Are you enjoying the suspense yet?! 🙂
Let’s keep going. I bet I know what happens! 😉
As you’ve already read, the last 3 weeks have been insanely emotional for us, much more suspense-filled than your life while you wait for the next part of the story to go up. 😉
Why all the emotional turmoil?
Well, let us review: Why did we halt our adoption?
The simplest answer is because we cannot afford to pursue adoption and surrogacy at once.
*For more on why we before 3 weeks ago we never dreamed surrogacy would be an option, and how we were both finally at peace with moving forward with our adoption plans, please see Part 1.
*For more on the Facebook message I received 3 weeks ago from practically a perfect stranger that would rock anyone’s world, please see Part 2.
Moving on – again.
You are probably wondering, “What does one do after reading such an astonishing message?”
That’s easy. They do what all Godly people do!
They get into a fight about it with their spouse right before church, of course!
I don’t remember all the details of the “fight.” I only use that term because that’s how most people would classify a heated discussion had in loud tones which ends in the two participants not speaking with each other. Around here, we just call that a disagreement. John and I are both not afraid to disagree with each other and let the other know that we do. We aren’t under the false impression that you have to always agree with your spouse to truly love your spouse. Though our disagreements usually don’t end with us not speaking (especially right before church) like that Sunday morning, I never said we were perfect. I can’t give you the play-by-play of our sparring, but I do remember that the fight/disagreement began with my husband’s initial response after we finished breakfast and I handed over the phone and he read what I had just read moments earlier.
Here are some highlights of what happened next in our bedroom:
“What are you thinking?” – Amber
“It’s not like we could afford it, anyway.” – John
“Who sends messages like this?! Don’t you think we should maybe look into this a bit? Who does this, Babe?! She’s either psychotic, or the only other conclusion is she’s sent by God for some reason or another.” – Amber
“We don’t have that kind of money. I don’t know what you want me to do; it is what it is. We have what we have, and it certainly isn’t enough to cover some huge surrogacy bill. We will barely be able to pay for adoption. We can’t go into huge debt pursuing a family. God isn’t going to be honored in that, you know.” – John
“You know what I know? You don’t know what you want. Someone we don’t even know may be offering, because God told them to, to have our biological child, which supposedly you want so much, and it automatically comes back to money. It’s always about money with you.” – Amber
“Of course I want biological children with you, but we have already made up our minds. Trying to have kids of our own isn’t safe, and we don’t have $50,000 or more [what he believed at the time it’d at least cost, even if we found the “right” type of person] to hire some surrogate. We’re adopting. That’s what we’ve been working through, and saving toward, for all these years; that’s what we’re doing.” – John
“Are you even going to ask me what I want to do? Of course not. You never do.” – Amber
In John’s defense, he did try to reconcile with me quickly.
He’s a great husband and loves me deeply.
I never doubt that, even when things get a bit heated. Though I reacted emotionally at the time, I also knew that his knee-jerk reaction to bring up the financial aspect of things was just a defense mechanism; the man cared about what was going on a ton more than his words would have me believe, than he even knew at the time.
After I stormed off, he gave me a little while to cool down and then came into the bathroom where I was getting ready and apologized for thinking of the financial aspect of things first. Admittedly, if he’s not careful, John tends to think through the lens of “dollars and cents” more so than “faith and opportunity.”
His desire to be a wise steward of the financial resources he’s been given is a huge strength, don’t get me wrong. When that desire turns into not wanting to just steward our money but a desire to control it, instead of having faith and ultimately trusting the Provider of said resources, a huge strength can easily turn into a huge weakness. There’s a Godly balance, one that is not always easy for him to find.
If you know John, he’s extremely frugal. I would have called myself thrifty before I got married, but marrying John has just taken my frugality to a whole new level; the man means business. He hates waste. He hates loans; he doesn’t believe in being the slave to the lender, unless you have absolutely no choice, or can afford the item but need to build credit, and then for only as long as needed. You work hard, tithe, save hard and ultimately buy only what you can afford – nothing more, no excuses. We have a major credit card, but it’s only because we make money through paying off our balance every month and getting cash back. You don’t make impulse buys. You do your research before each purchase. You know the grocery’s sales cycle. You cut your coupons. You live on a budget. You put your savings in a high-interest account. You acknowledge the financial blessings you’ve been given without any work of your own, but you also do your part to stretch that blessing as far as you can.
Living below your means is a lifestyle we will never leave, and I’m proud of that fact. Though I jokingly laugh at how intense he can be about it, I don’t begrudge my husband for wanting to be a good steward with what God has given us. We have been scraping up every penny we can since we got married a little over three years ago to be able to pay for the adoption we knew we would be pursuing one day.
With a price tag of $20K (at least) for adoption, on top of buying (and recently strategically re-financing into a loan limit of only 15 instead of 30 years) a home, updating/repairing said home (home ownership isn’t cheap), paying off a student loan, paying off one vehicle and recently purchasing another from my in-laws, and continuing to pay back law school debt (is it over yet?), all while I’ve never made more than $15,000 a year, let’s just say saving for that hasn’t been for the faint of heart.
But, as I reminded John later that afternoon after church and after I’d cooled down, the abundant life Jesus calls us to isn’t for the faint of heart, no matter what your financial situation. The abundant life is a life defined by blind faith, strict obedience, and many times, immeasurable courage — no matter your circumstances.
As we talked on the bed that day, courage is just what we realized we were going to need. As we had hundreds of times before, we prayed together for our unborn children. We cried out to the Author of our Story, the One who has penned it all before the foundation of time and therefore already knows the ending and is more than willing to direct our path.
We begged the Lord for wisdom and for His will, no matter what.
In the process, our defenses slowly faded, the shocking reality of what may very well be going on around us sunk in, we felt more united (yet overwhelmed) than ever, and the tears for both of us (of all types) began. Oh, the many, many tears.
*The emotional Part 4 to come! It’ll cover 2 weeks worth of time, so things will start really speeding up. Please remember I’m documenting all of this not just for you but, more importantly, for us and our children to honor the Lord’s faithfulness to their parents. Please have patience as I sort through everything that has transpired; as you can tell, there has been a lot going on. Keep reading! It’ll be worth it, I promise. 🙂