I am absolutely amazed that I have the opportunity to write this. I don’t usually make comments or suggestions on Renee’s blog. She writes to encourage and inspire, where my job is to be controversial and confrontational. The reason I am writing this is due to a seemingly common obstacle that I have noticed when it comes to adoptions: The husband.
Number one: Please don’t force your husband to read this and try to manipulate him and make him read something that he does not want. Don’t make him read this when he is tired. Warn him that it may take anywhere from 5-15 minutes to read this. Too much information can be overwhelming, especially when it is all words and no pictures. Don’t let him read this and then expect a reaction from him such as tears, that he bursts with excitement, or even just wants you to hold him. A simple grunt is all you may get.
Number two: I have said “no” to so many things it is not even funny. When I say that I have said no, it was an emphatic NO, no way, I am not ever going to do that, kind of “no.”
Here is a condensed list of many of the things I have said "no" to.
- I am not going to get married. I am going to go to
to party, become a pilot and travel the world . Daytona Beach
- I will not work this job long-term, it is not in my field, and I will work it until I find another one. I will not stay here any longer than 2-3 months.
- If I ever have kids, I won’t have more than 2 or 3.
- I will not be some bible thumper.
- I won’t give up my beer or drinking.
- I will never stop watching my movies or listening to my CD’s.
- I will not tell a woman she cannot have an abortion.
- I will not allow my children to be homeschooled.
- I will not adopt. I do not want the controversy surrounding me why there are a mix of kids in our family. There will be too much baggage from these kids, they are going to be too much of a burden emotionally, financially, etc., besides, we already have enough kids.
- Even if I adopt, it will not be older children, there are too many issues with them.
If God can change a very foolish heart like mine, He can change anybody’s. This post is not about me, it is about the Creator of the universe that holds the heart of man in His hand, and if you submit to His will, there are blessings waiting that you cannot imagine.
Here is what happened:
- Partied in Daytona, met Renee in the first week of school, got married one week after graduation, flew once with Renee and made her puke; haven’t flown since.
- I have had the same employer for the last 14 years and have had a very blessed position as a sales representative for a national company. This job has funded every child (biological, and especially the expensive international adoptions). Never thought it would be amount to anything other than a paycheck to get by, just a temporary job.
- I have given up on the kids thing. Thought that would be all of them at 3, 4 5, 7, 9,11…..and so on it seems. Maybe 18 will be it???
- I became a born-again Christian in 1999, not by any good works on my part, but by the grace of God, he saved a wretch like me.
- My desire for alcohol almost instantly went away, have not had a drop of alcohol since 1999.
- I smashed all the music and movies that did not honor Christ (even PG ones, just in case you wondered)
- It should be obvious there was a change of heart about abortion due to the amount of kids we have now. I want to help preserve life, not destroy it.
- I have found having anti-social, nerdy, and weird kids has many advantages. Homeschooling has been a blessing for our family :)
- These kids are just the same as if they were biological. All of the concerns and doubts and fears are unfounded. I was foolish for thinking that way. They are a blessing, not a burden. I love our children adopted and biological the same.
- Older kids have a great need. I wanted it to be easy with younger kids. It turned out that the older children have been easier in many aspects, and they don’t need diapers!
I said all of this to encourage anyone who has a spouse that may not be on board with the adoption process. My problem is that I have a very convincing wife. She really makes it easy for me to change my mind. When I saw how she loves children, how she sacrifices her time and energy for them, gets totally whipped from them, and still wants more, all I can do is go along for the ride. I believe it is how she lives for Jesus and how she raises these kids is the greatest motivation to give her what she desires. I am challenged to do whatever it takes to accommodate her and her needs. I wish I could say I have done a good job on my part, but God reminds me that His grace is greater than me. This should be encouraging for anyone who thinks that you have to have things altogether and perfect in order to be a vessel useful to God. If God can speak through Balaams donkey, he can surely use someone who is about the same as the donkey.
Husband: If your wife told you she was pregnant right now, what would you do? Would you be happy? Would you go to your worry place and say, ”how are we going to do this, how are we going to make it, there is no way, I don’t see how it will happen” (that is what I said after our first). What if your wife said she wanted to adopt, she is totally willing to make the sacrifice and expend her time and energy to help raise, nurture, and care for this child? Can you trust her to do her part? Maybe if she is ready and you are not, pray that God will show you the bigger picture. You would deal with the fact that she would have a baby if she were pregnant. Can you look back years later and laugh at what you were worried about? I know I still do. Would an adoption be any different? You must not do this on a whim, God MUST lead you to adopt, but don’t limit God with all the excuses and reasons why you can’t make this happen, since Paul said, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Phil 4:13).
Wife: Are you raising your children that you may currently have in such a way that when your husband sees you, he thinks that you are doing an awesome job? I did not say things are perfect, but at least raising them without referring to the kids as burdens, brats, and barbarians, and complaining on a regular basis how difficult things are. Instead of trying to convince your husband that you want to adopt a child while things are just being made to stay afloat, how about praying for God to change the heart of your husband according to what His will is. Show your husband that you can be trusted by being patient with him. Lovingly approach him that it is your heart’s desire to adopt, but don’t plead with his emotions. Show him that you can practically care for him and any other child that is brought into the family. Tell him to think of the tax benefits, the extra help around the house, someone to wash the car and mow the grass (That last part was a joke).
I do not have all of the answers, but again, with all of the husbands out there who say “no” to adoption, maybe through prayer, living your life as a godly example around your husband and children, he may be like me, and say finally say “yes.” You would think that Renee has this whole thing licked by now and has me in the palm of her hand. She just asked me to adopt again, so what did I say? After all of past experiences, what do you think I said. I wish it was a yes. I said No, of course. After some prayer and seeking God's wisdom , I realized that this woman is crazy (in a good way) and I was not going to stand in the way of this one. There is one Scripture that keeps coming back to me from Proverbs, “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do so.” (Prov 3:27)
I will conclude by saying that I do not want to have any regrets in eternity. Don’t worry, I already have regrets over things I have done, or not done, for the