By definition, affirm means to support or uphold the validity of or to confirm. Since making the decision (August 4th) to be obedient to God's calling to adopt a child with a cleft lip/cleft palate, He has given us two awesome experiences that have completely affirmed our decision to adopt. The wild thing is that we've had such complete peace about the decision, knowing it is exactly what we are supposed to do. So the fact that God has given us experiences to help us feel affirmation is just Him showing off at this point. He is awesome and so faithful to us!
The first occurred less than one week after making the decision. It was Friday, August 10th when Noah, Liam, and I drove to our realtor's office to hand in a form to dissolve our contract for the 4 acres. I felt total peace about the decision and was excited to share our exciting news all weekend with family. As we were leaving our realtor's office, I asked Noah if he wanted to go to the park or playground. He chose the library and two minutes later, we had arrived.
After choosing some movies to check out, I walked up to the children's librarian and saw that it was the lady who bought our house. How funny is that?? I knew she worked there, but in all the times we've gone, I've never seen her there before. She asked how the house building was going, and I shared that we had just made the decision to adopt a child instead. We talked for a bit longer, and she showed us a section of small chapter books to start reading with Noah.
As I browsed through that section, I saw a girl my age nearby. She looked SO familiar, but I just couldn't place her. Finally, when she very close to where I was standing, I said, "I'm so sorry, but do we know each other? You look so familiar." She felt the same way, so naturally we asked each other where the other one went to church, preschool, work, etc. Then it hit me! This was one of two other women who shop the big Target sale each year when I go to buy prizes for the kids at school. We laughed about the coincidence, as we truly only saw each other that one morning, one time each year. No sooner after we made the connection did I see her reach down and pick up this BEAUTIFUL little girl with beautifully dark skin. I stuttered and stammered for a second and finally got out the words, "I'm so sorry, but did you adopt her?" Jana (whose name I later learned) shared that yes, they adopted the sweet girl from Ethiopia. I smiled to myself and just could not believe that God had orchestrated this incredible moment. I mean, I had just turned in paperwork to dissolve the agreement and formally make the decision to say 'no' to our dream and say 'yes' to God's dream. The next minute, I'm meeting someone I have seen one time each of the last four years, and she has adopted a child internationally.
We talked for while, and I told her how much I had chills from God totally affirming this decision by meeting her there that day. We both had moments of getting emotional, and I could so easily see how much joy this baby girl had brought to her life. Jana said, "It is the best decision we have ever made," and I could tell that she meant it. She gave me her email address, and after corresponding just a few times, she is already proven to be a wonderful friend, encourager, and resource in our journey. THANK YOU, JANA!
The second affirming experience occurred at a playground behind a neighborhood where we were thinking about living. We had taken the kids there to see if it felt like home and to talk about our options for living arrangements. Only minutes after we arrived, a guy our age walked up along with a young, Hispanic boy. I smiled to myself and thought, "Here you go again, God. Just showing up and showing off!" I struck up a conversation with the guy, asking if he lived in the area and if he liked it. I shared with him the quick version of our story, hoping that he would also share his story with me. Sure enough, Eric shared that 4 years ago he and his wife had adopted their son from Guatemala. He told me their story and was blown away. I shared with him that I just knew that God was again affirming our decision to be obedient to his plan. Eric then said, "You know, I wasn't going to stop at the park today. I just picked up my son but needed to get to my other son's daycare to pick him up. My older son said, "Dad, can we go to the park really quickly...just for a minute?" Eric almost said no but decided to make a quick stop anyway. I was speechless, knowing that God orchestrated another moment through a child (the first time was Noah choosing the library...this time the older son asking to go to the park). I had chills once again. Eric gave me his and his wife's email address, offering to support us in any way...whether it be answering questions, listening to us vent, etc. They were happy to help! And you know what - that's how the entire adoption community appears to be so far, welcoming us with open arms. We are so fortunate!
So, despite feeling so much peace and knowing that we are following God's - not our own - plan, He has given us affirmation anyway. We can't wait to find out what he orchestrates next. Is our child already born? Is the mother pregnant now? Will the baby be conceived soon? Only time will tell.