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When What I Was Afraid of Became What I Couldn’t Live Without

By August 8, 2022Blog
“Lord, I sure hope You aren’t trying to tell me something.”
I’m not sure if I said these words out loud or if they were simply exhaled in the language of my heart, but either way this was my sentiment. And oh the dread I felt! You know the kind that forms a pit in your stomach? Dread was the emotion that lingered long.
I’ll never forget this moment. My infant daughter, Paige, was happily laying on my bed while I was doing laundry and listening to one of my favorite radio shows. On this day, the conversation surrounded an adoption story.
Adoption. 
The very idea of it scared me. How could I love a child that wasn’t mine? Why would I expose myself and our family to the unknown – or worse, the potential problems that an adopted child was sure to bring? And why would I step into this when I was fully capable of having a child – and to my knowledge – children?
Even as I put words to my thoughts that day, I cringe. Since that time, my perspective has been radically changed (thank you, Jesus!).
The shift in my perspective happened slowly over time. It started with awareness. I was exposed to the idea of adoption through that radio program, yes, but also through the organization my parents founded called Lifesong for Orphans. Through Lifesong, I also witnessed two of my friends’ adoption experiences. Meeting their children – little boys, both from Korea – was eye opening and provoked curiosity. No longer was the idea of adoption just a story, or an orphan just a statistic, no. Now, I had met these children – even held them. 
Now I knew the child.
Awareness led to curiosity and curiosity eventually led us to prayer. Okay, I thought. Maybe we should simply pray about this idea. Could this be something the Lord is calling us to?
By this time, Clint and I had welcomed our second biological daughter into our family and we were loving our little family life! However, our hearts were becoming drawn to God’s heart for the orphan. And as we prayed, something crazy happened: Our hearts shifted. Or better expressed, they did a complete flip flop, and we became available: the handsopen, whateveryouwant, weareonboard kind of availability. 
And then the questions poured in. I wondered, How do we know that we know that we REALLY know that we’re supposed to adopt? Can God give us a clear sign?
My husband who has always been more levelheaded set me straight with a few simple words that went something like, “Jami, you are wise and caring and beautiful….” 
Just kidding. 🙂
His actual words went more like: “Listen, Jami. We know through His word that God calls us to care for the orphan. He says it’s a good thing. If He has put this desire in our hearts, then we can step forward, trusting Him to close the doors if He has other plans for us.”
Well, that pretty much did it for me. With some trepidation, like when you are strapped into your seat on a rollercoaster, heading up to the tiptop of a hill right before that massive drop, we stepped forward. Stepping into the unknown started our journey, the journey that led us to Guatemala and our son, Hudson.
Fast forward a few years, our new 10-month old son was home. One evening I was holding him, slowly rocking back and forth in our green and white striped chair, listening once again to my favorite radio program.
To my surprise, they were re-airing a broadcast that had received a ton of positive feedback. And, you guessed it, it was the same one I had heard years before. The same one that had provoked fear and dread in me. Only this time, I was different. My precious little son was lying contented in my arms and I was immersed by completely different emotions. Joy, peace, and gratitude.
This time, the cry of my heart was, Thank You Jesus! Thank you for the gift of my son. Thank you for allowing me the privilege of being a part of this thing called adoption.
Friends, aren’t you glad that we don’t always get what we pray for? Oh, how much I would have missed if my fears and my limited perspective ruled my steps. In 1 John 4:18, God’s word brings hope: “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out all fear.”
Today, I want to leave you with a simple question: Where is fear keeping you from stepping into what God is calling you to? Is it foster care? Adoption? Forgiveness? Giving generously?
We can trust our lives to the One who embodies perfect love. He has an unlimited perspective. He knows the true desires and needs of our hearts and, even more, He loves you! When the path ahead looms dark and daunting, remember to look up, look up to the One who has Your best in mind and the One who has everything under control.
Because what you’re afraid of might just be the thing you couldn’t live without.

Jami Kaeb

Adoption, foster care, and advocacy were not part of Jami’s dreams for her life, but God changed her heart when He made her aware, and she is passionate about helping others become aware too! She and her husband Clint are parents to their seven children (five through adoption).

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