From the beginning of their marriage, Ryan and Kim Aaron knew that God was calling them to adopt. After having two children biologically, they still felt the Lord’s call tugging at their hearts but they fought it. One Sunday, they heard David Platt preach from the book of James on the topic of orphans. At the end of the sermon, he issued a challenge to the whole church to sign up for foster care. The Aarons were not at a point in their life where they could either adopt or foster, but they knew that adoption was what the Lord was calling them to. They were done fighting, God won out.
God used the adoption process to instill some valuable lessons into the Aarons. Ryan was learning to put aside his own desires and learning that God had blessed their family not simply for them to have stuff. Rather, God had blessed their family so that they might bless others. Kim was, and says she still is, learning to trust God with her happiness. She, like many of us, knows that it is sometimes hard to say yes to the Lord’s call, but in the end you must surrender and let go because God knows you far better than you know yourself.
The adoption grant Reclaimed Project provided the family with went towards the four plane tickets to China and the five tickets returning. The two and a half weeks the Aarons spent in China were interesting to say the least. From Michael and Sydney, their two oldest children, both getting sick on two separate nights to numerous people wanting their pictures taken with Sydney, whose blonde hair and blue eyes stood out quite a bit in China, to spending Christmas Eve stuck in Shanghai due to a cancelled flight. Perhaps one of the most noticeable things were the stares, particularly from other mothers. Kim remembers a mother coming up to her and holding up three fingers, seemingly amazed by the fact that Kim had three children. Kim says that with three children she sometimes feels as though she is going crazy but this incident was a reminder of the blessing that it truly is.
When I asked the Aarons how they would define adoption their response was this: taking something that is not your own and calling it your own. Taking a child with no connections to you, no flesh and blood relation, and treating them as if they are biologically yours. Now that their family of four has become a family of five, things are a bit chaotic although they have recently begun to settle down. The bond developed between a child of adoption and their new family is not something that happens overnight. It is not as though you meet them and they have always been yours. They loved their daughter before they brought her home but their relationship with her has taken a lot of work. But over the months they have spent together, the Aarons have found their bond with Gabi steadily growing.
Waiting was hard. Ryan and Kim always had a nagging feeling that their family was not complete, but now that Gabi is with them they are filled with a sense of peace. Ryan said the feeling they felt was not a burden; it was not like your mom nagging you to take out the trash. Rather, it was a call. It was the Lord showing them what was required of them, what would help others, and what would make their family complete. They always felt the weight of the Lord’s call on their hearts, they knew it was what they were supposed to do. They say it has been great to see the Lord work through all of this and carry them through. The call was not easy, but God never calls us to easy. Just because the call is tough that does not mean that we should not follow it. The Aarons followed the Lord’s call and their family is better for it.