A week or two after meeting, Drew came over to my apartment and we sat in the bed of his truck talking about anything that came to mind. One thing we discussed was our futures, separately of course! I just met him, no was way I going to put 'us' in my sentences when discussing the future!
Although we avoided using 'us' in our sentences, there was one word both of us used. A word that just flowed out of each of our mouths with no hesitation. A word that both of us said with so much passion. A word that brings joy to so many people, but can also bring confusing questions and thoughts to others.
Both Drew and I discussed how we felt called by the Lord to adopt a child. The details of gender, age, race, disabilities, etc. did not get discussed. All that was discussed was the simple fact that we both saw adoption in our futures. The details were not discussed, I believe, because we didn't understand what the Lord was doing right then and there! As our relationship grew the word adoption came up more and more. It became a part of our combined future. We knew we would go through the process, but we didn't have any idea when.
For the past three summers Drew has led a mission trip to Montgomery, AL. The trip consists of working with Common Ground Montgomery and House 2 House. These ministries work in the intercity area in a neighborhood called Washington Park. Throughout the week we are there working at the CGM summer camp with the kiddos in the neighborhood, as well as work with H2H and help fix up abandoned homes in the neighborhood.
Since Drew and I have been involved with those ministries our hearts have grown tremendously for the community, ministry leaders, residents, and especially for the kiddos in that area. I would argue, and I think Drew would agree, that the 2016 mission trip was the most eye-opening, heart changing experience.
What is interesting when I say that is from the outside it really wasn't that different from the previous years. We worked with the same kids, stayed in the same area, had a lot of the same crew with us, played the same games. But in our hearts the Lord was working in ways we didn't understand and couldn't put into words. The other interesting thing was that both Drew and I were experiencing the Lord's presence. We were both feeling this extremely strong, no way to deny it, call towards adoption. However, we were not sharing it with each other! (Communication is the number one strength in our marriage, clearly)
About a week after our 2016 trip Drew and I were sitting down for dinner and that word, adoption, came up again. This time it was different than past times. This time the word lead to research, reaching out to friends who have gone through the adoption process, and most importantly prayer. We prayed and researched for about two months. We wanted to make sure we knew what, if we started this process, we were getting into. We also wanted to make sure the agency we used had beliefs that were similar to ours.
As always, the Lord answered our prayers and made it very clear that we needed to begin this process. December 6th we were sitting in our first meeting with an agency central Florida.
And so the adventure began...
And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.
1 John 5:14