The day we found out about our infertility diagnosis was the day I started to pursue adoption. There was no doubt in my mind that because adoption was a wonderful thing to do, it was the thing God wanted us to pursue. This was a mistake.

Adoption is a calling, and just because it is a good thing, it is not something that every believer is called to do. The adoption process, and even more so adoptive parenting, takes certain skills and strengths. It is not enough to have “the right values” of compassion, patience, open-mindedness. Adoption is not just another way to serve God by doing good deeds.

God calls each of His children to different tasks in this life. Our job is not to superimpose what we think would be a good way to serve God onto Him. Our job is to discern His will for our lives. God does not call each of His children to adopt, just like He doesn’t call each of us to go into the medical field, teaching, or any number of honorable professions through which we can be Christ’s hands and feet in the world.

In 1 Corinthians 12:4-7, we are reminded to work together to build up Christ’s body here on Earth:

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.

Note that not everyone is called to the same ministry.

When we began our adoption journey, I was a believer only on paper. My faith didn’t go beyond church on Sunday and an occasional prayer. And when I did pray, it was as if I were a child making a wish list for Santa Claus. Sometimes, I promised to be good if I got what I wanted; other times, I actually insisted that I already deserved what I was asking for. Neither options is a good way to approach the Almighty!

I have come a long way since beginning my journey. My faith, as well as that of my husband, has grown exponentially. I have learned to pray to God in a way that always qualifies whatever request I have with a surrender to His will. I have refocused on pleasing God, not myself, and on trusting that He knows better than I do what will truly make me fulfilled in life. (Hint: it may not necessarily be motherhood!)

Furthermore, as we’ve gone from one type of adoption to another and as we’ve experienced heartache after heartache, finally culminating in a very unexpected and heart-breaking door to traditional adoption slamming shut, I’ve had to face the reality that God is in control. He is the one who will guide me to where He wants me to be–as long as I let Him lead.

Do I still want to raise a child? Of course. Do I still think I will be afforded the opportunity? I hope. Do I still insist on pursuing parenthood at all costs, ignoring all other aspects of my life in the process? Not anymore. I am already complete in the Lord. Motherhood will not give me what only the Lord can provide.

Maybe God used the last 5 years of our lives, years spent pursuing every imaginable type of adoption, not so that I could get what I want, but so that I could get what I need: a deep faith in his providence, and a focus on the eternal.

I caution you to jump too quickly into adoption or into one type of adoption over another. Take the time to discern what exactly is God’s will for you. Don’t presume to know better than Him. With an eye on God’s will, you will undoubtedly be blessed.