Thursday, April 18, 2013

Babies on the Brain

And by babies, I mean 2-4 year olds. From Africa.

It's "that" season of life. That season of life where everyone you know is having little precious baby boys or little precious baby girls. Or, if you're friends with some of our friends, adopting little precious baby boys or little precious baby girls.

It's SO exciting!

Then it got me thinking......

The most frequently asked question after getting married to Mr. Christiansen has something to do with everything this post is about. You know the one....first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes _______________________.

Well, here are my thoughts. A rather random collection I might add.

It's no secret. Someday we'll be bringing home our littles via a Boeing 787 aircraft, rather than a minivan from the nearest hospital (well, yes, I'm aware God may have other plans. He also knows the desires of Beau and I's hearts as well.). They'll fly (hopefully by our side) over the Atlantic ocean from the most beautiful continent of Africa to Ames, Iowa. Instead of car seats, they'll be in booster seats. Bouncy seats, Gerber baby food, and cribs will be bypassed by toddler beds, tantrums, trikes, teaching English, and potty-training.

And. I can't. wait.

It's our Plan A (can you even have a "plan" when Jesus is Lord of your life?). It's what we dream about and talk about on a regular basis. It's what my heart has desired since as long as I can remember. Well, since I was in grade school.
My desire to be a mother comes from the scriptures of James 1:17, Psalm 82:3, John 14:18, Job 29:12. We want to become parents through adoption, because our Father adopted us into His family.

End of story.

Sometimes we're like "Woah, we're so not ready for kids". We like to sleep in. We I like to stay up late. We like to eat whenever we want. We survive off of eggs, cereal, frozen pizza, chicken nugs, and if it's summer- our grill. I don't know how to prepare meals for a family of four. We like to do whatever we want, when we want. We don't have to find babysitters to go on dates or events. It's a lot cheaper to go out to eat with two people than four people. I hate doing laundry for one, or two people, let alone the addition of little people clothes. (Those are the selfish thoughts we have, for real.) Yes, we've been informed you'll never feel "ready" no matter what. We've also been reminded we're not the only ones with these thoughts.


Then there's those times where I can't wait to rock the socks off of my "perception" of what a mom is like. I want to be the mom I was created to be. I can't wait for my heart to overflow and GUSH out love for those little brown-skinned beauties. The hugs. The kisses. The bedtime stories. The sharing of Jesus. The toys strewn everywhere (actually that might bother me). The blessing of being chosen to be someone's Mom. Beau, someone's Dad. God handpicking our children to be in our family. I hope and pray for that responsibility of a whole new meaning and opportunity of unconditional love and grace being extended on our children. A new understanding of the Father's love for us- his children. I'm sure He'll be teaching us a whole lot when those days come.

Like a lot a lot.

 I can't wait to see what the Lord has planned for Beau and I as parents, and going through life with our friends and their kids with our kids. My heart can hardly handle the excitement (and yes, challenge) of what the Creator has created me to be and do (in addition to Beau's wife and a daughter of the King).

So, we wait.

There will be difficulties. There will be setbacks. There will be triumphs and celebrations. There will be people who "don't approve", people who won't like the color of skin our children will have, some will wonder why from Africa and not from the U.S., some will think what a waste of money, some just won't "understand", some will even think we won't love these children like our "own" children, and some will wonder why we aren't trying to have biological children. I've read lots and lots of blogs and stories from adoptive families that went through and dealt with these same issues and feelings from others.

Three times this semester a student teacher from Turkey (who was placed in the classroom I'm working in) asked me several times when my husband and I were planning on having kids. Each time, I told her we would be adopting, it's like she didn't believe me. Why? Because she would then try talking me out of adopting children. Three separate times. A little more persistent each time.
Each time brought up entirely by her. Over and over again she would bring it up and tell me, "Oh you must have your own, you won't love those ones like you would love your own. Trust me." Or this one, "Oh I'm so sorry, can you not get pregnant?" Then came, "That is nice, that is nice. Are you sure you want to do that? You should really think about having your own. It is not the same. It is not the same."
 Time and time again, she would visibly get very frustrated with me. There was this tone and look on her face like we were foolish and making the biggest mistake of our lives. Like we were crazy. Like we wouldn't really be 'parents', or wouldn't get the 'full experience' of parenting or love. (that could have totally been the devil trying to discourage me in this way, I don't truly know what she intended, but that's how I felt. But it didn't really work either I should add.)
I totally get it's a difference in culture most likely, and quite possibly a very foreign idea as well. Who knows. Jesus still loves her. He wanted me to still love her too.

 Because, at first I was hurt. Then I was mad. A lot of not very nice things rushed through my mind that wanted to come out of my mouth. Thankfully, God answered my prayers of holding my tongue and responding in love. I needed to shine the Light of Jesus to her. God also must have thought I needed to practice patience and grace as well. I prayed that she would be open to hearing and understanding why we had made this choice and I told her that I was confident in the Lord providing everything we would need, unconditional love included, for our future children.....that contrary to her efforts, would not be biological.

I'm not sure I changed her mind. Just maybe, God is preparing me even through encounters like the one I just described. I do know for sure it solidified my desire even more, we are confident in Jesus being the Lord of our lives. We will follow Him in obedience clinging to him for guidance and provision. I know that I'm just as excited. I desire to be a mom majorly. I selfishly pray that we would be the 5% of people who adopt that don't have any glitches or issues during the adoption process.

Hey, anything is possible with Jesus, Jack! 

Yes, we're one step closer to starting the process. Having more than one bedroom in our place of residency means we can start a home study (going from a one bedroom apartment to a 3+ bedroom house). We're asking God to show us clarity of WHEN. To provide a FULL TIME position as a teacher so that we can SAVE SAVE SAVE more for this very expensive process. We're praying that God would go before us and prepare our hearts and the hearts of friends, family, the Body of Christ, and even strangers to help support us prayerfully, financially, emotionally, and physically during the adoption process. Oh ya, and the parenting process.

So that's what I tell the "most frequently asked question" askers....we're praying that the Lord will show us WHEN. That's when. :)

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