Thursday, March 19, 2009

Openness to Life, Stewardship (Part Two)

Read Part One Here.

Responsible parenthood requires that couples prayerfully discern when to have more children and how many children they can care for given the physical, spiritual and financial resources available to them. Discernment is a key part of planning a family, and God also calls us to be generous with the gifts that have been given to us. Part of the reason why so many NFP-using couples have such large families is that their journey with NFP has led them to be generously open with their fertility, sacrificing some material pleasures to bring more children into the world and trusting that God will provide.

It's slightly more complicated (at least from my point of view) to figure out how this generosity and openness plays into the adoptive family.

When we adopted Olivia, we had to decide how far we were willing to take this fertility journey. As I mentioned before, the pursuit of a fertility "cure" was expensive, and that expense was even more pronounced when we started living on one income while paying for diapers and formula.

The question came down to this: Were we being good stewards of our gifts (financial and emotional resources) by continuing down this fertility path? Was God calling us to welcome more children into our family through adoption? If so, we certainly needed to take a good hard look at how we were spending money (not just on fertility, but in various areas of our life) and where we could cut back in order to be ready to adopt again.

We had decided early on that we definitely wanted Olivia to have a sibling (or more), and we wanted to make every effort to have that happen sooner rather than later. We had our reasons for that, but the important point is that we discerned that this was the right decision for us. Because of that decision, we had to have a reasonable ending point to our fertility pursuit in order to focus on adoption.

Our ending point came sooner than expected because somewhere along the way, we discerned that pursuing fertility wasn't, for us, the best stewardship of our resources. We were definitely being called to adopt again, and we decided that it was our responsibility to focus solely on that so that we'd be financially ready to welcome a new child into our home.

Stewardship is an important issue for every family. In the end, we decided that for us to be "Open to Life" in the way God was calling us to be, we had to abandon our fertility pursuits and focus our energies solely on adoption. That is what we've discerned to be the best stewardship of our resources at this time.

Next installment: Saying "Yes" to the unexpected.


Jen said...

That is very interesting. I've always believed that God sends very clear messages and He obviously has to you. :)

maggie said...

Sorry it's taken me so long to comment on these posts. I'm just really inspired by your story and commitment, and therefore sort of slackjawed with nothing to add. While I very much believe in being open to life, I also struggle with the details and I appreciated reading another side of the story. It feels like such a high calling! And I think your response to that call is just amazing (although it couldn't have been THAT hard, I mean, LOOK AT THAT GIRL. The sweetness emanates!)

Thanks for sharing more about this!