Monday, November 9, 2009

How it all started...

Well, here we go! A blog just to document this amazing, crazy, completely humbling adventure that God has just begun with us.... International Adoption.

Let me start at the beginning...I apologize for the epic sized post but there's been a lot happening!

Two years ago (2007) our lives started becoming intertwined with Mexico. Chad, a missionary our church decided to support, came to speak to our congregation. This spurred interest in the young men of our church to go to Mexico to help Chad build a ministry base house. I volunteered to plan the trip, which was totally foreign to me. I learned a ton about researching, about Mexico, about international travel and laws... and in the process started to fall in love with this country. Brent traveled to Mexico on that trip and loved it. I fought with some jealousy with not being able to go, but over time, God helped me get over it.

Then, two years later, in June of 2009, they returned to Mexico. Their trip this time was not as physical, but much more outreach and relational. This had a huge impact on Brent. He called several times and I knew I was speaking to someone who had undergone a deep spiritual change.

Meanwhile, I'd been going through a horrible spiritual funk. (I can't even think of a better word.) I was mildly depressed, slightly in rebellion to my husband, and disgusted by my utter lack of devotion and love for the Lord. I felt so distant from Him and even became plagued with doubt over my own salvation.

The night before Brent was due home from the trip, all the emotions and distress came to the breaking point. I cried and sobbed my eyes out. I prayed from a desperation that I've never had before. I begged him to shake me out of my apathy. I couldn't conjure up the love or desire. I didn't want just head knowledge with minimal love. I wanted to love Him with all of my being. Nothing held back. No matter the cost. No matter the pain. Even though it was terrifying to get to that place of surrender, it was real. The most real I'd ever been with Him.

And then. Then! Within 24 hours God flipped my world upside down. First, He mercifully gave me peace that I couldn't explain. Then, Brent came home. We talked over a bunch of issues that we'd been dealing with. The next day God plopped me in a Sunday School Class where He was totally speaking directly to my heart. Could I give up everything for Him? Was He worth it? I couldn't stop crying in class and was a blubbery mess, but full of thankfulness the whole day. When Brent and I finally had a chance to talk more, he said that we NEEDED to go to Mexico together as a family. We didn't know how we were going to manage that financially, but God was telling us to just go.

Then we talked about this crazy comment he'd made to me on the phone while in Mexico. About Adoption. "What would you think about adopting from Mexico?"

"Huh? I've got my hands full. Four is plenty. I have never had any desire to adopt. Great for other people. Not for me." Those were all the things I WOULD have thought....Except I didn't. I don't know why, but none of them crossed my mind. Instead, I said, "okay".

Life got busy. Planning a family trip to Mexico is time consuming so I didn't give much more careful thought about his comment. But one night while Brent was working late I was bored and typed "adoption" into the google search box. Sifting through the bazillions of posts, somehow God finally landed me on one particular website with pictures of these absolutely stunning children waiting for a family in Mexico. I was captivated. I couldn't stop looking at them. There were plenty of other children, but my eyes were only for them.

And then my heart just broke. A group of siblings who were lonely. Alone. I read somewhere on the site that Mexican people are very open to adopting children. But, like Americans, the majority only want infants or young toddlers. If they are part of a sibling group it is near impossible to find them a home. So they stay in an orphanage. Surrounded by people, but still alone. Not belonging to anyone. My heart broke more. It just wasn't right. Children were meant to be in families.

Brent walked in the door to find me surrounded with tear- filled tissues and puffy eyes. We talked, I cried, days passed. I wondered... Is God wanting us to adopt?.... We can't get overly emotional over these pictures.... It can't be an emtional response.... So we distanced ourselves from them. I tried to put it out of my mind. After all, I had the biggest trip I'd ever planned to tackle. And we did. God took the hype away from both of us. We became more objective. We prayed. We talked. We prayed more.

Then God took us to Mexico. Oh my. How God used this trip to intensify the change He had promised to me that desperate night back in June. It wasn't the beginning of "the change" but He did use it to show me Himself in a totally new way. I learned so much of the Holy Spirit and what it means to be filled and how to walk WITH Him while in Mexico. And the funny thing is, I hardly even thought about adoption while in Mexico.

And, in the midst of all of it, Brent and I fell in love with this strange country. I can't even explain it. It felt like home. The weird thing is that the city felt like home. And I am NOT a city lover. I loved the Sierra (mountains), but the city has continued to have a strong pull on both of our hearts. I still don't know what God is doing with that whole feeling. Time will tell....

I'll continue in another post.

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