By Sabrina Schlesinger
One year ago you couldn't have convinced me that our family would look the way it does today. I was a mother of three girls, from ages 9 to 14. My husband and I were content with our family of five and certainly felt at peace with not having any more kids. Then God whispered in my husband’s ear that we needed to adopt a child in our mission field of San Diego.
We have gotten used to saying yes to God. Although He may ask big things, His ways are always the best ways. So we began doing our research and learning how one even start this process! We literally had no idea because this wasn't on our radar AT ALL.
We quickly found out the first thing you need to do is pick an agency. We didn't want to go with the first one that popped up on our Google search, so we started attending agency orientations to see what they were about, how the process worked and how much this was going to cost.
We were open to whomever God chose for us, but we had our wish list. Our desire was a boy between the ages of 2-5. It wasn't a demand, but we threw that up to God anyways. :)
After attending three orientations and not feeling peace with any of them, we came across one online that looked amazing. There was an instant witness inside of us. Unfortunately all they really dealt with were infants, and their next orientation that we would be able to attend was two months out. I emailed them anyways, introducing ourselves and our story. I let them know what we loved about them and how we were interested in choosing their agency.
Although we were getting excited about the possibilities, everyone...I mean EVERYONE we spoke to, told us that placement of a child in our home would be at minimum 6 months but the wait could be more like two years. And since we had three biological kids, it could actually take longer. So, we set our expectations for the long haul and began praying for our future child, whomever that would be.
Two weeks later we received a call from the director of the agency we had emailed. Without ever having met her, she talked to my husband and I about a little boy, age 4, who needed a forever family. She rarely deals with kids that aren't infants, so it was a unique case that needed a unique family. After reading my email, she felt the witness of God as well and decided to call us. She sent me a photo of the him and I remember staring at his big blue eyes, blond hair, and silly smile and telling my husband, "This could be the first time we are seeing a picture of our son!" We both cried and took the next 24 hours to pray and get the heartbeat of God for this little boy.
All lights were green. So we went and had our first official interview and found out the cost would be $20,000. The bulk of that would be needed within a few weeks. It freaked us out a bit, but we reminded ourselves that IF this was God, then He would most certainly provide, because there was no way we could have come up with that amount of cash in such a short period of time.
So again we went home and took the next 24 hours to pray. And again we felt that God was giving us all green lights. This was by far the biggest step of faith we had ever made.
Within two weeks we had raised $18,000!!!! Through hard work, fundraisers, garage sells, and the favor of God, He opened the floodgates of provision. It was as if He was shouting from the Heavens confirming that this little boy was supposed to be our son!
A few weeks later we met Shawn for the first time. He was wearing a fire engine costume and putting out fires with his extinguisher. He called us Mommy Brina and Daddy Matt from the start (thanks to the coaching of an amazing social worker). He didn't know then that he was meeting his future mom and dad, but we knew we were meeting our forever son, handpicked by God for us.
Two weeks after meeting Shawn he moved in and has been our son ever since! November 1, 2016 was a day I will never forget. It was the day that God expanded the tent pegs of our hearts to make room for one of His little ones. It was the day we stopped saying "party of 5" and became a "party of 6". It was a day where we saw God move heaven and earth for a little boy that no one knew. But God knew his name...and God saw his need.
To say it has all been skittles and roses would be a lie. Transplanting a child into the heart of an established family that has been running like a well-oiled machine takes time. Everyone has had to adjust (and in many ways we still are), but we wouldn't change it for a second.
I started off in this journey saying I wanted God's fingerprints to be all over this so I could tell my son this story and he could know that God was in every detail. I wanted Shawn to know he was undeniably ours. Little did I know that when the days were dark, or the challenges were hard, I would need to look back at the fingerprints of God and remind myself this was and is the undeniable will of God. It has brought me peace, perseverance, and patience in the process.
I think we all need those moments when we are asked to do big things from God. We need those signs and confirmations along the way because when the storms hit, and our emotions and feelings fade, we can hold tight to those anchors that will keep us steady when we feel like jumping ship.
Love + Blessings,
Sabrina is a mother to three girls and one boy. She is also a pastor’s wife, a freelance graphic designer, and a mom coach! She resides in beautiful San Diego where the sun shines every day. She prefers chai lattes over coffee, mac-n-cheese over vegetables, and staying in over going out. Check her out on Instagram and Facebook!