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Determining God's will


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Everyone on this Forum is amazing to me. The faith that could move mountains is what I find here in every story.

I'm pretty sure I knew all along that we would have difficulty conceiving, but tried many options before contacting adoption agencies. We chose Abrazo because the lady that answered the phone (Elizabeth at that time!) seemed very caring. When we received our call about a sibling group of three, we only hesitated for one second before saying yes. Then their birthparents chose another couple. It was devastating, and I kept praying "why God, why did you present this wonderful opportunity to us and then take it away?". Well, as it turned out, two days later Elizabeth called again and said "still interested? because the birthcouple changed their mind." I was still interested, but I had to make sure Brian was too, so I asked if I could call her back after speaking with Brian. The rest, as you know, is history.

While we were waiting for all the signed paperwork before leaving for San Antonio, I remembered a book I had read when I was about 12 or 13 that I had purchased at a library book sale (or never returned). I knew the title had something to do with adoption so I hunted through all my boxes of books that I had never unpacked. Sure enough, there was the book. The title: "We Adopted Three", hence my screen name for the Forum. Finding that book confirmed God's plan for us! rolleyes.gif Becoming the lucky parents of Hillary, Brian and Cassie was definitely His plan.

Edited by weadoptedthree
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When I suspected I was pregnant, I felt a huge presence helping me make a decision on what to do. I can't really describe it but it's like I just knew adoption was the best thing for me at that time. My pregnancy was a blessing - I analyzed the "why" over and over again and each time, with such clarity - I could answer those questions to myself - why I was pregnant, why I was about to go through the most difficult experience in my entire life. I know it was God helping me all the way, helping me find the answers within myself - He cleared my head enough to think through things and figure it all out and make the decision I needed to make. It's like throughout the ordeal, I was given this insight into my future & my baby's future and what our futures could become if I chose to place her for adoption. I can't imagine what else it could have been if it weren't Him directing me - I sure didn't have the strength to figure it all out by myself. When I did start having some doubts, toward the end.....a voice in my head was so loud and clear and it told me to think with my head, not my heart. I just wanted someone to tell me what to do because I felt such a tug in my heart to not let go of my child but then I rationalized all the things I'd been thinking of prior to that and knew that this decision would need to be one I made with my head - I couldn't listen to what my heart was telling me. It was definitely Him, all along. I can list a million and one reasons now that affirm to me I did the right thing for me (the biggest of which is my daughter Kayleigh - had I not placed my first little angel for adoption, I would have never known my precious angel Kayleigh and I can't even imagine a life without her.....she is the daughter I was destined to parent.

Lisa

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To the statement "because if God wanted infertile people to become parents, wouldn't He give them the ability to reproduce?" I believe that infertile couples was God's way of giving parent's to children in need due to uncontrollable situations. I like to believe that every child placed was meant to be with the family that adopted them from the begining. Of course this is just how I feel but it sounds good to me. It is hard to determine God's will for you and sometimes you just have have faith let go of your wants and follow the guidence you already know is there.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Ok, here's an interesting one: to what extent did you "let go and let God" when filling out the part of adoption agency applications that asks what kind of child you would accept?

Why or why not?

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It took Marcelo a while to complete the application for that reason. We didn't always both feel as open as we do now. I now see our insecurtities were all founded on false beliefs... that we wouldn't be able to offer a child out of our ethnicity their cultural background or that they would be criticized by others. Maybe there are real tough challenges to be faced, but with our faith set strong on the foundation that God will never leave our side, we will endure it all. I truly believe that if you allow God to freely work in your heart, he will open it up to endless possibilities. That is what happened to us. Marcelo and I sat down way before we ever completely filled out the application and because we could not come to a decision that made us both feel good, we put the application away. Then one day I sat him down and explained to him my deep feelings about adoption. I shared with him that not being able to conceive and bear a child, was very painful, yet I knew it was meant to be. I felt like God knew what he was doing and how could we ask him to bless us with a child, but only ask for what we thought "fit" us. Little did we know that God knew so much more about us than we knew of ourselves. Look at us now, constantly in awe of our richly diverse baby boy called Dante Christian. Who would have known? Thank GOD he has worked in our lives so diligently to get us where we are today. We couldn't be more blessed than we are TODAY!

Claudia tongue.gif

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To the statement "because if God wanted infertile people to become parents, wouldn't He give them the ability to reproduce?" I believe that infertile couples was God's way of giving parent's to children in need due to uncontrollable situations. I like to believe that every child placed was meant to be with the family that adopted them from the begining. 

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The thing I think about is that God personally has adopted each and every one of us. So, it's a very natural thing for me to think about adoption for myself since God decided to go ahead and adopt me with all of my flaws (although that thought process took a lot of time, prayer and soul searching on my part sad.gif )!

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  • 9 months later...

From James' Dobson's "Focus on the Family" comes this current article on Christians Struggling with Infertility Choices.

How has your faith impacted your decisions, where infertility is concerned?

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Faith has played a big part in my life.

Several cousins in my family (both maternal and paternal) are adopted. I can't remember a time in my life when I didn't know what adoption meant. Since several family members were adopted it was just as "normal" in our family as that of a biological blessing.

Mickey and I assumed we would have at least one biological child and adopt at least one child as well. I never questioned my fertility (which is pretty silly considering infertility runs on both sides of the fam).

Eventually, having lots of health complications I was diagnosed with PCOS (poly cystic ovarian syndrome). This is one of the leading causes of infertility.

Something that is very important for me to keep my hormones balanced is to take The Pill. Without it my hormone levels are so out of whack. That being said...I never have been off birthcontrol. In my case, birthcontrol is not to control births but instead it is to help control my health.

At the time of my diagnosis, Mickey and I decided that God had other plans for us...that may never include biological children. We have embraced what is and decided then and there that infertility was not going to define us.

Adoption is the beautiful way that we have decided to expand our family. We embrace it with heart and soul.

The choices we have made are not "second best". We truly believe we have followed the path that we were meant to take.

God planted those "adoption seeds" in my heart while I was still a teenager (I knew even then we would adopt at least one child). Through faith and prayer those little "seeds" did not lie dormant, but instead have grown and flourished. The Planter knew what seeds to plant and where to plant them. Because of His goodness our family is now in bloom like a lovely garden. smile.gif

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Thanks for sharing Elaine! What an awesome story!

Sabrina

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The following paragraph was in one of the related links to the article Elizabeth posted. I really admire Dr. Dobson and think he is so on target with many things... BUT this is not one of them. Hmmm, maybe I should write him a letter. I really don't understand his position. Anyone else have any thoughts???

"But Dr. James Dobson cautions that open or semi-open adoptions carry some risks. Whereas an open arrangement may be beneficial during the latter part of a child's development, it can also be harmful earlier on. There is potential for emotional damage to a child who establishes one parental relationship only to learn "mid-stream" that there is another mother involved. Much conflict and confusion can be avoided if the book is left closed until later in the child's life. "

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Guest mshirst
The following paragraph was in one of the related links to the article Elizabeth posted. I really admire Dr. Dobson and think he is so on target with many things... BUT this is not one of them. Hmmm, maybe I should write him a letter. I really don't understand his position. Anyone else have any thoughts???

"But Dr. James Dobson cautions that open or semi-open adoptions carry some risks. Whereas an open arrangement may be beneficial during the latter part of a child's development, it can also be harmful earlier on. There is potential for emotional damage to a child who establishes one parental relationship only to learn "mid-stream" that there is another mother involved. Much conflict and confusion can be avoided if the book is left closed until later in the child's life. "

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Thanks for posing the question. I have some views, although they may not add substantive value to the discussion.

I disagree with Dr. Dobson on this point. I have followed his work in a somewhat dispassionate way for a numer of years, without being a critic or supporter. He is a person of influence, which makes him a person of interest, in my view.

In the early years of his work, Dobson seemed to focus largely on his training and work as a child psychologist and founder of Focus on the Family.

In more recent years, his work appears to be less focused on his scientific training and more focused on promoting his increasingly conservative views and political agenda. I should note that the previous statement is not a criticism, simply an observation.

Where Dobson and I disagree is that Dobson seems to "define and confine" divinity often in ways that, in my view, simply cannot be done. God's divinity is simply too large to be narrowed or ascribed to a particular political point of view - conservative or liberal - or anything else. For this reason, I am always a little uncomfortable when His name is invoked to justify a particular set of views or agenda, as if any of us really have the wisdom or right to do so. Moral arguments should also be those arguments that stand on their own merits, apart from any theological implications. Okay, more to the point.

Dobson may be missing an important point about the value of open adoption and honest, loving communication with a child about his or her heritage. Among the many reasons that Serene I favor open adoption is that we believe children gain immeasurable value from knowing that they are loved by two families - one so much that they were driven to make the ultimate sacrifice for their well-being, and the other willing to open their homes and hearts completely and unconditionally. What possible harm could come to a child by knowing that she or he is loved that much?

Yes, Dobson's views have value insofar as they contribute in important ways to a meaningful discussion of how children perceive parental roles. Arguably, clear parental roles are helpful to a child. Nonetheless, that alone raises the question: why limit the number of positive, parental role models that a child has by closing him or her off from the biological parents who expressed their love in the most difficult way possible?

What more positive adult role model could a child have than to know about such an unselfish expression of love on his or her behalf? Although I may be philosophizing a little (no surprise there), it's my opinion that developing a sense of altruism early in a child's life is a good thing, and what more noble example could there be than a birthparent's desire to, in most instances, put their child's interests ahead of their own?

A persuasive argument can be made that by developing a sense of selflessness early in a child's life, he or she will be less likely to develop a sense of entitlement or the need for immediate self-gratification throughout their lives, to the detriment of others. So unlike Dobson (and as an adoptee myself), I believe that as soon as children can understand the related concepts, they should be told how much their birthparents love them and the difficult decision that they made on their behalf - and to be told about the numerous obstacles and challenges that their adoptive parents overcame to welcome them to their hearts, homes and families.

Matt

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I was thinking this week about the inherent difficulty of discerning "signs from God" and "signs of our choosing." It's human nature, of course, to see what we want to see, but following our own chosen course while attributing our decisions to God can come back to haunt us. Trusting in the master plan/ Master's plan is tremendously difficult, but less so than living with the often painful consequences of our own foolish whims.

My heart goes out to parents-in-waiting who become so discouraged so soon in the process; I understand their desperate longing for a child and their anxiety about not having more control over the waiting game. But just because matches can happen doesn't mean they should. There's so much more to it than just being selected; you still need the discretion to assess, very honestly, the "fit" and your ability to make a lifetime commitment to that other party, as well as the child involved.

Time and time again I've witnessed the dissolution of matches that weren't meant to be, but were grasped like life rafts by people drowning in their doubts and fears, driven by their own needs rather than those of a child. Yet just as often I have been privileged to witness the grace and beauty of placements that were, clearly, heaven-sent and happened truly because the participants did "let go and let God," trite as it may sound.

I am humbled by those who genuinely do "walk by faith and not by sight." I struggle to learn from them, for there's no questioning the miracles that this sort of faith can bring about.

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My heart goes out to parents-in-waiting who become so discouraged so soon in the process; I understand their desperate longing for a child and their anxiety about not having more control over the waiting game. But just because matches can happen doesn't mean they should. There's so much more to it than just being selected; you still need the discretion to assess, very honestly, the "fit" and your ability to make a lifetime commitment to that other party, as well as the child involved.

Time and time again I've witnessed the dissolution of matches that weren't meant to be, but were grasped like life rafts by people drowning in their doubts and fears, driven by their own needs rather than those of a child. Yet just as often I have been privileged to witness the grace and beauty of placements that were, clearly, heaven-sent and happened truly because the participants did "let go and let God," trite as it may sound.

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Elizabeth could not be more right. Len and I had gotten to the point were we were wondering if we would ever match, even though it had only been a few months after orientation. We had several birthmother calls arranged but did not get a hold of most of them. Plus we really liked the first birthmother we spoke to and she choose to match with another couple. We were discouraged. Then we got a BOG call. The birthmother choose us. We declined the match. It was the most difficult decision we had ever made but something was not right. It was a decision that we second guessed several times. But that something, that "feeling" was the fact that we were meant to be Little Miss Kaylen's parents. We just LOVE that little girl. Had we match we the birthmother of the BOG we would have missed out on the most precious person in our lives. We love our birthmother and our realtionship was so easy - so right. I also have it on good authority that the little BOG was placed with a wonderful couple that just adore that baby - that baby was placed with the people that were meant to be that baby's parents. Everything as it should be... smile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gif

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mkbourdage - I have tremendous respect for your ability to say no even when it was tremendously difficult ... and I am so happy that Kaylen is now in your lives!

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Thank you so much - it was something I never prepared myself or anything that ever even crossed my mind. Life is as it should be and the joy that Kaylen brings us is tremendous!

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As some of you know, we brought a baby home from the hospital only to have it reclaimed by the mother 3 days later. That was a painful, wrenching experience for us - and was at first interpreted by us as somthing that God had not intended to happen. And clearly He did not intend for that child to be ours, however, hindsight being what it is - He clearly intended for us to match with that birthmother - He knew we were strong enough to take the disappointment and He knew that the 3 days would be exactly the right amount of time for the birth mother and father to decide they did, in fact, love each other enough to get married - and then they went on to have 2 other children and be married for more than 20 years (we've lost track of them now).

This is only to say that perhaps it will give a little comfort to those who have (or are) suffering from "plowing ahead" - that God may use your situation in ways you cannot imagine.

And sometimes, amazingly sometimes, God does show us "written there in black and white" what His will is regarding specific decisions - even regarding things like job decisions or adoption matches! Sometimes the words you have read on so many previous occasions (or perhaps the words you are reading for the first time) just jump off the page and sing clearly that this is what you are meant to do, and God is showing that to you, right there in back and white, right there in the minute that you are reading.

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Amazingly enough, my faith struggle wasn't with the waiting process as we waited to be matched, but rather with getting to the decisioin to adopt. For 6 years I railed against God's plans for my life. I fought him tooth and nail until the point where I was always angry, bitter and dissollusioned. It took much heartache and pain on my side to accept God's will for me and Keith.

However, once I did, I suddenly felt like I grew from a baby believer into a full-blown believer. In the past I always claimed to believe, but ultimately when it came down to it, I didn't. Once I turned the corner, my belief that adoption was the right decision was confirmed over and over again in our whole experience. We were led to Abrazo almost immediately. The inquiry and application process happened in a whirl-wind. We talked with a number of birthmothers but matched with one who was so obviously meant to be a part of our lives that I can only attest to it as fate! And almost 9 months to the day we started the process we had our beautiful little girl in our arms.

Of course, the process did take us through ups and downs but each and every time I went to God for guidance he had a quick and sure answer for me. However, this relationship took 6 years for me to develop, and it wasn't an easy path, but...I wouldn't change it for a minute biggrin.gif .

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KeithandErika,

What a beautiful story! Thanks for sharing it!!!

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Personally I know that the only way we got to where we are was with God leading us all the way. In 2001 when we had a miscarriage at 12 weeks after 4 years of trying to conceive, I did not have a clue what God wanted for us. That was a rough time, and only through Him did we make it through that, but I just had no idea why, why, why we could not have children. After several more years and tests...sometimes the message seemed to be that we were not meant to be parents. Deep inside I knew that was not true though. Over the last 2 years or so we kept our lives pretty busy so I didn't give myself any time to be depressed. Staying busy made it easier and we did come to a good place in our lives. We were happy, but still that desire just would not diminish.

We had talked about adoption off and on for 2 or 3 years, but we both needed to be ready at the same time. Last summer we were ready...and now we have a precious daughter that is our absolute joy! Holding her, it just all made sense. Through the years I had kept praying for God's will in our lives, but at the same time I would question His will for us and wonder why it couldn't match ours.

As soon as we started the process with Abrazo...well, I guess really after orientation we truly turned everything over to God. I had, we both had such a peace in our hearts about it all. I just can't really describe it in words. It just felt right...we began to see what He had in store for us. Only with God could we accomplish this. I mean both Matthew and I are not so much "go with the flow" kind of people. Matthew likes to direct the flow, and I like to worry about it!!! I have to say that our adoption journey has been one of the easiest times in our life. Sounds strange, I know, but that's not to say that there were not any worries or bumps, but knowing, truly knowing that whatever happened was God's will and that He does have a plan for us...that just gave me a peace I had never felt before.

Matthew and I really enjoyed receiving the Golden Binkie award for Best Grip. If we had made an acceptance speech, we of course would have thanked God. The award is His. Only with Him guiding us and granting us His peace that surpasses understanding were we able to make it through knowing that whatever happened His will would be done. smile.gif

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Amen, Betsy! Your post was written so beautifully...and it is so true. So many things in my life (actually starting in childhood) have led me to this blessed place. Often times I foolishly thought I knew what was best for my life. It was "my life...my plan". Later, I realized the Creator held the "blueprint" for my life.

Hind sight is definately 20/20! I see the intricate work of God's "Golden Thread" woven throughout the fabric of my life...

Elaine smile.gif

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Guest mshirst
Personally I know that the only way we got to where we are was with God leading us all the way.  In 2001 when we had a miscarriage at 12 weeks after 4 years of trying to conceive, I did not have a clue what God wanted for us.  That was a rough time, and only through Him did we make it  through that, but I just had no idea why, why, why we could not have children.  After several more years and tests...sometimes the message seemed to be that we were not meant to be parents.  Deep inside I knew that was not true though.  Over the last 2 years or so we kept our lives pretty busy so I didn't give myself any time to be depressed.  Staying busy made it easier and we did come to a good place in our lives.  We were happy, but still that desire just would not diminish.

We had talked about adoption off and on for 2 or 3 years, but we both needed to be ready at the same time.  Last summer we were ready...and now we have a precious daughter that is our absolute joy!  Holding her, it just all made sense.  Through the years I had kept praying for God's will in our lives, but at the same time I would question His will for us and wonder why it couldn't match ours.

As soon as we started the process with Abrazo...well, I guess really after orientation we truly turned everything over to God.  I had, we both had such a peace in our hearts about it all.  I just can't really describe it in words.  It just felt right...we began to see what He had in store for us.  Only with God could we accomplish this.  I mean both Matthew and I are not so much "go with the flow" kind of people. Matthew likes to direct the flow, and I like to worry about it!!!  I have to say that our adoption journey has been one of the easiest times in our life.  Sounds strange, I know, but that's not to say that there were not any worries or bumps, but knowing, truly knowing that whatever happened  was God's will and that He does have a plan for us...that just gave me a peace I had never felt before.

Matthew and I really enjoyed receiving the Golden Binkie award for Best Grip.  If we had made an acceptance speech,  we of course would have thanked God.  The award is His.  Only with Him guiding us and granting us His peace that surpasses understanding were we able to make it through knowing that whatever happened His will would be done. smile.gif

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Thanks for a wonderful post, Betsy. It's clear that this came directly from your heart.

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Betsy,

Amen!! I loved your post! You are such an eloquent poster!!

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  • 1 year later...

I came across this tonight and just loved your post Betsy. I hope it's okay, I kind of took a few things that really touched me and thought I would add the thoughts I had as I read your original post.

.....Through the years I had kept praying for God's will in our lives, but at the same time I would question His will for us and wonder why it couldn't match ours.

Isn't it cool though, how God's will for us does match our own will sometimes, just the path may different ;)

..... I had, we both had such a peace in our hearts about it all. I just can't really describe it in words. It just felt right...we began to see what He had in store for us.

We relate to this as well. After some trying (understatement) times, literally one day everything became clear to us and we had such a peace about everything; the losses we experienced and whatever the future may hold.

.........Only with God............His will would be done. :)Amen.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I looked and looked for a thread in which to post this, and I don't think I found the perfect one. But this one is probably as good as any other.

If you get a few minutes read: Blessed Are The Barren by Sarah Hinlicky Wilson, a Lutheran pastor, adoptive parent and contributor to Christianity Today.

I have to tell you that I really don't know what to make of this essay. There are some very good turns of phrases. Especially strong is her discussion of how "adoptive families are born from pain, just as the church family was born from the pain of the cross."

But I'm not sure I like some of her analogies, and I think she reaches pretty far out there as far as her theology and interpretation of scripture goes. It's also obvious that she could benefit from an understanding of open adoption so she knows that it doesn't have to be the way she describes it.

But if you like to read thought-provoking essays, this one might be for you. Let us know what you think...

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Very interesting but agree with your your response Nina. Not sure what to make of some of it...

Traci

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