Spark Story Podcast: Our Adoption Story and the God Who Saves
What is your idea of freedom? Of victory? Of broken chains?
Do we create our own definitions, outlining them in our own man made version of permanent ink? Or do we see what God is writing in our story and recognize that victory may look different?
When I became a Mama to a little one with physical, mental, and emotional health issues, I struggled. I struggled in all the natural ways one would think. The doctors, the concerns, the medications … the workload. But I also struggled with grief and with God.
I was adamant that God would not free my child physically from the orphanage that controlled her every moment to leave her in mental and emotional bondage.
Would adoption bring freedom?
I worked endlessly and prayed without ceasing for God to free my child from the emotional bondage causing her and us pain.
I pushed beyond what my mind and body could handle. Not stopping to breathe. It was as if I were fighting time.
Because healing was in the next treatment. Freedom around the next corner.
But I never stopped to think maybe … just maybe freedom and victory were within my daughter, only they didn’t fit my definition.
Maybe God was freeing her from inner turmoil in His way. Maybe freedom looks different than I’d ever dreamed.
I didn’t know she knew Jesus. I didn’t know if my prayers were heard, much less answered. Did the words of “Jesus Loves Me” penetrate her soul? I’d sung it at least 1000 times …
Then one day, long before she spoke more than a handful of English words, she fell down scraping her knee. With voracious screams heard by many far and wide, this child of mine cried, “Jesus, help me!”
She called on Him. She already knew Him.
After all, it was Him keeping her alive those 5 years before we got to her. It was Him she knew long before she knew Mama and Daddy.
The truth is, friends, it still hurts and I still struggle. Why would God not want our girl to live a healthy life and have the opportunity to work, love, marry, and live independently? It’s an answer I may never know. But I do know He loves His child. I know He is active in her life and in her heart. And I believe His freedom and victory will shine through her story.
Sharing our story.
I had the opportunity to sit down and talk with the lovely Cherie Shedore of Homespark where I shared our adoption story. It’s the story of the long long road that brought our daughter home. And the story of the very difficult transition into life after we became a family of five. A family deeply loving a little one with special needs, but drowning in the magnitude of grief.
Friends, I am absolutely an advocate of adoption. I passionately believe we are all called to play some role in caring for the orphan. Whether it’s prayer, financial support, physical support of another adoptive family, or choosing adoption for ourselves, God calls all of us to care for the least of these.
But following God is never easy. Therefore adoption isn’t either. It’s not a gentle road free of bumps and bruises. It’s hard. It’s messy. And it’s filled with grief.
A grief that molds you more into what God knows is in you. A grief that gives an unprecedented view of the God who saves and the God whose mercies are fresh every morning.
[bctt tweet=”#Adoption isn’t easy but it reveals a God of #mercy #hope and #love. #podcast #grief @homespark” username=”lori_schumaker”]
Walking through this story in detail triggered surprise emotions. Emotions of grief, yet deeply felt emotions of gratitude for the road God has given us to travel. Gratitude for our daughter. For our boys. For our marriage. And for what our family is today. I pray you are encouraged to placeyour hope in Christ and believe that His love is unfailing. He fights for you and He will never leave you.
Click here to hear our story at Cherie Shedore’s Spark Stories Podcast ? Or, if you have an iTunes account, click here to go directly there! I urge you to subscribe to her podcast while you are there. Her soothing voice and great big heart will encourage you and give you hope!
Plus, she has an awesome giveaway in progress right now that you do not want to miss!
This week, I fell in love with my sweet friend, Lauren Gaskill’s post, 7 Verses for When You Feel All Alone. There were so many times I felt all alone throughout the years before and after our adoption. It’s something even those who dearly loved me could not fully grasp. My hope in Christ was what got me through. His Word spoke truth to me when the enemy wanted to convince me I was all alone and I was certainly not enough. Lauren’s situation is different than mine, but God’s truth breathes comfort into all our situations. May Lauren’s words bless, encourage, and remind you that you are not alone. God is with with you. Always.
Last week there were over 50 links connected to #MomentsofHope! Over 50 beautiful, heartfelt, encouraging, and hope-filled posts! Sweet friends, I know what goes into writing each of those. It’s a passion deep in our hearts God has given us to share His hope. It’s a privilege and joy. And it is a labor of love. I treasure your hearts and I treasure you. Thank you for sharing the hope of Christ here in this space!
And, just so you know …
I’m so glad you’re here. ?
[bctt tweet=”#SparkStory Podcast:Our Adoption Story & the God Who Saves…Come join us today at #MomentsofHope #linkup #adoption @Homespark” username=”lori_schumaker”]
Note: You can now link 2 posts that resonate with HOPE up each week. However, as much as it grieves my heart, I won’t be able to stop by each and every post anymore. So far, I have done that every week, but I have found that after the link-up began growing (a definite praise, of course!) it has been so difficult for me to keep up everything and still be Mama! So, friends, I am praying you will have grace for me and know my heart is with you and I will stop by as many as possible because I absolutely LOVE doing it! But speaking of that delicate line of good enough? Yeah … I’m going to need to practice it here!
What I ask of you:
1. Share up to 2 URLs (to a blog post, not the actual blog) that resonates with the topic of HOPE. Anything that gives us hope for tomorrow. Hope for victory. The little things and the big. Anything that inspires us to lean into Jesus and let Him carry us through.
2. Important: If you don’t have a blog post or podcast that resonates with HOPE, join in other ways as you pray and encourage others with a comment or a prayer.
3. Please leave a comment on the link just before yours. Would you love on them well? Encourage them in their efforts to share the hope of Jesus. If you have time, stop by more than one sweet writer’s little corner of the blog world!
4. Of course, I would love it if you would follow me via my blog and/or social media channels! Signing up for my blog gets access to the Library of Hope along with post updates and freebies, plus I get to know you a little better!
5. If this gives you hope, would you consider sharing it with others to give them hope, too?
6. Please either grab the #MomentsofHope button found here or link back to me to encourage new linkers.
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I’ll definitely be listening to this podcast later today! Thanks for sharing the resource!
Thanks, Michele! ♥
Lori, what a beautiful post! Your honesty and transparency ring true to what our closest friends have experienced. We have several friends at church who have adopted from near and far and their journeys have caught all of us by surprise. Adoption is not necessarily the problem-free path envisioned when we are sure of His will and follow in obedience. It can be a crisis of faith as well as a family crisis when the hard reality sets in. But what I am learning from them and my own life, God uses it all to sanctify us and fulfill a far greater purpose than we can fathom or even care about in our weakest moments. I wrote a Bible study “Fughting For Faith: Persevering Through Breaking Points” because being in God’s will does not immunize us from suffering. Bless you Lori and I will be praying for you as you love well those who need it the most. I have seen how over time, miracles do happen in these families as they have patiently endured the hardest times.
Your Bible Study really sounds like something I’d love. How can I get a copy of that? Is it for sale somewhere? I am still believing in miracles for sure! However, I have learned to balance that with the knowledge that even without the miracles we will be okay. We will still have joy.
Blessings and smiles,
I’m excite to hear your story over to Cherie’s but I wanted to say thank you for your bravery here, Lori, in sharing such a painful and intimate story with us. We fostered a girl for only six months but it was the hardest thing we ever did as a couple and it really brought up a lot of emotions from my childhood that were unexpected, overwhelming and confusing. I applaud you for being a mom who remains constant in that little girl’s life–especially as you pray for her health and growth in the Lord. Inspiring!
Thank you for these encouraging words, Beth! I will need to come back and read these on more days like today when I’m feeling extra weary and disheartened. ♥
You’re really on to something. Often we have our own definitions of freedom, but God has a different definition. Praying for your family and the unique freedoms that God will continue to unfold for you all. You’re a wonderful person, Lori!
You are so kind. Your words are encouraging for this weary Mama tonight!
I can’t tell you how much I am blessed by your friendship, sweet Lori! And your story — wow. Just WOW. What a testament to the goodness of our Lord Jesus Christ. What a beautiful picture of freedom. Praying over your special family as you continue to parent your wonderful kiddos. <3 P.S. Thanks for the feature! You just made my day!
I feel the same way, Lauren! You are a blessing! I loved your post so much! Beautiful HOPE!!!
Lori- I can’t wait to listen to your story! What a great insight that what we consider freedom might be different than what God considers it. I’m going to ponder that;)
My husband and I have talked briefly about considering adoption in our future, but we have our questions. Can we handle a hurting child in the midst of 5 other kids? Are we strong enough for all of it?
Ultimately, we are praying for God’s leading!
Blessings to you!
I will pray for God’s direction in this decision. May He be generously obvious about His desires! It is not an easy path, but when God calls you to it, He makes a way and brings beautiful from it!
Thank you Lori for sharing your heart. Your openness and honesty is a blessing to read. As children of God, we are not promised a path down the easy road but God will lead us through. He strengthens our faith in Him during those times. Who better to hold our hand and give us direction. I am excited to listen to the podcast. Have a wonderful week dear friend and may God continue to richly bless you and yours.
Thank you so much for your kind words! God is true to His promises. Not an easy journey, but He walks us through it (and often carries us! :-)) and brings beautiful from the ashes!
Blessings and smiles,
Thank you for sharing so transparently and truthfully, Lori. When I read how your little girl cried out, “Help me, Jesus,” tears pooled in my eyes. What hope this gives! I pray God will give you and your husband grace, wisdom, and strength as you raise this precious child of God! Blessings and hugs to you!
Thank you so much for your prayers, Trudy! I treasure them!!!
WOW. Lori, I am so amazed by how Jesus changes people, when we don’t even realize it. Your daughter. I want to be like her. I need Jesus every hour, and I need to watch and learn from my sisters in Christ and my younger brothers and sisters in Christ who know their limitations so much more. <3 Thank you Jesus for the faith of children!
Lori, your heart for the Lord shines. I really hope to be more compassionate like you. You SHINE Jesus!
You are so precious ♥ Thank you so very much for your kind and encouraging words. I will be praying you learn more and more the limitations God is setting for you. And I will pray you flourish within them as a bright light for Christ!
Blessings and smiles,
Lori, thank you for sharing your story of hope! Very inspiring. Blessings to you and yours! 🙂
Thank you, Stacey ♥
The little you wrote in the command on my blog made me want to pay you a visit. Body crashing, illnesses… and as I saw just some titles on your blog I was hooked. Topics all dear to my heart.
I am not sure you know but we are adoption our teenager in 2 weeks, and are in the process of adopting his brother… the journey has been ROUGH (is that perhaps why our bodies crash?).
So I will make myself some coffee and hang out here for a bit…
So glad to have met!
Love to you.
Oh, Hope! I am praying for this season and for the transitions you will be facing! And praying you listen to the Lord’s direction in caring for yourself so that you do not crash! Thank you so much for stopping back by here! I love our new connection!
Blessings and smiles,
Thank you so much for sharing your story. It never ceases to amaze me at what God can do.
Thank you, Jennifer! He is pretty amazing, huh?!
Thanks for sharing your adoption story, Lori!
Thanks for stopping by, Sarah!