Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Beginning of Our Family's Story

Cary and I made an agreement before we got married to NOT start browsing the baby section or brainstorm baby names or nursery decor as soon as we made it down the aisle in an effort to be content in our newlywed stage of life, and to avoid turning on the maternal button I've long sensed might be lurking in me somewhere, coded "all systems go." And we kept to our pact! We've LOVED being newlyweds, and long enjoyed the days of early morning coffee and prayer time together, evenings devoted to together-time dinners, walks, outings, couch time... Marriage has been the best. Another favorite of ours is a nice long drive. Cary and I got to know each other on long car-pool commutes, and found more excuses for extended talk time on our long drives to and from VT. This past November, we were on a 6 hour drive to a conference in Norfolk. (Uninterrupted us time!) Long drives = time to reminisce; for Cary to humor me with guessing games to see if we can find something we don't know about one another; for me to humor him in allowing him to sing falsetto along with the radio... On this particular drive, we'd turned the radio down while we were talking and kept right on talking over it after we lost signal and it turned to static. We were looking at a long stretch of houses, picking out ones we could see ourselves in down the road... I took a step toward the forbidden, and ventured the question, "How long do you think it will be before  we start a family?" Cary mused... "I'd say, probably in the next 2-3 years." I was excited. "I was thinking 2!" He thought for a minute. "I could see it being more like 2." This was fun! "Do you think we'll have a boy or a girl first?" The fun questions and hypotheticals bounced back and forth. "Do you think we'll ever adopt?" We'd attended a seminar at church to increase awareness about the many orphans in the world, even in our own communities. We'd decided my parents would be perfect candidates to adopt. :) Cary answered, "I could see that down the road... maybe once we have some parenting experience and if we feel led..." And then a door that NEITHER of us had anticipated or thought about, opened. We talked about adoption. How there really is a serious need for the care of orphans in the world. We talked about adoptive families, and then family dynamics, and suddenly... we were excited. Cary was looking at me and saying, "I think we should adopt first." I was thrilled, and my head was spinning, but I was so unsure. We talked about things that made us feel like beginning our family with adoption made sense for us. But what if this was just an US plan. How do we know this idea is from God? What if it's just something we're excited about right now, but it was never His plan... We KNOW we want to do what He predestined us to... And so I asked Cary, "What if this is just a crazy idea I cooked up that we could get excited about, but was never His plan?" He nodded... We got quiet. It was a weighty question hanging in the air as we continued down the road. The radio static was just clearing up as a new station filtered in.

"Up next, we'll meet a family who decided to answer God's call to provide for the orphan...." No way. We both froze. We looked at each  other. No way. The radio program went on. It was all about a family in Canada who'd adopted several children. Their adjustments. Their heart for those kids. We cried. I had dared to ask the question out loud... "How do we know if this is from God?" And He answered. Through our radio. We haven't doubted our call since. We realized that we have the opportunity to share the kind of love our God has shown us - to be a loving home for kids who couldn't otherwise have one, can't earn one, may even show us a zillion times that they don't deserve one. It's our call. And every day since we said "yes" has been more beautiful than the last.  


Romans 8:15-16 says "You have received the spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, 'Abba, Father.' ...That we are children of God and if children, then heirs - heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ." That God would offer us sonship still blows my mind. But that love keeps going. His adoption story is timeless. It's where the Hill family adventure begins...

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