We don't even have kids yet and they're already turning our life upside down.
Two weeks ago Andrew and I got our first foster placement call. We were on our way to the AT&T store to buy a replacement cord for our router when our licensing worker called. At first I felt very calm; I got all the information and asked how long we had to decide. We had about 45 minutes.
OK, we can do this, I thought. As we drove on we verbalized the pros and cons, trying to mull over all the implications we could think of with about a teaspoon of information. Because we've decided to pursue adoption through the foster care system it adds a bit more gravity to a decision about taking in children. Ultimately the goal of foster care is to reunite children with their families...which can be a little counter-productive for our desire to adopt. So, we've been praying that God would make clear to us what He would have us do, try to be open to any opportunities He might lead us in, and, yet, still stay true to our desire to adopt.
The next 45 minutes included about a hundred "Lord, what should we do?s" thrown in the direction of heaven while our emotions flew all over the map. For awhile it seemed that perhaps we would be bringing home two kids that very day. THAT was terrifying.
I kept asking God for an answer but kept getting back "trust." Since that wasn't an answer that I could give our licensing worker I didn't know what to do with that. We thought through a little more and asked a few more questions and ultimately came to the conclusion that this was not the right fit for our family. But, I was a wreck the rest of the day (a day in which I also almost hit a homeless man who ran out into the street in the dark AND drove home just in time to witness a drunk driver driving back and forth all over our neighbor's yard after screeching around the corner and ploughing past the street sign and large planter...I felt like we were running on adrenaline all day!).
Both Andrew and I felt some guilt about the decision as we thought about those kids having to experience all that they had, but ultimately we had peace about it and prayed for those little boys to be welcomed into a loving home until they could be reunited with their family.
With some distance the response "trust" has made more sense. Ultimately we just had to make the best decision from the information we had and trust that God would honor our willingness to follow Him.
That experience was also a little bit life-changing. The reality that we could have kids in our home at ANY time hit me. Life has been all of a blur for the past year and I've kept telling myself that we would just deal with all the necessary changes when the time came, that I was too busy to think about it now. How stupid. Like I could completely alter my life within the span of 45 minutes and not expect there to be some serious casualties.
Ultimately I know that whatever plans that we make now, that seem like they are completely life-altering, will probably pale in comparison to what will occur on the day that God brings a child or children into our home. But God has used that call to help us make some necessary changes in the way we live and do ministry and rank our priorities...which has been both a challenging and wonderful thing.
It's not an easy process but in my heart I do trust that God is unfolding something great and will lead us in the direction we should go...even if it turns us upside down.