In a few weeks, we'll be at the anniversary of the launch of the ONEfamily ministry.
It's the adoption/foster/orphan care ministry at our church that I've had the privilege of coordinating. Over the course of this year, it's evolved into something I'd never imagined.
But to back up a bit......I honestly didn't want to start it/coordinate it/lead it... any and all of the above.
That's was someone else's job. Someone who was more qualified. Someone who had already adopted or fostered, for goodness sake.
How in the world could I promote and help lead a ministry about orphan care/adoption/foster care when I hadn't done any of that?
Sure, I wanted the thousands of folks who attend our church to be educated about the millions of orphans around the world. I wanted our church to start doing something about it.
And yes, we were in the process of international adoption at that point, hoping for a referral at any time, but I wanted to WAIT until we brought our child home.
I thought it was best to hold off really getting involved until I had gotten my feet wet and had "proof" adoption worked.
I had decided it would be better for me to get involved in a bigger capacity when people could see that adoption had a face, and that if we could do it, so could they.
For always thinking how right I am about everything....it's amazing how wrong I often end up being.
What if I had waited?
A year later, we are seemingly no closer to our child in the DRC. Still waiting and praying for a referral.
If I had waited, I would not have heard a young, married woman in our church share with over 120 people who came to the ONEfamily orientation about her life growing up in the foster care system. My heart would not have had the chance to connect with her honest plea for our church to step up and provide loving, caring homes for foster children.
If I had waited, there wouldn't have been a meeting with our DHR social workers that would establish a training class to be held at our church in the fall.
If I had waited, Brian and I wouldn't have taken that Foster Care Class.
If I had waited, we wouldn't have the joy and the privilege of fostering this beautiful, precious one who has been in our home for the last five months. The little one who has dramatically and amazingly changed our lives in such a short time.
If I had waited, we may have not had the opportunity to be fostering alongside seven other new, foster families who took in a combined total of 17 children this year so far.
Too many times, I've waited to jump because everything wasn't aligned or shaping up exactly how I had planned.
I refused to move because it wasn't comfortable, I felt like I wasn't fit for the task, or I felt like someone else could do it better.
There's a time and a season for waiting. It's not always wise to run head-long into every opportunity.
But there's a time and a season for moving as well. And all too often, we wait to move because everything isn't lined up right and all the pieces aren't in place.
I wonder how much we miss out on.
I pray that by our second anniversary of ONEfamily, we WILL have our little one home from the DRC. But while we're waiting, we've got to keep moving too.
The growth of this ministry has nothing to do with my vision - because, quite honestly, I imagined we'd have a ministry focused on adoption. We'd see many families step out in faith and start the process. A year later- that's not the case.
Instead, we've become a ministry that is focusing on caring for the Least of These in our own city. Involving families in a process, foster care, that is usually viewed as scary and wayyyyyy too uncomfortable by the general population.
Despite the reputation that fostering has, I've watched family after family step out and decide to foster this year. I've seen how their decision to move has brought them a new perspective on love and grace as they care for these little ones. And it's changing the lives of those around them too.
All because families decided to move. Everything wasn't tied up in a neat package- their biological kids weren't the perfect age, they hadn't updated everything in their house that they wanted to, they weren't sure how adding other children would mix with the family dynamic... but they moved. And they found out that having all the pieces together didn't matter anyway.
So, what about you? Are you waiting when you should be moving? Clinging to the comfortable because letting go has too many unknowns? Holding out until everything has lined up perfectly?
It's time to move.
Would love to hear what that looks like in your life!