I first felt a call to "go" when I became saved. I was 10 when I felt God pulling at my heart strings, and it was during VBS one summer that I started to ask questions. Later that year at a revival, I asked Jesus to come into my heart and live with me forever. And He has never left my side.
During my teenage years, I always thought about what I would do if God called me into the mission field. Our church had several missionaries come speak throughout the years and to some extent I felt like there was a "calling" to go. I was scared to death to think that I was being called to leave everything that I knew and loved about my home to live in a foreign land where English was not spoken to share the love of Jesus. I always thought that if I just didn't think about it, then it would just go away. I had hoped that God would stop telling me that my life revolved around a foreign land. I was terrified. So terrified that I have suppressed these thoughts until recently.
Meanwhile, I spent my teenage summers babysitting and teaching at Mothers' Day Out at the church. Here, I was first exposed to little adopted Chinese girls. They were all beautiful, and I was curious how someone would go to such great lengths to make someone else's child their own. Not just any child, but a child from a different country. A different nationality. A different race. A different heritage. A different religion. A different language. I made up my mind then that I never wanted to adopt. The amount of time, effort, and money that it would take to bring in a foreign child as your own was just too much for me to handle. Not to mention, I wanted my own children who look, act, talk, and laugh just like me. There was no changing my mind.
Just a piece of advice for you. NEVER make your mind up about something without first consulting the One who has a purpose for your life, because you might be missing the big picture with the little information you may or may not already know.
Fast forward to my post about "Why Adoption". If you read this post, you will remember that I open up about my struggles with wanting to be a parent, but not necessarily being ready to be pregnant. Honestly, I still struggle to an extent with wondering why adoption is our route for having our first child. Then I remember Satan is whispering those seeds of doubt and insecurities in my ear, and he will do anything to try to destroy God's purpose.
God's purpose. Yes, let's go back to that. It has taken me over half of my life to finally answer God's call for my life. Even though He hasn't called me to be a missionary in the traditional sense of the word by leaving the comfort of home and living in a foreign land preaching His name, He has called me to a "reverse missionary". (Do you like that term? I literally just made it up.) A "reverse missionary" in Leslie's terms is one who adopts, one who welcomes someone into their home to live. So for Daniel and me, we are traveling to a foreign land to bring home someone who needs us to show her who God is and to grow up learning, growing, and living in His Word.
I am so grateful to have married a man who is just as passionate about kids (and probably moreso) as I am. Without him, I am not sure if I would have fully answered the call to adopt. When Daniel and I married, I knew that he was "the one". I guess at that time I just didn't know exactly why he was the one. Over the course of the last 10 months, God has shown us why He has brought us together. Without us, He wouldn't be able to fully execute His plan according to His will. Do I believe that God could still execute His plan without us? Sure, but why would I want to miss that?
Daniel and I have been given an opportunity of a lifetime "to go" and bring home a little girl to be our daughter. We will visit a foreign country for several days. We will see how they live, what their struggles are, what their passions are. We will forever be changed from this trip. And who knows what our next adventure might be after bringing Paisley home. We will forever be intertwined with the Chinese people. And I am not terrified of that. In fact, I am honored. This is our call to missions.