I'm home from church with my girls again this morning and for some reason I'm reflecting on my life's purpose. And purpose in general. (I know, leave me alone and I start thinking. They say introverts have a "rich inner life", which is how I've decided to start describing my neuroticism and self-analysis. Heehee.)
Yesterday Kevin and I had a conversation about our family. We have those a lot. :) It went something like this:
Him: So when we adopt again, what are you thinking? What are the specifics?
Me: Oh I don't know, medical needs, probably siblings, at least one girl this time.
Him: We'll have to get a bigger car and figure out what to do with our minivan and Corolla.
Me: Yeah, I don't know. What are YOUR specifics?
Him: Oh, the same. We should adopt siblings. And I'm open to both having medical needs.
So now you know what we talk about over pancakes on Saturday mornings. :)
I think I'm finally becoming more comfortable with the idea that my family's purpose in life is...different than I imagined it on, say, my wedding day. I feel like I know so many people (in real life and online) who have similar situations, that it's not unusual or strange. (I know people with 11 children, and 10 children, and even twenty something children. I know people with HIV+ children, or children who have various other medical needs. None of that strikes me as uncommon.) But then I find myself in certain situations or settings where I realize, oh yeah, this is not the norm. (By "this" I mean having so many children, and being open to having more children, and having the desire to adopt more children.)
A few years ago I really wondered what God's purpose for our little family was. Kevin and I would have conversations about where we felt God wanted us. (Not that you ever probably fully discover that this side of eternity.) When we adopted our sons it didn't make sense to some people. "Why would you do that?" they wanted to know. (I also got my fair share of, "Do you have hired help?" questions, which always cracked me up. "You're looking at it!", I wanted to say. Instead I just awkwardly replied, "No"--and hoped they didn't think ill of my husband for not hiring me a live-in maid. :) )
Then when I got pregnant with little Katie Jane, everything became more awkward. Surely she must have been an "accident" (ugh). No? Well, then, now we must really be "done." Of course along came Mary Lu so apparently we were not. :)
At some point I started telling people that so long as there are children sitting around without families, here or abroad, I will never unequivocally say that we are done. (I also occasionally tell them that we don't use contraception, just NFP occasionally, but that's a whole other tangent.) How can I speak for God? I don't know what He has for us. I DO know that I can not officially shut down my heart and my home--both of which ultimately belong to the Lord--and say no with any degree of certainty. At the orphan care conference I went to last year, people kept talking about how God made children to be raised in families. And He wants them raised in families. My body, my finances, my heart, my time...yeah...all belong to Jesus. And I want to remain open to His call. Every day.
Now that we have five children I feel like people don't expect us to be "done" so much anymore. We've crossed some invisible threshold. It's been nearly four years (four!) since we brought Yosef and Biniam home. Mary is still small, and our wanting to adopt again is still just a pipe dream. Saturday morning breakfast table talk. But I feel like God is confirming and revealing more and more what our purpose is, where His heart is, and how we can respond. It's amazing and terrifying all at once. Life with Jesus is like that. And I love it.
What about you--is your or your family's purpose something you sit around thinking about? I would so love to hear about it!