3 Ways Adoption Grew My Faith by Sarah Frazer | #adoptionstory
Many people comment on how a child’s life is forever changed because of adoption, but the truth is…the lives of the adoptive parents are equally changed.
Not just changed in the sense that a new child is part of their family…..but changed in the sense that adoption gives us just a small picture of our Heavenly Father’s heart…and that, my friends, changes you forever as a person.
In today’s guest post, Sarah Frazer, touches on this very thought.
I am so happy to introduce Sarah. She is joining us today from sarahefrazer.com.
Sarah and I have never actually met in person, but I have been sharing on her blog for the Tuesday Talk link up for a few months now.
When I started this series, my friend Katie (who will share at the end of this month) told me I needed to ask her friend, Sarah Frazer, to guest post. How fun is it, when you go from not knowing someone at all….to finding out you have a mutual acquaintance? What a small world!
Sarah has an amazing adoption story, so be sure to read the whole thing when you get a chance! But in today’s post Sarah is sharing from her heart, giving us a glimpse into how adoption has forever changed her faith.
3 Ways Adoption Grew My Faith
When we entered the adoption world, I knew it would change us. I wasn’t prepared for how it would change us. Or how it would change me. Our faith changed in three unique ways
1. The Waiting
My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God? Psalm 42:2-3 (KJV)
I’ve learned the waiting is hard, but God is good – when I rejoice in HIM during the season of waiting.Waiting is hard, but God is good. Click To Tweet
I remember feeling the weight of waiting. On the day we sent a letter to our agency, saying we want to be matched with a certain little boy, began a hard week of waiting.
I found this boy on the waiting child list. A boy who did not have the special needs we were open to, but somehow I still inquired about him. At sixteen months old, the only picture I had of this child was one from four months prior. It showed him standing, which gave me hope.
We opened his initial file and….nothing. There was so little information we had no clue at all what to do. We prayed and sat on his almost empty file until we decided to ask questions. We could submit questions to the orphanage (for a fee) to try and get a glimpse into his progress.
Would he be a good fit for our family?
After we had waited four weeks, my husband texted me:
“There’s a video, just WAIT until you see it!!!!”
Within just a few minutes we knew. We didn’t even want to think about it. We knew.
After I got off of the phone with Jason, I picked up my cell phone and searched for the child’s picture on our adoption agency’s portal.
There it was. The picture I really shouldn’t have seen, because my heart couldn’t handle it. As much as I wanted to, I couldn’t guard my heart against the feelings. His face. The eyes and cheeks. The chubby fingers and nose. I was in love.
I couldn’t help it. I needed to send his picture to someone else. I sent a text to my mom and then a friend. That was Friday. Then came Monday. It only took a weekend to fall in love with his face and know what I wanted.
We would wait one week.
We sent our letter of request to be matched on a Saturday morning. But two other families were looking at his file. Two other families submitted questions. Two other families had waited just as long as we had for a match.
Three families. When a waiting child is requested to be matched with more than one family, the agency has to choose which family the child will go to. Whether that’s fair or not, is not the issue. That’s just the way it is.
In the midst of it, I realized – no matter what – God was good. The boy would have a family.
We ended up being his family, but oh how God worked on my heart during that long week of waiting.
2. The Growth
Yet the Lord will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life. Psalm 42:8 (KJV)
I woke up one morning and found I’d fallen in love with this sweet daughter of mine. I was thinking, “I am always thinking and talking about how growth happens in the dark,” and I believe it to be true.
A few months into adopting our first child, when I said “Growth happens in the dark,” I was still deep in the darkness. I said it because I wanted it to be true. I said it because God’s Word promised me.
She is mine. She is my daughter 100%. And I am so thankful for the love GOD has placed in my heart for her. I know it’s from Him and He gets 100% of the glory for my love for her.
Only a Heavenly Father could understand a mother’s heart….and give me the love I needed for her.
The growth might be hidden right now. It might be hard to see any progress. Take comfort in knowing that God can see in the dark. It is miraculous for a huge apple tree to start out as a small black seed, and equally miraculous to watch it grow over time. We often like to skip to the end, but God is asking us to trust Him, even in the dark times. Our tears will water the soil.
3. The Worship
Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God. Psalm 42:11 (KJV)
In the middle of my ocean of fear, I couldn’t praise Him. One day I might praise God, but not today, I thought.
Our daughter was brought to us with SEVERE special needs, which we were not prepared for….and my heart was so hurt. Not at the orphanage. Or at China. Or really at my daughter. I was hurt because I felt God had abandoned us. I was exactly where this psalmist found himself in Psalm 42:11. Cast down. Worship was the LAST THING on my mind.
I held out my hands, empty of praise and found a friend’s hand, instead. Community surrounded our family. We knew the waters were deep, but God had not abandoned us. Until we could touch the bottom, they jumped into the water and held us up.
Living in the deep end, with the waters of fear looming close, brought me more to my knees and to Scripture than ever before. And to my friends.
God Provides Just Enough
I poured myself into God’s Word and prayed every day for strength. I began living one day a time. It was all could handle as I treaded water. 365 days later, I’ve realized that’s ok. Our God provides just enough.
Enough forgiveness. Enough strength. Enough hope. I’ve come to see a change in circumstances will not bring praise, only the truth of God’s Word and trust in His plan.
And slowly my anger melted into praise. Praise to the Father and Son who has revealed how deep His steadfast love truly is – especially while I learn to swim in the deep end.
I encourage you to read Psalm 42, no matter if you find yourself in the waiting, the growth, or the worship of life.
Sarah works and lives in a brick house at the end of a road with her husband, five kids, a cat, a dog, and five chickens. Her passion is to inspire focus and encourage deep-rooted Bible study. Life is full of seasons, but every season can be made more peaceful when time is spent in God’s word. Join Sarah on her favorite social media place, Instagram. Or you can find her on Facebook, Pinterest, and of course her blog. Sarah and her husband adopted two precious children from China and added them to their family in 2015 and 2017. You can read her adoption story here.
Do Your Part
Everyone can take part of God’s mission for orphans. Below you will find some ways you can help. Today’s suggestions focus on adoptive familieswho have adopted children with special needs.
Take a moment to pray for Sarah, her husband, and her children. Pray for all adoptive families – specifically those who have adopted children with special needs. Pray for:
- the adoptive families as they raise their children.
- adoptive families who have children with special needs.
- Opportunities for self care – care taking can take a toll emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically
- For comfort, peace and friendships – taking care of a child with special needs can often be a lonely journey
- For their marriage
- wisdom and discernment as they answer questions and make decisions along life’s way.
- the children God has placed in the adoptive parents’ care
- doctors, therapists, and teachers who are part of the care team
- the birth parents as they continue to grieve the loss of their child.
- organizations that support those who adopt children with special needs
- Talk to organizations and ministries that support and minister to adoptive parents. Find out how you can get involved.
- Volunteer to babysit for a family who has adopted a special needs child
- Provide a meal every so often just to help out (Often parents with special needs children have a number of appointments throughout the week. Find out a day that is especially full.)
- Lead your church is “adopting” an adoptive family. Many times, there are post adoption challenges families face that many are unaware of. See how you can love and support a family you know that has adopted.
- Help share adoption stories on social media. Go ahead and begin advocating today, by sharing Sarah’s story!
- Connect with me on instagram and Facebook and share quotes, videos, statistics, stories, and prayer requests.
Maybe you sense God calling you to adopt, check out the following websites for more information:
More ideas for getting involved with orphan care can be found here.
Want to read another #adoptionstory and find out ways you can get involved? Take some time to read these:
Caleb and Kaila’s #adoptionstory: Clinging to the Father in the Wait
Jake and Shay’s #adoptionstory: Q&A about Adoption
Kristin Hill Taylor’s #adoptionstory: How Open Adoption Built My Faith
Follow along every Tuesday and Thursday during the month of November!
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Looking for some more encouragement? Check out some of the blogs where I link up throughout the week here.