Can I make a confession? One that I’m ashamed of and not at all proud to admit…especially publicly to all of you who I have (mostly) never met and possibly never will meet? My heart used to be totally and completely closed off to everyone and everything outside of the United States.
The only time that I might would even think about the world outside of the US was when someone mentioned either a) a cruise to a tropical island; b) a grand trip to somewhere like Paris; or c) mentioned somewhere that Jesus and his disciples walked. Otherwise, the world away from me and my little “bubble” didn’t really exist.
Then I married into the military and that bubble began to grow. I was away from that sheltered little conservative town that I grew up in in Alabama and started to slowly, but surely, see the world. Things were nothing like what I expected them to be…people were hurting.
My heart has been wrecked in the last year+. In really big, BIG ways. For the first time ever in my life, my eyes have been opened to the hurt and the pain and the suffering that is out there. Part of me, back a few weeks ago when the Powerball lottery was 1 billion dollars, wanted so badly to hit it so that I could use the money to right so many of the wrongs in the world and donate to the charities that are out there making a huge difference in ending the hurts out there. But, when I didn’t win and my husband and I both had to get up the next day and go to work, God reminded me that he never intended for this life to be easy and that winning tons of money wasn’t the answer to fixing the problems in the world. And not only that, those problems and that hurt isn’t mine to fix.
That didn’t stop God from rocking our little world though.
Josh and I had made the choice before we ever had Noah to adopt at some point. We both had a heart for those little ones lacking a family and knew that some day, we’d bring home children that were born of our heart rather than our bodies. And that was a-okay with us. We would have our biological children and then when they were older (think like junior high+) we would potentially begin the adoption process. All would be right, our lives wouldn’t be “interrupted” and things would move right along the path that we had created for ourselves.
Enter 2015 and God rocked our world. During what was probably the darkest year in our lives, God began the process of allowing both of us to die to ourselves so that He could build us back up to put us on the path that he wanted us on. That left Josh and I both wrecked, crumbled, broken and then glued back together with Christ. And it has been one hell of a journey. But, it’s gotten us where we are today and I wouldn’t undo that for anything.
We decided in November that we were adopting. We filled out the paperwork through a local agency, told our boys, and started walking the road to bring our baby home. We were falling in love with a child that we had never seen and didn’t even know the gender of. It’s amazing what God can do to the human heart in a short amount of time.
The first week of this month, God showed up to wreck my world once again…in the best way possible.
I have this habit of buying books when they are on sale. If it’s even remotely something that I think that I will read, I pick it up when it’s on the $5 shelf at Lifeway (I mean, why not buy a $5 book instead of a $20 book, am I right?). One day months and months and months ago, I had picked up a copy of Kisses from Katie that was on the $5 shelf. I’d heard of it, but never read it. Always one to know what the “hype” is about when it comes to books, I figured I’d get around to reading it eventually.
When I got ready to leave to go to Texas to attend IF:Gathering, I knew that I wanted something that was a “light” read. Something that didn’t require that I take notes or even highlight. Just a read for pleasure type thing. So, I picked this book up and threw it in my carry on. Y’all…I read all but 30 pages in the two flights from North Carolina to Austin, Texas. I cried. Like, really cried as I sat on the plane soaking in every single word of this girls story. For the first time in my life, my eyes and my heart were beginning to open to what was going on outside of my little world.
Our family sponsors eight children through Compassion International, so I somewhat “knew” that there was all of that heartache and pain and desolation in the world. The photos of those sweet children (seven boys, and one girl) hang on our refrigerator and we pray for them daily. Something though, about hearing about this lifestyle from Katie in her book, reading her first-hand experiences of living there among those people and following her journey of faithfulness allowed something inside me to break.
It was not coincidence that on of the days at the 2016 IF:Gathering, this video played…
That we had a son waiting for us in Uganda.
As of this moment, our family is officially on the path to adopting from Uganda. My heart is so incredibly full and I am so indescribably in love with a country and a child that I have never step foot in and that I have never met. There are no words for the things that I feel in my heart right now. I have listened to Trust in You by Lauren Daigle on repeat the last few days as I have prayed wholeheartedly about writing this post. There is so much to adopting from Uganda and the step here is larger than I have ever even imagined.
I feel like I am standing on the edge of a cliff with God telling me to jump and just trust Him to catch me. So that’s what we are doing. We are stepping out…praying our way to Africa and back…and anticipating the day that we bring our little boy home.
We would love YOUR participation and your help! From now till whenever we bring our son home, we will be selling these t-shirts as one way to raise the funds! We are placing our first order on Friday, March 4. If you would like to receive one in the first round of orders, please let me know! After that I will be listing them in the shop!
We appreciate your prayers and your thoughts with us as we brave this crazy journey!
Images used here via Amazima Ministries.