1 Kings 3:16-27
16 "Now two prostitutes came to the king and stood before him. 17 One of them said, “Pardon me, my lord. This woman and I live in the same house, and I had a baby while she was there with me. 18 The third day after my child was born, this woman also had a baby. We were alone; there was no one in the house but the two of us.
19 “During the night this woman’s son died because she lay on him. 20 So she got up in the middle of the night and took my son from my side while I your servant was asleep. She put him by her breast and put her dead son by my breast. 21 The next morning, I got up to nurse my son—and he was dead! But when I looked at him closely in the morning light, I saw that it wasn’t the son I had borne.”
22 The other woman said, “No! The living one is my son; the dead one is yours.”
But the first one insisted, “No! The dead one is yours; the living one is mine.” And so they argued before the king.
23 The king said, “This one says, ‘My son is alive and your son is dead,’ while that one says, ‘No! Your son is dead and mine is alive.’”
24 Then the king said, “Bring me a sword.” So they brought a sword for the king. 25 He then gave an order: “Cut the living child in two and give half to one and half to the other.”
26 The woman whose son was alive was deeply moved out of love for her son and said to the king, “Please, my lord, give her the living baby! Don’t kill him!”
But the other said, “Neither I nor you shall have him. Cut him in two!”
27 Then the king gave his ruling: “Give the living baby to the first woman. Do not kill him; she is his mother.”
I never felt this story applied to my own life before. I remember as a kid we had an arch book of the story and since I loved babies ever since I can remember, I felt bad for both the women. Well, last week in church this passage was read and it hit me like it never had before.
We have been seriously looking into adoption and we are at the point where we can begin in earnest the process to being our family through adoption. We live in a state where adopting through foster care ( which we had planned on pursuing when we moved here this summer) at this point is not possible for us, and the international world of adoption is a very confusing and challenging world. There is a lot of information out there about child trafficking and my heart keep returning to the thought that maybe we as the church should be helping families stay together (in cases where the family loves and cares for a child the best they can) rather than encouraging desperate parents to put their children in orphanages because they don't have food to feed them. There are so many countries involved, so many ministries, so many needs - and each of us needs to decide what God would have us to do make a difference. For my Farmer Boy and I we have felt since day one that if we adopt we would need a clear direction and that likely we wouldn't have real peace about an international adoption unless we were on the ground working in the country where we adopt. This is not (nor should it be) what every family decides about adoption. I have many friends who had or are adopting internationally, and they made that decision with God, and I trust that. It is not my job to question or judge what God tells someone else to do about adopting. But, for us and for this time (it may be that God changes this at some point for us) we have not felt peace about pursuing any international adoption that we have looked into so far. What if for us helping the orphan crisis internationally looks different? What if God wants to use the passion for justice in the adoption world that we have, to help us help families stay together in situations of poverty? We don't know the answers. We don't know if God will open up a situation internationally for us and give us the green light on adding a child from another country into our family. But right now, we don't feel we have that green light.
I have been pleading with him for over 8 years that He would give me a baby. And, every time I run into corruption and questionable practices in adoption agencies or countries I feel like hiding my face and pretending that I don't feel this lack of peace. I want to just send an application and get a baby. I want a family! Why would God let us get to this point and then close door after door for us?
And then I think of the true mother in 1 Kings 3. She was given the choice of insisting that he was hers and having him suffer and die, or in allowing another woman to have him to save his life. She was willing to give up her newborn baby because it would protect his life. The passage tells us she was moved out of love for her son. It was a quick choice for her give up her parental rights to do what was best for her baby. I can't imagine how she felt in that moment when she offered her baby to the other woman because she knew it was the only way of saving him. All of her dreams for him may have flashed before her eyes as she begged the King to give him to the other woman. What great love she had for her baby. What a beautiful picture this is! What a good reminder of love for a child and what that can lead us to do. What a beautiful picture of what some birth mothers do when they give up a child for adoption. What a beautiful picture of what I feel God is asking me to do every time I turn away from another agency because of corruption, or when a country closes down to adoption, or when God just flat out tells me no. I could stomp my feet and scream that it's not fair. I could ignore God's voice and push through applying to adopt a child even if I am seeing God's red light clearly. I could close my eyes and rush forward to make it happen just because I am longing with every fiber of my being to be a mama. But, what would happen? In some cases a child could end up suffering because of my selfishness. If I ever hope to be a real mama, I need to learn to give up what I want the most if that is what is best for a baby I love.
I guess the bottom line is that each of us is responsible for how God directs us, and that adoption should never happen because of selfish motives. It needs to be approached with great care and love of the children. We each need to seek God to give us wisdom to know when He has a door He wants us to walk though or when we might be pushing our own will.
So - I'll keep knocking and researching and asking questions and most of all praying for God to give what He desires for us - to lead us to the children we believe he has for us (and we DO believe that He has children for us - but maybe more about that in a different post). But, may I never hold onto my desire to be a mama so tightly that it hurts the babies I want to know and love.