In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps. Proverbs 16:9

My armpits were sweating - a lot. My shirt begin to stick to me and I felt it when I maneuvered the bulky car seat around the oval table. The judge's chair sat just a few feet from me.

Adoption courtroom

The courtroom looked beige and boring - the dinged up walls were void of anything pretty or colorful surrounding us. It looked nothing like what I assumed an adoption courthouse would - no majestic stairways or velvet-draped curtains to welcome the judges overseeing the county's most important cases - child adoption and placements. What a bummer.

The fact that I was standing in the courthouse in January, four months after the September we'd pulled the trigger to begin our adoption, blew me away. Nothing was happening the way I'd expected or planned.

Hidden Expectations

When I'd signed on the line to kickstart the adoption process, I thought I'd gotten rid of my expectations. Our agency made it clear the adoption process is ambiguous and each case is unique. But once I'd entered the whirlwind, it appeared my open arms needed to open wider because my hidden expectations were coming out.

  • Newborn:  I'd expected to adopt a newborn immediately after he/she was born at a hospital.
  • Courthouse:  I'd pictured swearing to love, protect and care for said baby under a lovely painting on regal courthouse walls.
  • Time to prepare:  I figured I'd have time to prepare and pray once I got the "You've been selected by a birth mom!" phone call.

But none of those things were my reality. Total surrender in the adoption process meant I needed to let go of my plans and be grateful for the steps, and the four-month-old child in my arms.


Following God's call to adopt

If God's called us to adopt (and we've said yes), we will be faced with opening our open arms even wider. Everything from the legal process, court system, lawyer meetings, birth family and blended family can go in many different directions.

In the midst of our obedience to adopt, surrender will ask for even more - way more than what we expected. In those moments, we have a choice.

We can cling to what we want, expect and hope like a shirt drenched with sweat sticking to our armpits. Or, we can trust God with the process and drop our expectations. We can go with His plan even if it doesn't look like ours. We trust that especially when following a calling to adopt, God will work all things out for our good.

Prayer:  Lord, as we take steps to adopt, help us identify our expectations and open our open arms even wider.


Danielle blogs about cancer survivorship, communications and faith. Subscribe to her weekly devotional in the Monday Morning Survival Guide so you don't miss anything she has to say!