This post was written back on April 2006 and posted on our other adoption site while we were pursuing our adoption through China. It gives a more personal background into our decision to adopt.
Our decision to adopt goes back as far as our childhood. During different times in our childhood, we both felt our hearts being called toward adoption even though it seemed so far away. As we begin dating and eventually became engaged, our conversations were always “peppered” with talks of adoption still seeming light years away. We married on September 16, 2000 and thus began our whirlwind of a life! We began to plan for children immediately and “our “ plan was to have three biological children and then adopt two children, Lord willing. We had our precious little girl, Isabella Grace in 2002 and were so surprised to learn that her adorable little brother, Elijah Arrington would follow 14 months later in 2003 (with a much bigger surprise of arriving 2 weeks early and weighing in at 10 lbs. 2 oz.!!!) Several months after Elijah was born, we were involved in a new start-up church where Brad became the pastor of our new church, Grace Reformed Baptist Church . He continued to work at his job and his seminary training, when he took on a small Bible teaching position at a local private school as well! I stayed busy with my “Irish twins”, attempting to find time to sustain my “hobby-turned-business” of making bows, onesies, socks, quilts, etc. and somewhat recently transitioned into coordinating the children’s ministry within the church! Whew! We were so thrilled with the Lord’s blessings in our lives, but were so busy with what was in front of us, we didn’t have time to think about what was ahead of us! We continued on with “our” plan and were feeling extremely overloaded and overwhelmed at our life to say the least! We began to pray about what God’s direction was in our lives and how we were going to be obedient to His will. After much prayer, it became abundantly clear what things we needed to “purge” out of our lives – many of which seemed good and seemed to bring glory to Christ but actually were being used as distractions. As we look back, this process was preparing our hearts to hear “His” plan for our lives instead of following our own plan.
Although He has blessed us with two beautiful children, our God has increasingly impressed upon our hearts the truth of our own adoption in the Lord Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul clearly states, “He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will” (Ephesians 1:5). As Paul wrote these words he was no doubt well aware that one could not disown an adopted child in the Roman society. As the Holy Spirit has taught us this truth over these past two years, we have been both humbled and convicted that as chosen children of God, we have the unique opportunity to demonstrate the love of Christ to a child unknown to us, but certainly known by the God we are so privileged to serve.
Our original plan for adoption was a far distance from now, but the Lord began to tender our hearts towards this incredible journey within His timing and His plan (not ours), which is now! At our wedding, we had purchased a family Bible in which we inscribed this special verse:
“Therefore, be ye imitators of Christ, as well-beloved children, and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Ephesians 5:1-2
We are to imitate Christ and be examples of His love for His children and do it sacrificially just as Christ did for us. What a privilege! What an expectation! What a blessing!
We must admit that we have no idea how we are going to get through this process – both emotionally and financially. However, we are confident of this – that the Lord would not call us to something that He would not equip us for. As trite as this may sound, we realize that our God is the Sovereign Creator and Sustainer of all that is, and, as with all things, He will ensure that His will is accomplished in His timing. Yet, even though our journey has only begun, we have already found it difficult, at times, to trust in His provision for the process that lies ahead. Please pray that we will remain obedient and trust in His will and His timing, not our own. We are so encouraged and strengthened by the many testimonies of those who have taken this journey before us. We thank each of you for sharing them with us!
Sharing in His passion and pursuit of His children,
Brad, Kimberly, Isabella, and Elijah
“Anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes my father who sent me.” Mark 9:37