Well, the news is out and public. . .hence, the blog. We announced to our family last Saturday night, and our church family on Sunday, that we have initiated the process to become adoptive parents. In that light, I will explain how we got to this point.
Last fall (2012), I began to feel a real call from God pointing me towards adding to our already busy and full family by adopting a child. I struggled for weeks with it, making sure I heard God correctly, asking for clarification and vision, and wondering when or if I should tell Jaclyn. This call didn’t come like a lightning bolt from the clouds, or through watching a late-night commercial asking for money for orphans. It didn’t happen because of friends of ours who have adopted or any other reason that might make sense to anyone. It simply came when I was still and listened to the voice of God. So, the first realization and challenge was a sobering one – what else have I missed by not being in constant conversation with the Creator?
After not only having God’s confirmation, but some clarification as well, I decided to share my prayer burden with my wife. I told Jaclyn in November, after church one Sunday night if memory serves me correctly (Jaclyn has a journal, so I may get to update this more precisely later), exactly what God had laid on my heart. She was speechless . . . literally . . . . and that never happens. . . . also, literally. She told me in very frank terms that God was not calling her to that and she would need something very clear to get her on the same page. I told her that, by this point, God had further sent a vision that the child would be a newborn infant and would not be an international adoption. Past that, I told her it was wide open to where God wanted to take it.
Weeks traveled by with busy-ness. Thanksgiving and Christmas, then ballgames and school ending. All along the way, we would check on the status of our individual prayers, but called ourselves too busy to start anything more earnest. All the while, Jaclyn began adding to her list of confirmation moments. She can explain in more detail, but what I believed to be “our” call would be solidified through a word from a friend, a testimony about adoption in a prayer group, or simply a word from God through our pastor in a sermon or through His word. Finally, in May, we looked at each other and knew that our delayed obedience to God was disobedience. We both knew that the vision from God was pure and clear, and didn’t include a “when you get time” or “when you have the money” or any other caveats. Jaclyn made contact with a college friend and his wife, who have adopted two children of their own. Brian and Natalie Choate are strong Christian friends who have gone through the process and could provide us with at least a rough outline of what to expect, what to look for in an agency, and what their experience was like. Valuable information was provided, and they became the first people outside the two of us who were let in on what God was calling us to do.
Again, we delayed our obedience to God. (Jonah would be fish chow by now.) All-star tournaments, vacations, and other things that make the summer go by faster kept us from really pulling the trigger. We looked at adoption agencies online. Jaclyn talked to another friend, a former teammate from high school, who had also experienced adoption. We were gathering information, but only for the sake of gathering. No movement had been made by the Scotts, and God’s conviction on my heart sank in deeply in late July. I sent Jaclyn an email of an agency, Adoption Assistance, that could get the process started, including doing a home study, and that did not come with a clause of exclusivity. In other words, we could get our ducks in a row and still have options of where our child would come from. We sent in the application and fee and off we went.
Completing the requirements prior to the home study have been interesting. Jaclyn has worked hard at compiling paperwork necessary to submit, and we have almost completed that part of the process. All of that led us to last weekend. .
We told the kids Saturday afternoon. Their responses varied, and even varied from our expectations. We thought Kara would be immediately excited about it, but she was more thoughtful as she took in exactly what that meant. She has since moved into what we expected, but was uncharacteristically quiet that afternoon. Gabe was excited about it, but in his own way. His only disappointment was that we didn’t include him until then – as if he were due some inside information. When we told him that the baby could come from anywhere inside the United States, his quote was priceless. “I hope we have to go to California – the Big Apple.” We are working on geography now. JP had two thoughts – first, excitement at not being “the baby” anymore, and hopefulness on it being a boy.
Then, we made the parent tour. Our first stop was at Jaclyn’s parents – Grandaddy and Granny. With a dozen grandchildren already, they took it in stride. My parents – Pop and Nana, also were excited, but a little surprised, especially that the thought of it had started with me. We finished the announcement tour behind the pulpit at the end of our church service Sunday, to make sure that the prayer army was as full as we could make it. The response there was consistent – everyone thought our announcement was that we had been called away from the church (no one really said if they were relieved to find out different, or slightly disappointed) and were also excited for the news.
All of that information being said, we have several emotions right now regarding this part of our lives. Nervous, at the thought of adding a child, at making the right decisions, at the financial burden that comes with the process, and at being faithful. Excited, for some of the same reasons – including being excited about being obedient, and at being chosen to be the parent of a new baby! Overall, we are humbled at being called to be obedient in this manner and we covet prayers of all who know us. God has already chosen the child, already has a way to finance the process, and has the time frame in His hands. In your prayers for us, pray that we are always mindful that He is in control and already has everything mapped out for us.
And, hey. . . let’s face it. . . what a lucky kid to get to join our unique clan!
My prayer for the Scotts is that we LIVE by our faith, not just by words. . .
Habbakuk 2:4 “. . .but the righteous one will live by his faith.”