(This was Henry’s picture on the special needs “waiting kids” list last spring.)

This post has been on my heart for a few weeks… it’s just taken a while to actually write it!

I’ve been thinking a lot about unexpected “yeses” in my life — times where I’ve been faced with a decision where a yes seemed CRAZY!  But as I look back now, the yeses turned out to be some of the greatest blessings in my life.  Despite the risk.  Despite the odds.  Despite all the reasons why it didn’t seem like a “good” idea at the time.  

I’ve been thinking about this especially lately because of what was going on this time last year.  

A year ago I was in the thick of wrestling through a decision Peter and I had made a few weeks prior.  We’d said no to accepting the referral of a little boy on our agency’s waiting list after being unexpectedly drawn to him.  We’d taken the time to research his probable condition.  We’d stepped out of our preconceived ideas of how our adoption was going to go by even considering this little boy to the extent that we had.  But in the end, after weeks of researching, we’d said no because our fear of the unknowns surrounding his condition was too great.  

Maybe we researched TOO much?  I think sometimes our heads get the better of our hearts.  (*I’m not saying that it’s wise to leap without checking the depth of the water… but sometimes we can over-analyze our capabilities and stop ourselves short of tremendous opportunity.  If we can learn to face our fear of the unknown and trust the strange prompting to do something completely uncharacteristic, amazing results often follow.  It’s called faith.  Whew — that’s a whole post in itself!!)

But back to topic here…  I’m finding that the sounds and smells this month are bringing back the mixed feelings and intense emotions I had during that season… the heartache, the fears, the questions… I was really undone inside and definitely not settled with that initial decision.  I wrote this post a year ago.  Re-reading it, I remember the agony I was in — all the planning and prayers and desire to adopt came down to this ONE little life.  This one little boy.  It was immensely specific.  I remember thinking “how can people even make decisions like this?”  The future of a human life was in the balance and it weighed heavily on me.  

The last few weeks as I’ve been watching Henry run around outside with his sister — every inch an almost-two-year-old boy! — I have been very, very aware of how close I came to missing such an amazing blessing.  Granted, I AM a believer in God’s sovereignty.  But I also believe that I’m faced with choices every day.  I make decisions and I live with those decisions.  I’m very aware right now of how small a word “yes” is — and how huge the ramifications can be.  My heart is so thankful that Peter and I got a second chance to say yes… a second chance to take that leap.

This whole journey has made me stop and think about other things in life I might miss because I choose to stay comfortable.  It’s not going to help anything to be paralyzed by the fear of making the wrong decision — but I think it’s a very, very healthy thing to be acutely aware of the tendency to stay comfortable.  I WANT to live my life aware of the doors I almost didn’t walk through.  No regrets… but an awareness of the times that I had an opportunity to leap and didn’t (or almost didn’t.)   It’s funny, on one hand I tend to be pretty adventurous and willing to take risks… but it’s generally when I know that I am actually safe and I know what the outcome will be.  I’m fine climbing a rock face when I’m tied to a rope! —  but faced with a situation where the unknowns are seriously life-changing and permanent, I’m not so risky.  I play it safe… too safe.  I don’t want to be that person.  I want to be the crazy, sold-out and willing to follow Christ ANYWHERE person. 

Thank God for his grace to change, and grow, and leap!

Our yes to Henry was such a small leap in comparison to a lot of people’s “yeses.”  Seriously, it’s awe-inspiring (and just plain inspiring!) to think about the level of so many people’s dedication to following the road less traveled.  But, it was a HUGE step for us… it opened the doors to a lot of other “yeses” in our lives and is a daily reminder to stay open and surrendered to God’s plan.  It’s certainly not the easiest thing in the world to surrender our plans and hold our lives out openly… but we are learning that the unexpected blessings in it are incomparable.  This lesson has became intensly real and personal to us through this adoption — we really can’t imagine life without our precious, unexpected son!

Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger (or heartache) is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”  Helen Keller

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