One of the many blessings that I have received through this journey is watching my children grow in their faith. This past year (and this coming year) will change them forever. They will always remember the lessons they learned while we waited and prayed and tried to hear God’s voice. They will always remember the joy and the tears and how their hearts were softened.

When we first started talking about adoption, we presented the idea to our children and started praying together as a family. They have been a part of the discussion and the decision-making from the very beginning. And my son Joel very strongly agreed with me that our absolute limit was 3 more children. Any more than that and we just might all go crazy!

So when God presented us with this opportunity, he also presented us with a challenge. First He had to work on changing my heart. After that, He had to work on changing my son’s heart. On Sunday, February 26, we took him out to coffee (stop judging me all you health-nut parents….it was decaf!) and we told him for the first time about this sister. We explained exactly what the circumstances were and we asked his opinion.

He very logically explained why this would be a bad idea. First of all, he reminded us, we were already worried about money. Didn’t we know that we would have to buy an extra plane ticket? And remember, we would have to pay more fees both to the government and to our adoption agency. And besides that, we all wouldn’t fit in our car! We would have to go out and buy a bigger car! And where would she sleep? We hadn’t prepared enough beds for 4 more children.

And we told him he was right.

Logically, this didn’t make any sense. And then my husband (who I just have to say here is the most amazing man I know. He always takes the time to REALLY listen to our kids and REALLY talk to our kids. And, he is like this spiritual giant or something) reminded Joel about the story in Matthew 14 about Peter walking on water. He told Joel that if Peter had thought through it logically, he never would have stepped out of the boat. I mean, logically, it just made no sense at all! But sometimes God requires us to step out of the boat without having a safety net to catch us if we fall. Sometimes God wants to see our faith in action first, before we understand how everything is going to work.

Then we asked Joel to just pray about it with an open heart and an ear turned towards God’s voice.

This was actually kind of a test for me. I had already had a discussion with God about it. I told Him that while He had done the work to convince me about taking this next step, that I really needed Him to do the work in my son’s heart too. My specific prayer was “Lord, prepare Joel’s heart to receive this news. You need to have him fully endorse this idea.” Joel has always been kind of like his daddy – you know, a spiritual giant. He really has a soft heart towards the things of God. He really desires to do what God wants him to do. Not to say that he always obeys or is this perfect angel boy or never teases his sister, but his heart is in the right place.

So on that Sunday, Joel’s response was – “OK. I will pray about it. But if you made me decide right now, I would have to say no.”

And on Monday – “I am still praying about it.”

And on Tuesday – “Mom, I am still praying.”

And on Wednesday – “MOM, I will tell you when I am done praying!”

And on Thursday – “Well, if you made me decide right now, I would probably say yes.”

And on Friday – “You know what, for some reason I think that this sister and I are going to be really good friends. You know, like we will probably like to hang out together and stuff. I think you should tell our adoption agency that we are going to do it. Try to go to court and bring her home too.”


And then he asked if he could have a copy of the pictures we had received of our children. And he thumb tacked them right over his bed. And when I asked him why, he said it was to remind himself to pray for them every night before he falls asleep.




2 thoughts on “Joel

  1. Dotti

    His logic and assertiveness reminds me so much of his Dad at that age. I wish we had been as wonderful and Godly parents as you two are–can you imagine what a spiritual megagiant he will be?!

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