Tuesday, January 1, 2013

From the beginning.....
        Where did this story start?  Well, let me head back a few years to when I was about 8 or 9 years old.  My Uncle Bud and my Aunt Mary had a son, Gary, who was a few years older than me. But they wanted to adopt a child too. I am not sure of all of their reasons and how they came to this decision but they were successful and soon Samantha a cute little thing from South Korea joined their family....and mine. She was my cousin and I was in awe of her. She was so adorable. I remember asking my mom to buy her and I matching Holly Hobbie sweatshirts to give her on the day she came to meet us.
      Now I know that the thoughts I had about adoption were immature and of 9 year old nature, but I remember feeling so proud that I was related to people who would become parents of a child who had none. So proud that I was now family to this sweet little girl. That was the day that God planted a seed in my heart for adoption.  He used my Aunt and Uncle in a way I don't think they realized.  He used them to bring another little girl to the US.
     My Uncle and Aunt's journey continued as they adopted 2 more girls from South Korea.  Each time, the seed God had planted in my heart grew. I knew someday, my desire to adopt would develop and I would also take this journey of adoption.
     Time raced on and I grew up, went to college, started working, got married and had two children of my own.  My husband and I were very content with our two wonderful boys.  But every once in awhile there would be a tug at my heart...a whisper from God telling me not to forget about the seed planted so many years ago.  When I mentioned this "seed" to my husband, his answer was "No way!".  I know it sounds harsh but let me tell you a bit about his experience with adoption.  It started long ago too.
     My husbands parents were very active members of the Illinois Foster Care Association for many years. They were so involved that they even held the VP position at one point.  Along with my husband and his four older brothers, the Myers house was filled with over 30 foster kids, mostly special needs kids.  Of course, not 30 all at once but there were always a few extra children running around the house.  This was difficult for my husband. First of all, he is an introvert and likes his alone, quite time to re-energize. Secondly, everything was shared. Food, clothes, toys, bedrooms and most of all, the attention from his parents. Since he was the youngest and the smallest, he had to learn to fight for what he wanted. Now this is not to say that my husband had a difficult childhood. He had loving parents and admired their desire to help those in need. But he wanted something different for his boys. He wanted to give them everything we could. He wanted them to have their own rooms, clothes, toys and quite time and attention. :)
     So here we were. On opposite sides of the adoption spectrum. But I was faithful to what I truly thought God was putting on my heart.  Whenever I felt Him tug, I would speak up and mention it to my husband. He would say, "No way".  Then I would say a pray asking God to work on softening my husband's heart toward adoption.
     Time continued to pass. Life went on. The boys grew up. We grew older. Everyone was happy and healthy. Our family was truly blessed in every aspect of life.   But I still felt a longing for something I was missing. Until one night.  My older son, Damon, who was involved in Manteno Youth For Christ, was asked to speak at a YFC event.  While we were there, we listened to a speaker talk about how everyone is given Gifts from God. He went on to explain that it didn't matter what the gift was but only that we use it. It could be that one was a plumber and helped those who couldn't always pay or that someone was full of compassion and could just sit and listen to someone who needed a shoulder to lean on. The speaker went on with different examples but always coming back to the importance of using whatever Gift God had given to you.  As we were leaving the facility,my husband stopped me in the parking lot, under the night stars and said, "I need to tell you something.  I don't know why it has taken me so long to see this but  after hearing that speaker and listening to a radio program about adoption, I realize God has blessed our family so much and we could easily take care of another child. We need to adopt."  It was so awesome to see that God had done it. He had softened my husband's heart and now the seed in my heart was ripe!

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