My husband and I always knew that adoption would be a way we would grow our family. We talked about it while we dated and then discussed it often after we were married. When it came to the direction of how we would adopt we were open. We had no idea if the Lord would take us on the journey of international adoption or domestic adoption. We had no idea how many children we would adopt or what their ages would be. We had no idea what they would look like or what their background would be. We just knew that the burden and desire was there.
Soon after we were married we became close friends with a couple in our area. They were in youth ministry, had 2 biological children, and were beginning their families journey of being foster parents. I remember being at a ladies Christmas dinner at their church and my dear friend J was sitting at table visiting with other ladies while holding their new foster baby. The baby was tiny and the baby was beautiful. She looked nothing like J. The skin color, the hair texture, the sweet nose shape, the eye color-it was all different yet in J’s eyes none of that mattered. The Lord had put a burden and desire on J and her husband’s hearts and they were obeying.
I came home that night and told my husband all about their sweet new baby. In our conversation I uttered those 5 powerful words: “I could never do that.”
When I now think about the impact and intensity those words have, I literally cringe. Little did I know the Lord would use that night later and those 5 words down the road to radically transform my heart, my life, and our families lives.
After being married for almost 5 years we had our first son. Soon after, our second son was born. During our pregnancy with our second son the dialogue of adoption was steady between my husband and I. It seemed as though the words and idea of FOSTER CARE kept creeping in to our conversations and more importantly in to our prayer lives. My husband was ready to dive into the process head first where I was MUCH more skeptical and hesitant.
Looking back now, it’s the one word that adequately describes how I was feeling. Entering into the world of foster care and potentially growing our family through a fostering to adopt process had me terrified. It was a Sunday morning. We were worshipping in the library of the school that our church plant meets in because they band hall floor had been waxed earlier that week. My husband was preaching a sermon series that summer entitled “Ignored Sins of the Church South.” His topic that particular day was on abortion. I sat in the light stained wooden chair towards the back and sobbed the ENTIRE sermon. I could physically feel the presence of the Holy Spirit and in those fifty five or so minutes. I was physically and emotionally broken before my heavenly Father. Conviction and repentance was all I had to offer to the Lord that day.
As a believer, of course I am pro-life and stand for all things pro-life.
But did I really?
I sat in the service weeping because I knew that Jesus was calling us to be ALL IN PRO-LIFE. Not just pro-life for unborn babies but pro-life for children in foster care.
Being pro-life is not just about standing for life for unborn babies in their mother’s wombs. It is also about standing up for life after their birth. It’s about standing up for those who do not have a voice. Whether that is because they are still in a momma’s womb or whether that is because they are involuntarily foster care.
It was time. It had always been time.
The thing that I had uttered years earlier that “I could never do...” was the exact thing Jesus was calling our family to do.
My husband and I knelt together during in the invitation and laid our agenda and our plans at the foot of our Creator’s feet. It was no longer our agenda or our plan. Our fostering/ fostering to adoption plan was His. It was always His, and we were both finally in a place of full surrender.
Isn’t that how Jesus works?
In our fear, in our weakness, in our uncertainty, HE is all knowing, HE is strong, and HE is certain. He created us. He desires to use us.
And finally surrendering was just the beginning.
Austin is a city girl who now loves living in the country. She's a pastor's wife who is blessed to serve women in all walks of life. She loves being a mom to the children that came to her by birth as well as being a mom to the children that have and will come to her through the foster care system.To hear more of Austin's story, listen to her podcast here and purchase her eBook Being Strong in the Wait here.