Tuesday, March 5, 2013

when a man for whom adoption is not an option marries a woman who wants a small family

longest title ever, for the win, right there.

When I was younger and looking into the future, thinking about how I wanted my life to look (wow, that sounds a bit selfish because we both know I was not asking God what He wanted my life to look like, but back to the point) I saw myself married, with 2 kids, maybe 3, but probably 2. It's a safe number, right? I grew up with a younger brother. Just me and him. 2. It seemed to work quite well. So that's what I wanted.

Little did I know that God had a man for me who was growing up with 7 siblings.

When Ben was younger, he wanted a large family (and still does) but he never ever wanted to adopt. There's just this attitude that alot of men have about not wanting to raise a child who "isn't his own." That was my husband.

Little did Ben know that he would marry a woman who wanted to adopt.

As a teenager, I started to get involved in pro-life culture, and I quickly felt the Lord tugging on my heart, giving me a desire to adopt. I never really knew when, why or how, only that it was something I should do eventually. I know pro-lifers have this bad reputation for wanting to save a baby from abortion, and then wanting to have nothing to do with that child after he or she is born. That's not true for alot of us. I would say most of us. If you really honor life, like really truly believe God when He tells us that all human life is valuable, then you have to care for the orphans. You have to care for the mothers. You have to care for their children, even after they are born.

While Ben and I were dating long distance, we talked on the phone for hours and hours and hours. We talked about everything under the sun. Including kids: how many, when, boys or girls, adoption or not. Our answers were always the same:

me- 2 kids. And I think we should adopt.
him- lots of kids, no adoption.

Obviously we were not on the same page.

But eventually that changed. Eventually, our hearts changed. God slowly began to change my heart about family size. And he gradually changed Ben's heart about adoption. And He merged our hearts and desires together, to fit within His plan for our family and our future.

Today, I write this post with a desire, I mean a passion, for a large family. We are talking Duggar-sized, people! And my husband, he wants to adopt. He wants to adopt newborns, toddlers, elementary-age, teenagers, American kids, Russian kids and we've even discussed embryo adoption. If a child doesn't have a home, he wants to welcome him or her into our's with open arms. He wants to give children who need a family, a place in our family. He wants to be the father to children who have no father. Have I told you how much I love this man?

So what changed?: Mostly our attitude toward parenting. For a long time I just saw being a mother as something you do after you get married. You have kids and love them. You raise them as best you can and send them into the world to make their own decisions. And while all of that is part of motherhood and parenting, it isn't the whole of it.

Truly, parenting is about ministry. It's about giving of yourself. It's about sacrifice. It's about being the servant Jesus called us to be, to our children. Being a mom and a dad means raising, growing, discipling and training missionaries (our children) to send into the next generation. And oh man, if we get to do that for our own kids and for children who need a family, we're all in! Sign us up now. And the more the merrier!

The way we see it, parenting is a way of living out the gospel. After all, the Great Commission should begin in our homes.

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” ~Matthew 28: 18-20 (NIV)

And let us also not forget that we have been graciously adopted into the family of God. Jesus reminds his disciples, and us, "I will not leave you as orphans" (John 14:18). How can we possibly leave children as orphans who we know desperately need and desire a home? Especially when we understand our own position in Christ. Because of Him, we are adopted by God. Because of Him, we are given life and freedom. Ben and I see that as a direct calling. Because of what He has done for us, we cannot help but want to do the same for "the least of these."

God sent [Jesus] to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children ~Galations 4:5 (NLT)

you can read more about why we want a large family here

4 comments:

  1. i loved this. my husband was adopted and wants a small familiy - i wasn't and want a large one.. i've never thought seriously about adopting but maybe i should. i love the line "parenting is really about ministry" -

    thanks for this.

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  2. Omigoodness, yes. First of all, your "Duggar-size" comment made me laugh because that is my dream, too. As long as I can make our family function as well as they do!

    Second I LOVE the call to parents to be missionaries to their children. I actually have a draft of a post that I JUST wrote calling moms to view motherhood this way, as opposed to motherhood being about receiving "unconditional love" from a child... I actually saw that on a post recently :/ I figure I'll wait until I have a little experience under my belt to rant ;)

    Anyway, loved your post and good luck on growing that family for the glory of the Lord!

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  3. I loved reading this and seeing how your husbands heart has changed. We want a big family too..maybe not as big as you and the duggars...but full of biological and adoptive babies...we are praying for guidance on this now

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  4. This entry made my heart soar! I just stumbled upon your blog today (i had searched for a stay at home wife blog and have been reading your posts for an hour now! haha) and am so happy for this encouragement. I recently got married and have always wanted to adopt and/or have a large family, thankfully my husband is finally leaning towards the idea. Alot of our family and close friends think it's the most insane idea so it's so nice to know you're out there! Thanks for all your posts I just love them!

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