pregnancy of the heart, adoption, foster care

She loves to be tickled. When most kids would squirm and ask you to stop, my one-and-a-half-year-old daughter giggles, “Tickle, Daddy!” as if she wants more. I love those moments with my children. You know the ones—when the whole world disappears, and nothing else seems to matter except that precious, intimate moment.

But this time my mind wanders to another child, one we’ve never met. One whom I know will someday be a part of our family.

What will her (or his) laugh sound like? Will she like to be tickled too, or will she want to stop because the dreaded “tickle machine” is too much to take?

What color will her eyes be? What will her favorite color be?

Which Dr. Seuss book will she like the most? Will she love to read as much as I do?

What will her favorite foods be? Will she like the way I make the grilled cheese, or the way mommy makes it?

These are some of many questions that spin around in the mind of a parent who is beginning the adoption process. We’re just starting this journey, but it’s one we know we’re supposed to be on. We don’t know anything about this child yet. We don’t even know where she’s from.

Is she here in our own community? Or somewhere else around the world? Only God knows those details as we step out and begin having the meetings and looking ahead at the daunting stack of paperwork we’ll need to tackle. But one thing we’re certain of is that there’s a child out there who needs our family. There’s a child who is destined to be another “King.”

This child won’t be birthed from the womb of my wife. Rather this is a pregnancy that’s happening in our hearts. It started several years ago in my heart, and God is beginning to stir my wife’s heart in the same direction. It’s gotten to the point that when my wife sees another baby, her heart skips a beat, and her heart longs to hold our next child. It’s a pregnancy that we feel growing in us every day as we begin to inch closer to the time we’ll find out who this child is.

The whole thing doesn’t make sense to us sometimes. And it seems bigger than what we feel like we can handle on our own. What are we going to do with bedrooms? How are we going to afford the additional expense of raising another child? How are we going to cover the costs associated with the adoption itself? How are we going to deal with the psychological and emotional issues that the child will likely bring with her?

We don’t know how we’re going to handle any of this stuff. The only thing we know is that we won’t be able to do it on our own. But isn’t that what God-sized plans and dreams are usually like?

Already the anticipation of this child becoming part of our family makes my heart race. I can’t wait to hold her in my arms. I can’t wait to smile at her and watch her smile back. I can’t wait to teach her to ride a bike and drive a car.

I can’t wait…

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”

~ Anne Frank

So I won’t wait. I’ll chase after this God-sized dream with everything I’ve got. And I’ll pray every day for this child as I pray for the children already in my care. If this God-dream is going to happen, then it starts with me taking the first steps, right here, right now.

 

Note: This post originally ran on 12/6/12 at The High Calling. Photo by Krista King, of me holding for the first time the daughter we would eventually adopt.


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