Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Our Adoption: Love Is Not Efficient

"One of my many epiphanies was that love is not efficient. And I was very efficient."

This past summer our church read through the book A Praying Life by Paul Miller. We wanted to get better at being a church that prays and we chose that particular book because it was highly recommended by many trustworthy sources.

In the book, Miller is very transparent and presents his life in a most authentic way. He allows readers to learn from his own mistakes and sins. By the time we were finished with the book, we felt like we knew him.

Miller also wrote A Loving Life, which mostly follows the story line of Ruth as a basis for defining true, biblical love. In the promo video for the book (above), Miller talks about a time in his life when he intensely studied the gospels in order to understand love from the life of Christ. In reflecting on the sacrificial and relational attentiveness of Jesus, he had an epiphany: Love is not efficient.

When Melissa and I first heard those words we were both struck with conviction. You see, we're efficient people. If you know us you know this. We have schedules and spreadsheets and strategies. In fact, the first line in the About section of my LinkedIn profile states, "I'm passionate about quality and efficiency." (It was written when I still worked in sales; but it's still true.)

Miller's epiphany is our epiphany. Love -- true, godly love -- is not efficient. It can't be, because love is all about people and people are not machines. They can't be programmed to suit our needs.

We're tying this theme of inefficiency into our adoption as we're now raising funds for a matching grant. We created a shirt with the epiphany on it because of how much it means to us -- and how much it applies to the process of adoption.

Adopting a child is completely new to us. Neither one of us has ever experienced the adoption process firsthand. When we entered into this venture at the start of the year, we truly didn't know what we were getting ourselves into. It turns out it's a ton of work. Sadly, we live in a nation where murdering an unwanted child is much more efficient than offering a home to one. Love is not efficient.

We connected with a Utah-based adoption agency, went through the home study, saved lots of money, applied for various grants, and prayed oodles. There's lots of money that has to be spent in order to help a woman give birth to a healthy child and legally adopt him or her. Tens of thousands of dollars, to be candid. Love is not efficient.

What we're doing is putting our names out there through this adoption agency in hopes of providing a Christian home for a child who would otherwise not know one. We want to offer Jesus to those in dire situations who feel like they have no hope, and this is a life-changing way to do it. Finding them, connecting with them, and making this all official is comprised of many hurdles and lots of waiting. Love is not efficient.

So there's our story. New pages are being written each day and it's all very exciting. God has been so kind to us as He shapes us through this process.

At this moment, there's not much we can do other than to ask for your prayers and to consider helping us out with a matching grant. An organization called Lifesong has granted us up to $4,000  as a match to what we can raise. There are a couple of ways you could help, if God so leads you.

First, you could purchase one of the shirts. We get a little over 50% of what you pay. You can find them here: https://www.customink.com/fundraising/howardadoptionfund

If you'd rather just donate, you can do that through Lifesong directly by searching for our last name here: https://lifesong.org/give-adoptive-family/

Thanks for thinking of us as we follow God's direction in this way. Please remember the child and his mother in your prayers. We don't know their names or what they look like. But they're out there and we need to pray for them.

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