Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Jon and Melanie's Adoption Story: Lifting Their Hearts to God

“Waiting on God requires the willingness to bear uncertainty, to carry within oneself the unanswered question, lifting the heart to God about it whenever it intrudes upon one's thoughts.”
- Elisabeth Elliot -

Every adoption involves waiting and waiting, however long it lasts, is never easy. There are so many different ways that people respond to the wait. Some focus on those around them, seeking to love the precious people already in their lives. Others get angry, placing blame on someone/anyone for why they are waiting, even blaming God. Still others want to give up or sadly, they do give up. And then there are those who wait with a lifted up heart, going to God about it, casting their cares on Him, refusing to give up unless He tells them to and seeking to trust Him while they wrestle through the waiting. Jon and Melanie's wait was so very difficult but I think that Elisabeth Elliot (quoted above) would have been proud as she watched them wait with open hands to the Lord.

This couple presented again and again to expectant mamas, so willing to say "yes" and so very ready to become parents. But they kept hearing "no" again and again. As a Mennonite family, they wondered if their faith wasn't connecting with the expectant mamas reading their profile. They wondered if they would ever be chosen. I thought my heart might crack as I walked alongside them, wishing with all that was in me that the expectant mamas reading their profile could see the incredibly kind, loving, and gentle hearts of this precious couple. They kept praying that God would fulfill their desire for a child. And then one day I got a agency was looking for some very specific characteristics in an adoptive family and I wondered if this was exactly the situation for Jon and Melanie. I will never forget hearing what this expectant mama shared with the agency when she looked over their profile book, "I love Mennonites! I've been reading their things over and over. I think they are perfect!" The exact thing they feared might prevent them from being chosen was actually a huge part of what connected their son's birth mom's heart with theirs. Here is a little from Melanie about their journey:

"As I hold my son in my arms; I reflect back on our journey to him.  Nothing could have prepared us for how difficult the wait was, or for how much love for him and for his birth mom instantly overwhelmed us.  I spent many hours in our furnished nursery journaling, crying, and praying.  We had battled with infertility and years of medical treatment; yet were convinced we wanted to be parents. During the 15 months of having our profile book shown to birth moms, I sometimes wondered if I could present another time, or hear another no.  But my desire to be a mother was even stronger than the desire to quit. 

God taught me that He is a Good Father.  That His plans for me, and for the baby that became my son, were wonderful,  and so much different and better than I could have dreamed.  I learned that adoption is complex; and that it is possible to feel pain and pleasure simultaneously. So as I hold my son tightly, I hope that he grows up to know and believe that the arms of the mother who gave him life, those arms placed him into mine, and in that moment, love forged a bond that is unexplainable."
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