It seems that the initial decision to adopt was even easier than this one. The special needs program in China pulled my heart strings. No, YANKED them. As I was looking at the faces of the cleft kids and club foot kids and heart kids, I literally felt like God was telling me I was looking into the face of my future child.
When we were discussing whether or not to adopt, the question was never where. We hardly discussed that, amazingly enough. It was always China. Always special needs (which the term is more loosely used in this context than how we say it in America. Any additional medical need is considered "special needs").
And, it's China. We assumed there were girls upon girls waiting. We, too, believed that the effects of the one-child-policy in China were still rampant and that there were baby girls just waiting for families. I read blogs upon blogs of families who had adopted from China, and at that point, most of them had adopted girls. This gave me a vision for what this might look like, and I started to dream of adding a daughter to our family. Also, we have two boys already. This also seemed like a no brainer. As we were submitting our application, we checked "girl". Again without discussion (which seems crazy to me now, but God has His own timing for things).
Until we started getting emails from our agency. "There is an urgent need for parents to adopt boys, but you will wait 6-9 months for a girl."
An URGENT NEED. It is boys who need families. The orphanages and foster homes were not overflowing with girls... but boys.
It wasn't the difference in wait time that bothered me. Our documents had already been in China for nearly 3 months. I was fully prepared to wait longer for a referral. In fact, the timeline moving closer scared me a bit. But email after email came in expressing the fact that boys are waiting for families, while families are waiting for girls.
|the adoption of boys, lwbcommunuty.org|
Ugh. My heart.
You see, I have two boys. Two rowdy, incredibly active, sometimes defiant, but always sweet and up for a snuggle, all-out-boys. I love having boys. I really really do. From what I hear, having boys is very different from having girls. In fact, more than once people have told me "God knew what he was doing not giving me boys, or only giving me one".... I never quite know how to respond to that, because as much as they exhaust me, it is a pure pleasure to raise men. And man, I wrestled in a huge way with the fact that boys were waiting, and we were saying NO based on the fact that they are boys, when I had two boys I adored right at home.
So, the conversation started even before our dossier was done. But it is hard to let go of something you have been dreaming about. I even have a bag of girl clothes in the closet, because I snuck them out of the leftovers of our garage sale. It has been the vision. I just started to question, where this vision came from. I started to pray, God, did you call us to adopt a girl, or did you simply call us to adopt from China?
We knew that if we checked "boy or girl" from the beginning we would be quickly matched with a boy. And this change in vision needed lots of prayer and time. So we kept our application marked "girl" and prepared to wait and pray.
We waited for months, uneasy, and feeling a little lump in my throat every time I said we were adopting a girl, because it started to feel like when I said that, what I was really saying was that I was saying no to a boy.
In January, Jordan told me that he had been praying about whether we should adopt a boy or girl again. This shocked me, because prior to that we had said that the vision of a daughter was what was given to us and we needed to pray. But over the past month of prayer, we both came to think that the vision of a daughter wasn't necessarily of God.
One night, after discussing the possibility of changing our adoption to a boy, I was struggling to sleep and suddenly clearly remembered what started the seed of adoption in my heart. I woke up and searched my blog, certain I had written about it, and I was right. A video, I posted 3 years prior, about the plight of being an orphan boy. I wrote at that point Just having a boy of my own, I can't imagine not loving many more boys. And I realized that is still true today. The next morning I prayed as I showered (because when else do I get complete quiet and solitude?) and I just felt a huge sense of God telling me to trust Him with my family. However that my grow. However many children he has for me, it is already in His plan. I can trust Him.
You see, it might be crazy, but here is what I believe happened. If I had been thinking "boy" all along, I'm not sure it would have lead me to China. I associate China with girls. In fact over 75% of families who adopt (in general, but especially in China) go there specifically asking for girls. I was one of them! The truth is, that now it isn't "girls" who are being surrendered for adoption in China so much as the special needs kids, and in that crowd, boys and girls are equal. But boys wait, because more people are asking for girls. So, I think God lead me to China before he lead me to a boy, because boys in China are waiting.
Now, I want you to hear me on this. I do not believe that if we had stayed only choosing a girl, that it would have been wrong, immoral, or selfish. I don't believe that at all. So, those of you who feel God's call on your life to adopt a daughter, DO. PLEASE do. Right now, the way things are, yes you will wait for a daughter, but the only people who are adopting those girls are people who are specifying that they will only take a girl. If you say boy or girl, you will get a boy with about 98% certainty (unofficial numbers I'm making up myself, but still). I believe God can give you a vision for adopting a daughter. This is just our journey... the way God guided our steps to lead us to who is supposed to be our child. And it simply looks different than we had originally thought.
Over the past many weeks, we've prayed through this decision. Talked. I've asked for prayer from my closest friends, and asked them to call me out if I start sounding off or crazy. And it eventually brought us to Monday.
We felt that we could both say that we truly didn't feel a tug either way, boy or girl. We would be thrilled with either. So we took a turn in our journey on a Monday. We submitted our document on February 2, to say we would love to have either a boy or a girl.
That brings us to the following Thursday... (click to read the rest of the story).