My life hasn’t turned out the way I thought it would.
As a teenager, I imagined that I would go to college and leave with a degree and a husband. I thought about the four kids and a cozy house and international adoption on the horizon. But...
I got married at 27 and found out I was infertile.
What do you do when the very thing you’ve hoped for doesn’t come to fruition? We serve a God of miracles, a God who is able. Sarah had a baby in her nineties, Hannah wept in the temple, Elizabeth was granted her desire for a son—so why wasn’t the God who sees every tear that I shed in the shower fulfilling the longing of my heart?
When my husband John first mentioned fostering to me, I said no. It seemed too hard. I’m a little bit of a Type A personality—the unknowns of fostering were terrifying to me. Then a year later, we were licensed as foster parents with our first placement in our arms. When he left abruptly and our hearts were left in shreds, I was ready to walk away. Scripture tells us, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Would I be able to trust God to bind up the wounds that we incurred in following His call to us, or would we protect ourselves from the hurt?
As it turns out, we said yes again a month later. And wouldn’t you know that our God was so gracious, again: We adopted that sweet baby girl about 400 days later. And one week after our adoption we opened our home to our son. About a year and a half later his brother joined us. In just a head-spinning matter of months we grew from a family of 2 to a family of 5. Those journeys were filled not just with ups and downs, but also with plunging falls and dizzying heights.
We made it through to the other side with the deep understanding of the nearness of a God who does see, and who might just know the longings of our hearts better than we did.
November is Adoption Awareness Month. The story of the adoption of our children is something that we celebrate and talk about freely in our home. Adoption is the story of the Gospel. Adoption is being chosen, being loved, being called a son or daughter of the Giver of all good gifts, the best gift of which is Himself. And my reminders are the 4, 5, and 6-year-old running around my cozy house. These are the answers to the longing in my heart, given in a way I could not have understood at the time.
“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!’” Galatians 4: 4-6
Lori Redfearn is the devoted mother of Madison, Micah and Cade. She's a 5th grade teacher at Jackson Elementary in Chapel Hill, TX and she's a member of the South Spring Staff-Wives Club. In all of her spare time, she's also the owner/operator of Letters from Lori, a hand-lettering shop based out of her living room.
>>> As only God can do. Lori and Kelley (WiH Founder) happen to be friends, brought back together almost 15 years later by way of our unexpected infertility (which Kelley did not know she had) and this ministry. They first worked together at Pine Cove Christian Camps as college students in 2003, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to share just how God DOES see, even this little detail.