Something new to our family as you will see on the right hand side of our blog is our intent to adopt a little girl from China. Her name is Lori. She is 15 months old...she is hearing-impaired...and she presently lives at Harmony House in China awaiting her forever-family. We have discussed adoption for give-or-take seven years, but it didn't fall into place until recently. Camille had known for a long time, but something in me knew the timing was not right yet. Then, in or around the same recent weekend, it all seemed to fall into place.
First, we found Lori. Camille found her at the Harmony Outreach House website, which can be found at http://www.harmonyoutreach.org/. Camille was immediately drawn to her. We have talked many times about how we envisioned ourselves adopting a little girl from China. If finding her on the website did not convict us enough, the same weekend, our blessed pastor, William Marshall, preached a sermon on the Sanctity of Life and the Blessing of Children. It was wonderful! In fact, "wonderful" does not do it justice. I still can't stop thinking about it, and how the Holy Spirit jolted me that day. I HIGHLY recommend you check it out. You can download the mp3 at http://www.tbcsikeston.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=453&Itemid=9. In a nutshell, God has already revealed to us in His Word that children are a BLESSING! So often in scripture, when He 'blessed' people...He did so by giving them children.
Our culture so often does not feel that way. Voddie Baucham in his book Family Driven Faith (and I'm paraphrasing) says, "when did we start hating children?" The number of children we have in the modern American family is based on convenience. We first ask if it is convenient for us? Before determining the number of children we have, we ask questions like: Can we still afford all the things we want? Can we still live in the size house we want? Can we still drive what we want to drive? We are led often by selfishness and convenience.
However, if we look at verses 3-5 of Psalm 127, it states " Don't you see that children are God's best gift? The fruit of the womb his generous legacy? Like a warrior's fistful of arrows are the children of a vigorous youth. Oh, how blessed are you parents, with your quivers full of children!" (The Message). In other words, children are a blessing!
On top of that, several times God gave the command, "Be fruitful and multiply." Why would he want such a thing. I like to reference the passage in Malachi 2:15, which states when referring to man and wife: "Has not the LORD made them one? In flesh and spirit they are his. And why one? Because he was seeking godly offspring. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth."(ESV). God seeks Godly Offspring!
Rather than seeing children as a burden, we are to see children as a blessing. God also clearly makes His will known in James that religion our Heavenly Father considers pure and blameless is to look after orphans and widows. We are to be fruitful and multiply, and we are to look after orphans.
I heard Voddie speak one time on the subject of children. He said that while he could only advance God's kingdom to a point...his hope was that he would have a mob of Godly children that would pick up the flag and move it forward more than he ever could have on his own. We are to raise our children as arrows that we plan to release one day to move the Kingdom further. So why not have a quiver full?
I admit this was not always my perspective. I originally planned on the 2.5 kids and the picket fence. But THANK GOD, He got a hold of me and changed my perspective! My family and friends and coworkers think we're nuts, but that's ok. If we sincerely try to be sold-out to God, our life shouldn't make sense to people. After having 5 kids, we just 'knew' that we were done. So, I went to the doctor, and had him put a stop to my ability to have children. Shortly afterward, Camille also had a procedure done, although her's was necessary due to complications following the birth of the twins. We had both closed the doors on our baby factory. Something we sincerely regret ever doing. We considered reversing things, but the risks on Camille's health were just too great.
That led us to seriously consider adoption after the boys were born. It's taken a while...the boys are almost five years old now... but we have finally surrendered to the idea of adding children through adoption. We sincerely hope to bring Lori home to our family. There are mountains of paperwork to do, and the cost is going to be around $20,000, and we have NO IDEA in the world how to pay for it. But...we serve a HUGE God that owns the cattle on a thousand hills (plus He owns the thousand hills!), and if He desires for us to bring Lori home, then He will make it happen, and He will provide!
In the book Crazy Love that we reference often, Francis asks, "what are you doing right now that requires faith? that requires God to show up?"...well, I think this counts... and it is scary...but I'm excited to see what happens.
The other day riding in a car to a meeting, I found myself looking out the window daydreaming (don't worry, someone else was driving)...and in my mind popped a vision of a 21 year old Lori hugging me and telling me 'thank you'. It was surreal. I could tell you what she was wearing, what her hair looked like and that she was wearing glasses. It made me smile.
After this...who knows. I hope God has some more arrows in mind for our quiver. I am excited to see where this goes.
But to you... consider your attitude toward children. If you have children, or are able to have children...celebrate...and have more! If you are unable...adopt a van full of orphans that need a home! Raise them up to love God and glorify Him with their life! Prepare them for the day when you will release them as you would arrows to tackle the ministry God has perfectly planned for them. I pray that our culture, especially within the church, begins to welcome children as a blessing!