Sometimes I forget what a dramatic turn our lives took when the Lord first spoke adoption into our hearts...13 years ago!
I forget the shock when we discovered the cost.
I forget the reams and reams of paperwork we would need to complete.
Oh, wait, I had no idea there would be so much paperwork.
I forget the ache to hold a child I've never met.
I forget the hours upon hours of poring through the Scriptures seeking wisdom.
I forget how 'easy' life was.
I even forget the rallies of the enemy. Oh, how he battles against us. He wants us to believe the lie that what we're considering is crazy. He wants us to doubt our decision by taunting us with the shiny things of this world. He reminds us of our own weakness and fallibility. He discourages us with the words of naysayers:
*What about YOUR kids?
*You'll never be able to put YOUR kids through college?
*YOUR kids will not get everything they deserve.
*You won't have time for YOUR kids.
*You're cheating YOUR kids.
So many voices, so much confusion, many times I thought how sweet it would be if God would just give us this...
Know what I mean? A clear path with no obstacles, the knowledge of exactly when and where to go next, and the absolute assurance that it will all end well.
I know that God is faithful. I know that He keeps His promises. I know that His Word is true. But my flesh wants constant gratification. My flesh cries out, "Will we be okay? Please, Lord, show me something, anything to let me know the trials are only 'light and momentary troubles."
And then I started to see it. The manifestation of God's goodness through it all. The mercy in every tear shed. The faith grown in walking the trenches of trauma. The compassion and forgiveness undeserved. The redemption.
His goodness was seen not only through the receiving of a child long awaited and prayed for, and the healing of a broken heart, but also in the actions of our big kids, the bios, the three amigos, the original Krew.
Nearly 13 years have passed since we first took a leap of obedience, a plummet outside the comfort zone, a walk on the wild side.
Since that time, our oldest bio son, Kuyler, and his bride Caitlin have graduated from college, and they love and serve children in their church. They recently told us they want to do the craziest thing ever in case of the unthinkable untimely passing of Clayton and I ~ they want to be the guardians of their siblings. All.nine.of.them. Poor Kuyler. He has been ruined.
Our second born, Kolton, and his bride Allie are in college, and they have a heart for missions. We've had the privilege of hearing Kolton testify about the mighty work the Lord has done through missions teams traveling outside the borders of this country. His heart is moved desperately for children and the difference the gospel makes in their future. Poor Kolton. He has been ruined.
Kenzie is in college, and her groom Josh has entered the civilian ranks after serving in the military, and they too love the Lord. Of the three bios, Kenzie has spent the most time at home with her siblings, and accepted much responsibility in helping care for them. We've heard people say she probably couldn't wait to leave home, but since her wedding less than two months ago, she has requested her siblings come for sleepovers on two occasions. Poor Kenzie. She has been ruined.
My older kids will tell you that although their teen years weren't 'typical,' theirs was the only family visiting the college campus with a string of young dark-haired siblings trailing behind their nearly-middle-aged parents, and life hasn't always been easy, every sacrifice has been worth it. This is not to our credit. This is the work of the Lord.
In fact, we are enveloped in peace as we wait to bring our newest treasure, Kaison home!
When I watch my older kids with their siblings, and when I see them loving others as Christ loves, it brings me to joyful tears. Family runs deeper than blood. And they get it. They get that we aren't given life and breath to serve ourselves. So little of what we spend our time on really matters, but investing in a life matters forever.
Thank you, Jesus, for ruining this family.
I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.