Bear one another’s burdens, and thus fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2
Standing tall at 1,454 feet the Empire State Building in New York took: 7,000,000 man hours to construct, a work-force of nearly 3,400 people, and 57,000 tons of steel to make it into the magnificent structure that stands today. I found an interesting picture above, that shows where everything started—on the ground floor.
It is truly amazing to see the task that can be completed with the help of so many. When you consider that there are roughly 8,750 hours in 1 year, it would have taken 1 man—working 7,000,000 man hours—nearly 800 years to complete the structure without the other 3,399 workers. I think about this task in comparison to the near 147 million orphans that are in the world, and the ginormous task that has been called from God to care for the widows and orphans of this world.
Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained by the world. James 1:27
One person solving the orphan crisis seems as impossible as 1 man building the Empire State Building alone, but the word impossible is not in God’s dictionary. As we began our adoption journey, like so many, the financial demands of an adoption certainly seemed impossible at the time. We took a step of faith, and, with Christ’s provisions, we stood back in amazement and watched in gratitude the hundreds of family and friends that participated in various fundraisers, made anonymous donations, and rallied to our support. With each major financial hurdle, God provided a way for our needs to be met. Blessed to be on the top of the siblings list, we move each day closer to our referral call and our next financial hurdle, faithfully trusting that He will provide when the timing is perfect. Our Lord has sheltered us in other areas of our lives by providing us hope and comfort on the nights that we cried each other to sleep, when we felt like the ability to wait on perfect timing seemed impossible and unattainable. During those times, God would always send a symbol of encouragement through a kind message, a card in the mail, or a blanket of prayer from our congregation. It almost seems surreal at times the level of detail that God provides and the ability to lift us out of the ashes of our darkest moments, when our prayers are sincere and faith filled.
Many people have blessed us, too many to count, and we will never be able to express the gratitude that we have for the support from family, friends, and even complete strangers. To know that your child is already prayed for, cared for, and adored before they are even held in your arms is an amazing feeling that can not be put into words. Last week we were surprised while on vacation at the shore by our family. They wrote and recited a poem, made us #1 Mommy & Daddy hats, and cut-outs of #1’s to celebrate our recent movement on the siblings list. Standing on the beach in total shock, we were overwhelmed by the feelings of love and encouragement how everyone is embracing our adoption. Much like the Empire State Building that today stands tall, it is easy to sometimes overlook the workers who helped construct such an amazing architectural structure. Each bolt that was welded into place, may have seemed a medial task at the time, but was so very important to the success of its construction. We are so blessed to have so many people “working” with us, supporting us, and loving us as we wait for that phone to ring!
More important than the workers and materials that help construct the building is the foundation that it is built upon. A perfect example of this is found in the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Although the Leaning Tower of Pisa was smaller in comparison to the Empire State Building (only 183 ft), for its time it was equally a great accomplishment. Taking over 177 years to construct from 1178, its foundation was laid in weak unstable soil which later proved to be its detriment and caused the tower to sink and lean 12 ft. out of vertical alignment. Overtime the tower has required deconstruction, counterweights, and was eventually closed to the public. This relates to the parable of the two men who built there homes on different soils, we can see how important a good foundation is to such a project.
Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. – Matthew 7:24–27
We have received so many words of encouragement over the past 20+ months, such as the recent blog post by our friend Jennie, in which she mentioned us being an inspiration to others. We feel so humbled by the prayers and it makes us feel so blessed to see that others view us as a strong and inspiring couple. It is only through Christ’s strength and our strong foundation in his word that we find the ability to approach each day with renewed perseverance. An adoption journey is one filled with many emotions, and I know that sometimes we offer a distorted view to others, who never see us on the days where we are at lost for words, moments of weakness where its hard to maintain faith, and feelings of frustration at the red tape and unnecessary bureaucracy. However,through Jesus, the steady rock of our salvation, we are able to find renewed hope and purpose for our journey and realize that we have taken this path for a reason. We are able to boldly proclaim the Lord as our stronghold.
The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my mountain where I seek refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.– Psalms 18:2
More important than the workers, and the foundation, is the architect. The one who has the plans for the building and instructs each of the workers on how to construct the perfect building. Without the architect, a building would be a pile of materials and thousands of people standing around without a purpose. During the pain of our infertility, it was at times difficult to see how such suffering would ever serve a purpose or lead to an area of great strength and fulfillment in our lives. Each step that we have taken in our adoption, which at times has felt blind in faith, has revealed itself in God’s amazing plans for our family. He continues to reveal to us his purpose and provide us encouragement to live accordingly to his will. In our human immaturity it is easy to get frustrated or prideful when His plans don’t include our plans. It is in humility that faith is grown to trust that all good and perfect things come through his hands and are meant to prosper you in life.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. – Jeremiah 29:11
Once the foundation is chosen on a steady surface, the workers team together to complete the task at hand, and the architect provides the direction and careful detail to the building, construction will finally be completed. For the Empire State Building, construction lasted a little over a year and half and finished ahead of schedule. Completed in 1972, the Empire State Building provides a iconic symbol in the night sky and employs over thousands of workers each day, making it the second largest office complex next to the Pentagon. Although its construction was completed in 1972 it requires daily maintenance to ensure smooth operation. Synonymous to our adoption, we look forward to introducing our child(ren) into our amazing group of family and friends who will be a valuable part of our their everyday life in building their faith and relationships. We look forward to accepting our future referral and completing our first of many adoptions as we work to build a family that might provide a symbolic example of making what seems impossible, possible, through the help of our family, friends, & almighty savior Jesus Christ.
For nothing is impossible with God. – Luke 1:37