A fire has been lit in his soul unlike any other time I can remember in our 11.5 years of marriage. It has been glorious to watch. Although, if I am honest I waver a little between wanting-to-fan-that-flame and freaking-out-a-little-bit-about-where-this-will-take-us.
I will say this, when God lights a fire - the brilliance is amazing. There is a radiant confidence in Brad that is contagious. Call him and ask him about it. You won't be able to help but smile. So even though my steps feel a little wavering, his confidence in God's leading helps steady me. I am so grateful to be able to walk alongside him in this adventure of our life. And my prayer life is growing by leaps and bounds.
If you aren't on Facebook and you think twitter is annoying, then I should probably fill you in a bit. Obviously you know our boys came this way through adoption from foster care. We are certain God arranged the whole thing from start to finish. In the glorious way that only our Creative God can, He softened our hearts to the greater need. Every set back in our journey, reminded me that there are SO MANY MORE children that are stuck in the tangled-up-mess of foster care... and then I was reminded that our foster care system is so great in comparison to what children outside of the US are dealing with. It was never our journey alone.
My heart hurt for so many other children so many times. But, then again, I cry at every episode of Biggest Loser, so I had no idea that God was actually planting seeds with those tears I cried for those children. Those children that are orphans. Its actually hard for me to use that word, because it seems so lonely. So far off.
And there's that verse, that so-familiar, but often-rushed-over verse:
"Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world."
After wrestling through the ups and downs and in-betweens of bringing twin toddlers into our family, we have settled in to our new rhythm. God's redemption work has been evident all the way around and continues to amaze us often. We are even able to go on date night at church almost every chance we get. There was a time last year that I really wondered if we'd ever get to go on dates regularly again. In February, part of our date night led us to Lifeway (following an equally romantic spell in Bed Bath & Beyond). Brad found a book called, "Orphan Justice : Caring for Orphans beyond Adopting". He bought it. He devoured it.
I think its safe to say our adoption journey was the kindling, this book was the flint, and the Holy Spirit doused the whole thing with lighter fluid. Repeatedly.
So the very next date night we sat dreaming in Panera Bread for a few hours. Short term goals. Long term goals. Crazy-only-God dreams. It was glorious. I am sure a few people around us were wondering what-on-earth-was-up with us and all-the-smiling.
So now we need to start. We have already, in some little ways. We are organizing some donations for our local foster care office (you will hear more about that, promise). Brad met with our Bible study leader a few weeks ago and he will be teaching our Bible Study class the week after Easter.
We feel way over our heads in so many ways - which is really, truly the best way to begin a journey that God is leading - even if it is a little freaky. God-freaky is always awesome.
We are getting acquainted with Orphan Care resources and reading, reading, reading all that we can. We recently found out about Summit 9 which is a conference that covers all the bases when it comes to orphan care. We've thought about trying to get there even though it is kind of short notice to plan for the childcare. I don't know about Brad, but I have wondered if we are even the right demographic... we aren't part of any organizations as of yet, and we don't even have an orphan care ministry at our church yet. Then Brad sent me a link about a Summit Blogger Conference, and I realized that maybe we do need to get there. I can imagine that walking into a conference center with a lot of like-minded believers would do wonders on the flame-fanning and would likely help secure a foundation to help sustain those fanned-flames. So I am writing this post as part of the Summit 9 Blogger Giveaway. Check out all the details at www.summit9.org.
Even if we don't win, I think its fair to say we are in the praying-about-making-this-happen-stage.
So that leaves me with a question for you:: if we get to go, who wants to come watch 4 really adorable, amazing boys and that one giant dog of ours?
If you have more questions about orphan care stuff; y'all, bring it!! We could chat this stuff up all day... and then we'll stop talking and get boots on the ground. You want in?