Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Which Way To Go?

Today was the end of the beginning of a really loooooong journey! It ends with figuring out where we are going to be adopting from, Lord willing!

Previously, we had thought that we would probably be adopting from Ethiopia. Obstacles arouse, and so we started to wonder if that was really where our child(ren) are coming from. So, we started looking into domestic adoption. One thing to note is that we did not see obstacles, necessarily, as something saying, "no, don't go!" but rather as something the Lord could simply overcome for us. With that, it lead us to implore the Lord about whether that was really where we were supposed to go. And so began a very interesting journey filled with lots of unknowns.

Ethiopia has virtually ceased adopting out children under the age of 3. And adoptions have slowed A LOT for children 3 and older as well. This is due to a lot of conflicts in Ethiopia currently. And our age range that we believe God has told us to pursue would be UNDER the age of 3. And so, as you can see, the situation in Ethiopia presents a problem OR an opportunity.

And so we looked at adopting African/American babies. We found an agency that we could use, and things looked like they would "fit" our life situation. This possibility was also rather exciting.

On Monday, January 9th, 2012, Marissa had her individual interview for our home study, and through that we began to see the urgency of knowing where it is our child(ren) are going to be coming from. And so began a rather intense time of prayer. We implored the Lord for two days of this intense time of prayer. We sought after the Lord, in particular seeking out an answer to our question of where our child(ren) would be coming from. Isn't funny how the Lord works? :) Through things that were seemingly unrelated to our question, God changed us in the way we were thinking to get us ready, and to test our faith for the answer he was about to give.

A major verse that fueled this change was Hosea 6:3 (NLT) "Oh, that we might know the LORD! Let us press on to know him. He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn, or the coming of rains in early spring." It says press on to know the Lord. PRESS ON to know the Lord! THAT was the purpose of this intense time of prayer. And so, though we continued to ask our question, we realized that the point was to press into the Lord, to know him, to seek him. You see, when we seek the Lord, we find his will. When we seek the Lord, he reveals to us who we are. The point of life is to seek the Lord.

In our family, the man is the head of the house hold, meaning all the decisions finally go through him. And so, with this as our reality, we knew that the Lord would confirm, through Josh, whatever decision would need to be made. With this in mind, this morning, Josh prayed that the Lord would reveal the place to Marissa, and that when Marissa would tell Josh the idea, Josh would whole heartedly agree. Thus, the revelation came through Marissa, and was confirmed by Josh.

This is what Marissa heard from God. She was prompted (by a friend) to look at a blog of a couple who had adopted from Uganda. After checking out this blog, she decided to look at possible agencies that worked with Uganda. She found an agency in which Josh and Marissa met all of the requirements! That was so exciting! She tried not to get too excited, but started thinking that this is possibly where God wanted us to adopt! While thinking about possibly adopting from Uganda, Marissa decided to read the Bible, hoping that the Word of God would help make this possibility clear to her. She came across these verses:

Psalm 29:1-5, 7-11
Honor the LORD, you heavenly beings;
      honor the LORD for his glory and strength.
 Honor the LORD for the glory of his name.
      Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness.
 The voice of the LORD echoes above the sea.
      The God of glory thunders.
      The LORD thunders over the mighty sea.
 The voice of the LORD is powerful;
      the voice of the LORD is majestic.
 The voice of the LORD splits the mighty cedars;
      the LORD shatters the cedars of Lebanon.
The voice of the LORD strikes
      with bolts of lightning. 
The voice of the LORD makes the barren wilderness quake;
      the LORD shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
The voice of the LORD twists mighty oaks
      and strips the forests bare.
   In his Temple everyone shouts, “Glory!”
The LORD rules over the floodwaters. 
      The LORD reigns as king forever.
The LORD gives his people strength.
      The LORD blesses them with peace.

 Marissa thought, "I think God might be trying to tell me to listen to his voice, because it is powerful." After prayer, she was moved, and started crying and felt a peace she has never felt before. She thought, "This has to be where God wants us to adopt!" She was so excited that this is possibly where God wanted them to go! She told the whole story to Josh, and he got excited, for he had prayed for this to happen (that Marissa would get the revelation from God, and that she would end up telling him about it!) Josh prayed about it, and confirmed that this where He feels God leading us to adopt! The smiles on our faces were HUGE! It feels so good to know we are following God's plan in where he wants us to adopt from! So, Marissa called the agency we will be using, and told them we were going to go forward with Uganda!

The answer of Uganda is so funny. When we first got the call from the Lord that we are going to be adopting (in March of 2010), Uganda was where Josh really wanted to adopt from. It holds a special place in his heart for some reason. So, we looked into adopting from Uganda and found nothing that would work, very few agencies with programs and most of them were pilot programs that we were ineligible for. So, we stopped looking. And now here we are, almost 2 years later, after looking at so many other places and nearly completely forgetting about Uganda for adoption, God has brought it back. :) My friends, when we seek God, He changes our desires. And then, He gives us the desires of our hearts. Josh's desire was to adopt from Uganda. After disappointment and struggles for 22 months, it is good to know that God placed that desire there. :)

We now (while working on our homestudy at the Village) need to fill out applications for this networking agency, and fill out more paperwork, and do some trainings. We are excited to get going on this! God is moving, and it's so exciting! 

We still have a long journey ahead of us, and possibly a long wait. But we have to remember that we are on God's time. So he can make it go as long or as short as he wants! We are willing to follow him! We thank you for your prayers and support, and ask that you pray for us, as we move forward in this exciting adventure to Uganda! Pray for the child(ren) that God has for us there, and pray that we follow his plan! 

We love you all,
In Christ's love,
the Svaleson's