Let me bring things back a bit. Josh and I had both always attended the same church, I started going there when I was very young and Josh started going in middle school. I know, speaking for myself, that I never questioned my purpose there or looked for another church. I invested time there, had deep relationships there and I called it my church home. So when Josh and I got married and moved an hour away we tried to continue to attend Sunday service there. It didn't take us to long to realize it was to hard to continue to attend and not be more involved like we had been. So we began to pray and look for a new church home. This was both of ours first time experiencing this process, and it was a process. It took us a good year and a half of trying many churches, before we felt "at home." Even after we had found our new home, it took another year to get truly connected and involved in the body. I remember my first evening worshiping with the 20's group. Josh had to work late and I went alone, knowing not a single person. That night, God began to plant the seeds. In the weeks that followed we began to make friends and open our home to movie nights, cook outs and game nights. Around the same time Josh and I began the process to become foster parents. We were asked to speak at the 20's group about our desire and call to minister to children who had been beaten, neglected and abused. I like to think that our talk resonated in the hearts of all those listening but we will never know who it touched.
There was a couple who helped lead this 20's group, they were a little older than us and had 2 adorable little girls. We would soon learn that their oldest daughter had Down syndrome. We fell in love with her and her sister (their mom and dad were pretty dang cool too!). A few weeks after our foster care talk, they came to us explaining a situation they had been presented with and praying about. It was the heart breaking story of a little boy in the foster care system. He was born 3 months early, weighed only 3 pounds and had a whole host of medical issues including a hole in his heart. He also had Down syndrome. They were torn, they wanted this little infant to come live with them but they didn't feel God was leading them to it. So they asked us to pray and pray we did. A few weeks later they came back to talk to us and what they told us would change our lives forever.
Some of you may know how this part of they story ends, others may still be left hanging on the edge of their seat.
Yes, this sweet little boy Im talking about is our Malachi. Our amazing gift from God. The process of getting Malachi into our arms was not easy, there was paperwork, medical trainings, meetings, home visits, background checks and many weekend visits to snuggle with Malachi while he waited for the state to process our paperwork. He was in a group home for medically complex children, although he was well taken care of, it was nothing compared to home, our home. When I think back now, I can't help but relate it to our time here on earth. We strive to make our life comfortable, seeking for more things. We can't fathom anything better, because this is all we have known. Malachi had no idea that when he came come his life would be better. We also don't know what it will be like when we go home, if we knew what was behind those pearly gates would we try harder to follow Christ? Would we seek less stuff here on earth? Would we cry out for forgiveness more? I know I would.
So why do Josh and I believe adoption is so important? Anyone can say "abortion is wrong." This statement we believe is true, but for us, it's some much more than that. How can we Christians say that we are pro-life while we picket outside of abortion clinics? All the while children are dyeing in their own pee in a country far away. Are we picketing outside the orphanages? What about children with special needs? Are we educating the world about the possibilities and abilities of those with Down syndrome? Are we willing to step up and adopt children whom have been abandoned? It's so much more than a decision to be pro-life, it's more than walking outside of a building, chanting and mocking those working inside. It's all about God. God's desire for us to adopt, just like He has adopted us. It's all about going and doing rather than just pointing a finger.
Not all are called to adopt, but all of us are called to care.
We now have 2 adopted children. Both have Down syndrome. And I couldn't be more proud of them. And I couldn't be more thankful that Josh and I chose to follow God's call.