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Eleven years ago, I was reading a “Woman’s World” magazine, and one article changed my thoughts on how many children is “enough.” At the time, I thought three was plenty. My kids were ten, seven, and five. I was homeschooling them, and we had a very busy life.

Then I read an article about all the girls growing up in orphanages in China. I wept when I read the article and realized my heart had room for more. That night after dinner, I showed John the article and brought up the idea of adoption. At the time, John wasn’t interested. “These three are a handful. How can we deal with more?” Then there was the thought of cost. Adoption was/is expensive. I was disappointed, but I let the matter drop. I’ve learned over the years that nagging never works, and if God desires John’s heart to change, then He’ll do the change.

Years passed, and I mentioned adoption a few more times. I was still interested, and John was still not. Then around 2005, John surprised me by asking me if I still was interested in adoption. My eyes grew wide, and I exclaimed, “Yes!”

Over the years, God had softened John’s heart. Maybe it was due to the fact our kids were older and easier to deal with. Maybe it was because I was mentoring teen moms and we had their little kids around often (and enjoyed that!). Or maybe because God decided the time was right.

It took almost three years for us to fill out the paperwork for a Chinese adoption … just in time for the wait for a Chinese baby to greatly increase. We still don’t have that beautiful little Chinese girl I felt called to add to our home. We’re still waiting, and we know that the child God chooses to bring into our home in this way is going to be pretty special. And, like the way God works, there have been other surprises along the way.

You see, last December I was extremely discouraged. Why did God place this on my heart … and why did it take so long for John to get on board … only to have everything slow down in China? I didn’t understand. After crying and praying about it, I finally had peace. God (not me!) had a perfect plan. I relinquished all my ideas and dreams to Him. I told Him I trusted Him and I was willing to wait.

It was that very same day that I got a call from a friend telling me about a birth mom in our own town who was looking for an adoptive family. John and I soon met with this amazing young woman, and we realized that God had a different gift for us than we expected.

Our baby girl was born in March, and she has been an amazing gift to us! When we hold, hug, kiss, and play with Alyssa, we are filled with joy. She brings joy to our lives, but there’s also joy knowing that even though God’s plans are different than ours … in the end, they are beautiful.

Looking back, I’ve come to learn God’s timing is perfect. We just need to be willing to trust Him, wait, and be open to the children He has planned for our families.

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8 Comments

  1. What a sweet story, Tricia. We, too, have been blessed with daughters (2) through adoption, and both times the circumstances were truly orchestrated by God. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Thanks for shaing your story Tricia! As an adoptive mom, I always love to hear the stories of how God places children in families!

  3. I love adoption stories! I'm glad your family got the child chosen for you. Congratulations.

    Cassie

  4. As great as our plans may be or seem, God's plans and ways are far greater. 5 1/2 years ago we became foster parents to a child we immediately fell in love with… and to boot she was adoptable. Our hearts were set on adopting this beautiful little girl, but God had other plans. We never knew that becoming pregnant with our second biological child together during this placement would turn out to be one that would bring us both to our lowest points. As the pregnancy progressed, my wife became sicker and sicker and spent 3 straight weeks in the hospital while I juggled things at home with our other children. Eventually family services felt it was best to remove this little girl and place her elsewhere. We were heart broken and only by God's grace did we get through this loss. Thankfully the rest of the pregnancy went better and we had a healthy baby boy of our own a few months later. Questions still remained about why God had closed this door we so desperately wanted to walk through and thought was His will. We took 2 years off from foster care while we worked on our "own" family. And then out of the blue we got called for a 6 month placement of a one week old little girl with a host of medical maladies who would come to us straight from the hospital. We accepted the placement with the understanding it was a temporary placement. My wife has had a lot of experience working with special needs children, so she jumped right in and got to work on getting this little girl all the services she needed. The 6 month placement turned into a year placement. And then just as she was set up to go home, things fell apart with the birth family. A little over a year later we found ourselves walking out of the courthouse with our "gift" … our first adopted child. We realize now that had we kept that first child, we would never have taken this little girl who is now our daughter. His timing is perfect and our daughter is the one God ultimately chose for our family.

  5. As a mother of four beautiful girls I too have such a longing to fill our house with more children. I pray that God will one day see fit to bring into my and my husbands life these gifts! We right now are trying to get our lives together after a lay off that was unexpected. I rest in the fact that God has a plan and I will wait patiently for that plan to be revealed!

  6. God’s timing on these things is always perfect, even when it doesn’t seem to follow our plan. When we were in the midst of our adoption from Ethiopia, we planned to adopt one little baby girl to complete our family. At the time, between our birth kids and our other adoptions, we had three sons and two daughters, so one more girl would give us three boys, three girls, a nice even number. As I said at the time, “six kids fit in the plan and into the van”! Then, God laid it on my heart that we were supposed to adopt siblings. I was not thrilled! I did not feel capable of parenting seven kids. I did not feel capable of adopting older kids who had experienced trauma, spoke no English, and were afraid. But God knew what I did not. Our kids were out there, the exact children He had chosen for our family. I didn’t mention to my husband what I felt sure God was asking us to do. I only let God know that I was willing to obey, but that He would have to tell my husband. I prayed every day and after six weeks, my husband approached me about adopting siblings!!! And our kids are exactly what our family needed!

    I loved reading your story! What a blessing to be able to pass that love story along to your daughter!

  7. Wonderful story, Tricia. I’ve always wanted to adopt, but couldn’t get my hubby on board. Now we are too old. I’m glad God blessed you with this amazing little girl. The best is yet to come. You have a beautiful heart.