Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Mark speaks

Sunday Mark was asked to give a testimony in church. I told him I was going to post it and he said, "why, so you can tell everyone how I was wrong and you were right?" No, I am not going to tell anyone that, they already know that! HA, just kidding! Everyone thought he was quite the comedian, I say the comedy was at MY expense! I asked Jonathan(our pastor) when I get to get up and talk about MY misery during our "figuring things out time?" He said, not till he got to get up and tell HIS misery during our figure it all out time! hehe! I told Mark I wanted to post so that when God calls me back for the next one, he can come back and be reminded to just listen to me. ;-)
All joking aside, his testimony is truly a reminder, that these children we have been blessed with, they are not about us at all. Sometimes, when our house is crazy & loud & out of control, (as it usually is) we look at each other and say, remember what it was like, just the 2 of us? And we are reminded that someday, it will be that quiet again.(i think, i don't know, when you have 5 kids, do they actually ALL move out!?) And we are also reminded that we lost one, and we were given FIVE gifts in return! And we are simply thankful.
And I am thankful for a God who speaks BIG. Who answered my husbands doubt through money the first time, and through a heart change the 2nd time. I am thankful for a husband who will actually listen to God's heart, even when he does not want to.
The above picture is one of my very favorites. A daddy getting to know his daughter on the first day they met. A daddy who was not so sure 20 months earlier, knew without a doubt, he was exactly where he was supposed to be. A daddy who minutes before this picture, was on his knees thanking God for his children, all of them.
I can't wait to see him once again, meet his newest baby girl!
Here you go, if only you could have heard it in person!

Pastor Jonathon asked me to speak to you about our decision to adopt. The story begins in late 2005, when my wife Shannon saw a show on TV about the Lost Girls of China. She began praying about adopting and asked me about it. Of course being a guy my initial reaction was no way! I am a Risk Manager and this was too “risky”. How are we going to pay for college? How are we going to have enough time? Do you know how much it costs to adopt? Shannon was completely convinced that this was God’s will. She kept praying and giving subtle hints like “accidentally” leaving the Bible on my pillow turned to James 1:27, which says: “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress.”

I kept saying no for months and was completely miserable. (Most of the misery was God’s doing but Shannon helped!). Finally I told Shannon that if God wanted us to adopt then he would have to send the money. About a month later I got the biggest bonus in my life from work. Apparently God decided to take me up on my offer. So in August of 2006 we traveled to China to pick up Sage, our daughter, who is now 2 years old. What is so shameful in looking back is that I was just using money as an excuse. I wanted to do what I wanted to do.

Well, Shannon decided immediately after we came home that we were going to adopt again. I agreed to “think” about it sometime down the road. I told her I would only consider it if the child did not have a home. I didn’t want to wait three years for a baby who was going to get a home anyway. Well, Shannon found a 2 year old in China that had a heart condition and was on a waiting list. She just knew this was our baby. We both prayed for a month straight pleading with God because we both were getting different answers. I did not feel led at all.

Finally, I went to Jonathan and said my wife was not submitting! I needed him to talk to her and he agreed to meet with us. So we met, and prayed and cried together. Jonathan said I think Mark needs to go wrestle with God for an entire night and come back. He needs to make sure it is absolutely no. This was not the speech I had intended to hear from Jonathan. I took his advice and went away for a night completely alone with God. I came home and the entire family was waiting (she had turned the kids against me too). Well what was the decision? There was a family that was currently reviewing Mavery’s file. I told them I felt led that if that family gave the file back then we would adopt her. Surprise, Surprise they gave the file back.

I did not want to adopt and now I cannot imagine what life would be without my adopted children. I truly believe there are so many things God wants to bless us with but we just don’t let him. Thank You.

No comments: