Wednesday, November 3, 2010

a new journey

Warning: This is clearly a rather long post. Its my attempt to begin to explain the story of how we got to the point of deciding to adopt. So read on!

I have always seen myself adopting a child. But I always thought I would adopt only if I was unable to have biological children. Then we had three biological kiddos and I didn’t think much about adoption for a while.

But God was tugging on my heart about 6 months ago. I went through a season of discontent. Almost to the point of depression. At the time, I thought I was just uncomfortable about my place in life. I was always asking God “Why am I here? Who am I to complain about anything? What is my purpose? Why am I so blessed when others suffer? What did I do to deserve this life?” During those few months, God showed me that I AM worthy. I am exactly where He wants me to be. I learned that I am not in control. God is. He knows what He is doing, even in the midst what may seem like a cloudy outlook for me. Events and life changes from our past occurred because God had His hand in our life. While I may have thought at the time I was in control of my decisions, in fact God was the one leading my heart to make those changes.

Let me explain. Matt and I had talked about adoption a few times here and there throughout our marriage (we got married in 2002). Neither of us felt it was what God had intended for us at the time and it was usually just a passing thought. At the end of my season of discontent a few months ago, God kept whispering in my ear to consider adoption. For a while I thought that God was just asking us to be more supportive, encouraging, open, and financially supportive of others going through adoption. So we tried to be obedient to that for a while. But it felt like something was missing. Then Matt went on a 2+ week mission trip to Serbia. While he was in Serbia, God started tugging on his heart regarding the crisis of orphans in the world. He came back changed (in MANY ways). Shortly after he returned he said to me “I think we should adopt a child.” I was slightly taken back because I never really thought that WE were supposed to adopt. I thought we were just supposed to be supportive of others! We prayed about it for a while, but it was really a no brainer for us. We should adopt. God tells us, in the Bible, to help the orphans. God poured information over and over into our lives about orphans. Our eyes were opened and eventually the question became “Why would we NOT adopt?” How could we turn our backs on what the Bible tells us? How could we ignore this crisis? We realize that not everyone is called to adopt. But as Christians, we are called to help the orphans. And for us, this means adopting a child in to our family.

Looking back, it is cool to see how God has laid the foundation for us to ultimately make this decision. He has orchestrated our lives in such a way that we are ready to start this process! Whether we were aware of it or not, God’s hand was in the tiny details of our lives so that we could adopt one of His orphans.

Here are some examples. I used to be an athletic trainer at a high school and I LOVED my job. Loved the kids, loved the parents and coaches I worked with (for the most part…), loved my co-workers and boss, and loved the duties my job entailed. Rather out of the blue, God opened the door for me to open a home daycare. Huh? This is something I had never considered doing and it was completely unrelated to what I studied in college! But I went with it. I jumped in head first. From the time I had that first inkling to open a daycare to the first day I had daycare kids in my home was about 8 months. In that short 8 months, I finished out the school year at my job, prepared my home for a daycare, confirmed a handful of families who would bring their kids to my home, set up a business plan of sorts, and started getting everything in order legally for me to run a business out of my home and be self-employed. When I started my daycare in August of 2006, Matt was still working 3rd shift at an ice cream factory. Those first few years of our marriage, we literally had opposite schedules. Our bed was never made because someone was always sleeping in it! It was something we didn’t really like, but we made it work for a while. On Matt’s days off, he would hang out with me and the daycare kids a little bit, and a few months into it, he started to think about the possibility of him working in the daycare with me. Again, this is something he had never considered doing and it was pretty much out of the blue for him to decide this! Another God thing. Since there would be two of us running the daycare, we could have more daycare kids here and earn enough money to make it work for our family. So we did it! And its been fantastic. We have the same schedule now, which has been awesome for us as a couple. We BOTH get to raise our own kids full-time, which is a huge blessing. Over these last few years of us running a home daycare together, we have come to realize a few things. 1. We now see how it IS possible to love a child that is not biologically our own. (Something necessary for adoption, don’t you think?) and 2. We are confident in our parenting abilities. This was more of a bigger deal to Matt. Had he still been working in an ice cream factory 3rd shift, I’m not sure he would be able to consider adopting a child. God was laying the foundation for us as a family to logistically be able to bring in another child AND he was preparing our hearts for how to become better parents.

Another example of how God has orchestrated this….when I was pregnant with my 3rd child, Zoe, I went to the doctor for my regular OB visit. I was probably around 5 months pregnant. My regular OB was delivering a baby, so they squeezed me in with a different OB in the same practice. This rarely happened to me, but I was fine with it. I was sitting on the exam table while the doctor was looking over my chart. He looked up at me skeptical and said in a rather rude way “Will you be getting your tubes tied after this pregnancy?” (I had all c-sections, so getting my tubes tied during the c-section would have been really easy for the doctor.) I was slightly taken back. This was only my 3rd child! Its not like I already had an army of kids at home and wanted more more more! I knew that the doctor COULD perform a tubal ligation during the c-section, but I wasn’t prepared to have that procedure done! And I REALLY wasn’t prepared to answer that question when that random OB asked. So, I went home and presented the idea to Matt. You see, we KNEW we didn’t want any more babies. We would be fine with our 3 and we really didn’t want any more. But it wasn’t until that doctor’s appointment that I realized that perhaps it would be a good idea to have a tubal ligation. So after months of praying, we decided to do it. I was worried that after Zoe was born I would be so upset that I didn’t have the ability to have any more babies. Even if I knew I didn’t want any more. But the exact opposite happened. After she was born, I had complete peace about it. Another God moment. Had I not had the random doctor ask me if I was going to have my tubes tied, I never would have considered it. And had Matt and I thought that God was leading us to have more kids of our own, and not go the adoption route, then we probably would have just tried to get pregnant on our own instead of considering adoption. But, you see, all of that happened for a reason. And, let me clarify this right now, we are NOT adopting because we WANT more kids. We are adopting because we feel God has called us to help the orphan. Ultimately we will have another little Beers’ child running around, and I am beyond excited for that, but it was not because we desired to have another baby on our own. There is a big difference!

We are members of a fantastic church that is very supportive of adoption. Our church advocates adoption, actually, and its quite awesome to be a part of that. Since deciding to adopt, we have discovered SO MANY others who are considering adoption as well. Its been awesome to see how God is working in the hearts of many to help His orphans. Some of my oldest and dearest friends, Brian and April, are leaving tomorrow to go meet their 2 kiddos in Ethiopia. So cool.

Now that we have decided to adopt, we’ve got a lot of decisions and work ahead of us.  We’ve done some preliminary work and research and are at a point where we need to make some big decisions. We are working with a local ministry called Loving Shepherd Ministries that has some fantastic adoption services and they have been a big help. We will probably look to them for answers throughout this entire process.

I’ll be posting on here with regular adoption updates and prayer requests! I also have some cute stories of Jackson and Macy’s reactions when we told them we would be adopting a sibling for them. I will post those soon too. I’m so excited to begin this journey.


Kelly Marie said...

I loved loved loved this whole blog post! I am very excited to hear how God has been working in your lives to lead you up to this new chapter. One of my favorite things about God is seeing how he does all of that prep work, laying the foundation, picking out the perfect pattern for your life, and revealing it all in his time. It's the coolest to look about throughout your life, especially at the hard times and think "Oh, well now I see God's hand and he had me taken care of even when I felt completely lost". :)

April said...

happy happy joy joy! so excited to see how God's shaping your hearts and passion. can't wait to see the journey unfold!

now, i gotta go get on a plane. :)
love you!

Lisa Joy said...

Soooooooo excited about this!

Jill said...

Wow--that is so awesome! Congratulations and good luck on that journey!

Kelly O said...

Wow, Betsy, what an incredible testimony & journey of how God has prepared and planned for this very moment. I am so happy and excited for you and your family! Can't wait to hear how you see God move from here on out. Blessings!

calebandalair said...

You posted this months ago and I'm just reading it, but the reality is no matter how far along in the process you are it's encouraging to know that people are with you in heart, spirit, and prayer! I'm with ya! Praise God for how HE creates families! (He has been teaching me a lot more about this over the past few months. Excited with and for your family! =) Alair

Jeff said...

Hey Betsy. I didn't know you had decided to adopt. How are you coming in the process. You know we adopted 3 and currently have 2 foster children. We had the same epiphany as you. Actually God prepared us much as he did you & we also got to the point where we had no excuse not to adopt. He had given us everything we need & made His will pretty clear.

Let us know if you have any questions or need any help as you continue your ministry.