Tomatoes and an Elf Shoe

Oh, how we’re going to learn patience in the adoption process. I think that’s why I rejoice so much over the gargantuan size of my tomato plant.

My Huge Tomato Plant

It’s already enormous, after less than two months. Taller than me. My gut gets all aflutter when I see it. My peppers, on the other hand, have not been nearly as hardy. They haven’t grown much, and despite promising little bud-like things, I have only one pepper. It looks a little like an elf shoe.

Elf Shoe Pepper (Jalapeno)

So far, the adoption process has been like growing a pepper. We’ve got our homestudy date on the calendar, a little elf shoe, but there is still so, so much that needs to happen before we’re nuzzling a soft little noggin’ into that part of the neck that seems made to fit a baby’s head. I know at the homestudy we’ll be asked why we want to adopt. We’ll be asked again at the psychological exam, just another stepping stone to getting the dossier complete. For those not familiar with the terminology (we weren’t until recently) you have to have a homestudy to have a complete dossier, and you have to have a complete dossier to be matched with a child in Honduras. The dossier is the official pack of paperwork that we’ll send. Back to that question: Why do we want to adopt? Why do I want to adopt? Why are we willing to go through all this paperwork and waiting?

It’s not because my kids want a baby, though they do. Not because Clay wants a baby, though he does, too. I’ve heard some parents say their family just didn’t seem complete, they knew they were supposed to have another child. But that’s not really the right answer for me, either. The reason I want to adopt a baby is because the best thing I’ve done with my life is raise children. Better than writing books, running, reading, traveling around the world, and yes, even better than growing a tomato plant taller than me. Diapers, giant plastic toys, and lack of sleep are a small price to pay for laughter around a dinner table, reading a book to a child in bed at night, or spying on one of my kids lost in a world all their own. Sharing my home with a child opens my eyes to a world I would never have seen without them.

Our family is not incomplete right now. But it can become deeper and richer. Clay and I have the health, energy, and resources to raise another child. Most of all, we both feel called to it. The elusive “call,” that you can’t put your finger on, but you know. You feel. And as soon as you act on the call, you get confirmation. So-and-so has a friend in Honduras who works with orphanages. We were told this not one, not two, not three, but four times. Four separate, different contacts in Honduras, once we decided that’s where we wanted to adopt. And that’s just the beginning of the open doors.

Today I saw pictures of a family we know who is picking up their little boy in Rwanda. I felt like I was looking at someone else’s giant tomato plant, and all I had was a little elf shoe of an adoption process going. But I have to trust that eventually the call that planted this seed will continue to grow and grow until we’re picking up our baby. Something taller than ourselves is at work, overseeing the growth of the Davis family, and with his help, we will bear some beautiful fruit.

It's Growing . . .

Togas and Toenails

This week I had to learn to tie a toga, and cut our guinea pig, Mohawk’s, toenails. This seemed appropriate, as we forge ahead with paperwork, continuously stepping into the great unknown. I’d never tied a toga before, but I figured it out. Benji had a Greek and Roman Feast at school and he looked quite stately.

I never cut Mohawk’s toenails before, as evidenced by their gnarly appearance.

I was less successful in my clipping endeavors, and had to call a neighbor for help.

We finished a second big round of paperwork this week, and we’ll soon be contacted by a caseworker for our homestudy, the next benchmark on our road to our little girl. We’ve never done a homestudy before, never adopted a child before, but we’ll figure it out. We’ll probably call on neighbors for help. And family, and friends, and our church. And God for sure. Lots of praying going on around here. And toga-tying. And toenail-cutting. Life’s an adventure, and there are lots of stories to be told.