What's next?

come to the waters, you who thirst...
and you’ll thirst no more.
come to the Father, you who work
and you’ll work no more.
and all who labor in vain
and to the broken and shamed:

love is here.
love is now.
love is pouring from
His hands, from His brow.
love is near, it satisfies.
streams of mercy flowing from His side.
because love is here.

come to the treasure, you who search
and you’ll search no more.
come to the Lover you who want
and you’ll want no more...
~ Love is Here, Tenth Avenue North

Cancer is big stuff. It fills your life for a while. Eventually, it starts to fade into the background, a chronic source of loss and pain. Strangely, infusing your life with meaning and watering your life with new strength, even as the meaning and strength threaten to disappear in the dark pit of death's abyss. I have meaning and strength that transcend the grave, because Jesus did so...for me. Bought me. Filled me and made me whole, long before cancer. Now He proves it daily as I survive - and even thrive - all the ways that cancer has robbed me on this mortal coil.

The scan came in clean, and the question was: what's next, God? For what were you preparing me...us...this family? Aaron decided it for me, when He heard the whisper of God's still small voice during a random meeting at work, watching this video. We decided to start knocking on doors, and stepping through them, if they opened. And opened they have, at least all those we've knocked on so far. We are in the process of adoption. We hope to adopt through the state system for special needs children, and hope to become proud parents of an infant in the next year or so. Our fifth child. This one, we've picked, in some ways: we know we want to parent a child with Down syndrome...save a child like that from abortion, if we can. We don't know if our next baby will be a boy or a girl, what color skin he or she will have, where in the United States the baby will be born, or how old it will be when we bring it into our home. Nor do we know God's timing: we are praying to welcome a baby in late December 2009 or January 2010, which would allow the maximum amount of time between cancer scans.

I know you probably think I'm crazy. In my most human moments, I think we're crazy, too. But what you might not understand is that Aaron and I aren't doing this because we're strong, because we're amazing, because we're stupid, or naive, or unrealistic...or [fill in the blank]. We're doing this because we understand that we are the conduits of higher power, channels of an inexhaustible source of strength that can work through us, providing the courage, grace, wisdom and stamina necessary to undertake such a mission. God wants to save the lives of these precious children, and His glory will be evident through us as we submit to His plan for us. We pray that our lives, in the small details and big decisions like this one, fulfill the prayer of Paul in some small way...I pray that you, Thul family, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you, Thul family, may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! (Ephesians 3:17-21, names inserted)

Please take time to watch this video, made by my friend Kelly, whose courageous choices have helped open me to the possibility of this adoption, even before I knew I was being prepared for it.