Q: What made you guys decide to adopt in the first place, especially since you already have a large family?
Back in the spring of 2011, the Lord began working on our hearts about how we were spending our time and our money. We were challenged about where our treasures were being laid up and stored. Here on earth where moth and rust will eventually destroy or in heaven where it will last for eternity? So, Will and I committed to pray about ways that we could practically and effectively model this concept to our 4 little boys, and we knew that the Lord was about to begin an exciting work in our hearts and in our family. At that point, adoption was not even on our radar. It was not something that we had ever talked about or considered. As we began to pray, the Lord really starting impressing on my heart, in particular, the needs of children from all over the world. We began to incorporate this into our school time and decided to get the boys involved by learning about specific countries and people groups of the world. We had a few websites that we would look at everyday, including Operation World. It was a really neat and simple way to pray for the entire world and also to show the boys that there are many people, and even children like them, in this world who live in conditions that are unthinkable and appalling. It helped to shape all of our perspectives as the Lord began exposing our self-centered, self-pleasing natures and began to work gratitude and thankfulness into all of our hearts! I am so thankful for God's mercy to change our course and set us down this new path!
The Lord continued to stir our hearts as we prayed about ways to make this even more tangible and hands-on for the boys. In my desire to instill this into their little hearts, it was obvious that the Lord was also at work in mine, stretching me and nudging me out of my complacency. The Lord gave me the idea to begin saving money in the cans our baby formula came in and then to give that money to some cause or some person. We decorated the can, placed it by our back door, and started collecting money. At first, we just put in loose change and coins, but eventually we were challenged to do more. We prayed about who or what the money should be used for, knowing that the Lord had blessed us in so many ways and that, in turn, we wanted to be a blessing to others. We listened and waited for direction, but for over a month, we heard nothing. During that time, Will and I both began to talk about different ideas and had a sense that something big was on the horizon, but the idea of adoption still never came up.
One day when the boys were playing, I somehow ended up on an adoption website, drawn to look at children in the Eastern European country of Bulgaria who suffered from many severe disabilities and special needs. I cannot explain how I ended up there that day, and there is no way to tell how it all unfolded without making it very clear that the Lord was at work, opening up our eyes and our hearts, leading, guiding, and steering us at every single point. You can go back to our very first post, Looking Back, and read about how this all played out and how the Lord's timing was so perfect in leading us to Sophi. I am constantly amazed as I reflect back and remember God's providence that week in June when we first saw her little picture and knew that the Lord was choosing us to choose her!!! Here's one really neat fact that I just realized - My due date with this new baby is exactly one year from the day that we e-mailed our adoption agency and committed to Sophi's adoption. On June 20th, 2011, we e-mailed the initial application into our adoption agency! As crazy as it sounds, this was only 4 days after we had even begun considering adoption! Yes, you read that right! We spent only 4 days researching, investigating, and praying about adoption before we knew we were supposed to proceed. The Lord made it that clear, and gave both me and Will an undeniable and unshakeable sense that the decision was already made, and that it was just up to us to respond and obey. I love this wild story that the Lord is writing for our family, and it seems like each day is just turning into an even bigger adventure! :)
Q: How old is Sophi? What are the ages of your other children?
Sophi is 5 and turns 6 on April 12th. Web is our oldest. He is 6 and turns 7 on June 30th. Palmer is 5 and turns 6 on June 15th. Here's another crazy tidbit - Web, Palmer, and Sophi will all be the same age at the same time for a few weeks every year! Hank is 4, turning 5 in August, and Barrett just celebrated his first birthday! June is a popular month at our house for birthdays as we anticipate the newest Blackmon baby having a June birthday as well! :)
Stay posted for more questions and answers, including our decision to trust God with the size of our family, where we stand with our adoption finances, and good news about our written referral and our travel dates for our first trip! The much anticipated e-mail from our attorney saying that we have received the final signature we need is coming, and I'm believing that it is coming soon! However, waiting is never easy, especially for this impatient, pregnant momma who is ready to meet that little girl with the crazy-striped stockings! Making it even more challenging is this growing baby in my tummy, daily reminding me that the clock is ticking. Our hope has always been to have Sophi home before I have the baby, but as the days are passing by we know that it's going to take some mountains being moved for that to happen! We are trusting that the Lord's timing will be just right and that He knows what is best! Our pregnancy was not a surprise to Him and neither are these delays in our adoption process. They are among the many, many ways that the Lord is growing our faith, and despite how it feels today (hard and not fun!!!), I am thankful for how the Lord is working! He is at work, even when I can't see Him and even when His answer is not what I want to hear! Wait...
I've used this quote by Charles Spurgeon before, but I love the simple faith that it calls for...
"Waiting implies being ready."
So that's what we've been doing around here. Will and I are packing our bags and getting everything ready to travel to Bulgaria to spend a week getting to know Sophi! We are so excited and ready to go! We are believing in faith that we will get the written referral that we need from the Minister of Justice VERY SOON and praying that we get to travel sooner than anyone could ever imagine! Keep the prayers coming!
God can do anything, you know - far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams. Glory to God...