Last week, the Visiting Orphan staff drove to Louisville, Kentucky for the Christian Alliance for Orphans Summit. It was the first one for me and several of our other staff members. We were all impacted greatly by being there, hearing testimonies, stories, learning how to do what we do better, sharing ideas and getting to meet so many people with a heart for orphans. The worship was amazing, the speakers were awesome and I was moved. We had a staff meeting today where we were supposed to share what spoke to us most from the conference - what the highlights were. For me, the thing that spoke loudest was adoption. There were two on-stage radio interviews from Focus on the Family that were being recorded at the event - both with families who have adopted a bunch of kids. One family has 14 kids - some biological, most adopted and they have an income of roughly $65K a year. Wow - that spoke to me. Yes, I may be single and I may not make a ton of money but if they can care for 14 kids at 65K, I can find a way to care for at least one. I can cut some things out, make some changes, I can make it work. Even as a single. Another thing that I had my eyes opened to was domestic adoption and fostering. I honestly had never thought much about it or knew much about it. But I kept running into people who were talking about it, who had or knew someone who had adopted from fostering and I even had the opportunity to attend a breakout session about fostering to adopt. I learned a lot and I felt like this may be a good thing for me to look into. Since I've been home, I have started looking into it. And I am definitely open to it if that's where the Lord leads me. I'm also getting more and more ok with the idea of adopting as a single. A friend said the other day that she has a single friend who adopted and she once said to her, I can be ok without being a wife but I can't imagine never being a mom. That's how I feel. I want to be married and I still hope and believe God has that for me. But... if he doesn't, I could live with that. But I cannot even fathom going my whole life and never being a mom. I have felt like I was meant to be a mom since as long as I can remember. I know it'll be hard. I know it'll be an adjustment, especially if I'm doing it as a single. But I also know I have amazing friends here in Nashville who would be a huge blessing and help. And I know I have a God in heaven who has adopted me and He has given me a heart for children. I also know having His people take care of His little ones is so very close to the Father's heart. There are some definite things I need to do to prepare my life for such a change. Some things need to be paid off, some plans need to be made in advance. And of course, I need to continually be seeking the Lord on what He's saying and what His perfect timing is. But when I went to that conference last week and I heard the song title "Why Wouldn't I?" by the amazing Peder Eide who led us in worship - I felt like that question was for me. I was reminded how many millions of orphans there are in the world - precious little ones who just want someone to love them, hold them and never leave them - why wouldn't I say "here I am Lord, use me"! Why wouldn't I adopt when I have a mothers heart already and a lot of love to give and enough money to make it work and a house with enough room and a great support system? I can't think of any real reasons not to.
Video of the song "Why Wouldn't I" and Peder Eide telling the story of the song:
Our VO staff with our "I Am" signs from the conference. They told us to write down what the Lord is saying about us, who we are called to be and/or how He sees us. I wrote "I am a mother" and cried my eyes out.