For this week’s Firmly Rooted Friday, Lisa shares God’s faithfulness through her military family’s adoption story.
A Military Family’s Adoption Story
by Lisa Redford
November is National Adoption Awareness Month, and our family GETS TO personally celebrate the month.
Did I know this existed seven years ago? Not at all.
Now, I love to share the beauty in the brokenness that is adoption during this month and really any time.
Adoption occurs in various forms. If you have not experienced adoption in some form, it may cause apprehension. There are many unknowns in the adoption process even if you have walked it out before. When the Lord calls you to obey His plan for your family, it can feel daunting. Stacks of paperwork, vulnerability, waiting, and unknowns fill the adoption process, much like military life. When military life and adoption collide, it may seem impossible. However, adoption is completely possible for military families.
Our family has had the privilege to grow through open adoption and state guardianship placement.
Our oldest three children joined us biologically, our next two children joined us through open adoption, and our last four children joined us by state guardianship placement through the courts.
Has the process of growing our family been easy? No. Did I ever imagine I would be Mom to nine children? Never. I could write an entire blog series on the heart work God performed to get me to the point of embracing my role as a mother. Our journeys involved extra steps that most military families run into due to frequent moves, unexpected PCSs, or deployments. Perhaps some day I will write words that do justice to the stories God has written for our children. But for now, I can assure you, in each journey, God showed up. His faithfulness and goodness are intertwined in each story because God has a heart for adoption.
Our six youngest were predestined to be a part of our family and were chosen by their birth mothers to join our family.
This privilege and honor will never be lost on me. The grief and sadness I feel for each of their birth mothers is at times overwhelming. I will never remove the trauma of adoption or the tough parts of their stories. I will never fully understand the hurt and pain that they will experience. I will love them all (including their birth families) deeply. I will help them navigate the story that God is writing for each one of them. And I will talk about and include their birth families in a healthy manner. I maintain our focus on the unshakeable sovereignty of God and his goodness. I will remember the lessons God has taught us through growing our family.
These are lessons I want to share with you as reminders and encouragement. These lessons, although reinforced for me through adoption, are lessons that can be reminders in everyday life.
God truly has the best plan for our lives when we allow the Holy Spirit to intercede.
To understand God’s plan, we must first accept God’s will as perfect for us. Even when life does not make sense or is chaotic, God has a plan, and it is for our good and his glory.
“And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
God’s thoughts are nothing like our thoughts and his ways are far beyond everything we can imagine.
Each time our family grew, God took care of so many details that still amaze me. Details that included birthplaces and friends that I had not prayed would be a part of the journeys. Details that were only God.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Waiting is a verb.
It is an action even when you may feel like nothing is happening. Waiting on God means putting your hope in him and expecting. Waiting is hard, but necessary, and while we wait, God is working. I encourage you in your times of waiting to pray, stay in God’s word, and seek him. He will be your strength and hope.
“The Lord is my portion therefore I will wait for Him. The Lord is good to those whose hope is in Him to the one who seeks him.”
Let others join the journey.
God’s will is not adoption for everyone (or whatever He has called you to do in obedience) but those around you in community want to be a part of something, so let them. Share prayer requests, share your story, be humble enough to accept their blessings. Do not limit the Spirit’s work in others by taking away their blessing to you. Let them see God through your journey.
God does not need perfect people to carry out his plans.
Throughout Scripture God uses imperfect people because mankind is imperfect. There is no perfection on this side of heaven. The good news is God does not want perfect people; he wants obedient hearts that love others as he loves us.
I often think about all we would have missed out on if we were not obedient and followed God’s will. We would not have relationships with three courageous birth moms. We would not have the opportunity to pour into them and point them to Christ. We would have missed out on some of the most precious little people we get to love.
God adopts us as Christians into his family and he works in every adoption story.
He turns brokenness to beauty. God is in the adoption business. He predestined each one of us for adoption before the creation of the world. Adoption is part of God’s redemptive plan.Just as children are often helpless until they are adopted, mankind is broken in sin. We need a Father to lift us out of the mess and restore us to a healthy family. His family. Adoption comes due to the brokenness of mankind that needs redemption and that redemption came in the form of Jesus.
“…even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us[a] for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.”
We are all adopted into the family of Christ, and I am thankful for that privilege and the sacrifice that Jesus made on that cross for me, for you! Adoption is the Gospel.
“So also, when we were children, we were enslaved under the basic principles of the world. But when the time had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive our adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” So, you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, you are also an heir through God.”
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