“The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.”
I remember the day that we decided to move forward. It was early December. We had a peace that came suddenly, and whispered assurances from the Lord…start now. After waiting for that peace for nearly seven years, it seemed like a dream…picking up the phone, contacting the agency and saying, “Please mail me an adoption application.” After we sent the first application away it seemed that as quickly as peace had come, it left. Our first bill arrived in the mail and lay open for weeks on the counter. It was an amount in the thousands of dollars, and we were simply unable to pay it and move forward.
As we prayed about what to do next, we felt the peace of the Lord descend again and knew with confidence that we were now to wait. It seemed so strange. Like revving up an engine, only to put on the brakes. It didn’t make a lot of sense to us, yet we told the Lord, Whatever you may have planned for us, we are going to wait on You. Whatever You want for us Lord, our answer is YES.
The peace He had given was for a purpose. But so was this pause. They weren’t in conflict with each other. We trusted that the reasons were just not fully revealed to us yet.
As January rolled around, we decided to put the whole process on hold until God made the way more clear for us…until He took His finger off of the pause button. We called the agency and asked them to put our application aside for the time being and close our file. They sent us a refund of our application fee and suddenly we were right back where we started. This was crazy.
A few months later, in early April, I was getting into my car after running a work errand when my phone rang. It was my mom, who knew that we had put the adoption on hold. She asked, “Are you and Mike still open to adopting?” The question instantly made me catch my breath and reawakened a deep, yet-unanswered longing for a child. What was going on?
“Yes,” I said immediately, “Our answer to the Lord is still yes.”
She started slowly…”There is a girl…” and went on to describe a situation to me that was almost unbelievable. A young woman. Pregnant. Her family known to my parents. Already 6 months along. Wanting to find a Christian couple to “bless with the gift of a child” – her exact words. She was in a nearby city. The family was open to meeting us.
The very next night my husband and I were invited into her home. We sat with her and her parents and shared stories. I looked at her small frame, her growing belly, this little 6-month old baby boy who was already anticipated and who she was already planning to place in an adoptive family. She described her desires for his future parents, why she had chosen adoption. We also found that we had some very unique shared life experiences – just another fingerprint of God on this story He was writing.
We told her that we had been praying for a child for many years and had started the adoption process in early December, only to feel the Lord suddenly ask us to wait. We told her that we had closed our file with the adoption agency, but we didn’t know why. We didn’t say it out loud, but my husband and I were both thinking…Is this why Lord? To lead us to our future son, already conceived, in need of a family?
She told us she wasn’t working with an agency and hoped to have a private adoption. My heart leapt! Even still, she said that a representative from an agency was sending her some profiles of local waiting families, just in case.
My heart dropped. We didn’t have a profile. We weren’t on a list. We didn’t even have an active application anymore. When we parted ways, she said she was going to look over some other profiles and let us know her next steps. We walked away with hope, but also hesitancy. What if she chose another family? I had to remind myself of our position many times over the next few weeks. Whatever the result Lord, we trust in You.
As each week went on, my certainty faltered. She must have chosen another family by now. But I stayed my spirit on the Lord, and often found myself saying, “Whatever Your will,” keeping my heart’s desires focused on the goodness of the Lord and the comforting knowledge that He knew better than us what plans would bring fruit into our lives, this young woman’s life, and this precious child’s life.
Long weeks passed in silence.
One late afternoon in May – at 4:10 pm to be exact – my phone beeped indicating a text message. I had just been texting some information to my husband, so I was expecting a response from him. What I was absolutely NOT expecting was the text I saw next:
“Hi Jasmin, I thought now would be a good time to tell you that I would be honored if you and Mike would adopt my baby boy. I’ve decided not to look at other profiles. Ever since meeting you and Mike, I have felt that it was the right fit.”
The text caught me so off guard, and came in such an unexpected, almost casual way, that I found myself crying before I had barely processed the information I had just read. A text was the last way I ever expected to receive this kind of news! I just sat at my kitchen table, phone in hand, staring in disbelief, weeping. Not a few moments had passed before my husband walked through the door. I looked up in surprise and – through the tears – my face must have registered the deep joy that was bubbling up in my heart, because he took one look at me and – with a big smile plastered across his face – said simply, “We’re adopting a baby, aren’t we?!”
I nodded and said something unintelligible through my tears. He just laughed with delight.
When I finally got my voice, I said, “She just sent me this text!” and read it out loud to him.
“What should I say?” I asked.
“Say yes of course!” He said with a laugh, repeating back to me the very answer we had given to the Lord over and over through the past months.
So without a further moment’s hesitation, I texted back, “We are so honored to be chosen and we accept with JOY!”
A short, miraculous nine weeks later, we brought home our beautiful newborn son. And every time I look at him, as I watch him grow with the passing of time, I remember all the moments I cried out to the Lord in longing through those seemingly endless years of waiting; seven years of watching friend after friend, and both of my sisters, fill their homes and hearts with little children. But I know with deep certainty that not one moment of waiting was wasted.
Every single ounce of grief and groaning that poured from our hearts was so that God’s glory might be seen in a greater way than we could have imagined. “For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison” (2 Cor. 4:17 ESV). And now, when I see this little boy who was so lovingly and purposefully placed into our family by his earthly birth mother and his Heavenly Father, I think “…as for the Lord, His way is perfect” (2 Samuel 22:31 NIV).
We couldn’t love him more than we do – even if he had been our own flesh and blood.
A few months after we brought our son home, I was thinking about God’s timing…saying start now and then pushing pause on our plans while He continued to work out His perfect will. As I looked back and tried to reason why it had happened that way (it seemed so silly to us), I remembered an early conversation we had had with our son’s birth mother. She said it was early December when she discovered she was pregnant: the exact time that God had said to us start now. The same time we gave Him our YES for whatever came next.
And as I marveled at this tiny, yet utterly important detail…I realized that the peace God had placed in our hearts was for the sake of this child, this birth mother, this time, this reason. And the pause He had put on our plans was also for the sake of this child, this birth mother, this time, this reason.
My husband and I can testify that – though we have personally been richly blessed by the gift of our son – we have seen with great joy how God has used this story to display His unmatched goodness and great love to so many witnesses who walked with us through all those years of waiting.
“For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding “Yes!” And through Christ, our “Amen” (our “Yes”) ascends to God for His glory” (1 Corinthians 1:20 NLT). What He starts He is faithful to complete. Always. And we walk in agreement with His ways.
Though they may seem strange to us – sometimes even heart wrenching – they are always for our good and for His glory.