November is National Adoption Month and when I realized this the other day, Holy Spirit began stirring adoption in my heart. Having been abandoned by my earthly father, God has been whispering His love songs to me about Him being a father to the fatherless and His heart for the widow and the orphan. I knew that the next post for the blog was supposed to be about adoption, and as I was praying about this, God put Abby Fields on my heart to share her family’s special adoption story. I witnessed her living out this journey in front of me and it was a beautiful thing to watch God work in Abby’s life and heart, transforming her and growing her every step of the way as she and her husband, Jeremy, stepped out in obedience. God knows us all intimately. He knows our strengths and weaknesses and it is not by accident that he chooses each of us to parent the children He gives us. God placed Brennan with the earthy mother and father that He picked for Brennan.
When God calls us to do something that seems beyond what we can accomplish on our own it can be so scary. Our natural tendency is to take things into our own hands and focus on all the reasons why there is no way we can do this. But as Abby said, “If He calls us to it, He will see us through it”. I pray you will be as blessed by Abby’s story as I have been.
Since becoming Christians, my husband and I have always had the desire to adopt. However, leading up to our marriage, we never really talked about the possibility. About a year into marriage we found out we were pregnant. During that time we had all sorts of emotions. With a little time, our main emotion became excitement! When our first son was born on February 1, 2012 our lives were forever changed.
My heart as a mom filled me in ways I never imagined possible. Prior to Brayson’s life, I didn’t even want kids. Daily, I thank God that His ways are not my ways and His thoughts are not my thoughts (Isaiah 55:8.) When Brayson was about a year old, Jeremy and I began discussing having another baby. We wanted another one fiercely. After 2.5 years of trying (and by trying I mean really trying) God rekindled a thought in our hearts to adopt. On the same day the thought entered my mind, I researched it and we began praying. As I prayed, my heart for adoption increased. Coincidentally, we went to a church service and the speakers main topic was none other than adoption and his heart on the subject. Jeremy left that service really on board and feeling called. I honestly had already felt the desire strongly but still was hesitant.
Many questions arose in my mind. Are we good enough? Is our marriage strong enough? Will we pass the financial requirements? Will we pass the background check (good ole Jeremy had me scared there for a minute based on his past – haha)? What will people think? Will they be supportive? The questions and lack of confidence in the beginning process really were challenging. After all, a desire to do something and a calling from God to do it can be two different things. Not every desire is a mandate from God to move forward.
One night I went to a prayer service at our church and I went expecting a clear answer about moving forward in the process. I spent an hour asking the Lord to speak to me and give me a peace about whether we truly were called. I walked out of the door without a clear answer and left discouraged. But then it happened. The night was silent as I closed my car door and cranked it. I said “Lord, this is the time and I need you to speak clearly. I just spent an hour praying and I have not gotten an answer of full assurance. Use the radio to speak to me.” I simply turned the volume up and clear as day the man on the radio said, “Adoption is a mandate from the Lord. Not everyone is called to it. But I believe because it is the heart of God we as Christians should adopt. And not only that, we should make our friends, churches and family aware and raise funds to do so.”
A huge obstacle in the adoption process is the financial cost. In most cases, it is a very expensive process. But when I heard that clear as day come through those speakers, I simply stopped asking and stopped questioning. Never in my life had I heard a radio broadcast about adoption and it was so clear. I walked through the door of my home and told Jeremy, “We are called to adopt and I’m 100% ready to move forward. I have a confidence and a peace. And we have to allow our faith to be bigger than our fear.”
We began raising funds and God did miraculous things. He provided through people we barely knew. He provided with big donations and small donations. One day I was discouraged about how we would financially do it and a lady said something so simple but so profound. She said “If it’s Gods will, it’s God’s bill.” That stuck with me. I prayed specific prayers and I really needed God to continue speaking because he made it clear we were called to adopt but then the major question was THROUGH WHO? There are hundreds of organizations. Yet, I felt there was only one where our baby was going to be. Which one? After God answering specific prayers, hours and hours of research, praying, crying, frustration and interviews we decided on an organization.
Our adoption story is nothing short of the glorious working of our Heavenly Father. Up to this day (Brennan will be a year old Nov. 18th, 2016) there has not been a glitch in the entire process. The entire process went as smooth as possible (not emotionally and there were several times I was a wreck from lack of communication with the birth mom and lack of knowledge about the baby in her womb) but I do respect our birth mom beyond words. She gave her word on many things and she has stayed true to what she said. The emotions of adoption….. I honestly don’t know that I wish those on anyone. However, because it is such an emotional journey, it causes intimacy with the Lord to grow so deeply, because you know He has got to be your source. In so many ways, it is actually more emotional and difficult than being pregnant. But that topic is for another day.
My son, Brennan, is my joy. We believed God would send the baby chosen for our family and He absolutely did. We called Brennan “Chosen” throughout the fundraising process because we knew there was a baby meant to be with us and chosen for our family. But let me be honest and vulnerable for a moment. I love Brennan so intensely and absolutely the same as I love my biological children that I don’t like to think of him as adopted. I simply want him to feel just as much a part of our family as his biological siblings. He will always know his story but my heart aches so deeply at the thought of any feelings of rejection or not being accepted.
My prayer is that he literally feels he came not only from our hearts but from my belly. Now that is no disrespect to his birth mom but that is just a testimony of how I feel towards him. He is our son. So as our journey happened (all within 11 months, mind you-it was a very, very quick adoption story.) I thought God would intensify my love for adoption or speak to me about it in ways I didn’t feel or know but really, He has just reminded me that in Christ, we are all adopted and His love for His children is so intense that His heart would break at the thought of them turning to other loves or feelings of rejection. I don’t even want to think of Brennan as adopted because to us, he wasn’t. He is our son. In the same way, when we come to Christ, we are His sons and daughters, made in His image for His purposes.
The Lord also reminded me very much in our adoption journey that when He calls someone to step out of their comfort zone and do things that may not seem logical to the world, He will give a peace and confidence that will drive you to obedience. Many people had their opinions about us adopting. Some were opposed. Some couldn’t believe we would raise finances for such a thing. Some made rude,harsh comments. The emotions I felt were difficult beyond words at times. But here’s the deal: when God calls you to it, He will see you through it. It may not be easy and it may not make sense to others, but as you step out in obedience, He will rock your world. When you allow your faith to overcome your fear, you are allowing God to be in you who you simply can’t be on your own.
What is God calling you to do? Make sure you have HIS peace and then I encourage you to move forward. Rebuke fear and ask the Holy Spirit to be your strength and your confidence as you take steps towards obedience to the Lord. He will bless your efforts to say YES to Him and His calling. It may not look as you think it should look and it may not feel like you feel it should at many times but ultimately, God knows best for your life. Love Him. Trust Him. Follow Him. Serve Him. Speak to Him. Be still before Him and watch Him work immensely and intensely in your heart and your life. All glory to God.
~ Abby Fields, Frontline Ministries
Scriptures for Meditation
For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading again to fear [of God’s judgment], but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons [the Spirit producing sonship] by which we [joyfully] cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit Himself testifies and confirms together with our spirit [assuring us] that we [believers] are children of God.
~ Romans 8:15-16
Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will [instead] give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will [instead] give him a snake? 11 If you then, evil (sinful by nature) as you are, know how to give good and advantageous gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven [perfect as He is] give what is good and advantageous to those who keep on asking Him.
Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.
~ Psalm 82:3
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
~ John 14:27