A few years after my youngest sister was born, I remember begging my parents to adopt. I campaigned and got the siblings on board and we hounded them for weeks and months. Fast forward a few years, sitting at college discussing future plans with my fiance, the subject came up again, and again a few years after that, and a few years after that. We researched, read books and even went to training sessions for local adoptions through the foster system. I began to dread every November, National Adoption Month, where I’d hear stories that tugged on the heartstrings every time I turned on the radio. Tom would hear the same stories, or read books, but our heartstrings were never tugged on at the same time. When one was ready, the other was not quite ready yet. So, we waited, and during that time God grew us and stretched us and taught us a lot about him and a lot about ourselves.
Fast forward to December 1, 2018, a video of an orphan boy in China popped up on my news feed. Immediately I felt this boy could be mine. The problem? He is 13 years old and ages out in July of 2019, meaning he is no longer adoptable after that point. We had never even discussed the possibility of an older child adoption. It’s nothing that had even crossed my mind, but I felt this was the child God had been preparing us for. I mentioned it to the family, something they were used to me doing, even showed pictures. Tom didn’t say much, so I began to think that, once again, that tugging had not managed to hit us at the same time. I talked about it for the next two days, then decided to stop. I felt this is what God wanted, but I didn’t want to just talk Tom into it. It needed to be a calling for us both. I decided to stay quiet, and as most of you know that’s HARD for me. I began to pray. I prayed that if this was something we were suppose to do that Tom would bring it back up to me. A couple of days later he did. If you know Tom, you know he doesn’t talk as much as I do, but when he speaks, he’s full of surprising information. He told me he’d actually seen the video days before I had, and it had been on his heart too. We spent the next few days (and nights) praying fervently that this wouldn’t be something we pursued because we felt sorry for this child, but that it would be God’s choice for our family. We talked with our kids. We prayed for God to open doors and we prayed for him to close doors. He began to open them in amazing ways. We inquired about this boy through a contact we had in China. We wanted to make sure he still wanted to be adopted before we started the process. He did. We put in our application and what normally takes a week took three hours to approve. We began the home study process. That usually takes two months, they called me on a Monday and we had our first home visit two days later. Five weeks later it was completed.
We continue to pray for God to open doors and for God to close doors as He wills. We still don’t want to do this on our own, but so far the doors have been opened and we are charging through. Many of you know we were blessed to be able to flip a house early last year. Part of that has provided the seed money needed to fund this adoption. Adoptions from China run about $30,000 with agency fees, immigration, paperwork needing to be authenticated and travel, which is a required two week stay in country. We need to raise about $20,000 to finish this and bring him home before July. As of mid-January, our son is staying with our contact in China (another God thing). He is learning how families interact, practicing his English, and has begun the grieving process of leaving his orphanage family. Would you pray for him?
This transition will not be easy, yet we are confident that we are bringing him home to a family and community like he has never experienced before. We can’t wait to introduce our family and friends to him. We do not believe everyone is called to adopt, but we are all instructed to care for the orphans and the widows. If you would like to be a part of putting the pieces of this adoption story together, we have a great way to help commemorate that. (Stay tuned, we are going to include widow care in this process too!) For now, we have a 500-piece puzzle that we want you to help us with. We aren’t going to reveal the cover image until it’s all put together though! If you donate $20, or more, we will put your name on a piece of the puzzle so when our son arrives he will be able to see all the names of those who helped to bring him to his forever home. As he meets you and gets to know who you are over the next months and years our hope is that he will see just how much he was wanted and loved, before we even knew him. Does that sound familiar? Our adoption story cannot be told without the greatest adoption story ever being told. He loved us before before the foundations of the world were formed. There was nothing lovely about us when Christ came and died on the cross in order to give you and I the gift of eternal life.
If you are reading this story and want to know more, our desire is to introduce you to our Heavenly Father and how you can be adopted into His family. Thanks for taking the time to read our story. We are so very blessed and look forward to seeing what God does in the weeks, months and years ahead. This is HIS story, and we stand in awe that he allows us to be a part of it.