This is Part 1 of a three-part series following Kendrick’s adoption story. We’ve fallen in love with her big heart and witty words. We know you will too…
One thing you need to know about me before we go any further is that I’m a planner. I like to know the plan, I like to stick to the plan, and if the plan seems to go off track I consider it my duty to get things headed back in the right direction. This can be considered my strength, but it can also be my weakness; it leads to a desire to control any and all situations. I may or may not have been placed in the “control freak” category a time or two.
I’ve been planning things as long as I can remember. In college I had a four-year plan (and it had absolutely nothing to do with my degree):
1. Freshman year—fall in love
2. Sophomore year—stay in love
3. Junior year—get engaged
4. Senior year—marriage
…and after that came the five-year plan:
1. Year 1—still be in love
2. Year 2—baby 1 arrives
3. Year 3—enjoy baby 1
4. Year 4—baby 2 arrives
5. Year 5—and we all live happily ever after…
Well… I’m 37-years-old and I’m about 19 years off schedule. As you can imagine, this planner had a bit of adjusting to do.
During this “adjustment” period… Ok, let’s be real, it was more like “what in the world am I supposed to be doing with my life” period. I would say that I became uber-focused on my career and at times found much of my identity wrapped in what and where I was going to be next on the corporate ladder.
I moved from city to city, seeking a bigger and better job. This time was fruitful, but all along I still felt like something was missing. There were times when I thought, “there has to be more to life than this.” So I took time to reassess my priorities…
I decided that my next area of focus should be family and friends. God bless them, they probably wished they weren’t my new project. I had lots of opinions, ideas and advice to give—so why not share them? During this family and friend love fest, I began traveling all across the country, experiencing life with my loved ones. It was great (at least for me)!
If I wanted to go somewhere, I just booked the flight and I was on my way. Nobody’s schedule to check, nobody’s approval needed. It was liberating! I’d fly to NYC a couple of times a year to be in the city with friends. I’d head out West to experience nature (still with my flat iron, of course). I’d have spontaneous girls’ trips… Just because we could. I took this time to just live and try new things. I even went camping. Most of you don’t know me, but I was not a camper and I quickly found out that I’m still not a camper.
Life was definitely richer when experiencing it with loved ones, but there was still something tugging at my heart, and I just couldn’t put my finger on it. I’d always had this desire for a family of my own, but nothing was really falling into place in that regard. No husband, no children… And in my mind, that’s really the only way this Southern girl believed a family could come together.
It wasn’t until 2010 that I started to ask God what His plan might be for my family. He began to press on my heart the desire for adoption. I thought for sure this was a mistake; surely I was not the right person for the job. I mean, in my mind, you had to have the husband, the picket fence and the dog in order to have a family. And that was not my current circumstance, and it didn’t seem to be on the horizon any time soon. So I prayed and asked God for wisdom…
In the Bible, James 1:5 says, “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.”
So I asked God for His wisdom, His direction, His path. I so desired to live a life that would bring Him honor and glory. Of course I had plans, dreams, and desires of my own, but ultimately I wanted what He wanted for my life. I knew it would be far greater than I could have ever dreamed or imagined (Ephesians 3:20), but I had to let go and let Him take the lead.
Honestly, I didn’t always understand His way… And many times I tried to take back the reigns, make suggestions for a better way. But ever so gently He would bring me back to His plan and invite me to a life of obedience. Let’s just be honest, obedience is hard! Especially when you don’t understand the plan. It’s not easy, and it’s not comfortable… And many times it comes with a cost: no’s when I wanted a yes, sadness when a door was closed, physical illness, heartache over goodbyes… But even through these losses, He would comfort me and give me peace. The peace I felt came from knowing that He was going before me and preparing the way!
I have actively been on this adoption journey for 6 years… One where the Lord has been preparing my heart for adoption. In early 2015 the Lord began providing direction, wisdom and resources to finally make this single, working woman a mama through adoption. Then, all of the sudden, the mounds of paperwork, home studies, and lawyers paid off. I was matched with my baby girl.
There has been much waiting and adjusting of plans, but what I have learned through it all is…
1. God is good
2. God is faithful
3. God always does what He says He will do
And so, my response is to listen, obey and celebrate His activity… And remember Joshua 1:9, “…Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
…to be continued in Part 2…
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