• Here’s Your Sign!

    Date: 2014.03.08 | Category: Adoption | Tags:

    Many of you have probably seen the Bill Engvall stand-up comedy routine with the line “Here’s your sign!”.   Well, my last two days have been full of signs, but these signs were from God.  I believe God has a sense of humor and I certainly felt like He was doing His own routine with me. “Here’s your sign, Lisa!”

    Now you may or may not believe that God talks to people through other people’s words.   You may or may not believe that God cares about the smallest of details, but I do.  If you don’t believe in God, then you would just dismiss these as coincidences.  I, however, call them God-cidences and many others call them God winks.  God is definitely in the details, even the smallest of details.  If you pay attention, you just might be surprised at what you hear.  “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” – John 10:27

    My last blog post was all about being convicted.  Jasmine and Grace have been praying hard that our hearts would be open to adopting more children.  Jasmine especially wants to adopt girls that are about to age out, just as she was.  She has prayed over and over again that we would adopt six more sisters.

    If you had asked me if I could handle this four months ago, I would have most likely said no.  But now that we are past the six month point and finding our new normal, my answer would be yes.  Life is busy, but very nice. Evie and Eli play so well together.  Ben and Maisey are best friends.  All the littles play together well and try hard to get Lainey to come out of her shell and play.  The middles have settled in nicely with school and being more responsible for chores.  Cassie has been a huge help with taking a night shift or two with Lainey.  Cassie even watches the kids for four hours so Dan and I can have our weekly dates. Zach is soon to wed his sweetheart, Steph, whom the kids love.  It’s a darn good life, if I do say so myself.

    Because of this new found normal, Dan and I started to pray and really take to heart what Jasmine was asking us.  We made a list of what we thought we could handle. The list included: 1.) A girl who was about to age out . 2.) Someone who just needed a break to be able to succeed. 3.) Someone who understood what family meant.  4.) Someone who really wanted a family.  5.) Someone who was kind and loved children.  6.) Someone who needed a surgery that they could get here.  7.) Someone who was open to coming to the U.S.  8.) Someone that others had met and could let us know first hand that the above information was true.  and 9.) Someone who knows some English.

    We decided to pray about it some more and not actively start to look.  It is really hard on your heart to see so many children that just need a family.  We talked to everyone in the family and all were on board.  My mother-in-law stated that she had a real peace about the whole thing.  She said she had seen God work in our lives during the past three years and if He was leading us to it then she was on board.

    Later that night, I was up with Lainey.  She often wakes up every hour, but it is unusual for her to want to stay up and play. It was 2 a.m. and she had no desire to go back to sleep.  I sat beside her while she played and got my phone out to just waste time.  On Facebook I saw a little girl named Kelly she was being advocated for by Lifeline and a site I had never seen before.

    Now I have seen lots of aging out boys over the past few months and many, many, many cute toddlers, but I have not seen very many, if any, aging out girls.  I read her story and it moved me to tears just as Jasmine’s did over a year ago.  I wrote down Kelly’s information.  I noticed who I would have to contact in the morning and I prayed some more.  Later, at closer to 4 a.m. as I was begging Lainey to please go to sleep, I noticed that someone had commented on a shared post about another girl.  I read about this girl and cried too.

    I started to think about what the odds where that I would read about both these girls and that both these girls fit all 9 of the criteria we had agreed upon.  I copied their information in an e-mail and sent it off to my husband to read in the morning.  In that e-mail I asked him to look at these two girls and let me know what he thought.  In the morning, the e-mail I got back had three little words on it —-  “Sign me up!”

    I started to contemplate what that would mean.  The both age out quickly, one in August and one in October.  Could we do this?  I know God had shown me miracle after miracle last year, but could it happen again?  I was afraid to get my hopes up.  I sent out the emails to ask questions about the girls.  I sent out emails talking to my social worker about the home study and to our agency to ask them if they thought it was feasible at all.  I heard back, “It would take a miracle and everything would have to go perfectly, but it is possible.”

    I started to think, “Who has 18 kids?”  I mean I tell people we have 12 kids and they look at me as if I have two heads.  I spent a lot of time that morning thinking about how many people I knew that had over 12 children.  I know lots of families with 10, 11 and 12 children, but only one family with 18.  I wrote this post on Facebook that same day.

    God has the biggest sense of humor. If you missed my blog or Jasmine’s video, you may not have heard that we (our whole family) feels as if God isn’t done with us in regard to adopting. Jasmine & Gracie asked for six more sisters. We have been praying about it. My thought is who really has 18 kids? That is a really big family. I know of one family, who I deeply respect who has 18 kids and I love following their story, but I haven’t heard of very many more though. Since writing my blog, I have come across 3 other families with 18 children. Today I dropped off my car at the dealership because the emission light came on. Normally I would walk home because it’s only 2 miles, but it is cold and I just didn’t feel like it. The gentlemen who drove me home asked what I did for a living. I said, “A stay-at-home mom”. He asked how many kids we have and we proceeded to talk. He told me his wife was one of 17 children. He went on to say how blessed they were and how wonderful it was to gather together. He also told me about friends of theirs who have 20 children. Ok. Ok. Ok God. I get it. It can be done!

    Dan and I decided to take the night and pray about it some more.  We would sleep on it and talk in the morning.  I woke up thinking, “God, I just want an answer.  I want to know that this is the right thing to do for our family.  I wanted clarity.  I went to talk to Dan, not any clearer than I was the night before.

    We started to talk about this in his office downstairs so we wouldn’t be interrupted.  The word that kept coming up over and over again was complicated.  We watched God unfold in amazing ways last year.  We were both talking about whether or not God was asking us to step out in faith again.  To trust that He could make it happen.  I walked up the stairs thinking “I wish God could just text me and tell me what to do.”  I would willing step out in faith and follow Him anywhere.  I just want to know that what I am doing is right for our family and this is truly what He is calling us to do.

    I took a minute to myself.  I decided to check Facebook and just let my mind wander for a bit.  The daughter of a friend of mine wrote a message to me and posted it on my timeline.  This is a girl I barely know.  I’ve met her a few times in her life, but I don’t know her all that well.  This is what it said, “I read this prayer this morning and thought of your sweet family.  “Lord, complicate my life.”  Complications from the Lord require the biggest miracles, which require the biggest prayers, which requires the greatest faith.  All of these things also come with the greatest blessings and your family has been filled with a house full of blessings.  Blessings that would have been missed out on if you hadn’t been willing to allow God to complicate!  Thanks for letting us be a part of your prayers and miracles.”

    I took a moment to tell her that it really touched my heart and then later I went back and explained a little of the above.  She then told me that she typed and erased this post numerous times because she felt funny saying it to me.  I am so happy she listened to God’s prompting.

    I ran straight back down and showed Dan.  I laughed about God and His handing me a sign.  I wondered when I would stop questioning.  Would I always doubt?  How many more times did He have to show Himself faithful?  But then I thought it wasn’t that I didn’t believe God could do this, I just wasn’t sure we should be doing it.  I know what the world is going to say.  I have had people tell me this is irresponsible, which I find humorous.  I can guarantee you we are not entering into any of this lightly.  Because the truth is it is irresponsible not to listen to God when you know He is asking you to do something.

    Which leads me to my last sign.  Our car was finished late in the afternoon on Friday.  I wasn’t sure Cassie and Zach would be home before the shop closed at 6 so I called the dealership and asked them to come pick me up.  The girl informed me that both drivers were out and she would let me know if they could do it or not.  About five minutes later, there was a red pick-up in my drive.  She called and I ran out to get in the truck.   I asked her why she didn’t call or wait for the other drivers.  She informed me that it was so nice out and we lived so close, she just decided to take the boss’ truck and come pick me up.  She noticed the bus and laughed about our owning a bus.  I told her that we have 12 children, two in wheelchairs, and were hoping to adopt more.  She turned to me and said, “I am adopted too.  It’s a good thing that you are doing.”   It was then that I really paid attention to her beautiful Russian accent.   I smiled and told her we have been so blessed.  She then informed me…..(wait for it)…..that she was almost 14 and adopted from Russia.   She told me that she was one of the “experiments” of adopting older children from Russia 17 years ago.  She loves her parents.  She loves her life.  She was very, very happy.  We talked about the hardships of being almost an adult and adopted, but how worth it is was. I asked her how often she goes out to pick people up.  She informed me not very often at all.  I thanked her for sharing her story with me.

    As I have said before, Dan and I have read a lot on the subject.  We have talked to people who have had problems.  We have done as much information digging as we can. We were once the parents who were too fearful to proceed because of all the horror stories that you hear, BUT Jasmine’s adoption has turned out to be such a beautiful thing.  All those worries were for naught.   We are prepared to do this again and find out as much information as we can about the child to know that the adoption will be a good fit for our family, because when it works it truly is a beautiful thing.

    For now, we are praying about it this weekend.  If you are a praying person, please pray for clarity for Dan and I.   As for the kids, they have taken their “we can help you so you can adopt” campaign to new levels.  Here they are doing the dishes.

    Clean 2

    It’s a team effort folks.  There’s nothing these guys won’t stoop to even scrubbing the floor.  🙂

    kids clean

    I love their hearts.  They want to share their room, their toys, their clothes, their parents time and their attention.  They purposely do all the can to help.

    I love my husband for his huge heart.  He is truly my soul mate.  He is so moved by these little girls too.  I am so happy I followed his lead all those years ago about adoption.  It was me that was hesitant.  He was the one who saw Hope and fell in love despite all the protests from his work colleagues.  He has the biggest heart and I am blessed to have been married to him for 29 years.

    I truly am blessed to have been able to step out of my comfort zone and complicate my life.  God has shown himself faithful in so many ways.    I am blessed beyond measure and filled with joy because I stepped out in faith and followed God’s lead.  Wouldn’t you want to have a front row seat to that again? I believe if we decide to proceed, that God will make a way.  I truly do.  He has provided in the most amazing ways over the years.  If we proceed and this works, all the glory will go to the Lord!

    Please pray for these two girls.  I do hope that they will find a family.  Life for a child with disabilities in China is very, very hard.  I pray that they will have the love and protection of a family that will allow them to become all that they can be.