I love children. The Lord has been exceedingly gracious to my wife and I in opening her womb seven times, and in each of those instances, having the great joy of seeing the child delivered with relatively few complications. By God’s grace, the question has not been, “Will we be able to get pregnant?”, but “What would be a good month to have the baby?”. Why God has opened April’s womb and not others, I don’t know. No one does. God works all things according to what we want. No. God works all things according to the fervency of our prayer. No. God works all things according to how hard we work to gain his favor. NO! God works all things according to the counsel of His will (Eph 1:11). In its context, Paul is speaking of salvation but he doesn’t write that God works salvation according to the counsel of His will – although that is true. He writes that He works ALL THINGS according to the counsel of His will. If God has not opened the womb, it is because He has not seen fit to do so.
As easy as it has been for us to get pregnant, the Lord has been pleased to complicate our attempts to adopt. April and I have what we would call “adoption infertility.” We have been considering adoption in one form or another since 1996 – our flesh was willing but financially it would have been irresponsible. It was only after the death of April’s grandmother that we were able to move forward from a financial standpoint. She graciously left us a sum of money that would pay for a little over half of the cost. Finally with cash in hand, we began to move forward. We settled on the country of Guatemala, seeking to adopt a baby girl that would complete our family and give Graceann the sister that we have always wanted her to have. We completed our paperwork and were placed on the waiting list in November 2007. Two weeks later, the country shut down all international adoptions. Through a course of frustrating events – seeking to change countries, change agencies, the economy and the eventual acquisition of my employer – we have had to put our desire on hold – once again.
As difficult as that has been, it in no way compares to what our dear friends have had to go through. They did all the paperwork gathering (includes having a home study completed, state background checks, FBI background checks, getting physicals for the entire family among other things), finding people to care for their five children and all that entails, traveling to eastern Europe – only to get there – spend three weeks in country and have God close the door at that point. Their desire was to put into practice what James calls pure and undefiled religion (James 1:27).
While the process that April and I have gone through would be some like losing a pregnancy in its first few weeks, what they have gone through is like carrying the baby to full-term and delivering him still-born. To be in the country, to hold the little one that you can adopt, to have the officials harden their hearts and not give you any viable options is beyond explanation. THIS is the mystery of God’s providence. If He can turn the hearts of kings wherever He wishes (Prov 21:1), surely He can move the heart of an adoption official. But He doesn’t and He didn’t. Why, I don’t know. Pursuing an adoption is a good thing. Wanting to see a little one who has no hope and no future brought from an impossible situation to a place where they will be loved and nurtured and brought up in the fear and admonition of the Lord is a good thing.
I don’t know why God closes the womb and I don’t know why God closes the door. Here is what I do know. God works all things according to the counsel of His will. And His will is perfect. If He has closed the womb and closed the door it is because He has been pleased to do so. The Lord opens and the Lord closes. The Lord gives and the Lord takes…Blessed be the name of the Lord!
The Lord is righteous in all His ways,
Gracious in all His works.
The Lord is near to all who call upon Him,
To all who call upon Him in truth.
He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him;
He also will hear their cry and save them.