Worn and outdated, save for a newer paint job and updated hardware, my 50-year-old kitchen cabinets and countertops have seen better days.
About six years ago, my husband and I looked around this outdated kitchen and asked ourselves what we should choose.
Should we follow the prompting from God to adopt children from Haiti and in so doing pour all of our extra resources into adoption expenses for the next several years?
Or, should we invest our extra resources into a kitchen remodel?
As my eyes surveyed the kitchen, I took in the worn cabinets (some which held piles of baking soda to mask smells left by mice in years past), a silverware drawer that was limping to serve us after years of repeated use, and countertops speckled with a 1968 green and gold pattern.
Though no longer in their prime, these cabinets and counters had faithfully stored dishes and food and supported 50 years of breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. I knew that meals served from this kitchen were continuing to warm hearts and fill tummies in my family.
I also knew that in many places in the world, my outdated kitchen would be considered a luxury.
So I decided to pose a question to my future self . . .
“When I am old, sitting in a rocker on my front porch and reflecting on the years of my life . . . will I delight in remembering the kitchen remodel or will I delight in remembering the day we brought children into our family through adoption?”
The answer was clear and so we decided to pour our extra resources into adoption at the point in time in which God was leading us to do so.
2.5 years later—30 months into the grueling process of international adoption, we flew to Haiti to meet two little boys who had been matched with our family. Years prior to knowing their names and seeing their sweet, little faces, we had been laboring intensely for these boys through prayer and with a love God had placed in our hearts.
And it was all worth it in that moment we laid eyes on our soon-to-be sons. We wrapped them into our arms, weeping for joy.
Kitchen or adoption?
There is no doubt that the decision to adopt has led to the greatest transformation and blessing in our lives and in the lives of two little boys who were in desperate need of a family.
I hold out hope that one day it will be the right day for our kitchen remodel.
But in the meantime, when I find myself grumbling about my weary cabinets and not-so-beautiful countertops, I look at my three healthy sons and my discontent quickly turns to praise.
“Thank you Jesus, for allowing our family to step into the world of adoption.”
“Thank you, Lord, for this kitchen that functions in such a way that I can serve nourishing meals to my family.”
“Thank you for the memories that—Lord willing—I will one day reflect on as I sit in a rocker on my front porch, holding grandbabies with beautiful brown skin and grandbabies with beautiful light skin. I will smile with joy and praise you, Jesus, for that point in time in which you led us to choose adoption over a new kitchen.”
If you are interested in learning more about our adoption story, my husband details our journey in this book—telling how God called us to adopt, our experiences throughout the long and challenging process, and all of the ways in which God miraculously provided and paved the way for the adoption of our two boys.