A few months ago, I began to allow myself to open my heart up to the possibility of maybe a different direction God is taking us on. I decided I was going to allow myself to be open to whatever God has for us.
When I did that and laid down MY plan and surrendered that to Him, some amazing things started happening.
One of the ladies that I have been given the privilege to work along side and have as a friend for the past several years is our pastor's wife (Jennifer). She dealt with infertility for 4 years before they conceived Hannah, who is now 12, named after Hannah in the Bible because she pleaded with the Lord to allow her to conceive and when she did she named him Samuel and dedicated him to the Lord.
One of Jennifer's sisters (Brandy) also has had some problems with pregnancy and after having 2 girls of her own and then a tragic loss of one when she was 9 months pregnant, she and her husband decided to start doing foster care and adopting through the foster system.
One weekend, a couple of months ago, Jennifer arranged for Brandy and I to get together. We met for lunch and had the most amazing conversation.
Let me tell you that I went into this lunch with a very closed heart. I said to myself and out loud to several people that I am meeting with Brandy ONLY to talk about how she adopted through CPS. NOT how she fostered. I thought "I will never foster." I am not strong enough to do that. I won't. I absolutely won't. I refuse.
So when I sat down with Brandy the first words out of her mouth to me were, "I know that you just want to talk about adoption but I'm going to talk to you about fostering." For the first 5 minutes I was thinking to myself, well this will be interesting but absolutely not. Am I wasting my time?
2 hours later when I left, I got in my car and said, "Lord, what are you doing to me?"
I can not begin to describe our conversation. Have you ever been in a conversation with somebody and spent the majority of the time with goosebumps? Knowing that this was definitely a divine appointment? This was absolutely one of those.
Brandy is one of the most amazing women I know. It's not only her strength that amazed me, it's her absolute dependence on the Lord. Her and her husband now have adopted 3 children through CPS, and have fostered several new born babies as well. And they are in the process of adopting more.
There were several things that Brandy said to me that change my perspective forever. One of those is that she said she will never say no to a child when CPS calls. She feels like if they call, it's her responsibility to say yes and if God doesn't want them to have that child then HE will close the door. But she never wants to say no and chance being disobedient.
One of the many questions I had for her was how in the world does she feel equipped to handle the situations that these children are coming from. She shot that excuse down quickly and told me that God will equip you for whatever you need to handle whatever situation that child has been through.
Some of the stories she told me were horrific! Seriously, unimaginable.
Another excuse I tried to give her was, there is no way that I will be able to take in a newborn and then have to part with that newborn. She said it does not matter rather you have that baby for 3 hours, 3 days, 3 months or 11 months (like they did) God has given you that baby for that amount of time because that is the amount of time He needs you to provide food, clothing, shelter and a warm, loving body to that baby.
This is the one thing she said that changed my life. She said, "Doing this is not easy. Nothing about it is easy. But you have to keep reminding yourself that it's not about YOU. It's about that baby or that child. It's not about you."
Brandy came into fostering in a VERY similar way as me. She desired another baby and wanted to adopt a newborn baby, caucasian that that looks like her family. And God took her down a completely different road. And her passion for this is unequivocal.
Needless to say, my eyes had been opened. I'm not at this moment saying this is the direction the Lord is taking us on, but some really amazing things since that moment have happened that appear to be pointing us that direction.
I'm scared. Really scared. But I know that if this is what the Lord desires for our family then He promises to take care of us.
Here is a link to her blog if you would like to read more on her story. It's incredible.