Adoption: Our Story

For the past couple years, through various ways, God has been stirring our hearts and turning them towards adoption.  As God’s children, we have been “adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 1:5).  We know that the Bible is filled with commands to “look after widows and orphans in their distress” (James 1:27), as well as promises that God will be a “father to the fatherless” (Ps. 68:5). In Isaiah 1:17 God tells the Israelites He is unhappy with their outward sacrifices and that instead they are to “seek justice, encourage the oppressed.  Defend the cause of the fatherless and plead the case of the widow.”  Throughout scripture it is obvious that God has a heart for adoption, both in the figurative, as well as the literal sense. 
                About a year ago, I sat on my couch, tears streaming down my face, my heart completely broken by images of children no older than my own kids.  Children who had been orphaned....who longed to be tucked in at night....who wanted desperately to be told they matter to someone.  I knew God was calling us to make a difference in the lives of orphans...but how could I convince Charles?  Over the years, we had talked loosely about adoption, as many couples do, but had never taken it a step further.   The one thing Charles had always been adamant about however, was that he would never consider international adoption, especially when there were so many children in need here in America.  I couldn't shake the fact, however, that my heart longed for East Africa.  Oh, and did I mention that I was eight months pregnant with our fourth child??!??!!  Did God know what He was doing?   The timing seemed poor, but I began to pray Proverbs 21:1 over Charles.  "A king's heart is like streams of water in the Lord's hand: He directs it wherever He chooses."  I told God that if He wanted us to explore adoption, He would have to change Charles' heart.  I wasn't going to say a word!  Well, would you believe me if I told you that that very day Charles came home from work and said, "You'll never guess what I've been thinking about today." guessed it.  :)
            For the last year now, we have been praying how God could use us to “love the least of these” (Matthew 25:9).  As we have done so, our gaze has turned towards Ethiopia.  Ethiopia, a country in East Africa, no bigger than the size of Texas, has more orphans than any other country in the world.  Ravaged by disease, famine and internal conflicts, 82% of the population survives on less than $1 a day.  One in ten children will die before their first birthday, while only 1 in 6 will live to see age five.  Ethiopia has the highest HIV/AIDS population in the world, with a doctor to child ratio of 1 to 24,000.  60% of children in Ethiopia are stunted due to malnutrition, and only ¼ of the population has access to safe drinking water. 
            We are incredibly excited to see the adventure unfold, however, it is still a scary leap of faith!  More than anything, we covet your prayers.  As many of you know, adoption is extremely expensive and comes with a lot of "red tape".  It will likely be a long process of paperwork, home studies, case workers and fundraising.  We know that "the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective" (James 5:16) and that He is "able to do exceedingly beyond all we could ever ask or imagine in Christ Jesus" (Ephesians 3:20).   Please join us in praying that we would be able to raise our funds quickly and that we would have "favor with God and man" (Luke 2:52)!   


December 2010 - made the decision to adopt
                                 - filled out the pre-application online
                                 - began to plan our strategy
January 2011 - told our children and began to share with close friends and family

February 8th - mailed our application in
February 16th - application APPROVED!
February 28th - Orientation phonecall

April 12th - raised $10,000 so far; 1/3 of the way to our goal!!
July 1st - Homestudy approved!!!

August 1st - raised $17,000 so far; more than half way to our goal!!

September 1st - Dossier approved!  We are officially #97 on the wait list.

October 1st - #88 on the wait list

November 1st - #89 (ooops....we went UP one!); in other news though, we have raised $20,000 so far - 2/3rd's of the way to our goal!!!!

June 1st - #67 on the wait list

June 2012 - #53

June 22, 2012 - Charles loses his job.  We are granted a 3-month grace period to secure employment before our adoption is terminated.  We are frozen at #53. We are PRAYING!

September 16th, 2012 - Charles has a new job!!!  Home study update begins.

February 28th, 2013 - Home visit completes our update.  Waiting for re-approval and to return to the wait list.

March 2013 - Back on the wait list….

November 2014 - An email of a little boy from China named Lian Xing Cheng comes through.  We begin to pray about pursuing him.

December 2014 - We are officially accepted into the China program at AGCI and the process begins again.

January 2015 - We begin our home study and dossier…..again….this time for China.

May 2015 - Paperwork is finished and enroute to Washington D.C. for authentication.  

July 2015 - Paperwork is enroute to China!!  Awaiting log-in date.  Still have about $9,000 left to raise in travel expenses.