We've found that we go through phases of panic about this adventure - usually at different times. Last night, while digging through paperwork and receipts for a tax document I was putting together for our CPA, I found myself in a side conversation with Peter about how we were both feeling re: the upcoming changes. Was I prepared to become a parent to five kids? Was he ready? I thought about the comment he made to me a few weeks back, about it not turning our world upside down, but right side up. I'll be honest: some days it's easier to believe that than others.
As I plugged expenses into to the spreadsheet, I came across our very first payment to the adoption agency in September 2013, and I had to laugh. We were both hoping beyond hope that if we sent it in, it would turn into a donation rather than an application fee. That somehow, by "sacrificing" $250 and filling out a few pages of information, we would prove to God that we were faithful and He would look down and boom, "Oh wow, my children, you are amazingly obedient. Good job! What an example you are! Well done. You are now free to go back to your regularly scheduled lives and I will no longer ask you to do this crazy thing." But, of course, He didn't. This wasn't a test of the "change your life" broadcasting system, this was the real deal, and the real question was, "Will you continue to be faithful?" One step doesn't make you faithful, one action doesn't mean you've grasped what it means to obey His calling - it takes a lifetime of "one step at a time" moments.
Someone recently asked me if I was excited, and I responded, "I have days when I'm excited, and days when I'm terrified." The woman (a mom of grown kids), wisely replied, "Welcome to the rest of your life." And it makes sense. There will always be a situation that we are not prepared for, a moment when we wonder "why us?!", a fleeting desire to turn and run, but the God who has faithfully led us to this point, will still be there in those moments as well. He will still be writing the story, still giving us wisdom when we seek it, and still be the rock, refuge, and fortress that He is today.
How can we be so sure? Because almost four years ago - literally in an instant - God made it crystal clear that this was His purpose for our lives. Even though we fought it, ignored it, avoided it, and danced around it, the one thing that we never did was doubt it. From that first moment, we both knew this was our calling. All of the other - the doubt and avoidance - was just us trying to wiggle out of it. Our human nature, our selfishness - if you will, went into fight or flight mode, trying to defend us from this crazy, CRAZY, world-rocking idea. And even though it took us 11 months to make that first call to the adoption agency, in the end, we chose obedience over comfort.
So... are we ready? Will we get down there and then freak out? Run away? Turn back to the airport and ask for two, one-way tickets to Paris? Truthfully, yes, we might very well freak out when we are alone together, questioning our sanity and wishing we could move to the land of introverts and escargot, but NO, we will not run away. Why? Because the decision to do this was made years ago, and the Author of this story knows what He is doing - even when He chooses to use the most reluctant of His kids to reflect the light of His glory.
P.S. Remember how I was putting adoption expenses in that spreadsheet? After I finished, I tried not to panic. Let's just say that I'm a little "safety first" when it comes to finances... though God is definitely using this whole experience to stretch me! If you're inclined to donate, we still have a lot of expenses coming up (some already paid for, some not) during our time in Costa Rica. DONATE HERE
P.P.S. You guys have been unbelievably generous to us and our kids in your purchases from our Amazon registry! We are BLOWN AWAY!!! There are just 25 items remaining (5 of those being gift card options) on our list that it would be nice to have (like the LICE SHAMPOO - go ahead and pray that we don't have to deal with that!!), just in case you're interested. :) SEE THE LIST