Saturday, we followed our hearts to Memphis, Tennessee. Yet, this wild journey didn't start there, it actually started about two months ago, with a simple click. My friend, Katie Artz, posted a link to help raise funds for orphans. Of course, I opened her link and began reading about her neighbors, the Musicks, who were raising funds to host a sibling set from Ukraine for the summer. Their story was so moving that I immediately donated an amount I knew Mike would also support and prayed for these precious kids to find their forever family. Throughout the day, I continued to click on the link to watch the progress, hoping and praying these kids could experience a break from their current situation--to get to be kids, with fewer worries, even if only for a brief time! The following day, while Mike and I were enjoying a few quiet moments after the Luteslets had left for summer school, I showed him the link. After watching their video, he closed the iPad and said that first of all, we should donate. After I told him we already had, he said, "What would it take?" That was the moment things began to change forever in the Lutes home. He was not asking what it would take to get them here, he was asking, what it would take to make them ours.
We spent the next few days inquiring, praying and checking in with each other to make sure this was still something we should/could/would do. We talked with the girls, prayed some more, researched some more. We decided we would give God a yes until we heard a strong no. As we started the paperwork, I continued to check in with Mike. As many of you know, I have always considered adoption--even before our struggles with infertility. However, my imaginings always appeared to me as a single child--about two feet tall. It turns out God is a little more creative. He imagines stretching us even more with not one but three children. Each of them taller than two feet. In an instant (or several months) we could add a teenage girl and two boys (what will I even do with boys)? But, I am getting ahead of myself. Right before I sent in the first big check and volumes of paperwork, I checked in again. Mike said, "N, I feel like all of the big decisions in my life have not been decisions, I have just known. I feel at peace with this." Wow! Ok, here we go.
If, at this point, you are wondering how we will do this now, on the twilight of my Cushing's journey, you are not alone. Mike and I often question the same thing. We have agreed that while I am improved, I am not there yet. I still get fatigued and Mike still takes more on than he should need to. That is one of our prayers that you can join us in praying. If this is God's plan for us, He will need to provide continued healing and strength. If this is the best health I achieve, we will not be able to provide what these precious kids need. Of course, I have asked God that if it is a no for us, to please give us that no by way of another family adopting them, not through PITA (my pituitary tumor) returning. That being said, I continue to receive excellent check-ups. My endocrinologist is "very encouraged." My worst days now are better than my best several months ago.
If you are wondering how we will manage going from 3 to 6 kids, you are not alone in that either. One evening, while Mike was working a night shift, the twins came running in just as I finally drifted off. They were yelling about some extremely important fight they were having that resulted in a physical altercation. I reacted as any well-adjusted, loving mother would have--I absolutely lost it with them. I returned to my room in a heated conversation with God. I proceeded to point out all of the reasons I would not be a good fit for this job. After my rant, I heard nothing in response. I began to calm down and went back in to check on my precious, vulnerable girls to reassure them of my love so they could sleep. Apparently, I was the only one experiencing any angst, as they were sleeping soundly. The song on the radio ended and a verse was read, talking of God's plans for us being bigger than we can imagine. Apparently, God wasn't silent, but waiting for me to be in a place where I could listen.
Moving forward to today, the Musicks were able to raise the money in record breaking number of days to get these kids here for the summer. As a result, we got an incredible opportunity to meet them prior to completing the adoption process. They are such sweet and loving kids! They are greatly neglected at best, eating everything in sight (they are actually smaller this year than last). It was so hard to leave this morning, especially since we were not supposed to discuss adoption with the kids. So hard to not give them hope! We left even more determined to do everything in our power to make this reality. If this is a shock to you, you are not alone--it is for us, too! Please help us pray for these kids--we want them to find their forever home, to be claimed and belong--even if that family is not ours.