I didn’t look back, though I’m not exactly sure why.
My husband, Jeff, and I said our goodbyes, turned around and walked out of the hospital room, a tiny baby in tow. I kept my gaze focused ahead, occasionally glancing down at the big brown eyes staring up at me. Little Kinley had no idea what was happening. She had no understanding of what had just taken place. I had watched her enter this world – though not through my own body – and now she was ours.
We walked into the hospital a family of three. We walked out a family of four.
I never would have imagined this moment even a few months prior. Adoption had always been a dream of mine, but with a still-colicky infant at home, this was certainly not my ideal timetable.
We didn’t find out that Lindsay, our teenage niece, was pregnant until three months before she was due. A single, hour-long conversation that concluded in prayer was all it took to put Jeff and me on the same page. We were confident in our decision: God was asking us to put our yes on the table. He was asking us to offer to adopt this baby girl. In hindsight, it seemed like a big leap of faith, but in that moment, adoption for us was a matter of simple obedience.
We never asked the opinions of those around us. We didn’t need to. God had given us all the assurance we needed. So we leaped, knowing full well that our offer might be quickly and firmly rejected. It was not. We were officially invited to be this baby girl’s parents just a few weeks before she was born.
Our decision might have come quickly, but that doesn’t mean it was easy. We were required to exercise our faith daily. A relationship with God is more like a series of trust falls than a peaceful stroll in the park: He often tells us to jump first, not providing His follow-up instructions until we are mid-leap. We heard
more than once that perhaps we were a little crazy for adopting a newborn with another infant already at home, but I’ve always believed that God sometimes calls us to do seemingly “crazy” things.
Faith is contagious
Not long before Kinley arrived, I ran into an old friend and confided in her about our upcoming adoption. She was shocked and expressed something I had heard many times by this point: “That’s wonderful! I could never do that!”
As soon as those words slipped from her lips, she grew silent and contemplative. “But,” she continued, “sometimes I wonder if God is calling me to … .”
I stood there listening as she poured out her heart. Dreams that had always seemed crazy to her before no longer seemed quite so far-fetched. And in that moment, God taught me something I’ll never forget:
Faith is contagious.
God uses the ordinary
Our intention in adopting our baby girl wasn’t to set an example or even to encourage others to do the same. Our only goal was obedience. And yet, little by little, God helped me see that He can use our obedience to further His kingdom in ways we never imagined.
I wake up each morning excited to see what that day will bring, knowing that God can use the most ordinary days and even the most ordinary people to do the most extraordinary things for Him. He doesn’t require a life void of troubles or complications. He just needs open ears and obedient hearts. He needs those willing to jump at God-sized opportunities.
He doesn’t need perfection. He just needs willingness.