Today we would like to interrupt our adoption story somewhat, for our latest God Story.
For the past 2.5 years, Steve has worked almost every weekend and late nights. He has also worked the regular 60 hour work week along with these hours. We did not want to move again. We enjoyed being back in Indiana living on our farm. However, last summer we decided to look around for another job for Steve, hoping we could find one not too far away. In the fall a job potential with his former company came up in Boulder, CO. We turned it down after seeing the lack of housing available in our price range. Then a position in western Indiana came along that would offer us a huge pay cut and losing many benefits. We prayed and prayed about this one just as we had with the Boulder opportunity. We both felt physically sick every time we thought of taking the job. We did counter-offer and they refused. We continued to walk in faith that the Lord would provide. Then Dave, Steve’s former boss from MA called and told him he was leaving the company and going to another one within a few weeks. Dave asked Steve where we’d like to go. Steve said, “west”. Steve and I had been longing to go west for some time now, but there is not many manufacturing jobs out west. So, we gave it all to God. Only He could move us there. Dave said that there is a beautiful, new plant out in Utah. Steve told him if he had a job out there for him, his bags were already packed.
Fast forward a week or two. We knew that there was a possibility in the next year or two that an opening might come up out in Utah. We had even decided that if we ever got out there, we could be missionaries to the mormons as well. One morning I awoke to the word “Utah” in my mind. As soon as I opened my eyes, it was “Utah”. I got up and started researching about Utah-homeschooling laws, economy, housing, etc. Later in the day I had an overwelming feeling we were moving to Utah and went to the computer to56t look at some of the land for sale. I was staring at beautiful pictures of mountains and valleys when the phone rang. It was Steve. I knew it was him before I answered and no, we do not have distinct ringing for each person. He said, “Guess who just called me?” My flesh thought there was no way it could be Dave, but the Holy Spirit in me inspired me to say, “Dave.” He said, “yes, and guess what he said?” The flesh in me said there was no way that a job opening could be in Utah (as I sat staring at the mountains), but the Holy Spirit in me inspired me to say, “There’s a job for you in Utah.” Within a few weeks, he was on a plane for his first interview. Then a few weeks later he was looking for a house.
Meanwhile, I had posted on a yahoo group asking if there were any homeschool families in Utah that could give us advice on the possible move. I met the most amazing, strong-in-faith, Christian homeschooling moms over the next week. I actually received calls from some of them! I was awed at how strong they were in their faith. One of the moms gave me a realtor’s name and email address. I contacted her and then a day later another mom gave me the name of another realtor. For some reason, I felt I should contact the second realtor that I was told about. I did, and she called me within hours! Turns out she is a Christian, homeschooling mom too! And of all things, we found out she is our relative! Distant relative! We were amazed that our realtor in Utah turned out to be related to us! Small world! She and I began working on finding us a house. We did not tell anyone our plans at that time as Steve had not been given the offer yet for the job.
Janice, our realtor/relative/friend, showed Steve a few houses while he was in Utah in April. It was a whirlwind trip. Then it came time for them to make a job offer and we did not have a house or think we could afford a house in Utah. There were only a select few available at that time and we continued to have questions about the whole thing. We started to get cold feet in a sense and backed off. We knew the job would bring Steve more time at home on the weekends and evenings, but still…this is the west and totally unknown to most of our family…how would we do with being a minority as Christians (yet, we’ve had missionaries tell us that they are thrilled we are coming and Utah needs, NEEDS more Christians)…CT was a tough place for us to live, would we have a repeat in Utah..and on and on. Steve stopped the whole process within days of the offer.
We felt sad and yet at the same time content. We wanted our children to have strong roots somewhere. We have actually lived in one house for 14 years during our marriage, but since having children, God has called us to move quite a bit. There must be a reason for this. So, we stayed and dug our heels into our dirt and worked some more.
We began our adoption process and lo, and behold, one of the adoption agencies that it was recommended we work with is in Utah! We thought maybe that had been the connection to Utah.
Fast forward to the middle of June. One morning I woke up with an anxious spirit. I felt so anxious to move. I just knew we needed to move to Utah. I went crazy for about 6 hours with this anxiousness of needing to move. I kept praying and asking God to take this away from me and give me a feeling of contentment. By the time Steve arrived home that night, I was calm again.
A few days later in church, I heard our preacher talk about people of different thoughts/beliefs still being human. I remembered my dear friend, Lisa, telling me how they had moved into a different country to be missionaries. She had arrived with a mentality of “us and them” and now a few years later God has shown her the human-ness of “them” and taught her more about her weaknesses. She told me to “love them”, they are human too. I quickly scribbled a note about it to Steve during church. He gave me a quizzical look. Then I sat there a few more moments before an overwhelming feeling came over me again-this strong calling to move to Utah. I just felt like we belonged there. I wrote Steve another note (I have never written notes in church before!) telling him how I had this longing to go to Utah and that we needed to go. He again gave me a strange look. I had also been praying with an open hand to the Lord, asking Him to take and give what we needed. Sometimes I had to hold my hand down as my flesh wanted to hold tight to material things. I gave up our acreage, our farm animals, our house, our master bath (strange how you start seeing things differently when you ask God to take and give what you need from your open hand), green trees, green pastures, and so much more. It’s all His anyway. He allows us to share in the beauty and enjoy it along the way that He has us walking.
Work continued to pile on Steve and he was gone every month to New York, working weekends, working late nights, getting more fatigued, more bags under his eyes, looking worse than I had ever seen him. I was getting scared. Scared for his health. He said numerous times that he wasn’t going to make it another year at his work-they were literally sucking the life out of him. I prayed constantly and trusted that God would provide. A few days after the note-writing incident in church (Wednesday), Steve called me on his way home to say that he had talked with Dave. They were getting ready to make a man in Utah an offer for the position. I asked him if he thought Dave would still give the job to him if he said he wanted it. He said yes, he thought so. I asked him, “Do you want the job?” He said, “no”. I asked him 5 times and he answered “no” 5 times. Then he said we needed to get through our adoption. I told him we could be waiting 3 months or 2 years for a baby and that we could not predict that. He came home, ate the usual 9PM dinner (at least at this job currently, we eat more around this time these days if we want to eat together) and then we went to sit on the porch for 15 minutes to discuss the whole idea. After 15 minutes, he went to his truck, called Dave and told him he was still interested. Dave was thrilled! Steve said he seemed more thrilled about it than us. Steve came back in to the house and I asked if he talked to him. He said he did and that Dave was getting an offer out to him in the morning. I basically said, “okay, we’re going to Utah!” and we both went to bed. All this took place in 5 minutes time and we were both so content and at peace. The next morning, Steve looked like a new man. He had color in his cheeks, he was smiling, and he asked me if he had dreamed that he called Dave. 🙂 I have my husband back and our children have their Daddy back. He is alive again!
Then the current company that Steve works for began making counter-offers to keep us here. They offered a huge pay increase, a position change, almost all the money to pay for our baby’s adoption plus pay for our transportation costs to adopt the baby, stocks, bonuses, and a trip for us out to New York to be wined and dined to talk about this decision. The owner of the company actually called our home, asked what my name was and then talked to me for about 10 minutes. Where these offers were the past 2.5 years, we have no idea. I casually shared at lunch with our children that their Daddy had received a counter offer for us to stay in Indiana. The first time we thought we were moving, a few of them adamantly did not want to go. This time they all looked at me, thought for a moment and then this is what rolled out of their hearts- “No, I want Daddy to be home on the weekends.” “I want to see Daddy more” “I want Daddy to be healthy and not under so much stress” “Don’t take the offer. It’s just like Mr. Potter in It’s a Wonderful Life” “They’ll pile more work on Daddy after a few months”. Not one of our children wanted to stay. It was unanimous now, all of our family wanted to go. Even one of our daughters said she felt we belonged in Utah. Ironically, Steve was thinking of that same episode from It’s a Wonderful Life and played it for us when he came home that night. Later, we found out about the extra work that was going to be piled on Steve if he stayed here (doing the work of 12 people). We do not regret the decision to go. Only the Lord knows what is in store for us, but we have been called. We will obey.
Will we still adopt? You better believe it! If it’s the Lord’s will, then we will have a baby in our arms again. We have already been in contact with the adoption agency in Utah and started transfering our info. and paperwork. As soon as we have a house, then we will proceed with the home visit and be finalized in the homestudy. Are we going to use the money we’ve raised so far for the move? Well, we haven’t even raised half of what we have spent so far. But, yes, we have a separate account set up for our adoption fund and will continue to do fundraisers. We will continue to share with you all about our Walk of Faith.
When do we (the whole family) move to Utah? Just as soon as we have a house to go to. We would appreciate your prayers for safety in this long, big move and good health. Prayers for finding the right house for our family would be appreciated too. We are trusting the Lord will provide.
Will we come back to Indiana? Only God knows that answer. We as humans, will say that we will not be able to afford a trip back to visit for a long time. We will be over 1600 miles away and to bring a family of 8 (or more) back to Indiana just isn’t looking doable in our near future. We’d love to see you all again before we take off. Hint, hint..
Always remember that we are to love one another. We love you all! We will carry your memory with us where ever we go on this amazing earth that God created. We are off to another adventure that God has given us. We continue to be walking in faith.