“Above All Else”: An Adoption Story

By: Jenni Walker

“Above all else, I adore Your name; above all else, tune my heart to sing Your praise.”  (Come Thou Fount lyrics, Shane & Shane)

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.”  (2 Corinthians 4:7)

Note: The previous several posts tell the story of my journey toward motherhood by considering what it means to “sit at Jesus’ feet.”  If you haven’t read them yet, we encourage you to begin there.  This is the conclusion of that part of my testimony.  And yet, it is only the beginning…

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I longed to be a mother.  Over the last few weeks, I have shared about the journey the Lord led me on for that to become a reality.  Today, motherhood and adoption permeate my daily life, and they involve a beautiful purpose that the Lord has called me and my husband to.  We were chosen by Him to be our son’s parents, and what a holy calling that is! 

Yet, there is an even greater purpose the Holy Spirit reminded our hearts of near the beginning of our adoption journey that we have never forgotten…

One of Xander’s first early visits to our home was on a cold Sunday afternoon.  Bryan and I picked him up from foster care after church and brought him to our home for the day (which would become his home just over a month later!)  When nap time arrived, we were unsure if he would be comfortable yet napping in the pack-and-play in the guest room. 

We decided instead to take a “family drive” up the hill a few miles away to see if he would fall asleep for a bit in the car. We settled Xander into his rear-facing car seat, I buckled in next to him in the back seat, and Bryan turned on worship music as he started the car. Despite the cold, the sun shone cheerily overheard through the early spring trees, and all three of us quietly looked out the windows as Bryan drove us along the winding, hilly roads. 

After a few songs, Xander was still awake, but his eyes were getting heavy.  He drew his gaze from the window for a moment and looked at me with searching eyes.   I stroked his cheek gently.  He smiled in a way that I will never forget, leaned his face like a hug against my hand, and was asleep within moments.  

As Xander slept and Bryan continued to drive, the song “Come Thou Fount” from Shane and Shane’s Hymns Live album began to play.  God’s presence truly was palpable as I listened with my ears and heart to the following lyrics:

Here’s my heart

O take and seal it

Seal it for Thy courts above

Above all else

I adore Your name

Above all else

Tune my heart to sing Your praise

The highest praise

The highest praise

The name above every name

My eyes filled with tears of gratitude.  As Xander slept beside me in the back seat, Bryan looked back at me in the rearview mirror, and I could tell he felt the same way. The Lord had demonstrated His loving faithfulness so powerfully in bringing this little one into our lives. When we share the details of how the Lord made us a family, people can hardly help but be in awe of God’s handiwork.  (We did not realize until later that the Lord put adoption on our hearts right after Xander was born!)  What a beautiful, fulfilled promise and joyful calling! 

And yet…it was like the Lord was also reminding me in that moment not to lose sight of what I had learned so deeply these past several years: that HE, my Lord and God, was still my purpose above all else. 

Tears flow from my eyes and heart even now as I write this.  Sisters in Christ, at His feet is where we find our true purpose, identity, and satisfaction. I pray that this part of my testimony is used by the Lord to encourage your heart and to spur you on to say with unshakable purpose, “Above all else, I adore Your name; above all else, tune my heart to sing Your praise.”  May we each have a heart that is postured in wholehearted surrender, that processes ardently with the help of the Holy Spirit, and whose permeating purpose is full of the fragrance of Christ to the glory of God.  May we, like Mary, stay at His feet!

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My husband and I have learned a LOT about parenting once an adoption is finalized.  If you are reading this, and the Lord is tugging at your heart about becoming an adoptive parent, please don’t hesitate to message me (Jenni) using our contact page!  https://wholeheartedwoman.live/contact/