My husband and I served on a panel for a presentation on vocations today at a youth program (representing the vocation to marriage, of course). We always weave the vocation to adoption into our presentations, as adoption is definitely a calling and not for everyone. Olivia was there to introduce herself by speaking into the microphone..."I'm Olivia!"...and then she ran off to play with one of the youth leaders assigned to keep her busy elsewhere. (She's a bit of a distraction to the whole listening process!)
This is the umpteenth time we've been on this panel, and we rarely get questions. We fit into the "duh" category of vocations since such a large percentage of the population is married and, well, people don't have a lot of questions about that.
Today, though, we got a really good question about adoption. The question was "How did you come to the adoption decision and did you both reach the same conclusion at the same time?"
Interesting thing about being called...in retrospect, all the steps make so much sense and the end point seems to be so logical. In real time, though, the path wasn't always so clear. First there were concerns about the expense. Then there were concerns about age (ours, not the baby's). Then about race. And health. A homestudy process makes you check off what "kind" of baby you would accept. As if you are shopping for a newborn in that section of the department store. "I'd like one in white, please, with good health and a birthmother who is a model patient who has never smoked or taken drugs and eats all her vegetables and never misses her folic acid supplement." And, like all scared and newly prospective adoptive parents, we agonized over what categories to check off.
That is, until we got the call about Olivia's birthmother. Suddenly all those concerns melted away. Because it struck us, in that moment, that we'd asked for what we wanted, and God was answering by giving us what we needed. It didn't matter how much we spent or how old we were or whether the baby would look like us. All that mattered was that she was ours and we were hers, and we'd trust God with the rest. He made this happen...and He knows what He's doing.
So I guess the answer to the question is that we were led to it. Through prayer and research, yes, but God was pulling us along the whole time. And yes, we both reached the decision to submit to the will of God at the same time...when we got that call.
This life is a mystery. The fact that adoption exists at all means that something else is very broken...in this case our fertility and birthmom's life situation. But God can take our brokenness and create something beautiful if we open our hearts to Him.
Olivia was/is what we needed...I can't count the number of ways we've grown personally and spiritually through the challenges this child has thrown at us. God constantly uses her to help us grow closer to Him. God can fix what's broken in birthmom's life, too, and I pray every day for that.