Sunday, January 29, 2012
So this is blogging. A laptop computer warming my thighs while staring at a blank text box wondering what I should write to as I (and my family) are about to embark on what will almost certainly be the most trans-formative, life altering experience of our lives. Surely I must start with something profound; something that, like in so many of the great novels, sets the tone for the journey ahead and captures the reader in a way that make them want to read on with earnest! I think in my head I have started and published hundreds of blog posts over the past several months since Kathy and I first set the adoption wheels in motion. It almost seems like years ago. But no, it has been months. Maybe four. But never before have four consecutive months had such an unyielding, singular preoccupation in my mind on on my heart. In these four months I have been, in my mind, to dozens of Ukrainian orphanages, followed by a handful in Russia, followed back again by Ukraine. I spent a short amount of time in Bulgaria and in other countries around the globe which I would have been hard pressed to locate on a map without assistance. And now my mind is even further from home, on the exact opposite side of our planet where our child is, at this very moment, likely about to eat lunch. She doesn't know us. She is not thinking of us. But we are of her. The hardest part of this adoption process for me, personally, thus far is not the decision as to whether or not to adopt. It wasn't the age or the gender of the child, nor was it her race or nationality. For me it was how to pick just one from the approximately 146,000,000 orphans around the world. For me it was seeing faces and varying degrees of special needs and wondering how on earth it would be possible to just...pick...one. For the longest time "picking one" felt to me no different than condemning 145,999,999. To this day it still weighs heavy on my heart. But we have picked one and, in our hearts and in our minds, she is ours and she is loved. I can't even fully describe how it came to be that she became ours. It certainly doesn't feel like divine intervention the way the first child we had "picked", and subsequently lost, felt to be. But I believe, as the old saying goes, that the Lord works in mysterious ways and that we really don't need the seas to part to show us the way. What we need is faith. And for those that know me well (and I am not all that certain than any really do) faith, to me, is not always in ample supply. I say that not because I have none, nor because I question its existence, but simply because I am honest enough with myself to know that while I have always believed in God, my "faith" in God and trust in God has not always been on such firm footing. But I seek Him. I seek to know Him. And I seek to live my life in a way that pleases and glorifies Him. But my decision to adopt an unwanted child from the other side of the world is not an act to try to win favor with God. I do not believe that His favor can be "won". But I do believe that He has expectations of us. That He has provided us all with blessings and then leave it up to us to decide what to do with those blessings. For me, I have been blessed with an incredible country whose founding document acknowledges explicitly the rights the God, Himself, has endowed us with. I have been blessed with freedoms unknown to the vast majority of the world. I have been blessed with an amazing wife whose desire to be a mother and to care for and raise her children ranks foremost in her heart. I have been blesses with four beautiful, healthy children. I have been blessed with a good job which enables me to provide for my family's every need and many of their wants as well. And when I look at these blessings, to me, it just seems like a mathematical formula as to what God expects of me. I am given a choice. I can keep these blessings and hoard them for myself and my family, albeit with gratitude to he who gave them to me. Or I can share those blessings, acknowledging not only gratitude, but understanding that all the wealth of the world is His and that we are merely stewards of it.
Posted by MWIEHL at 9:16 PM