Recently, I posted an interview here about a book entitled Praying through your Adoption. I have had every intention of revisiting this subject matter because of two reasons - Praying and Adoption. Both of those topics are very important to me and very personal.
But I have struggled with where to begin. There is not a simple introduction about our family's journey through prayer or through adoption. I guess the easiest way to start is to say that without prayer, we probably wouldn't be a family. I honestly don't think our marriage would have made it those first years had we not found ourselves calling out to God and spending time searching His Word for wisdom, for peace, for comfort. As a young married couple, we faced a few crises that drove us to our knees. And honestly, for that I am thankful. For you see, prayer is the foundation upon which we built our relationship. So as we faced struggles later, prayer was a natural response. It is where we find our comfort. It is where we are at the most peace.
I am sure some of you are curious as how this correlates with adoption. Let me see if I can simply share how it ties together.
We, like many of you, have an adoption journey. After 18 months of adoption paperwork and finally being in the position to be matched, it all came to a halt when the rules changed and we were one of three families affected. Appeals were made but to no avail. The Lord had shut the doors and our adoption journey ended with the loss of a child.
Prayed? oh yes. We had prayed every step of the way.
Our response upon the final denial? With great trust in our Sovereign God, we were able to say to our agency that we were trusting that God knew what was best and that no, we did not feel any injustice by the governing authorities.
But we were thankful to our God who had said no - as this was His plan for our family. At the time, we could not understand it, but oftentimes we are not called upon to understand God's ways. We are called to obedience and to faith.
God allowed us to see and to know that our journey was not in vain. You see, while we were taking all the necessary steps to Joy (that was to be her name), there were some friends whose hearts were being stirred to action. God had already been dealing with them about adopting but they later told us that it was our forward movement that gave them the "umph" to do it. Every time I hear their daughter say "Momma" or "Daddy" my heart is full of joy at what God did in bringing them together as a forever family!
But God has done more......He has stirred in me a burden for those who are in the adoption journey.
And we have lots of those families around us:).
But I don't mind.....praying is not that hard, really. Sometimes the Lord wakes me up early in the morning to pray and I might lose a little sleep. But that isn't a hard price to pay when you have friends on another continent struggling with court issues, food woes, or attachment problems. Why wouldn't I give up a few minutes of sleep?
But I digress.
Prayer. Gut-wrenching, in the trenches, "I am going to pray for you and I mean it" kind of praying.
The kind of praying that says "let me bear this burden with you" so much that when you are on another continent, I will set my alarm and rise in the wee hours here, to pray for you there.
Yes, praying through the paperwork stages but what about the other struggles? the ones many adoptive families carry in silence once they get home?
Adoption is hard. The journey to get to the child is difficult but the ultimate test is in the parenting once you have them. They are children, and all children have issues whether they are your biological or adoptive children. Parenting is hard so why would parenting adoptive children be any easier?
The book, Praying Through your Adoption, is a nice, simple resource....maybe a beginner handbook of sorts.
As one adoptive mother noted about the book, "The stories of individuals/couples who have adopted are inspiring and truly demonstrate God's hand in adoption. These are great and give great insight into the adoption process. Having so many testimonies from all different countries really helps to see a global perspective on adoption."
However, my personal recommendation if you are looking for information on praying while you are in the adoption process would be to study Prayer! And to find a few serious Prayer Warriors that will commit to praying with you as you walk the journey the Lord has set before you.
Any way a child comes into a family, they are not here until they are here. Anything can happen and does happen with both domestic and international adoption. Prayer is our lifeline with our Sovereign God who controls all things........how can you live without it?