As we sat in that tent and a stream of students came up to the mic to declare their personal "What if's" (and, wow, were there some powerful ones), I got a text from Janelle, who was sitting in the tent, that pretty much confirmed what I already knew God was leading us toward...
To back up a little, I had been wrestling with the personal application of the challenge all day. There was nothing specific jumping out at me. I've had some amazing opportunities to live out the call to SEEK JUSTICE with all three groups (oppressed, orphan, widow) mentioned in Isaiah 1:17. Janelle and I daily look into the eyes of two amazing kids who remind us why it is worth "taking up the cause of the orphan." In fact, as I meditated on the scripture and asked the Lord where he was leading me, I jokingly said, "God, I think I'm pretty much up to my neck when it comes to that!" Janelle and my conversations had us to the point where we felt our family was "complete" (aka... "I'm not sure we can handle another one.") So, my mind jumped to the other categories. In what specific and radical way was God calling me to help the oppressed or fight for the rights of the widow. And as I prayed and sought the Lord... nothing.
Back to the text from Janelle in the middle of that tent with 250 of my HSM friends. I look down at my screen and read the words Janelle wrote and knew the reason I was being met with silence was because I had been focusing on the wrong category.
Janelle's text: "What if we adopt again?"
I snuck away from the front of the tent and we talked and prayed. The same stirring was there with me but our recent conversations had led so far from that thought that. We were so done with diapers. The shift from 1 to 3 kids in under a year nearly killed us (and I'm almost talking litterally). I was ready to get my kids in school and get my Thursdays (day off) back to myself.
I think I was dismissing the initial thoughts of another adoption as hype or maybe (more likely) I was afraid. Either way, we prayed returned from camp committed to continued prayer and starting the exploratory process. Through a series of events and conversations, God has made it clear... there's a fourth miracle story to be told with the Prenkert family.
We are pursuing a newborn domestic adoption.
Yup, we know it sounds crazy, but God has made it so clear that we'll accept the crazy that it is. Here's some basic info we feel comfortable sharing at this point.
- We are working with a group based in California who has connections with adoption agencies all over the continental U.S. This baby may be born in Indiana, Michigan, Texas, Mississippi, California, or 40 other potential states.
- We've been given a timeline of 4-13 month from beginning the process to bringing a child home. We are approximately a month into that process at this point.
- The baby will share the same skin color as his/her big brother (something Moses is incredibly excited about).
- We are very excited, but it is a different kind of excitement than that of our previous 3 kids. The only way I can explain it is (and I'm not convinced it's the perfect way to explain it) it's a much less selfish excitement than with the adoption of Katylynn and Moses and the birth of Keiralee.
- The costs are substantial and do involve a step of faith. God has always proven faithful, and we are trusting he will continue to provide as we steward wisely and take sacrificial and creative steps. At some point in the near future we will begin to roll some opportunities for those who desire to partner financially with us in the journey.
- We told the kids the news about a month ago. They are "in."
Kiki - She's pumped and won't shut up about it. She's told far too many people that she was not supposed to, "We're adoteeing a baby brudder or seester."
Moses - As mentioned, he's ecstatic. Maybe my greatest highlight in this entire process was the night we told the kids over a family dinner. The initial excitement had worn off and we were on to other points of conversation. I looked at Moses and he was just sitting there, staring out the window with bright eyes and a smirk. I asked him what was up and he just said... "Awesome!" Right on buddy. Awesome.
Katylynn - Upon hearing the news, she did her patented fist pump while yelling three times, "YES! YES! YES!" Last week, she helped us prep a prayer room that we've set up at NMC in correlation with a current series on prayer. In the room there is a spot for kids where you can draw something you're praying for. This was my daughter's drawing: