Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Lucky Number Seven

We traveled on up interstate 26 last Thursday night to get a head start on Fridays training session starting at 8:45. How is it that we can be late whether we are 10 minutes away or 2 hours away? Of course Dave has an easy answer to that, and I'll give you a clue, it has to do with me! So we were the last couple to arrive at 8:50 (it could be worse). It was a small group of only 7 couples, a number that always seems to pop up in our lives, especially since our 7/7/07 wedding date. And not coincidentally, the birth mother who came as a guest speaker also mentioned that number's significance in her testimony.

 The day started out with a devotional scripture read by the state director. One of the reasons we chose Bethany was because of how Christ-centered they are. We continue to leave these meetings feeling reassured that we are with the right agency. There are a lot of ways to do things, including adoption, but for us, surrounding ourselves with God's word and guidance is the only way we can approach this journey. As the morning proceeded, we of course learned more about the adoption process, and as a friend forewarned, will include more paperwork; just when we thought we had that covered!

 After our formal application is complete (still waiting on the physicians report- mine surprisingly rather than Dave's, who was non existent before this process) we will start the home study with our coordinator. The study includes interviews with both of us at our house, more paperwork, some required reading, the profile book (kind of like a scrap book, which i've already started since that's kind of my thing:), expectant parent letter, website stuff, and rounded off with some more paperwork. We also learned more about the selection process and placement paperwork, which thankfully Bethany completely takes care of! And not to be put off, the ugly reality of finances, fees, and legal counsel was covered and broken down by a guest lawyer. The lawyer was a woman in Lexington who specializes in adoption law, who I immediately fell in love with, since she shared her personal experience of adopting her half hispanic little boy through Bethany as well.

 The day went on with explaining and being prepared for how adoption effects the birth family, adoptive family, and the adoptee. For me the most meaningful part was hearing from the birth mother of the "adoption triad." I think it is easy to consider our own feelings as the adoptive family, and even those of the adoptee, but it's a little harder to imagine what the birth family (most often mom) is feeling. Both Dave and I have grown so much, by the grace of God, when it comes to considering the Birth moms and families. It's easy to fall into the trap of believing societal norms and stereotypes placed on these women, but for the precious birth mother who selflessly chooses what's best for her child, overcoming those stereotypes takes tremendous courage. There is no doubt that God is working in our hearts to see and appreciate that courage the birth mom exemplifies. Hearing the testimony of the young lady who chose to place her child in adoption, made me emotional at the training and still does to think of her now. As I mentioned earlier, she noted the relevance of the number 7 in her story and how it connected her to the adoptive family she ended up choosing. I don't remember the exact connection surrounding it, but I clearly remember her saying that seven is God's number of completion.

 This stuck out to me, not because of the biblical evidence supporting that statement, but at how evident it was that God had a plan for that baby. He used that courageous young lady, and what could have been a disaster, to bring such joy to the adoptive family and ultimately to her.  Because everyone involved chose to be faithful, God blessed them in an extraordinarily unique way. It brings joyful tears to my eyes to know that God already has a baby planed for our family, from the eye color to the date of his or her arrival. I've already started praying for the mother who will carry this child even though I don't know her. Dave and I both are actually looking forward to meeting her, which is certainly a complete circle from our original fear of this meeting.

In another post, I mentioned that I don't believe in coincidences, and that belief always seems to be supported the more I notice God working in even the small things of life. Using the number 7 to catch my attention, give me reassurance, comfort, and just make me smile, might seem silly to some.  But I'm confident, it's just another way God is communicating with me.  After all if coincidences don't exist, God is the only other explanation.

After re-reading this in an attempt to "edit," I couldn't help but think of a Sienfield episode (which Dave and I watch pretty much every day while -yes usually he- cooks dinner).  Everyone can rest assured we won't be naming our child Seven, or Soda for that matter...
GEORGE: Aw c'mon. It's a fantastic name. It's a real original, ...

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