JOSH + SUSAN FOWLER
Adventure seekers // 15 years of marriage
5 kids // 2 businesses // We like living life to the fullest
I can’t make quick decisions at a drive-thru. I am that person in line. I have to see the menu and quickly make calculations to see what the best item is based on price, amount of food, number of calories, and how much I desire that item. A few weeks ago I was at Starbucks and completely stressed trying to pick out a drink. As I was about to order I remembered that I had a free drink, so I could get a venti. And then that meant the drink I’d chosen had too many calories for me to drink a venti. Should I choose a different drink? Not get the venti? As I was calculating different options in my head, I saw there were now two cars behind me. I pulled around and went inside to order.
Y’all. That is a hot mess. And Josh would like me to note that this is Susan writing, and he has no problem making a quick decision at the drive thru.
All in all, these situations take less than 20 seconds, but it’s crazy that I can’t make a decision!
On the other hand, it took about the same amount of time for us to decide to adopt Zane. So why does it take me just as long to decide on a biscuit as it does to bring a child into our family forever?
Because this wasn’t the first time we’d talked about adoption, and we had been waiting and open to where God would lead us for our next child.
We first talked about adoption before we ever got married. Maybe it was while we were engaged, or maybe it was one of those late night phone calls the first week we met–I’m not really sure, but it was always in our ‘someday’ plan. He felt a strong pull to adopt from Mexico after visiting a Mexican orphanage. Over the next few years I worked with foster kids and felt a strong desire to adopt from the foster care system here in the US. In fact, last year I poked around to find out what happened to one of the kids I used to work with, thinking maybe, just maybe God still had her on my heart because I was supposed to adopt her. I couldn’t find her.
Our daughter turned four in January, which means people have been asking us for four years now when the next Fowler will arrive. Last year we met with a mentor and shared our concerns about having another child while running this business and Josh working full-time elsewhere. We knew that for us, we couldn’t keep all these balls in the air and add another child– even an easy going one! So we sat down and made some hard decisions, which led Josh to turning in his notice at his job, and six months ago we joined forces with both of us working at Fowler Studios full time.
Looking back, I pretty firmly believe that God was putting all this in place so our hearts and lives would be ready for Zane. It’s really hard to explain to people that you feel God is calling your husband away from his job as a worship leader at your church. I could tell people wanted to know the “real” story, but we just didn’t have anything more. We felt the call and the nudge and couldn’t turn away from it. And the best, ironic piece of it is that at just the right time, our church still needed a fill in worship leader, so Josh has been leading worship every Sunday that he’s been available for the last 6 months! God knows what we need at just the right time.
Over the past 12 years we’ve pulled a few guiding principles together for who we may adopt one day. It was a list in our heads of what we would choose in a perfect world. Adoption isn’t a perfect world, so we knew that any of these things we’d be willing to bend on for the right child. We knew that international probably wasn’t for us. Some friends adopted from China and it was a whole big thing and while we thought it was awesome for them, we were super glad it wasn’t our calling. 🙂 🙂 We also didn’t desire a baby. And we wanted a child that was more or less healthy. Someone who would one day leave the nest.
When I saw his picture, though, I knew. I was at Starbucks trying out a new marathon editing method I’d been working on. It worked, by the way. I edited this entire wedding, prepped the blog and everything in ONE day. It was insane! But I took a quick break and looked on Facebook and saw his sweet face. Then I sent this text to Josh in a flurry because I needed to get back to work. I had to look back in my computer iMessage archives to find that and I’m so glad I did! I didn’t remember exactly what I’d said to him. This was my way of saying, “Hey… can we adopt him?” In all the times I’d looked at orphan pictures, I’d never connected with one like Zane.
So when we sat down for dinner that night, it was a quick convo. Josh said, “Hey, that link you sent me…” We were both scared to say, “Yes, let’s do something so big.” We prayed about it and it was settled before the food had time to cool off. Then we looked at our daughter Hazel and thought oops, we probably should at least mentioned this to her. And right at that time she loudly announced that she wanted a little brother. We laughed. We were all in agreement. Later that night I felt God telling me that we weren’t just checking to see if he was available, this was our child. It was a crazy feeling, but we haven’t looked back since.
It’s wild to me that one day started as normal, but once I saw a glimpse of my son, everything changed. I didn’t even really know which country he lived in, but it didn’t matter. He was ours and we had to go get him. Once we saw him we had this huge responsibility to bring him home. Sometimes it’s overwhelming to think about, but mostly it’s really amazing. God has given us this incredible support system, we live close to a fabulous children’s hospital, and Fowler Studios has given us this amazing work schedule that can allow for a trip overseas or a Tuesday morning doctor appointment. We are blessed, and we are very, very thankful.