't expect when we were newly married with dreams and aspirations and all those lofty goals “they” say you're supposed to aspire to in life. In the summer of 2012 when our first son was just 14 months old, God asked us to redirect our individual pursuits and focus our family on His call to adoption. And now here we are, somehow finding ourselves closing out 2015 with three beautiful, active, vibrant little lives looking to us as Mommy and Daddy.

Some of my favorite verses from childhood are Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and don't depend on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.” These verses capture exactly what God taught us in the road to Micah. So, for my own sake of remembering and re-applying, here are some of the big “trust lessons” we've had in the past few years.

First, we learned (over and over) that our own understanding is not dependable. After hearing a clear call from God to pursue adoption, we (I) expected God wanted us to hurry through paperwork, buckle down and work our hardest at fundraising, and spend every ounce of energy to bring our new little one home. One “Um...surprise?!” pregnancy test a couple months later quickly sent all hurry and energy out the window as morning sickness jumped back in the door, and just as we finally finished our home study we welcomed Zoe Grace into the world with all her fiery vigor. At the time, I definitely felt disappointed to have to put the brakes on “our” adoption plans. But it is so sweet to look back now and realize that God was very much at work during our year of delay and had the timing fully under control (of course). As one wise adoptive mom encouraged me in our waiting, God knew just which child would call us Mommy and Daddy—and as it turned out that child wasn't even conceived yet in all the months we spent trying to hurry. Also, shortly before Zoe's birth, I was able to help our best friends fly through adoption paperwork and a family profile in just a couple hours (that had taken us a few months) as they received unexpected news they would be adopting a sweet baby boy in just 5 weeks. I was also able to seemlessly transition to nursing Micah as I weaned Zoe. I don't know if I would have considered adoptive breastfeeding had I not already been nursing a child. Through each of these, God just made us smile at our terrible lack of understanding of His timing.

Also, we learned how to trust God more than ever before. From financial provision to travel plans to health concerns, we had many occasions for worry and anxiety. With so many concerns weighing on us, Daniel and I began having deliberate nightly prayer together during the months before adopting Micah, a practice we still try to maintain now. We grabbed on to Philippians 4:6 and reminded ourselves often, “Don't worry; instead, pray about everything!” We had expected to raise most of our funds through extra design and development freelancing, but after Zoe's pregnancy zapped my energy, we were left having to trust that God had a better plan for financial provision. Just a week before our profile was presented to Micah's birth mom, we (God) sold our small rental house for about the exact amount we needed to complete our adoption fund. In the weeks leading up to Micah's birth, we learned of potential health concerns we might face at his birth. However, after 9 days of sitting with him 16 hours a day in a tiny room so he could be observed, he was discharged healthy on Thanksgiving Day. What a day of rejoicing that was!

Looking back, we can't help but praise God for His goodness, faithfulness, and unexpected blessings. And, as we move forward, we trust that God will continue to direct our paths as we seek Him. While we're a bit weary with three littles (ok, a lot weary) and would welcome a short reprieve from diapers and sleepless nights, we also have a deep passion to follow God into adoption again and are placing our trust in His leading in the future. We can't wait to see what unexpected journey He has for us next!

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The Birthday Boy!

He really liked his cake, and his diggers

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