We thought the path to parenthood would be easy but the medical test results were quick and clear. “OMINOUS”—The word the doctor repeatedly used stung like the stab of a knife to my heart. It was the beginning of an unexpected prayer journey I would have chosen not to take. Other friends’ prayers were quickly answered and they soon found themselves in the delivery room. Some were expecting their third or fourth child. I just longed and prayed for one. It seemed so simple and unfair. Quickly our path led us to an unknown path of adoption and giant steps of faith. Like Moses who asked God not to let him take one step outside of His will, we prayed only for the child or children God would call us to have. We prayed for His will to be done—and as difficult as it was to pray—even if it meant in His perfect plan, He would not bless us with any children. We sought to follow the help of the most experienced adoption agencies. God has such a sense of humor because those doors closed.
Ultimately like Moses, we landed on unchartered territory. Our adoption would be a test case in a new region. We filled out endless paperwork. At one point while searching for marriage certificates and other documents, I threw up my hands in frustration and cried out to our future son thousands of miles away, “Do you know all the things we are doing to adopt you?” In a distinct nonverbal voice, I heard the words, “Do you know what I did on the cross to adopt you?” Ultimately the agency sent to us to a host family coordinator who had never met Americans, spoken English or processed an adoption before. So many endless things could have and often did go wrong, but each day we prayed for God’s will and each day, prayers were answered.
Suddenly, daily, at the ninth hour, everything went right. We came to expect miracles. Finally, we adopted our son. Exactly four years later, with a new agency and a new series of miracles, we adopted our daughter. It was clear through the combination of both the setbacks and the sudden miracles that these were the children God called us to bring home. I thought about the endless hoops, thrills, and disappointments we endured because we knew the home where we lived was a far better home for our kids.
Then I realized that Jesus left his home in heaven to come to earth, to die for us, and to adopt us because he knows heaven is our far better future home. In summary, serious prayer takes serious submission and serious steps of faith. But God is gracious to teach us these lessons in baby steps. Unlike the doctor’s office, He offers hope. We just need to start with one word: Help!