As long as I can remember, I have talked about adoption. It has been a running joke among my friends that I was going to be next Angelina Jolie. While that might be a bit of a stretch, I have spent years dreaming and reading and praying about adoption. Only recently, though, have I turned my dreams into action.
I have mentioned my trip to Kenya plenty of times before. That summer of 2004 was really a transformative time for me. My mom recently said of that trip, “Catherine, you haven’t been right since!” I couldn’t agree more, and I praise God for that! God used that trip to place on my heart a very heavy burden for the poor and orphaned. I remember looking into the eyes of the precious babies we visited in an Nairobi orphanage and being weighed down with the reality that they had no earthly parents rocking them to sleep, praying for them at night, and calling them their own.
Meanwhile, I was in a serious relationship with my soon-to-be husband, Matt. I recall talking about adoption with him from the very beginning stages of our relationship, and in planning our family, that was always a quiet assumption.
Flash forward to 2008 when I began a new job as a pediatric nurse practitioner for a primarily lower income population in Johnston County, North Carolina. Quite a few of my patients are foster children, and I have been horrified at the tragic effects of unstable households on children. I leave work many days wanting to save the world but end up frustrated at how vast the problems with the foster care system are.
Then, in the fall of 2009, at the urging of several people from my church, I read Russell Moore’s book, Adopted for Life. Reading this book really did change my life. While I already was an advocate for adoption, I was given a much clearer understanding of the Biblical basis for adoption and our responsibilities as Christians to care for orphans. Even still, I had a newborn at home and adoption still remained one of those “it would be awesome to do this sometime in the future” sort of things.
Well, about a month ago, a good friend was over for dinner when adoption came up in conversation. Honestly, I am not even sure what she said that night that got to me. It was probably something along the lines of, “Stop making excuses, Catherine. The timing will never be perfect. You know you feel called to adopt, so just do it!” Her reasoning somehow worked with me, and I stayed up way past my bedtime that night doing extensive research on adoption agencies.
And that brings us to this point. Knee deep in paperwork and brimming with excitement about what’s to come.