“How do you know?” My girls love to sing this song from Enchanted. And don’t we all want to know—for sure—that we are making the right decision? How do you know what is right for you?
Adoptions are riddled with questions that will make your head spin. Should I place my baby for adoption? Should I get married? Should I single parent? Or on the flip side – should I adopt domestically or internationally? Should I use an agency? Should I adopt transracially? Should I adopt a child with special needs or circumstances? Should I adopt this child??
How do you know what is right for you? Do you study, research, and contemplate all your options? Do you get a warm sensation from head to toe when you know something is right? Do you feel it in your heart? Or do you just know in your mind without a shadow of a doubt?
We all receive personal answers to life’s questions in different ways. However, I believe we all receive them in a way which is natural and intuitive for us. Some people have visions or dreams, others have ideas or inclinations come to them, and most of us will have a calm reassurance to affirm what we already believe or even know.
I received an incredible witness before our first adoption. I heard a voice one day say “Mom.” We had been married for six years and didn’t have any children. I was not a mother and didn’t have anyone in my life who referred to me as “mom.” We had two failed IVF attempts and had talked about adoption but had not taken any steps to adopt at that point. However, as I heard this voice calling me “mom,” a distinct impression came to me that my child was telling me he was on his way and he needed me to get ready. Nine months later he was born. We adopted him four days later. I am grateful for this personal revelation.
Not every experience is this clear. Have you ever had an experience in which you knew what was right, you acted on it, but later you doubted or forgotten what you once knew? I think we all have. I have two adopted sons who have half-siblings and a biological cousin who were placed for adoption. We felt an overwhelming desire and impression to reach out in love and try to bring these children into our home and family. All three children were placed for adoption with other people. It took time and perspective to understand why we felt guided to do something that didn’t work out. It was hard to not second-guess the inspiration received. I was tempted to doubt and disbelieve that I felt what I felt. I now believe these experiences were for our learning and growth.
I have learned to trust my gut more. I have learned to discern between fear and faith. I have learned to trust God instead of man. People have their own ideas as to what is best for you and me. I have learned is it is my responsibility to know for myself.
I know my God knows me by name. I know He knows the detailed desires of my tender heart. I knew when God sent me halfway across the world to adopt a little girl He would not leave me empty-handed. And had my journey ended differently, He would be there with me to help me get my feet on the ground again. Over a decade of adoption experiences have taught me to trust God and my own ability to know for myself what path is right for my family. It is the secret to having peace in your decisions and walking your path with confidence.
Have you learned how to you know for you?