Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Why We Chose To Adopt......

Before I launch into this post, I want to assure everyone you have not missed anything....Emily is STILL in tummy : ) I just have been enjoying FREEDOM from bedrest!!!...so sorry for not posting for awhile : )

I recently wrote an article for our church's newsletter about our adoption and thought I'd share............

Our adoption story ultimately begins with a difficult time in our life where our
hearts’ desire was to seek God. Near the beginning of 2004, we found ourselves suddenly in turmoil in the midst of our ministry at a previous church. Experiencing disillusionment and pain within the family of God caused us to cry out to Him, "Where are you God?".

After a year of seeking the Lord earnestly in prayer, He spoke. In the end of February 2005, I had decided to go on a mission trip to Jamaica to work in a couple of orphanages, something I had always been compassionate towards. Almost immediately upon arrival my heart was broken for these helpless and rejected children. The "baby" orphanage stirred me the most. Perhaps because my boys were only 1 and 3 at the time. Each day we would go to this children’s home, we would spend hours holding the children and trying to bring them a smile. I spent 30 minutes with a 2 yr.old girl on my lap, desperately attempting to make her laugh.....but there was nothing, only a blank stare. My chest felt tight and I was having trouble breathing. I left the room to go outside as the emotional thought came across my mind, "THIS would be my Caleb and Zachary if God had not given them a family." I truly was broken by the face of the fatherless.

That night as I journaled my day’s experiences and reflected on the turmoil I had left at home, my heart still was wrestling with, "Where are you, God?". Several hours later, in the middle of the night, I sat straight up in bed to the sound of music blasting all around me. But there was no music playing in the room. Yet, the sounds and lyrics were deafening in my ears. It was a song I had recently become fond of by Steven C. Chapman called "What now?" The chorus goes... "what now What will you do now that you've found Me? What now What will you do with this treasure you've found I know I may not look like what you expected But if you'll remember This is right where I said I would be You found me, what now?"

Oh, how sweet it is to have your prayers answered. I had found HIM in these rejected, lost castaways that God promises throughout scripture He will care for and protect. Just as any revelation from the Lord does to anyone’s life, mine was now changed and impacted forever by the fatherless. That wonderful place where your whole heart, mind and soul are vulnerable and willing to the Potter’s hands as He molds you and shapes you into His design.

Not surprisingly, God had revealed Himself to David to return to Illinois to get his Masters while I was on my mission trip. Which of course, led us to our beloved Grace Church.

The next year and a half was filled with my overwhelming desire to do SOMETHING with this new passion God had given me and with David’s desire to be patient for God’s next step. I was sure that adoption was our next step but David did not feel it was the right time.
Then God revealed Himself again telling me to start an Orphan Care Ministry at Grace but I argued due to the weaknesses I saw in myself. It wasn’t very long and I realized if I didn’t start something, no one would. We kicked off the ministry with an Adoption Sunday/Adoption Conference. Two days before the big event, David said.... "It’s time". My passion to help the orphan finally felt satisfied.

Our adoption process began January 1, 2007 and on September 24, 2007, the daughter that was planned from before time to be in our family was born! The Lord orchestrated both mine and David’s hearts and our responses for His timing and His perfect will to be sovereign.

There is SO much more to our story but I was most compelled to share how God responds to our genuine search for Him and how that aspect of His character has never changed throughout time. He repeatedly appealed to Israel to seek Him and He would let them find Him(2Chron.15:2), just as God repeatedly appeals to all believers today to seek Him by loving the Lord with all your heart, soul, & mind (Matt. 22:36). Would you consider today if you are seeking the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your mind and with all your soul? You might be surprised where you find Him!!


Bekah said...

That's a really beautiful and powerful little article. Your daughter will cherish that. I think of you often and pray you are feeling well and for safety for your two girls.

Sara said...

Isn't it amazing how God calls our families to adopt, often using difficult times to speak to us.

Amy said...

As I read your article I loved the picture of the growing desire to adopt in your heart. But the Lord took that desire even further when He led you to the Orphan Care Ministry. You may have had the desire to adopt A child, but the Lord will use that to possibly bring MANY children home. :) Sometimes our plans are too small!

Praying for your family. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

Jason said...

David and Marianne,

I stumbled on your blog and it is very encouraging to read your adoption story and hear your heart and passion!

Where did you get the Guatamala Adoption flowchart at the bottom. That is great! Very helpful for visual people like myself : )

Thank you for your faithfulness to the orphans and starting a ministry at your church too! The more adoption support can happen at the local church level the better!

God's continued blessings!

the Schommer family said...

Thank you for sharing your story. Our thoughts and prayers are with you as you prepare to grow in so many ways in your family.