Walking on Dry Ground (our adoption journey)

Oh, the wild ride of following Jesus wherever He calls. It’s crazy, and it’s sometimes overwhelming, and it usually costs you something. But it is also the only place I would want to be. The only place that provides true peace, joy, and satisfaction. The only place that really provides a life worth living (from the perspective of eternity).

Let me back up a little bit… If you read this post, you know that we were on the journey to become foster parents. We had done the fingerprints and background checks and copious amounts of paperwork, and were set to do our 20-hour weekend training class on April 20th-22nd. After that we would just have our home study visits, and we thought we would be certified foster parents by June. We had a nursery already set up and ready so that if we got a call soon after being certified, we would be ready to take in a baby. And then, things quickly changed. A few days before we were supposed to go to the training we found out that because our son is not fully immunized, we would not be able to foster. We were devastated. Our hearts were truly broken over the fact that because of a personal, family decision in regards to what we think is best for our child, we would not be allowed to care for other children, who are in desperate need of a loving, caring, stable home.

We decided that instead of being at home and dwelling on how upset we were during the weekend that we were supposed to be receiving foster care training, we needed to get away. We would go out of town on a little family getaway – to relax, be distracted from our sadness, and also to seek God’s direction and clarity on where He wanted us to go from there. And give direction He clearly did.

We spent time praying, thinking, journaling, worshipping, and talking. What we ultimately came to was that God’s command to care for the fatherless had not changed. And our desire to provide a loving home to vulnerable children in need had not changed. Therefore, we still needed to take action in some form or fashion. We decided that we would pursue adoption (which we always planned on doing in the future anyways), and “fight for foster care”, in hopes that we would one day still be able to foster. One of the times that we were talking through this, we were driving in North Carolina and literally passed a billboard that said “Foster and Adopt.” We looked at each other like, did you just see that?! And then were like, “Ok God, we hear you!”

That trip was just what we needed as a family. We had a wonderful time, and God clearly gave us the direction we needed. A couple days after being home I put some feelers out for adoption agency/consultant recommendations. I had numerous people send me a post that had just been made that day by Mustard Seed Adoption Consultants, saying they had multiple expectant birth mamas in need of adoptive families to match with. I immediately contacted them, fell in love with the director, and later that week we signed a contract with them. They have presented us with several potential expectant moms to match with. The majority of them have been at very expensive agencies (like, adoptions that would total $40K +). Yes, I know, adoption is ridiculously expensive. The average domestic adoption totals $30-35K. It’s crazy. We have not ended up moving forward with any of those expectant mamas, but we believe that the one the Lord has for us is out there. We are just waiting for Him to bring her to us – whether it’s by word of mouth (someone we know knows her), or through an agency sending her info to our consultant.

In the mean time, we are getting as ready as we possibly can. We have been getting everything done for our home study – paperwork and medical tests and self-studies and references and more background checks and fingerprinting. It’s enough to make your head spin, trust me.

And now, we just have the home study visit, which is scheduled for June 2nd. The home study case-worker will come to our home for about three hours and basically assess us and our home to determine if we are a safe, stable family for a child to be adopted into (no pressure…). If all goes well (please pray it does!), we will become “home study approved”, meaning we are legally able to adopt a child! After that, when we actually end up adopting is completely in God’s hands. We could get a call days later that there is a baby being born that we could adopt, or we could wait months and months.

It is a crazy ride full of lots of unknowns. It requires lots of waiting and patience and trusting. But ever since we jumped into the adoption process, God has continued to put in front of me passages about “walking on dry ground”. You know, the ones about the Israelites crossing the Red Sea on dry ground, and then years later crossing the Jordan River on dry ground?

“Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the Lord drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. And the people of Israel went into the midst of the sea on dry ground, the waters being a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.” (Exodus‬ ‭14:21-22‬, but really you should just read the whole chapter, it’s good stuff!).

“Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, the water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap a great distance away, at a town called Adam in the vicinity of Zarethan, while the water flowing down to the Sea of the Arabah (that is, the Dead Sea) was completely cut off. So the people crossed over opposite Jericho. The priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord stopped in the middle of the Jordan and stood on dry ground, while all Israel passed by until the whole nation had completed the crossing on dry ground.” (Joshua‬ ‭3:15-17‬)

These are incredible miracles and pictures of God’s faithfulness and provision for His people. And I feel Him reassuring me that we too, will walk on dry ground. We will move through the unknowns and the waiting and the huge financial cost of this adoption journey “on dry ground”.

And at the end of it all, when there is a precious child in our arms, I believe that it will all be worth it (following God’s direction always is). I believe we will be able to look back at foster care coming to a halt, look back at the waiting, look back at the challenges, and look back at the way the birth mom and baby are brought to us, and say, “Only God. He receives all of the glory!”

In faith,

Megan Downer

Founder of The Bigger Picture Project

If you have any interest in partnering financially to bring our baby home, please visit our AdopTogether profile (all donations are tax-deductible). 

If you know of a pregnant woman looking to place her baby for adoption, please contact me at msheasby@bellsouth.net

Lastly, we would so appreciate your prayers!

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