Good morning! I am so thrilled to share with you the story of one of my friends in the blogging world! Meet Natalie! Hear the awesome journey God has her on right now.
At the ages of 24 and 25 with a lot of student debt, my husband and I decide to begin an international adoption. We had been married only six months.
I've had a long-term interest in adoption and foster care after following the blog of a family friend as she honestly shared about the joys and challenges of the adoption process and life as an adoptive family. After only about two months of dating, I shared this interest with my then-boyfriend. I knew it would be a deal-breaker if he wasn't interested in adoption as a primary means to building a family. Thankfully, he was totally on board, and the strong feelings I already had for him deepened.
We got married several months later, and started the adoption process. Hopeful, nervous, and super excited. The plan was to adopt one newborn between the ages of birth to six months old from a country in Central Africa. At that time, the process took about a year start to finish. (You're already laughing, right? The plan never goes as planned!) We had a slight understanding of the challenges we might face, but we were ready to handle whatever God brought us through.
A few months later, we joyfully accepted a referral for twin six-month-old boys. Though everything went as expected the first several months, we hit some challenges and delays soon after. The plan not going as planned messed me up. I was scared and disappointed and angry at my husband for no good reason. But God continued to pursue me through it, and I learned to accept the peace and patience He was trying to offer me all along.
It's more than two years later now. We've moved, we've gotten new jobs, we've gotten a dog, and I've experienced a major health scare. Our sons are still not in our home. We remain committed to them and committed to understanding every detail available to us about their lives before they come into our home. We also remain committed to adoption as a primary family-building method. We have a strong desire to learn how to even more effectively parent adopted children.
And, really exciting: We recently shared our plans to pursue a concurrent domestic adoption! It's been something we've prayed about for a couple of years now, as all types of adoption have always been on our minds. For a while, we weren't hearing a clear answer from God. We just couldn't believe we'd have room in our hearts for the spectrum of emotions that comes with a commitment to adoption. But He's made us believe the risk is worth it. So, we are now happily committed to growing our family tree to include three children and two brave birth families.
I feel a lot of peace as I consider the ways our lives are nothing like how we planned yet still fully within the plans God had all along. He has been good to us.
In the past few years, I've worn ragged a t-shirt from Light Gives Heat that says "There Is Beauty In Risk." I recently contacted the organization to see if they minded if we designed our own version, and they generously shared the original design with us. We're selling the shirts as a reminder to ourselves and others that the risk is beautiful! View and order "There Is Beauty In Risk" t-shirts here.
Natalie is a part-time social worker and adoptive mama. She lives with her husband and dog in Indianapolis, and she blogs about adoption, foster care, faith, marriage, and home at little things + big stuff.
I hope you'll join me in praying for and supporting this growing family!