An open letter

December 31st, 2010

Today I sat down with the intention of staying put until I had the next update written.  But instead, I received a thoughtful letter from someone with experience in international adoption, who does not know our family yet.  When my reply was finished, I realized that maybe there were some of you out there in blogland who have had similar doubts as this dear lady, but who have not had her courage to write them to us.  Maybe this post will help to answer your questions as well.  That is my hope!

“Thank you, S_____, for your honest words.  You haven’t said anything that offends or discourages me at all, partly because we have had a lot of experience living in a position that most people would say was crazy/impossible/irresponsible or worse, just by remaining open to having more than a couple of children.  Many times we have had to deliberately choose to believe what God says and go with that, in spite of knowing that others may withhold their approval.

I understand that you are giving us only the one side, and that you are concerned that we have not looked at that side of things.

Maybe it would help you feel reassured if I made a few things very, very clear.

We are not law-breakers.  We are not interested in trying to twist arms.  We absolutely believe in the absolute sovereignty of God over all things.  We believe He works through legitimate authority, and is in charge of their decisions.

Because of this belief, we are trusting Him to make the decision for us.  Our part is to remain open to accepting what He is doing, whatever that ultimately ends up being.

We believe that if we isolated all the culturally logical reasons we should NOT adopt, and drew culturally logical conclusions from that list of reasons, we would not adopt at all.  (Using culturally logical reasoning, we also would not have had any children at all, much less ten.)

We believe that if His plan is for us to adopt two children with special needs, that it will look unreasonable or foolish to many people.  Although we were braced for opposition, we have been surprised by the amazing support we have received from everyone we know and from everyone who knows us well, as well as from those with knowledge and experience with medical issues and international adoption.  The home study agency director was the first to express doubt, and you are the second.

We also believe that if it is God’s plan for us to adopt at all, He will have to accomplish it Himself, because it is outside our ability to accomplish with our own resources.  We couldn’t accidentally make the wrong decision, and mistakenly adopt two when God intended for us to adopt only one, or none at all.  So far, we have seen Him do several amazing things that we could not POSSIBLY have orchestrated or brought about ourselves.  Unless you believe that the devil is in the business of moving mountains to bring orphans into families, if you had all the facts of our story so far, you would have to conclude, as we have, that God is the One moving the mountains.

This doesn’t prove that He is going to do any more than that!  He could stop everything right here.  We do not know that it is the will of God for us to adopt two children, or any children at all, until it actually happens.  We knew during our whole twin pregnancy that we could lose one or both those children at any point.  God is not obligated to give us our heart’s desire.  He could say “no” at any point.  And if that ends up being the case, we will continue to praise Him, even if it is through our tears, because our trust is in Him, and He is good and worthy of our praise, even when He brings us pain.

We have not chosen to hedge our life about with all sorts of protections against difficulty. Our main motivation has been to stay open to God, not closed against difficulty. We don’t believe that the level of difficulty is always the best guide for knowing what God is asking us to do.

We have not been through all the particulars of an international adoption, and we have a lot to learn about what is required, but we are very aware that it is a difficult process.  We simply do not believe that harder equals worse.

Furthermore, we have absolutely no fear that God will give us an assignment and then walk off and leave us in the lurch. He absolutely will give us the wherewithal to carry it out, as He has promised to do, and as He has already done for us over and over. We are aware that it could be God’s intention to bring us the blessing of such great difficulty that HE is the One who has to undertake for us, as He has in the past. If that would be the case, we would rejoice both that we were counted worthy of that privilege, and that God was showing Himself strong through us. Because more than anything else, we know that WE are beside the point. We want HIM to be seen for THE GOD THAT HE IS.

I hope I am not being a rude upstart by writing in this way. I just thought perhaps you would feel better knowing our position. We do not have the ability to accidentally adopt two children if that is not God’s plan. And we are trusting Him to do good, because He is good.”

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13 Responses to “An open letter”

  1. Ginger says:

    Excellent post. I whole-heartedly agree. Having adopted three children internationally, I can attest that it is absolutely a walk of faith. The process, the adjustment, the loving-a-child-who-I-don’t-really-know. It’s all God. And it will sanctify you. You will become more like Christ through the process or you will be miserable fighting Him.

  2. cindy says:

    So well put Susanna.  I’m sure you will face difficulties but your family is a true example of the reality of an everpresent, omnipotent God who hears, answers prayer and rewards faith.  Your faith goes beyond that of many of us.  You are fortunate to have the support of so many like minded people and God is certainly using you to guide others in building their faith.  May Gods will be done in and through you all.

  3. Ginger says:

    And that is one crazy beautiful girl in those pics!

  4. Stephanie says:

    amazing and eloquent response. i have followed blogs where two children were adopted together, and blogs where two were adopted a year or so apart. I think it’s wonderful. To have the ability to save two lives… I wish i could.
    I think what you are undertaking is all being absolutely orchestrated by God, and no matter the outcome you are following Him.
    Know that you and your family are in our prayers. We stand behind you in your remarkable decision and support you in any way we can!

  5. Patti says:

    I am just glad I’m not the only one who has ten kiddos, the youngest of which has a lil’ something extra.. who has a desire to adopt as well:) Praying for more mountains to be moved, friend!

  6. Kimberly Zimmerman says:

    A favorite saying of mine……”Where God guides HE provides!!”  Blessings as you follow HIS guiding Hand….

  7. Sue says:

    Thank you so much for this inspiring post!  What a great reminder for all of us that our lives are in His hands – and this is true in EVERY area of our lives.
    May the Lord continue to bless your family, and thank you for passing that blessing along!

  8. Kristin says:

    Wonderful response!  Praying for you here too….God has moved so amazingly (and quickly) already, can’t wait to see what He does next through you and your family :)

  9. Marilyn Osborn says:

    The Lord has been “coloring outside the lines” in our lives for years and it is BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!!!!!  I’m so excited to get to see your faith in action! :)

  10. Angela in MT says:

    Well said!
    And a truly encouraging reminder for us!

  11. Joy Horton says:

    Excellent, Susanna! SO encouraging to read for any difficult situation!

    I am so excited to watch this all unfold. What an incredible testimony it will be, no matter which way it goes!

    Love you!

  12. Catherine (virogirl) says:

    Here Here!! So very well put. We’re praying along side you.

  13. Lisa says:

    Well said, Susanna.  God has made His will know through His word and we just need to be faithful and obey.  Now, if “the doors are open” to sin, we clearly know that that is not God’s will because His word tells us so.  So it’s not that everything we do is God’s will just because it happens.  (I think that distinction is between His moral will and His sovereign will, but that’s another discussion)  Obviously, in this case, God’s word sets a high priority on caring for orphans and widows, and as you are being obedient in that, He will be faithful to you, whatever the outcome.

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