I love how each of our lives are a story- a story of God's goodness and a story of His faithfulness. Sometimes our story begins before we even realize it is a part of who we are and how we ended up where we are. But through it all, God knows and it is always beautiful.
As I have stated before, on a public blog there are only some things I will share. My children's stories are theirs to share- when and if they are ready. But what I will tell you is that without a doubt when I look back over each of our children's stories it is more than clear that God was working- and all we had to do was let Him. We had to not get in his way with our worries, our plans and our ideas. We had to just simply let God be God- and trust.
In the past I had often heard people say that God gave them a 'vision'. But secretly I admit, I was somewhat doubtful. I know visions are biblical, and yet often I am embarrassed to say, I questioned. What if the vision was something they had just dreamed up on their own, or wanted pretty badly and got it confused with what God had? Because after all, often our wants are not what God ends up giving us right? And so when I finally recognized this vision God had given me, it was beautiful... and I wanted it more than anything- but I was afraid. Afraid that maybe it was just something I had dreamed up on my own.
Last summer I spent of a lot of evenings walking and talking with God. I could sense He was leading us somewhere and I wanted to spend as much time with Him making sure we heard Him clearly. Often times I struggled wondering why I couldn't hear him clearly... yet over and over He gave me this 'vision' of a toddler boy and infant girl together... and behind them were many children standing in a group with smiles on their faces, cheering. A few months later we stepped out in faith starting our 'pickle jar' praying that God provided the funds for us to adopt-assuming both children would be from Ethiopia because of the strong feeling we were to start an international adoption.
So, we updated our international homestudy and began to pray and to search. God had put a certain special need on our hearts years before, something I am passionate about- and my heart breaks for those who live with it. Todd and I had both decided that we were not to wait on a list for a child, knowing there were children already waiting. We were both very open to a child with special needs so decided to just let God lead us to our child. I had spent some time calling around to many different agencies and asking if they had any waiting children with this specific need God had laid on our heart- but nothing ever fell into place.
And then, came Carson.
As I have shared in the past, his adoption was not something we saw coming, or had planned- and yet Gods hands were clearly all over it and we could not deny it. I was a bit confused because his adoption didn't exactly fit at that time with the vision God had given us- He wasn't from Ethiopia and he didn't have a baby sister in tow. Yet we loved this little boy with a love so fierce- and God moved Him into our home in a way we never could have planned. I am so thankful that God knows more than we ever could. I cannot even begin to tell you how perfectly Carson fits into our family and what a blessing he is.
The days moved on and with our focus on Carson- we sort of put the idea of an African adoption on the back burner. That is, until the day we got the call.
One of the agencies I had called months before had an infant baby girl they were looking for a family for. This baby girl had previously been referred to another family, who had backed out due to her possible special need. They wondered if we were still interested. We decided a long time ago to always be open to what the Lord had for us. We decided long ago that our lives were not our own and that we would use the days we were given to open our home to children who needed one of their own. We decided a long time ago to quit limiting God with our time frame. We decided a long time ago to step out of the boat no matter what the cost. We decided a long time ago to say Yes Lord. So, we did.
As the months wore on, we prayed for this baby girl across the world, yet used every minute of every day to make sure Carson felt securely attached and that He, as well as our other children, we getting everything they needed and more. God is just so awesome. When he placed Carson in our home he gave us a son who bonded almost instantly, who felt at home the day he moved in and who fit in easier than any other child we had ever adopted. Yet He also gave us something more- he gave us the gift of watching our new son pray for a baby sister he had yet to meet with such a tender heart it almost took my breath away. All of our children were excited about their new baby sister- but with Carson it seemed to be something deeper. Something I couldn't have known- but God did.
Just yesterday I looked across the room and saw part of the vision God had given me last summer come to life. There sat our precious Carson leaning over his new baby sister gently kissing her forehead. And I was reminded once again of God's love and faithfulness. He is good.