Two weeks ago, a beautiful gal walked into an adoption agency and said she wanted to place her two-week old baby with an adoptive family; and by an adoptive family, I mean she requested us.  By name—and, I’m assuming, an accompanied description of me as the loud girl with big hair. She’d never met us, but she’d heard about us.  She’s a dancer in a club in Waco who loves her kid.  She's brave as all get out-- she wants something for her son that she’s currently not able to give. We’d removed ourselves from the adoption process after a disrupted adoption in early December.  We were heartbroken and jaded and had finally come to peace with our completed family.

The call caught us by surprise—only because the birth mom requested us by name.  The details of the baby’s little life were daunting: drug exposure and a mass on his liver for which he was currently undergoing chemo.  He needs major surgery.  His health remains a frightening unknown.

I love holding that sweet baby.  He is incredible—formed, loved and full of purpose.  But who knows what can happen from here?  We’ve counted the significant risks.  We already have a child with medical special needs.  What will this mean for our future?

He is the most amazing boy I’ve ever seen.  I’ve been visiting every other day, driving the 6-hour round trip to his hospital and back as often as I can.  Yesterday, Ellia, Olive and I visited him in the NICU to celebrate his one-month birthday.  We navigated cords, an IV and blood transfusions to hold his little body and remind him of the depth of love the world already has for him.

Adopting a child out of mercy alone will never be enough.  Pity isn’t a good reason to change the course of my life.  But neither is a naïve sense of adventure.

But loving this baby sums up my place in the world—the willingness to love despite the risks.  A willingness to roll up my sleeves and pour out the same grace that’s been poured into me.  To boldly walk with my family on the journey marked for us.

Am I afraid of being devastated by his health risks and unknown prognosis?  Am I afraid I will have two children with life-threatening conditions?  Am I afraid this boy will struggle with behavioral development because of what he’s already been through?


I’m also afraid of my girls becoming teenagers.  I’m afraid I won’t do everything perfectly.  I’m afraid my kids will be in therapy because I dance and sing in public and make jokes they don’t get.

And I’ve figured out that fear is a terrible reason not to live.

How often do we limit ourselves out of a fear of the messy and unpredictable?

What do we miss because we’re afraid of being disappointed or inconvenienced?

The call to discipleship is a call to live—today—the life that’s right in front of us.

And if it’s not about mercy or adventure, then maybe it’s about adhering to the faithful voice of God.  Huge decisions beg for direction that’s bigger than a pros and cons list.  Don’t avoid the radical, but do wait on God’s guidance.  Ultimately, despite the risks, all that matters is whether or not this is what God is asking us to do.  And if the spirit of God brings confirmation, then by all means, jump out of that plane.

We only have these few years on earth to love a broken world.  And it may be that we’re called in radical ways to get over ourselves and hug this place without letting go.

And it’s hard to do that if my fears are the loudest voices my soul hears.

God whispers, “Live.  Live. Live.”

You don’t have to get over your fears to fly—but you do have to recognize you’re more than what you’re afraid of.

Wake up and embrace a dangerous path, because we know who we are and we know the One who gives strength.

Climb mountains without fearing the altitude.

Jump even if you pee your pants on the way down.

Breathe despite the pollution.

Live each day pouring out the grace that fills your lungs.

And please pray for the Gibsons as we eagerly await God's confirmation to bring home our son.