This question has been tumbling through my brain a lot lately. I know a lot of people think we're a little batty for wanting more than 4 kids. Thankfully we know some people who think 4 is a small number. We are currently a half-dozen. We can't fit in an economy car, but we don't need a 12-passenger van. Yet.
We told God when He started talking to us about adoption that we would be open and willing to have any children that He brought to us. When we began the process with a private agency (and are still working with them) we thought, "how bad could that be?" The process takes a year or more each time, besides getting chosen by a birth family is never a guarantee, so maybe we'll have a couple more. Maybe it'd even be cute to get a small sibling group and be done with it. And again, if you want to make God laugh, show Him your plans.
Really, how far did we think that would fly? "Yeah, God, we're open to Your will. As long as it looks like XYZ. After all, isn't that much further than where we were before?"
Allan has wanted an older sibling group from the beginning. I was not so gung-ho on that. I mean, who doesn't love a baby!? I know how to take care of babies. I even have a whole protocol that I will follow to relactate in the event we get placed with an infant. All of our kids ADORE babies and want more of them.
More and more lately, though, I feel drawn to these kids I see peering back at me from the computer screen. Sibling groups of 5 and 6. Sibling groups that will have the very hardest time being adopted together, because it's HARD to have TEN KIDS, OMG! I have showed these pictures to our kids and asked their opinions on them. "Do they look like your brothers and sisters." GraceAnne always asks the sweetest questions like, "That girl is my age, do you think she will like the same books I do? We could share clothes!" and Violet just looks at them lovingly, pops her thumb out of her mouth and says (In true Violet form) "Maaaybe. Who are those kids? What are their names?" Corbin gets excited to think of having boys to play with.
Then I wonder, will it split my kids up to bring in so many so close to their ages. Right now they are all so close-knit. Will it change our lives insanely to bring more people into this house who already have thoughts and opinions that are probably radically different than our own? Will we still have friends when we can't really go anywhere because of our huge crew? Will we go insane?
Bare with me a moment while I tell you what has happened-church wise-the last month or so. We've been church hopping all summer, trying to find a place we fit. We liked every one that we went to for some reason or other, but none of them really felt like they were home. So we kept praying. Toward the end of summer I was feeling desperate for community with other believers. I found a church online and one Sunday we just didn't get it together enough to head out the door in time. Allan and I listened to the webcast and liked it a lot. The following Sunday we did the same and the Sunday after that we went in to visit. We really liked the place so we immediately signed up for a home group, which so happened to be starting the very next week. In the class and at church we are studying what it means to be a Christ follower...after we have that "Define The Relationship" chat with Him. And we're studying all the places in the bible where His followers have a choice to make. Are you in it for your own glory and comfort, or are you willing to stand out for God's glory?
I want to say I'd stand out. But when God asks me to step out, I want to bridle Him. When I do that I fail to accept this scripture:
As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts. -Isaiah 55:9
Yesterday I finally caved and told Allan that I think he might be right, I think going through the foster system may be what we are being led to. Then I called to find out about the classes we'd have to take. The woman is here in the town we live in and she asked a hundred questions and immediately signed us up for the class. I got a little scared and told her I needed to be sure that was what we wanted and that we could find a sitter. She seemed excited and said, "Well, I have you down. Just call if you can't make it."
Now all the questions come flooding. Sure, it'll be less expensive to adopt through the foster system, but that means 3-6 beds all at once, depending on what group we were matched with. It means a bigger car, like ASAP. It means feeding so many children every day. It means being incredibly intentional so that so many children can feel loved. And the "logical" part of me says, "Tara, you cannot be serious. You cannot do this." And then the faithful part of me says:
"I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength." Phil 4:13
"So do not worry,
saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we
wear?’ For the pagans run
after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need
them. But seek first his
kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well" Matt 6:31-33
"Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us,
to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think." Eph 3:20
So the faithful part of me wins, because we've seen so many times that God will NOT call us to do anything He does not equip us to do. And the logical part says, "It's up to YOU then, God, to fund this homestudy and to find us a GOOD sitter for Tuesday nights."
I guess we'll find out soon.