So, I have been fighting this blog thing for about 6 months. I hate writing. Really, HATE it. It suddenly dawned on me that instead of fighting it, I should pray about it. "God, do you really want me to do this? I will if you want me to, but you need to make it clear." (don't you love that I think I have the control here...) Well, He did and here I am. I woke up the next morning with this post in my head. That really doesn't happen to me. Then I ran into a friend at the store and we were talking... and she made the comment that "we were changing a child's life forever". What? My response, "Changing Forever, that is the name of my new blog that I am getting ready to start." I hear you, Lord, loud and clear. Thank you for the crystal clear answer.
"Changing Forever" can mean so many things. And it does. Sixteen years ago,on a partly cloudy, balmy afternoon in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, Erik and I said yes to a life together forever. Erik and I said yes to changing our forever. Our lives would forever look different. For as long as I can remember, we have, instead of signing our names on notes to each other, signed "I love you forever, love, your 4-ever." Corny, I know, but I love resting in the fact that I am forever his and he is forever mine. Happy Anniversary honey.:) I would like to think that "Changing Forever" also means that we are different than how we started. Better, because of our relationship with Jesus. Better, because of our relationship with each other, centered on Jesus. If I'm honest, a good portion of the time things are centered on me, but I'm working on it. :)
There have been many changes and adjustments along the way, some more significant than others. Each one though, has been integral in changing our forever. The two that stand out the most are the birth of our children. Kynzi Anike was born on August 9, 1999. She gave us a new understanding of forever. We would forever be changing diapers, clothes (ours and hers), and so on. But our hearts were forever changed. They stretched to fit in this bundle of joy. We couldn't understand it, but we were hooked. Karston Thomas was born almost 2 years later on July 11, 2001. How could it be possible to love another baby as much as we loved Kynzi. I can clearly remember Erik saying, "I'll keep loving Kynzi and you can love the next one." As I am sure you know, that did not happen... Our hearts were stretched and filled to overflowing with love for Karston. Who knew?
Tsunami- December 26, 2004
I think this was the first time I thought about adoption. I told Erik that I wanted a Tsunami baby. He said I was crazy. End of story. Over the next few years, I would ask if we could adopt and the response was always no. I'm not sure if I really wanted to at the time, but my heart was breaking for these kids without mommies and daddies. I remember Erik coming back from various mission trips and sharing with me about his times visiting orphanages... I would say, how can you leave there with out bringing a baby with you?
Last summer: Sister-in-law/Brother-in-law decide to adopt. I say, "Erik, Nina and Wes are adopting. Do you want to adopt?" His response: "No. "
September/October: "Erik, will you at least pray about it?" His response, "Sure, Jeanne-Ann" Later that same day, we received a call from some friends that wanted to meet for coffee. During our time together, they shared that they were going to be adopting from Ethiopia and were wondering if we would be a reference for them. I started kicking Erik under the table... :)
As we left, I said can you believe that? Will you pray? I got one of those smiles, like, yeah I will pray.
December: At this point I'm safe as far as a big life change. I keep talking about wanting to adopt, but unless Erik is fully on board, I have nothing to worry about, right? I can keep living my comfortable life and know that unless God changes his heart I am in the clear. Erik decided to seriously pray about adoption- fasting and all!
Miracles do happen!! After a series of different events, Erik wants to adopt. The Lord did an amazing transformation in Erik's heart, removing every obstacle that was hindering him. Erik is now more excited about adoption than anyone I have ever met. Herein lies the problem: Did I really want to do this? Was I just talking because it was safe to talk? Would Erik ever really change? Now he has and my words need action behind them. I was sooo scared! What is going on? I have a ten and eight year old and they do almost everything on their own. Do we really want to do this? The answer: YES!
January: application filled out, turned in and accepted! Erik would come home from work and find me at the computer, with tears running down my face, watching adoption videos. He would just smile. :) One day Karston was watching with me, and he asked, "Mamma, who takes care of these kids when they are sick?" My response was, "Honey, it's kind of like a nurse at a hospital. They help to get them better, but the kids don't have a mommy to love them." That sealed the deal for Karston! When he is sick, all he wants is his mommy. He couldn't fathom the idea that there are kids that don't have parents to love them.
So here we are in July 2010 on the waiting list, changing our forever, again. We are soo excited about the new additions to our family (yes, we are adopting 2 children-- from Ethiopia). Our forever will be changed, their forever will be changed, and Lord willing all of us will be changed forever by this amazing journey that our Almighty, All-Powerful, All-Knowing God is taking us on.