It all started with prayer really, now that I think back on it. Adoption was not even on my radar that spring night, never had been. Even so, God broke into our world with the call to adoption, despite the fact that we had never even talked about adoption, much less prayed about it. We had actually been praying over the last year about something else. We were asking God to use our family in His kingdom. We wanted more than a Sunday morning faith; we wanted to serve Him—to make a difference.
Looking back I see that those prayers were the womb to receive the seed of adoption; those prayers prepared us not only to hear the call, but also they gave us the courage to say yes.
After that night in 1999 our prayers shifted in a big way. Like an umbilical cord connecting a mother to her child, our prayers attached us in a profound and supernatural way to our new children, creating a conduit for the life source to flow before we even knew boy or girl, one or siblings, domestic or foreign. Long before they came into our arms, our prayers linked us to them.
And over the 16 years since our children came home (turned out there were 4 of them!) the role of prayer it seems to me is even more important than ever. It has morphed from being a womb to receive the call or an umbilical cord to connect and nourish to a weapon to fight battles and a pillow to find rest. For as much as I love and appreciate good parenting, I have found that my prayer life is as practical a parenting tool as any other, and far more powerful!
Likewise, as much as I value “self care” in this long-haul journey we are on, I have recognized that my connection with God through prayer brings more rest and peace to me than I can get anywhere else.
There are also those times when I absolutely need to grab a trusted friend to pray, believing God with me for breakthrough. And in those really tough seasons when I am too exhausted or discouraged to do it myself, I have relied on friends to pray for me.
Most of us began our adoptions in prayer, and I want to encourage us all today to continue on in that same way, “as it was in the beginning…” I love this verse from Galatians:
Let me put this question to you: How did your new life begin? Was it by working your heads off to please God? Or was it by responding to God’s Message to you? Are you going to continue this craziness? For only crazy people would think they could complete by their own efforts what was begun by God. If you weren’t smart enough or strong enough to begin it, how do you suppose you could perfect it? Did you go through this whole painful learning process for nothing? It is not yet a total loss, but it certainly will be if you keep this up! (Galatians 3:1-4 MSG)
When we began our adoption story prayer played an obvious and key role. We rarely turned a page or started a new chapter without it!
So may it be for us in the years after that first trembling decision to adopt. The same God who brought your child home to you and took you through all the obstacles you faced is the very same One who is with you in the car pool line, at the therapist, in the kitchen and bedroom and bath, on the soccer field and at the doctor’s office…. and in those deep deep places of your child’s heart that bear the wounds of relinquishment.
Oh what goodness God has in His heart for us and our families just waiting to be birthed in prayer!!
Beth has been married to her husband Stephen for 27 years. They have seven children, ages 18-24. Several years after giving birth to three girls God called their family to the adventure and blessing of adoption. In 2000, they brought home a brother and sister, ages 5 and 10, from Russia. Then they returned to the same orphanage 18 months later and brought home two more brothers, ages 7 and 10. Beth’s heart has been deeply and forever changed as she has watched the love of Father God poured out on her whole family through adoption. She leads Hope at Home, a ministry dedicated to help adoptive and foster parents encounter the Father’s heart for their families, partnering with God to transform orphans into sons and daughters. For more parenting insight and encouragement in the Lord, go to Hope at Home.