Walking by faith is easy when troubles are merely troublesome.
When lives are threatened, pain cripples, and the stakes are high the rubber meets the road, and our faith is tested for authenticity and depth.
The past two weeks reminded me of this. We have fallen madly in love with our 10 week old baby boy. Since we took him home from the hospital he has become our son. Adoptions can take unexpected turns. Such was the case shortly after the birth, when the previously stated “unknown” father became a named person, and we were told that he was upset over the adopting out of his son. This news demanded that we seek this person out and contact him, whatever the outcome would be.
So, two weeks ago we contacted our adoption lawyer, blowing it open and sending the process to a skid, knowing that once the attorney was involved, we would have to follow through with whatever we were advised to do. We had little to no information on him – where he lived, and I only knew his name because I had made it a point to remember it when the birth mom mentioned it in passing. Our attorney confirmed that the birth father would need to be contacted and given a written notice of the birth, which would commence a 30 day period for him to contest the adoption and attempt to prove paternity and obtain custody.
It turned out that the birth father was newly in jail (typical of these kinds of situations), and we wrote to him, telling of who we were, how much we love the baby, and that we respect that he could be the father. He wrote back to us that he was shocked, having been told the baby had died at birth. He also said that he would have taken care of his son, but since he was unable to, he was glad that the baby was with a loving family.
Now I have to say a word about my attorney. He has assisted in all 3 of our adoptions. When we started the process of adopting Arianna we found him in the yellow pages all those years ago. The yellow pages! And he lives in Orange County – not even San Diego. This is how “of God” it was: He totally loves Jesus and is a man of faith, encourages us in the Lord, and sees the spiritual side of everything. He told me that he would make a trip down to the jail to meet the birth father, and serve the notice personally. He also brought a waiver with him, in case he would waive his rights to the baby and approve the adoption. He requested pictures of us to bring to him, and told me to hire a notary to be present, just in case.
That morning, around the time that I knew our attorney was to arrive at the jail, I took my son to the nursery in the downstairs of the church, put him in a swing, and got down onto the floor and prayed. And prayed. My attorney contacted me about 2 hours into the praying, and his words were, “We just had church in jail”. He told me how he told the birth father about us, shared our pictures and our letter, and shared his faith in Christ with him as well. The two of them prayed together and the birth father asked to receive Christ. As if that was not enough in itself, after hearing about us, reading our letters, and seeing our pictures, he signed the waiver, approving the adoption. We have promised a paternity test at a later date, so we can all know for sure, and supply him with pictures and updates as the baby grows.
In every adoption we have done, it has never been just about receiving a baby. WE see a baby coming. That’s the main focus. But God has a much bigger vision and his plan involves so much more than we can see. God cares about the others involved. He wants to reach people. He wants to reach people through us. He wants us to show His love to others. He wants us to adopt children and make them ours, just like He has adopted us and made us His.
Going through scary things like this are uncomfortable, and stretch us. They test our faith, we experience doubts and emotions that we would rather not experience. But God is in charge, doing exactly as He intends. I must have told myself 100 times last week that this endeavor – this bringing of a son – was 100% God’s deal- He did it all; we did nothing to make this happen – and our place is to walk through the process day by day, and trust. I also go back to May, when I felt very strongly a child was being sent to us. God keeps His promises. He told me He was sending a child – and He did. We are on the sidelines watching it all unfold – in awe.
I know there are times coming when things will not go the way that we hope, in yet to be seen areas of life. We will experience defeat and even death in this life. May we glorify God through the good and the bad, and point others towards Him in all circumstances. He is good. He is real. He is working on our behalf, and He is passionate about reaching His children. I am humbled that He uses us – that He uses me. I know just how ineffective and feeble I am. But He uses me anyway. And He answers my prayers. He heard my prayers and sent me a son. No adoption agency, no signing up – just prayers and He did the rest. When I look at my baby I am in awe.
REALLY – WHO GETS A PHONE CALL OUT OF NOWHERE ASKING IF THEY WOULD LIKE A BABY???
That’s happened to us THREE TIMES. Our “adoption agency” is 100% PRAYER. We are aided by our yellow page attorney who happens to love Jesus!
I prayed for a daughter – He sent us two. I prayed for a son – He sent us this new baby. Thankful. So thankful.