Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A Dad's Perspective

Over the past several months God has been leading us to pray this prayer: “God, please break our hearts for the very things that break yours.” We believe God’s answer to this prayer has changed everything about our lives and has begun to have great impact on our family. As we have asked God to break our hearts for the things that break His, it has been unbelievably clear to us that His heart breaks for orphans. As a result of this truth, we believe God has asked us to be faithful to His calling on our lives through adoption. As most of you know, we are now in the process of adopting a baby girl from Ethiopia!

I read recently that faith = God ordained risk in the face of fear. As we think about this next step of faith on our journey, we are finding this statement to be true. We know there is risk involved in this decision, and at times we have feelings of fear, but we will continue to hang onto God’s truth and promises that He has claimed over our lives as His children.

It’s been amazing to see and hear the amount of feedback Alison has been getting about this blog she created just about a month ago. She knew that the Lord was laying this on her heart, so she could keep everyone informed about our journey to adoption in Ethiopia.

She asked me to post some of my initial fears and concerns when this idea of adoption first surfaced, in hope that some of the other dads out there could relate to what was going on in my mind and heart initially.

After watching the Lucy Lane video, I committed to Alison that I would begin praying for God to reveal His calling on our lives for our family through His Word. The very next morning, I opened my Bible to look up the new memory verse in our life journal (a Bible reading plan our church is doing right now). I knew immediately, this was a direct word from God, concerning the adoption I had just agreed to pray about the night before. Here is the verse I read:

Psalm 41:1 – “How blessed is he who considers the HELPLESS; The Lord will deliver him in a day of trouble.”

This was the initial confirmation I had from God that He wanted us to adopt a baby. It was so cool to see God begin to change my heart and confirm His calling on our lives in a matter of only a few hours. My heart started changing from saying, “We Can’t” to saying, “Yes, Lord”. The confirmations He continued to give me after that day were countless. He was revealing His plan.

Looking back over the past few months I can put my hand on 2 big fears I initially faced when we really started talking and praying about adoption. The first was Family Impact and the second was Finances.

Family Impact:
As you know, we currently have 3 children, and I had some initial fears about the cultural impact that would take place in bringing a baby home from Ethiopia.

My questions were:
1. What are my parents and other family members going to think about this?

We didn’t know any other families that had adopted an African baby…and would our friends and family still accept us? It became very obvious to me early on that I was worried about what people would think – but God has blown that worry out of the water.

2. How would this impact our family?

Since this child would be growing up in an all-white family…how would this impact her, and what future conversations would I need to have with my children about inter-racial marriage, etc. But again, God has completely freed me of this concern because He continues to remind me that His plan and His purpose for our family is so much greater than mine.

Financial Impact:
This is obviously not an inexpensive decision. We would need to have a lot of financial help in order to make this work.

My question was:
1. Do I really believe that God will provide the finances we need to adopt this child?

He began answering this question before we have even asked people to financially support us in this adoption. There have already been 3 families that have given us financial help because they want to be a part of this journey! God is already providing for this baby, and it has been another confirmation of His will.

2. Can't we just use our money/resources to help other families that are called to adopt, instead of adopting a baby ourselves?

I remember saying a few times was… “I am so thankful for these families on these adoption videos who have gone across the world to adopt these babies…but I don’t think that is what we are supposed to do. I think we are called to just financially support others that are called to go.” But God soon showed me otherwise...yes, He wants us to still support others on their journey, but He also wants us on the journey ourselves!

So in about six weeks, God undeniably showed me through His Word, other people, and answered prayers that He is indeed calling us to go to Ethiopia to bring our daughter home. We can't wait to take her out of the orphanage and bring her home to her new family! And we know in the end, she will be the one that God uses to change our lives...and rescue us.

"Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west." Isaiah 43:5


Kristi J said...

awesome post guys...I love hearing a daddy's beautiful!!! Your side of the world is changing :) kristi

Polly said...

Kuddos Jody!!! I think you will hear this same story from many daddies who have adopted. Same story in our family. We prayed that same prayer, "LORD, break our hearts for what breaks yours". Funny how I've heard so many people say they prayed that as a family and ended up being broken for the orphan.... think God might be trying to WAKE US UP?
Mommies keep praying for those daddies and God will bring unity!!! : )

The Segrest Family said...

love hearing jody's side! we love y'all and are so excited!

Tony and Carrie said...

Preach on Preacher Man! I saw myself in your story as ours is very similar. Small difference is that we had the African Childrens Choir come and stay with us and God revealed that we were to adopt then. We chose Ethiopia because of our involvement with our Church youth group. It is truely amazing to me how God makes his plan possible in our lives. I wish my family was more supportive, but I know my Heavenly Father is smiling down at us as we are obedient to his call on our lives. God Bless, Tony