I was roughly 12 years old, and had gone with my mom to visit a neighbor who'd just had a baby. While I cuddled the newborn in a recliner, they sat across the room doing what all moms do when a child comes into the world: they shared their labor stories. And as a preteen who had only recently learned how babies were made, I sat there intrigued, horrified, and disgusted. I made a vow right then and there that I was never ever going to put myself through that. Adoption was always a possibility, and as far as I could tell, it was going to be the only possibility for me.
And although it started out as a silly reaction to a major OMG!!! moment in my young life, the idea of adoption never left my mind. As I got older and learned about God's heart for orphans, as I witnessed the terrible home lives of some of my students, and as I researched and learned about the great need for foster parents, my resolve was strengthened until I knew without a doubt that this is what I was made for. Married or single, able to conceive or not... none of that mattered. I longed to be a mother, and I longed to create a family through the miracle of adoption.
As I entered adulthood, every decision was made with that goal in mind. I read anything I could find on the topic from personal stories to books full of practical advice to state and country laws. I set career goals based on the requirements for single adoptive mothers. I had a plan, and I was well on my way to fulfilling that dream when God threw me a curveball.
In 2010, He asked me to leave my teaching job- and the paycheck, benefits, and stability that came with it. Everything I'd worked so hard for was gone. Suddenly I found myself wondering where the next rent check was coming from, where I was going to live, and what I was supposed to do with the rest of my life. It was a great soul-searching experience, but it put quite a halt to my almighty Five Year Plan.
The years since have been full of wonder, as in I wonder if I'm still supposed to do this... I wonder if God really is going to make a way... and I wonder if this is in fact His plan. I'm grateful for confirmation that tells me the answer is YES. The many, many details are still unknown to me at this point, but He's let me know that I can't let those things stop me. And I'm finally, slowly, working up the courage to be okay with that.