Monday, July 15, 2013

Adoption Update - Faith Means Getting In - 7.15.2013

When asked for the definition of faith recently, my husband was given several vivid illustrations of what it means to really “believe”.  It was through this revelation that the Lord drew him unto true salvation.  One of the examples of true, biblical, active faith was described to him in this anecdote:

Picture a circus tent, with thousands in the stands watching a high wire act.  The wire is stretched across two towers 50ft in the air.  The performer climbs one of the towers and rallies the crowd, “Raise your hand if you believe I can walk across this wire without falling.”  Everyone in the audience raised their hand.  The performer takes a few steps across the wire and covers his eyes dramatically challenging, “Raise your hand if you believe I can walk across it blindfolded.”  The crowd cheers and raises their hands again.  The performer then carts a wheelbarrow up the tower stairs and says, “Raise your hand if you believe I can walk across the wire blindfolded while pushing this wheelbarrow.”  The crowd cheers again, raising their hands and shouting, “You can do it! We believe in you!”  Then, the performer looks out in to the audience and asks, “Who’s willing to get in the wheelbarrow?”

In the book of Hebrews, faith is described as “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”  In other words, we have to believe God’s promises enough to take action, enough to sacrifice, or enough to get in the wheelbarrow.

I love how God works…always in the details, and yet with a greater plan than we can even imagine.  Last month when the 4-page list of this season’s Foster Parent Training classes came in I folded it up and set it aside (rather than throwing it out immediately like I did the last 5 times we received it over the last 2 years), with no purpose (of my own) at all. 

Last week, when our caseworker came for our annual fire inspection, she hardly stepped foot in the door before laying out the same proposition she had suggested on her visit a month ago…and the time before that.  “I’d really like to change your license to legal risk.”  Every time before this I had recoiled at the thought, I had stood firm and refused.  “We can’t do that to Tessie.  We can’t handle that emotionally.  We can’t take that risk. We want adoption only…”

But, this time when she suggested it, I had found my heart softened to the idea.  I listened to her reasoning and asked a lot of questions.  She said we would need three additional classes and then she could change it over and get working on a placement right away.  She asked me to talk it over with my husband and get back to her on Monday.  When I presented it to Charlie he was surprisingly receptive to it and said he would seek God’s will in the matter and give me a solid answer by Monday morning.  Sunday we had unexpected visitors at church. They had travelled over 50 miles to come to the service, had a large beautiful family...and 5 adopted children.  The parents were gracious enough to answer every question I bombarded them with during our brief lunch visit.  One of the first things they advocated was opening our home to legal risk or foster-to-adopt.  I knew God had brought them in to our life at this exact moment for encouragement and comfort.  Their experience was invaluable.  I couldn’t wait to tell my husband all the new information.  But, before I was able to relay any of the counsel I had received from our new God-given mentors, Charlie turned to me in the midst of a busy family gathering that afternoon and said, “We have to do the legal risk. It’s what God wants.”    Yay!!! And yikes!!  Although the Lord has taken us on many surprising twists during our journey, we had stayed in the “safe zone”. Our trust was still in the system.  A “straight adoption” meant no risk –the birth parent’s rights have been terminated and the children are legal orphans.   An LR Placement means it is “likely” that the parent’s rights will be terminated (hopefully soon), but there are no guarantees.  They will place the children in our home with the intent to adopt, but family members can still come forward to “claim” the children until finalization (which is another unknown).    God has given us a surprising sense of peace about this and we have come to understand that there are no guarantees in life…and any hope of one (adoption safe zone) is just an illusion anyway.   We understand the risk.  We could get “attatched” to children, and they could go “home”.  We could get our heart broken in a “loss”.  We could get our hopes up and be disappointed.  We could also help to heal hurting hearts.    We could provide safety and consistency to those who have never known it.  We could die to self and give love unconditionally.  We could share God’s word.  We could teach our daughter to give, obey, and love without any expectation of reward.  We could trust whole-heartedly in God’s plan and God’s provision.  And we could bring glory to Him through this test of faith.

We believe the Lord has asked us to “get in the wheelbarrow” as we pursue a legal risk license.  He has not revealed what His plan is in this yet, but only that He is asking us to do it in faith.   We know that Charlie's faith is new and my faith is small, but we're want to see mountains moved for God's glory, so we're getting in.

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” –Hebrews 11:1


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