A friend of mine has announced she and her husband are planning to adopt, this time a child through foster care. Yea!!
We've been praying for God to soften her husband's heart towards adoption, and it appears that God has answered those prayers. She and her husband have had several good, 'maybe we should do this' conversations in the past week. She emailed me to tell me all this, knowing I would rejoice.
Then, at the bottom of her email, was another prayer request: Weird, unusual things are happening. I feel like we are under spiritual attack? Please pray for that.
Which reminds me of an almost identical email I received from our dear friends the Hornes the week that they announced they were adopting from Ethiopia: Weird, unusual things are happening. I don't know how else to say it, but I feel like we are under spiritual attack?
Does the enemy attack those who seek to adopt?
Oh, my skull. Oh, my sweet skull.
Does the enemy want to prevent the fatherless to be placed in families?
Does the enemy want to prevent the Church from telling the fatherless about Christ?
Does the enemy hate the beautiful way that the Father's love for us in seeking us, finding us, calling us His children, giving us His name and His glorious inheritance is tangibly represented here on Earth?
Does the enemy want to stop us from becoming a walking, talking, hugging, tickling, giggling, sacrificing, loving, live action portrait of the Gospel?
I mean this quite literally y'all:
Walker and I had been toying with beginning the adoption process for years, and finally, last summer, we announced to our friends and to you that we were indeed starting the process. Problem was, we needed to sell our house first.
We tidied up a little bit, then we listed it, saying repeatedly, As soon as it sells, we will adopt.
On July 13, the house went on the market.
On July 20, the ceiling fell in.
And that was just the beginning.
A few days later, I sent out this email to some of you:
Y'all, we covet your prayers. As you know, we have decided to list our house. The only reason - and I mean the ONLY reason - we are trying to move right now is so that we can begin adoption proceedings.
Our house has been on the market about 10 days. As you know, a faucet was left running upstairs and a giant hole appeared in our ceiling. We pulled the house for several days while we got that fixed. The house went back on the market yesterday.
I woke up this morning and the upstairs carpet - which was just shampooed - was covered in RED toothpaste, the oven had been pulled out of the wall with the facing broken off, and the dishwasher is messed up, there is a gap between the dishwasher and the counter that I have never seen before.
Basically, we need to pull it off the market again. I am staying home today from church (which is a major bummer) to try and get it fixed and cleaned up.
Now, my kids are and always have been destructive. But in the 10 days we have listed the house, they have been on overdrive.
It is making us really, really wonder if someone does not want us to sell our house.
Question is, who is the someone?
Is God telling us this is not the time, or are we under spiritual attack, which I wondered if we would be when we announced that we were going to adopt?
I KNOW that God loves adoption. I believe that, along with marriage, adoption is God's number one favorite thing that we as humans do, because adoption and marriage are the most symbolic of Christ's relationship to us. And we absolutely consider our adoption one way to bring Christ to a child who might never hear of him. So it is hard for me to believe that the Lord would discourage us from adoption, and if so, wouldn't he do it in more obvious way that trashing my house? He could just TELL us not to adopt, and we would obey.
But I also don't want to get melodramatic and say that the Enemy is out to get us if he is not. Although I keep thinking of our friends Bryan and Christie, who are set to go to Guatemala this fall as missionaries, and who have had everything go wrong with them from car breakdowns to kitchen fires to a miscarriage. We have no doubt that they are under spiritual attack.
I am asking for some real prayer on this issue. We need some discernment, and if it is attack, we seriously need some protection.
Thank you for laying us before the throne my friends.
Later, I sent this email:
I want to give y'all all an update on what is going on. You have all been so sweet with your words and prayers and I thank you!
On Sunday, after I sent this email, I found this blog where this adoptive mom talks about how every time they announce their intentions to adopt, the warfare begins (read what she says about the lion - I can't get that image out of my mind.) Several other adoptive moms I emailed told me the same message (including Gwen Oatsvall and Mary at Owlhaven.) That made me think that we were definitely under attack.
I got back in bed and spent a lot of time in prayer, asking God to reveal his will to us. The day before I had listened to a podcast that was an interview of the missionary who led Shoefoot, a Yanomamo shaman to Christ (if y'all know me, you know that I am Shoefoot groupie, Spirit of the Rainforest is one of my favorite books.)
Long story short, in the podcast they had spoken about how a neighboring tribe was preparing to come ambush Shoefoot's village after they had all become Christians and they were praying and fasting about it. One of the former shamans looked out one morning, and saw a circle of white beings encircling and protecting their camp. Angels, right? But the missionaries had not even explained to them yet what angels were!
After praying that, I prayed that God would surround our house with an army of angels in the same way. Immediately after that, I flipped open my bible. Now, I am not usually a randomly-flip-open-your-bible- and-God-will-speak-to-you type girl. But on Sunday, I randomly flipped open my bible, and God spoke to me. So there ya go. My NIV was on the kitchen table so grabbed my Message and opened it to Isaiah 21. The whole thing is about being attacked, and the last line I read said this:
GOD OF THE ANGEL ARMIES.
The good news I get from God-of-the-Angel-Armies,
the God of Israel, I now pass on to you.
the God of Israel, I now pass on to you.
Talk about energized!! I sprung up, cleaned my house from top to bottom, watching crayon marks I had been scrubbing for weeks easily wash away, prayed out loud in each room, and told Satan over and over out loud that there was nothing he could do, he could bring it on, he could burn our house down, we were still adopting. It was a good, good day. I could feel all your prayers surrounding me - I can't say I have ever felt prayers before, but Sunday, I did. And it felt good :)
We will not be dissuaded from advancing God's kingdom. Whether our house sells or not. I ask you to continue to pray for protection for us - that the enemy would just give up and see he's wasting our time trying to talk us out of this. There is a baby (babies?) somewhere in the world for whom God has already chosen our funny sounding, impossible to spell last name, and we intend to go get them.
Thank you my friends - I love you all -
While I cleaned, I listened to Seeds music the whole time - namely Romans 8:39-39:
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
and Psalm 62:
My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.
And things were good. For a few weeks.
Till they got bad again.
Soon, our home - still listed - was invaded by German cockroaches. Y'all, the exterminator and I got to know each other so well, we became friends. I refuse to add up how many hundreds of dollars we spent getting rid of the things.
I was complaining about it to my friend Karre at church one day and she looked me in the eye and said, "Are you under attack? Satan has always used cockroaches as a means against me."
Why, now that you mention it!!
There have been many other varied and sundry attempts to dissuade us. For instance, when we finally received our invitation to get fingerprinted for UCIS - a huge adoption milestone - a stomach virus attacked every single member of our household the week before the appointment. Now, kids throwing up is very common, right? Not my kids. Once when Shep was two, I found a little vomit in his crib. That's it, in seven years and four children. And suddenly everyone of them - everyone of us - is throwing up everywhere. Coincidence?
I think not.
And I am certain more attacks are to come.
It's not working. It's not gonna work.
So, if you have recently announced your plans to adopt, and you then find yourself saying, "I am a normal boring Presbyterian/Methodist/Baptist/Catholic/Etc/Non-Charismatic but suddenly, the weirdest things are happening and I feel like something evil is trying to do us in!", then no. It is not your imagination.
You are normal and boring no more.
Because there is indeed a bright red bullseye painted smack dab on your be-hind.
And it will be very frightening. It will make you question whether you are up for the job. It will make you wonder why, considering you have no extra money and are such a mess of a wife and can't even control the kids you already have, what in the world business do you have in adopting? It's absurd to even consider it! Perhaps this isn't God's will after all??
Which is exactly what the enemy wants you to think.
I wonder how many times it has worked for him?
I wonder how many people did pull out?
Don't be one of those who let him win!
Your God is so much bigger.
He will show you that, as you go through this process. He will remind you that this is His adoption, and He is in control of it, not you, and certainly not the evil one. He will send you encouragers. He will send you scriptures. He will send you books and youtubes and TV shows. He will send you blog posts, maybe this one. He will send you cold hard cash!
He might even send old friends to whom you haven't spoken in weeks, who will text you out of the blue the morning of your homestudy when you are almost paralyzed with fear and doubt, and those friends will spend thirty minutes texting you bible verse after bible verse after bible verse until you are steeled and courageous (bless you, Shanna.)
Future adoptive parents, when you love an orphan, you become a very serious threat to the kingdom of darkness. There are wanted posters all over hell with your face on them.
And oh, what a blessed place to be!!
Father, please send your Angel-Armies to encircle our homes, to keep the enemy far, far away, and to protect every member of your covenant family as we seek to glorify you and ransom one of your own. In the mighty, mighty, MIGHTY name of Jesus, amen!!
For links to more posts regarding this topic, please go here.