This is Madeleine. If you are super cool and know different stores you'll recognize that this is at Meijer. I have to believe it is the Holland Meijer on 16th street, which could potentially be one of my homes away from home, but that is a different story altogether.  

I hope my kids don't read this some day and get the wrong idea, but Madeleine is probably our most "planned" child. It isn't that the others weren't expected, I just think we thought about this one a little bit more than the others. We often joke that her personality and stubbornness puts quite the ! on our little biological family of three, and if you know her I think you'd probably have to agree. In March of 2016 we were a family of five, four of us were happy with the way things were and life kept buzzing along. 

I love business. I'd probably be an awful business person so I'm grateful at this time that I have a boss, but I love business. My bookshelves smell of rich mahogany and I have many paper bound books relating to business. If ever I hear a motivational speech or sermon regarding stepping out in to the unknown I'm always thinking business. My wife, on the other hand, wasn't. She was thinking adoption. For two months we'd leave church feeling excited and challenged and Kristi would mention that she was feeling empty, or like she was missing something, I agreed and thought to myself "Start a business, build a money bin, spend my weekends swimming like Scrooge McDuck". She was thinking adoption (insert face palm). 

Adoption has always been something that Kristi and I have thought about, and it has always been something that we'd do "later". I also seem to remember a parent (one of mine) telling me that they wanted to adopt too but the other spouse didn't think that was a good idea... considering I was something like 18-20 at the time I think that's probably best. Maria is five years younger than I so that could be quite the age gap for the adoptee. Anyway, adoption has been in the back of our minds for a while. I'm just a bit of a chicken and looking at the bank account and the job situation (not a complaint Mr./Mrs. Boss) it just didn't seem like it was going to happen. 

Then one day we went to church. Usually I'd say church is a good thing, but in this instance I have to question a few things. To be fair, our church has been preaching for the last few months on following God's will and doing what He asks us to do. Most of the time we took the message and though oh that's great we should really apply that in our lives... oh look squirrel, doughnuts at Meijer, message forgotten. Then one fateful Sunday in April the message went back to the picture of a raging river that the priests and to jump into prior to God stopping the water and allowing the Israelites to cross on dry ground... picture raging rapids and just jump in to certain death before God calms the waters and your sandals land on dry sandy ground. No trust issues there right? HA! But the Israelites did so, the river stopped, and off they went. They trusted God to make something happen in the unknown because nothing new/good/cool/brave happens in the known. As we walked out of that service Kristi was obviously thinking. I was thinking. I wasn't comfortable, but I knew what we had to do. The time to adopt is never going to be "right", however God told us both that morning that the time is now. 

A good friend asked what I thought about the adoption because Kristi has been the vocal one regarding this. As a good friend should know (YES I'm looking at you when I say this) I'm the quiet one, unless the words that come out of my mouth are ridiculous, snarky, borderline irreverent, or otherwise add nothing but immaturity to the discussion - so OF COURSE Kristi is going to do the talking. That said, I certainly felt the calling that morning to adopt, and while it scares the ___________________ (choose a noun) out of me, this is my (our) unknown that Kristi and I are jumping into. I look forward to meeting the son that up until last month I didn't know was waiting for me. I'm anxious to make a difference in the life of one small child who is currently in a home with other children looking at a life that is finite. At some point he will age out of the system in China. How amazing will it be (ok... let's hope it is amazing for him too since we are basically swooping in, picking him up and leaving*) that a young three year old boy who right now doesn't know life outside an orphanage is coming to Zeeland, Mi. What a shock that will be... 

So why am I adopting? Because God told me to, and until He says otherwise (today's sermon) that is what we are going to do. I guess that little exclamation point at the top is going to have some company. 

* Have you seen Batman the Dark Knight? Because that is how I envision this going. There is a great scene where Bruce Wayne kidnaps a banker from another country and then deposits him at the local Police station. Adopting like that would be cool. Highly illegal I'm sure, but still cool.