Gentle Whisper

"...a great and powerful wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper. And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice..." 1 Kings 19: 10-12

I have heard adoption described as pregnancy of the heart. Unlike a pregnancy, however, it is difficult to pinpoint exactly when adoption begins to grow inside. When I ran across the scripture above, it reminded me of the way I first knew I would adopt. Pregnancies have a definite beginning at conception and announce the coming of a child with "powerful" physical changes, and the "earthquake" of labor. Adoption has to start differently. For me, the road to adoption began as a stirring of the heart—like a gentle whisper.

I can’t remember a time when adoption wasn’t in my heart. I've wanted to adopt children since I was a little girl, and the desire grew stronger in me day by day. Despite my resolve, when I began thinking about children, there was a temptation to over-analyze. I began to gather every bit of information available on adoption. I was distracted with the thought that there must be something out there I needed to know to confirm it—to prove that it really was what God had for me. I found resources rich with information on private vs. agency adoptions, trans-racial adoptions, birth-parent and adoptee stories, “openness” considerations, financing, spiritual perspectives, and the list goes on. Despite my best efforts, none of this could give me what had to come from that place only God can touch inside of me. While adoptive families will indeed need to become educated about several important issues, I needed to turn off the computer, put down the books, stop crunching numbers, and trust the whisper I had first heard.

Bringing Hakon into our family has been the single most edifying and “natural” experience of my life. My hope for others who are “thinking about” adoption and is that they would not get distracted from that whisper heard in the stillness. Listen to the whisper and let it grow. If there is a prompting in your heart, the rest may just be details.