Tuesday, August 17, 2010
The moving sidewalk...
I have told many people that this entire adoption journey has been a little like stepping onto a moving sidewalk. Before we officially decided to adopt, it felt hard and complicated. Making the decision to step out on faith towards adoption threw into motion a series of events that can only be explained by God's provision. It has happened over and over again...
A few years ago, Brian became friends with a guy he met through work. He invited Brian and I to join him and his family in Gatlinburg over the holidays. Although we had initially been busy, our plans opened up at the last minute and we jumped in the car with the air mattress and hit the road. Having only met this man once, I had not yet had the chance to meet his wife. I was excited to meet her, however, because Brian and Tai had really hit it off and I was hopeful that we would all really enjoy time together. Meanwhile, his wife, Shannon, was wondering who in the world her husband had invited to join them in the mountains. When I got out of the car, we were both pleasantly surprised to find that we had just met a new, dear friend.
Long story short, Shannon and I both feel it was a divine appointment. From the moment we met, things fell into place. Our husbands laugh at us because in many ways, it seems as if we have been separated at birth. It was apparent immediately, and continuously that she and I make similar choices and have similar thoughts on everything from our Bible studies to our toe nail polish. (I saw her last week and we were wearing the exact same shade of blue!)
Our families have become close as well, not only the guys, but the kids, too. We are fortunate enough to have been able to spend a lot of time with them in settings that tend to promote closeness...i.e. four adults and eight kids and a dog or two sharing a condo...that kind of thing.
So back to my moving sidewalk...
Initially, Brian and I had not really told anyone about our decision to adopt. I was at Bible study on a Thursday with Shannon and I just turned to her out of nowhere, and said "I think we are going to adopt!" and do you know what she said??
It was crazy to think, but her and Tai had been having the same secret discussions at their house. Without knowing it, we had even both been on the same adoption agency website and filled out the same registration form. Within a week of that, Tai, Shannon, Brian and I were all at an evening informational meeting about adoption in Atlanta. I just remember Brian and I were sitting at the meeting saving two chairs for Shannon and Tai when they walked in. Tai looked at Brian and just shook his head - as if to say "here they go again!"
What a blessing it has been to go through this experience with a close friend. We have navigated the process together. She is such a source of strength, faith and love for me. Because of the timing of it all, we both were picking homestudy agencies, adoption agencies, getting medical exams and FBI background checks all around the same time. I remember one time, we picked up their daughter to play with Ansley. We had just come from the police station where Brian and I had been fingerprinted. It was funny that Mackenzie and Ansley had this experience to share and talk about, because Mackenzie was like "oh, yeah, my mom and dad did that last week!"
I am so grateful to have several close friends that have lifted me through my fears and doubts, held my hand and guided me through this adoption and continue to be a major supports. I believe that God has various friends play different roles in your life. However, I never I never imagined that I would have a friend to walk ALL the way with through this lifelong journey. Plus, I am excited for my children to have close friends that they also see accepting and loving a new sibling that doesn't look like them and ultimately, Valor will have a close friend in this dear family who will understand what it is like to be adopted.
Its a beautiful picture and I just love it...just like I love my friend.
"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11