Give liberally - got it.
Go urgently. And I don't mean running to the bathroom after a 48 oz of water. Go. Urgently.
Ack. I've heard those words in my head, causing me to sit straight up in bed in the middle of the dark night. It was 2011. We were racing for SJ.
SJ's adoption was not easy. It was grueling, emotionally draining - no, more precisely, it felt emotionally like being ripped apart right down the middle of my being. And then stomped on.
It was nauseating and heart wrenching and filled with tears. It felt very, very lonely sometimes.
Bringing SJ home and into our family has been so much easier than the process of getting to her. Adoption was so very different from the three biological pregnancies I have had.
So. Much. More. Difficult. And Painful.
Paperwork - not just a few papers but a huge stack of papers for a home study and international dossier that had to be chased down (think doctors, mortgage company, tax assessor, background checks - multiple background checks!, financial statements, interviews, autobiographies, birth certificates, employment records, medical records, and on and on.....driving all over multiple counties, acquiring perfectly aligned, signed, notarized, make sure they are each stamped correctly!, triple/quadruple checked for accuracy and apostilled....$5 a page! papers) that then eventually were sent to a foreign country where they were inspected and either accepted or denied. Accepted. Or. Denied.
(They were accepted.)
Combine all the above with the knowledge there is a child, an actual little person you are hoping to meet someday and the process has to be seamless, without error because there is a huge deadline looming - as in, a deadline that would change the entire adoption process if we didn't meet the deadline. It's a little bit of pressure. Add to that the questions, the statements from well meaning (and a lot of NOT well meaning) folks. Some comments were down right mean. At times those comments came from people we really were hoping would have been cheering for us. Not what you hope for when you are joyful about bringing another child into your family. It's always baffled me how differently people act when you are adopting, rather than having a biological child. Like, not coming to the airport when you get home with your new child, after a month of being gone..baffling...but I digress (that is another blog post!).
With SJ's adoption, we kept moving along, walking through God's open doors and He paved the way for us to bring our youngest home. The entire time, hearing His voice - remain steadfast and go quickly.
Go urgently - yes, we have lived that.
Live Dangerously. Ummm. Not so keen on how that sounds. Living dangerously? I don't even go on roller coasters. Living dangerously must look like something else, surely?
"we seemed to have organized ourselves, not to engage in battle for the souls of peoples around the world, but to indulge ourselves in the peaceful comforts of the world."
"have we replaced what is radical about our faith with what is comfortable? are we settling for Christianity that revolves around catering to ourselves when the central message of Christianity is actually about abandoning ourselves?" David Platt
The truth stings. We like to be comfortable, to walk in the peaceful, comfortable corners of our own realities. I'll admit I do. But I absolutely do not want to live my life catering around myself, nor do I want to raise my children to live that way.
Does abandoning ourselves (Being ready to say Yes, God, whatever it is you ask...I will go, I will follow You) look like "living dangerously" to the rest of the world?
I can't really say adoption is living dangerously - but right now, in the pit of my stomach, it feels that way.
It feels like entering a battlefield.
Equipped with the armor of God.
A battle worth fighting. Abandoning ourselves.
.More to come.