I fell in love with Guatemala- the colorful culture, the warmth of people, our son. When Guatemala 'closed' to adoption at the end of 2007, just a few months after we brought Samuel home, I was heartbroken. I was sure his younger brother was there...and I still think of all the children there without homes. As Rob and I discussed bringing another child into our family through adoption, I couldn't get past in not being Guatemala. And so I felt for those first couple of years. At the beginning of 2009 we filled out our preliminary adoption application. But when it came time to move beyond the first steps that you would do for any type adoption, I froze. I would 'try on' different scenarios: foster care, domestic, various countries. My mind could get there. My heart could not.
Friends have asked, how did you decide on the Philippines? The only way I know to respond is to say my heart moved. This past February, we met with a social worker. She went over different options with us. When she mentioned the Philippines, we both said tell us more. In all of our research it was not a place we had considered. We left that meeting with Rob completely in. I knew he was the moment we got in the car. I was warming up to the idea. Those who know me will easily guess that I spent that evening on my computer and by midnight was an expert on Filipino adoptions. There were so many advantages to the program and my spreadsheets confirmed it. I had been asking for wisdom and discernment and everything seemed to be checking out as a green light. And so we began to move forward, but I was leaving wiggle room for another possibility, not ready to commit to a country.
Until this past Tuesday night.
We went to an info meeting on adopting from the Philippines. A family who had brought their two boys home two years ago were there to share. I looked into those smiling, mischievious faces and they captured my heart. I had unexplainable tears. For a moment I thought I might need to leave the room. I have come to listen to my tears, to certain type of tears. The ones that catch me off guard and signal to me, your soul is hearing and responding, on a level you don't fully understand. The One who made me, brings me to a still place to say this is important, pay attention.
Similiar to moms who have told me they wondered if they could love their second child as much as the first...and then the baby comes and their hearts expand to hold and give even more love. My heart expanded. Rob looked at my glistening eyes and smiled. It was actually a smile that kind of bugs me. It is a smile that reveals to me 'I'm exposed, he knows all that is going on in my heart'.
When we left the meeting, he grabbed my hand and squeezed it tight. I looked up and said "You know what's going on don't you?" He responded, "Yes, you are all in" And that night I fell in love with the Philippines and I knew there was room in my heart for another country.