Posted by: Kara Luker | May 8, 2015

Holding things loosely

LukersFor as long as I can remember, I was going to adopt. Before I even understood the significance of our adoption into God’s family, it was just a very beautiful thing to me. I had Cole at 21 and wanted to have more of “my own,” but it was always a given that sooner or later, I would adopt. A baby or kid or maybe a few kids – I didn’t really know.

After many, many (many!) years of being single and raising Cole, God gifted me with my husband, John, and his daughter, Madison. We blended as a family quite miraculously and got pregnant with our little boy, Chase, almost immediately. We were a happy family with three wonderful kids. The question was whether to try for another. We talked and we prayed. Then I prayed and cried and wrestled my heart down. And prayed some more. It was clear. There was peace. We agreed to no more babies by my body, and then sealed the deal with surgery.

It was the right decision. But my heart didn’t feel done. There was this lingering longing. A sense that someone was missing from our family. With the pregnancy door closed, a husband who shared a heart for adoption, and several friends who had adopted through the foster system, the answer seemed obvious. When Cole shipped off to the Navy in October and left us with a free room, we applied to be foster parents, requesting a baby girl with the hopes of being able to eventually adopt. It would be hard, we knew – messy and maybe heartbreaking – but we agreed that we were willing to love and give freely whether it were longterm or not.

Speaking of messy, there was the issue of my past. It is a long-ago past. There have been 20 solid, fruitful years since then. But before those years, I was a broken, dysfunctional human being. The choices that resulted were not easy for a case worker to brush off. So what began with mere paperwork turned into long hours of interviews and follow-up interviews and counseling to make sure issues were dealt with… and a lot of space in between as my life and potential suitability as a foster parent were scrutinized. It was an emotionally grueling six months. Ironically, the denial we received in March wasn’t because of the craziness I had shared, but an event I had completely forgotten to share, added to the fact that this is John’s third marriage (and my second). Actually it wasn’t an outright denial; more of a “not yet.” We were told to wait another year or two to make sure I’ve dealt with the ‘forgotten’ event and when they have more confidence that our marriage is going to stick. They are protecting wounded kids. I get it.

It stung a little, but the Lord had prepared me. The intensity of the process pressed me into such relationship with Him that I walked away from it transformed; wanting His plans for us more than my own – even if it meant not getting what I have longed for. Because, really, if it’s not according to His way which is so much higher than my own, it won’t satisfy the longing. I’ve often latched onto specific expectations when God had far better timing or, sometimes, a completely different way of fulfilling a heart’s desire. He has never failed to execute each gift perfectly, imparting a piece of Himself in the giving – and always in the waiting. And it satisfies. Because He satisfies.

I can’t say the desire has evaporated but I’m holding it loosely. The case worker said we’d have better luck with another agency or we could try back with the same one in a year but honestly, neither option excites my heart. And since we don’t feel compelled to go through a private adoption agency at this point, I am left with a beautiful family for which I am deeply grateful… and a heart eager to be satisfied. In the right time and the right way. By the giver of every good and perfect gift.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:9


  1. Kara, as far as the East is from the West, that’s how far away those transgressions are that the Lord remembers no more. Hanging on to your dreams loosely is such a beautifully delicate way to cherish those gifts that the Lord has for you. Whatever He has planned for you will come to pass as long as you are walking closely to Him as you are. I love the gift He has given you to express your praises and insights. Thank you for blessing us with them. Love to you and your beautiful family. Melanie

    • Melanie, Yes and yes! Walking closely to Him really is the key in all of it. Everything is made right in that place. Thank you so much. Love back to you and yours. Kara

  2. It makes me sad that a child waiting for a forever home would miss being with you and your amazing family now. The social worker has no idea what great people and parents you are, but I guess that is due to the miraculous power of God. Without God’s healing power, I suppose the odds would be against a wounded person moving so quickly and completely from point A to point Z. I’m hoping to be hired as a “first year” teacher in Special Ed in August – – and I’m a bit older than the usual applicant – – but I like what my teacher told me – – “the children who need you will find you”. I pray that the children who need you and John (and Madison and Cole and Chase) will find you!

    • Thank you Julie! That is all so beautifully stated. It is true that outside of Jesus, wholeness is not the natural order of things! It has become my norm so I hadn’t thought too much about that. If it had been His plan for us though, I do believe we would have made it through the process – even with our flaws. I am thrilled about you teaching special ed. I know of no one with such a tender, gifted heart like yours. I pray that you land in just the right place to teach the kids God raised up your heart to bless.

  3. I love your heart Kara……..

    • Thank you sweet Pam

  4. […] seem like the biggest deal at the time because we were most certainly going to adopt. But that plan had gone sideways and I was left with a craving I couldn’t […]

  5. […] figure. So we started moving forward with the fostering process, which turned out to be a six month journey that stopped short of us being approved. We were given a yellow light and by the time we got the […]

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