It’s been a while since I wrote anything about our adoption journey. Maybe you’ve wondered where we were at since I wrote my first post.
Well, when God places a burden on your heart it doesn’t just go away. Life happened and things got busy. There were days I tried to ignore the topic, and my husband would say things like “so, where are we at with this?” Some days it is a very present reality and exciting dream, other days it’s a daunting task and terrifying endeavor. But it’s always there. A burning desire and a heart cry.
We began praying many years ago about what our role in orphan care would look like. In many ways, we are still praying the same thing. We’ve taken the initial steps and training to be certified for adoption and/or foster care through Bethany Christian Services, but are still waiting on a specific direction to go in.
Here’s what we do know:
We’re all called to care for orphans. It may look different for each of us, but we all need to do our part.
God began working on both mine and my husband’s hearts toward adoption, before either of us had even talked about it. We began comparing notes and realized we were on the same page…. isn’t it amazing when it works out like that?! Whew.
I get really excited when I hear other people talk of being at this same place in life. You know, the place where you feel God leading you somewhere, and you have no idea where but you’re just willing. I hope to always be open and willing to go where God leads. And sometimes that’s the hardest step to take. To say, I don’t have a plan here, Lord, what do you want us to do?
It’s been humbling and scary at times to share with people that we have hearts for adoption, but really no idea what that plan is. We simply share “we don’t know where God is going to take this, but we’re stepping out on faith.”
We’ve been met with all different kinds of responses. We’ve heard amazing stories and horror stories. We’ve heard stories of adoption painted in a beautiful light and sometimes gut wrenching and scary.
The bottom line is this: if our hearts are burdened with love for a child that has suffered loss or abuse, and our desire is to be obedient to the calling we’ve felt, then we have to be ready for heartache and for things not always going smooth. Adoption is not always pretty.
Many people have spoken up and shared reasons with us not to adopt because of the things that could go wrong. I’m saying to them, we know things will go wrong. But you know what? Things have and could go wrong with my own biological kids too. Those things are out of my control.
Some of the major hurdles I’ve had to overcome in my own mind, are the assumptions I assume people will make about us.
- If we adopt a child from another country, will we be judged for not adopting domestically?
- If we adopt a child of another race will be compared to Angelina Jolie and have people assume we were out to “collect” kids for fun?
- If we adopt an African American child, will the African American community frown on us?
- If we adopt an African American child, will we face racism and prejudice remarks from our own family members?
- If we adopt domestically, will be judged for not adopting internationally?
- Will our adopted child be accepted and welcomed into our family and circle of friends, or treated like an outsider?
- Since we already have 3 biological kids, will we be looked down on for adopting a 4th child?
These may sound like stupid questions, but they are legitimate fears I have. I hate knowing when people disprove of what I’m doing and even more so, I hate when people make unfair assumptions about me.
Regardless of what people think, I know that we are motivated by love and a desire to do what is right. We have no specific preference for race, gender, nationality, health or chromosome count – we just want to love on a child in need. We think we’ve got extra love to spare, and we we’re willing.
Here is something else I’ve realized:
Everyone is called to care for orphans. Not everyone is called to adopt. If you’re someone who does not feel called to adopt, you can still care for orphans!
I’ve really struggled with the thought of raising support for our adoption or asking for money in anyway. Until I realized, there are people out there that want to give towards orphan care but don’t feel called to adopt. If we step back and expand the term “orphan” to include kids in single parent homes or kids with unstable home situations, there are lots of ways to get involved, even if you don’t feel called to adopt:
- Support other families that are adopting by coming along side them in prayer, encouraging words and any other assistance they may need.
- Support other families that are adopting by helping with their financial needs.
- Get involved in the life of a child that has absent parents. It could be for many reasons. Maybe the parents both work full-time and could use extra help. Maybe there is only one parent in the home that works full-time and the other parent is never present.
- Sponsor a child through a ministry like Compassion International.
- Are you in a position where you regularly come in contact with kids? Show them love and be a good role model.
- Become a foster parent.
- Look into providing a temporary safe home for kids.
And now, here’s how you can help us!!!!
Every purchase made in our store will go towards the Lemp Orphan Care Fund. We will be using this money to continue our own adoption efforts as well as other orphan care opportunities we’re personally connected with.
You can also make separate donations if you feel led to give outside of a purchase.
You can start by visiting the shop!