With Ruth coming back from working with orphans in Africa, to my own adopted children growing up so fast and being away at camps and starting college, my mind has been swirling with the Gospel in Adoption for weeks. I decided to save the last giveaway from The Adoption Shoppe and spend the next few BLOG’s sharing our journey of fostering and adopting.
Clint and I wanted lots of children; six was our starting number. God had another plan for our family. Blake came 11 months and 22 days after we were married. (2 years earlier than our plan!) Ruth arrived a short 14 year, 4 months and 12 days after him. There were babies conceived between that time, but the pregnancies, which didn’t come easy, always ended in the pain of miscarriage. Adoption wasn’t an option in our minds because of the high cost and the inconsistency of our finances as a self-employed carpenter family. And, adopting had not become the chic “in” thing to do propelled by high profiled celebrity adoptions. We had no idea how we could ever add a child by adoption. When girls with unplanned pregnancies came into our life, my fantasy was that they would just knock on my door and hand me their baby. But those were just my plans.
By the time Clint return to school to figure out what he wanted to be when he grew up and the miracle of Ruth, we moved to southern Missouri for Clint to finish his last two years of medical school’s clinical rotations. It was a town I was sure we would only stay for the 2 years required! (Obviously those of you who don’t know our story, are seeing huge gaps in this BLOG, but this is about our adoption story, and those gaps will have to be filled in at another time.)
With Blake leaving for college, Clint and I decide an apartment would fit our family of 3, and we chose one that based rent on our income and had an amazing swimming pool. Ruth and I loved going to the pool each day and quickly I felt like the Pied Piper. The apartment had a policy that children couldn’t swim without adult supervision. I hated to see these sweaty little kids, standing outside the fence watching with yearning souls that would not be quenched if I didn’t invite them in under my watch. Each day I found our cooler needing to grow to accommodate the extra snacks and drinks that we would need to sustain our time at the pool. Never, in the entire first 2 months there, did I meet a parent or sitter concerned with who was watching their child at the pool. There were a few children who would tell me they needed to “go ask” but each of them returned quickly donning their swimsuit! I was curious about these children’s parents, even following them home to see which apartment was theirs. One little girl and Ruth really enjoyed each other, so when I followed her home to see if she could join us on the playground, my inquisitiveness was met with a cracked door and the obvious need for this mother to stay anonymous.
The summer came to an end, and the pool closed and the playground became more desolate as the children began to attend school, or day cares, or just didn’t leave their apartments as often. Something else began to happen frequently. Police officers would enter the complex accompanied by an official looking woman in a pantsuit and name badge. Most often, after a short time, crying children with small bags or Wal-Mart sacks would be escorted off the property. Sometimes there was silent shock on the parent’s faces, sometimes bitter wailing, sometimes, angry obscenities.
This is where our journey in foster care started. This is where God showed me that there was a whole different side to being a mom. At first, I just thought God could use my flawed but “redempted” self to encourage moms. I didn’t see abuse as much as ignorant neglect. I saw second-generation non-mothering. I was astonished at the lack of nurturing skills that I assumed came natural to mothering. I wanted Jesus to use a broken storyline from my heart and life to let these moms see His willingness to enter into their mess. I needed to engage these marginalized, maybe abused, neglected, hopeless moms and love them as Jesus has loved me. I wanted to engage these moms in the middle of the brokenness and show them the beautiful redemptive story.
Little did I know that He was going to use me differently. Little did I know that He was still willing to grow our “quiver”. Little did I know He had three children (two already born) waiting to show me more of Him!
And that, is where our adoption story began…..
Kate is a stay-at-home mom and married to Jason a church planter. After burying 2 baby boys and finally being blessed with a daughter and son, they thought their family was complete. But God kept whispering to them that He was not finished growing their family. He placed adoption on their hearts, and you can read for yourself her beautiful story. http://www.theadoptshoppe.com/
She started The Adopt Shoppe out of necessity to finance their adoption. She uses verses to make “billboards for your heart”.
I am so excited to be giving away one of her original paraphrase & design totes. Made in India by women rescued from the sex trade, you will be honored to carry these adorable, fair-trade bags.
This tote is sturdy grey canvas, the interior is fully lined with charcoal fabric and has a side zipper pocket. It fastens with a magnetic clasp. The approximate size is 12.6″ x 16.5″ x 5.9″with a 12″ drop handle.