When Heather and I decided to actively pursue the adoption of Tessa, we became aware of several other orphans in need of families. The agency we are working with even sent us video of a malnourished little boy who recently came into their care. As the doctor examined him, he maintained a happy disposition, but he was so weak. When lifted from the bed, he appeared as a damp rag, his body giving way to gravity without capacity to fight against it.
Though she already views Tessa as one of our children, this fragile little boy also found a place in Heather's heart. Our intention has always been that we will adopt again, but Heather wanted to pursue this little guy. She prayed to God that if He wanted us to adopt him as well, it would be clear. Our social worker in Eau Claire told us that they do not like to do "artificial twinning" and so recommended against it. Heather then shared these thoughts with Sue, the Ethiopia coordinator who is helping us to bring Tessa home, who deferred to our social worker. I felt as though God had decisively answered, "not yet". Still, Heather did not relent, asking me again if we should press the issue.
All of this led to a discussion of God's timing, male headship, and the call to adopt. In Adopted For Life, Moore wrote about the sense of "survivor guilt" that is sometimes experienced by adoptees, who wonder why they were chosen and what has happened to those left behind. I believe Heather's sense of urgency represents a parallel process--the desire to adopt as many children as possible, to pour herself out for them, yet wondering, worrying, about those who remain orphaned. I also feel a sense of urgency to care for these little ones, but as the visionary and leader of the family, I responded to Heather with a decisive "no," and gently (I hope) confronted her on how her persistence challenged my leadership, the clear message from the social workers, and God's apparent plan. She apologized and we talked about the interaction, but it has remained on my mind today and I needed to share the following with her:
Heather, I pray that through these conversations, you can appreciate that I share your sense of urgency to adopt. Without doubt, your perseverance in prayer over the past many months changed my heart such that I am becoming a passionate advocate for adoption--globally, locally, and at home. Largely because of you, I am all in. I ask that you continue to trust my direction, timing, and Godly vision for our family. Likewise, I will continue to cherish your passion, love for others, and willingness to pray continually for me, knowing how monumentally God directs my heart because of your fervent prayers. Love.