Thursday, August 5, 2010

147 million raindrops

Or, Why We're Doing What We're Doing. This is my heart, very unedited, not pretty, a little rambling, and just honest. This is our story - yours either has been or will be different in many ways.

I know many couples who have thought off-and-on about adopting. We were one of them. We thought we would look at it seriously when we were done "having" (in a pregnant sense) the four kids we always knew we would have. When we were ready. When life slowed down. We would do the research then, discover the needs then. We were shallow, with good intentions. We were unaware, and about to be educated.

"Then" finally happened last year, after we slowly woke up to a realization that our plans and thoughts were not big enough, that our life wasn't supposed to slow down, that we weren't done having kids at any arbitrary number (we'd "had" five, anyway) and that we were beyond ready, as long as we were willing.

It was happening everywhere around us. We have aquaintances that have adopted, and friends that have adopted, and friends that are going through the process of it...we have been in court with friends to witness their adoption officially become final. It was everywhere we looked.

Then I sold a hat. Hang with me now, this is important.

What? Big deal! I sell hats all the time (well, to be honest, not often enough in the summer, but I digress). This was last fall. Just another customer, nothing special.

Turns out I sold her the wrong-sized hat - and the funny thing was, she still became a return customer and ordered another completely different hat, at which time I realized I had messed up her first order. I was mortified, and sent a gushing apology along with the correct hat and the new hat, and she was wonderful. She said it was okay and that she loved my work and wanted to feature my shop on her blog...would that be okay with me?

Would it?!? Free publicity? I said "Yes, please, and thank you!" Then I checked out her blog. I waited for the page to load...there were a ton of pictures so it took a while. And when it was done, I saw - well, here, you can see it for yourself. Here's my sweet friend Shonni's blog:

I counted. Ten, eleven. Because those little hats she bought from me were for her newest little precious one that she and her husband had just adopted from Ethiopia. I saw pictures of her little guy wearing my hats.

I became a blog-lurker (you know what that is...some of you know I'm talking about you, right? *wink*) and read all about the honest difficulties and successes of having a family of 13 (Thir! Teen!) . I found other adoption blogs. I read this post by Shonni's friend, and it changed me. Folks, there is a need that is unimaginable to those of us who have beds with clean, warm blankets and lattes and dinner out every few weeks. 147 million kids all over the world with no mommy or daddy to tuck them in at night - many of those have nothing to even be tucked into at night. Sick. Hungry. Uncared for.

God would not let me go about this. I was undone. 147 million is a pretty big number. Months passed, and I learned more. God was educating us. He was making us aware. He brought depth to our good intentions. He was giving us a bigger vision of what He planned for us, if we were willing...and we are. We often feel like Frodo when He said "I will take the ring...though I do not know the way." Like Peter when he walked on water, and did just fine as long as he kept his eyes off his circumstances and kept looking at the One who was above all circumstances.

Look with me: We are all standing in a deluge. It's pouring down. One-hundred-forty-seven-million raindrops are falling all around us. There are small clusters of people standing out in the deluge holding out small teaspoons in effort to catch some of these drops before they hit the ground. There are other people standing with those holding the teaspoons, helping them to hold the teaspoon higher, farther off the ground, to keep the wind from blowing the drops away. Some of the raindrops will be caught and given a new hope. Some will fall to the ground, lost forever.

We choose to step out into the downpour and hold out our very small and very expensive teaspoon, though we do not know the way. We do not know how it will happen. He is making us able as we make ourselves willing. So that is our far. He still moves us.