As for me, I know of nothing else but miracles. - Walt Whitman

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

One Less Orphan....Our Adoption Story, Part 3

*For Parts 1 and 2 of our story, click here (Part 1) and here (Part 2).

In one day, God had shown us clearly that we were supposed to adopt from Ethiopia. The next afternoon, Chris and I drove about 3 hours away to attend the funeral visitation of one of our friends. My mom watched the kids for us, so when we stopped by her house to drop them off, she gave Chris the new Andrea Boccelli Christmas CD so that we could listen to it on our trip. We talked about the adoption the entire way, and as we were listening to the CD, we heard, "One day I'll hear the laugh of children in a world where war has been banned. One day I'll see men of all colors sharing words of love and devotion. Stand up and feel the Holy Spirit, find the power of your faith, open your heart to those who need you.....Yes, I believe." The next song said, "Come together one and all, in the giving spirit. Gifts abound here great and small, joyously we feel it. Blessings sent us from above, guide us on our way. We raise our voice as we rejoice, bow our head and pray. A miracle has just begun. To the voices no one hears - we have come to find you. With your laughter and your tears, goodness, hope and virtue. Father, mother, daughter, son - each a treasure be. One candle's light dispells the night. Now our eyes can see, burning brighter than the sun. A miracle has just begun." Once again, we knew that God was speaking to us through the songs. That night when we got back, we talked to my parents and shared a little of our story.

The next morning, the verse “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” popped into my head.  I opened the Bible to the account of Jesus hanging on the cross, then my eyes fell on the opposite page.  “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” was written there in red lettering.
Then my mom called and said that she had prayed for us that morning before opening the Bible.  She opened to Job, but had a strong feeling that she was supposed to turn somewhere else. She flipped the pages and opened to Psalm 41: “Blessed is he that considereth the poor: The Lord will preserve him, and keep him alive; and he shall be blessed upon the earth: and thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies.”  Chris called me later in the day, and I told him what mom had said.  He said that he had read those very same verses that morning.  That night, Chris’s parents came to our house after church and we shared our story with them.

 My dad called me the next morning and told me that after we had told him of our decision to adopt, he prayed for us and then opened the Bible to somewhere in Daniel.  The verse his eyes fell on talked about the Ethiopians.  He said that he didn’t even know that Daniel mentioned anything about Ethiopia.  All that day I opened to various verses that convicted me, such as Proverbs 24:11-12, “If thou forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death, and those that are ready to be slain; If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? And he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it? And shall not he render to every man according to his works?” and Acts 7:3, “ Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and come into the land which I shall shew thee.”  But I was sort of discouraged all day. I had no idea how we would be able to afford an adoption, and was way too worried about what other people would think of us. Later that afternoon, I realized that I hadn’t checked my e-mail all day, and thought that maybe someone had sent me something that would make me feel better.  I opened up my account, and found an e-mail from my mom.  It was about a little boy who was poor and dirty, and got bad grades in school. His teacher found out from previous teachers that the boy had been a perfect student and was well-liked.  Then his mother had died and his dad didn’t really care about him anymore, and his life started to go downhill.   The teacher took the boy under her wing and tried to make him feel very important, even when the other kids made fun of him.  She turned his life around, and even though he went on to become a famous doctor, he never forgot the teacher who had cared enough to reach out to a hurting child.  The e-mail encouraged us to reach out to those who need help. It said, “Can you make a difference for someone today? Tomorrow? Just do it.”

I began to feel an urgency to filling out the paperwork and finding an adoption agency. After all, I felt that I had been shown so much in such a short period of time. Each day, I read verses that seemed fitting, such as “And the gospel must first be published among all nations” and “ And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them (is like the man that built his house on the rock)…But he that heareth and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth……and the ruin of that house was great.”

That Saturday we attended a funeral of a man that was an acquaintance of ours. As we were getting ready to go to the church, Chris pulled on his suit coat, then took something out of his pocket and handed it to me.  It was a World Relief pamphlet that said “Together we can make a difference” across the front.  It had pictures of black children on it, above the verses from Matthew 25, “I was an hungered and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.”  As we were leaving for church, I was cleaning out my purse and found a piece of paper with the same verses on it.  When the funeral service started, I thought to myself, “Maybe the minister will read the same verses out of Matthew 25.” Then I thought, “No. Why would he? This is a funeral after all.”  He opened the Bible and said, “I would like to start by reading from Matthew, chapter 25.”  He read the exact same verses, except he went into greater detail about them.  Again, I was very convicted.  I felt that we were supposed to move ahead, but I wanted it all to be in God’s timing.  I prayed that God would show us when we were supposed to go forward.  At one point, the minister said that when God says to do something, He doesn’t mean wait a little while and then do it. He means now.  He then proceeded to read the account of Nicodemus, and again I was reminded that God had adopted me as his daughter.  I thought, “Yeah, so there are risks with adopting a child. But what if God would have looked at me and said, ‘She’s way too risky. Just forget about her.’ Then where would I be?”

It seemed that Ethiopia was popping up everywhere. That night I opened the Bible to Jeremiah and read, "Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots?" Then next day, I saw a book about missions people who work there, and then saw an article in a newspaper insert about a family from Ethiopia.  That night after supper, we read from Amos, chapter 9: “Are ye not as children of the Ethiopians unto me….? saith the Lord.”

On Christmas morning, in church, I  prayed about the whole adoption thing, because I felt that I was ready to move forward, but Chris was not yet sure. I prayed that we would know God’s timing – if we were supposed to move ahead, that God would show us. If not, I prayed that God would keep it all fresh in our minds.  When it was time for the first reading, I opened my Bible to Isaiah 43 – “I have given Ethiopia and Seba for thee….I will call thy sons and daughters from the ends of the earth, etc.”  When it was time for the second reading, I opened the New Testament to the story in Acts about Philip and the Ethiopian.  “Well,” I thought, “obviously God is not going to let me forget about it!”

That night, Chris and I had a discussion about the whole timing issue.  He said that I needed to be patient with him because I had been shown to move forward, but he hadn’t.  We got into bed and he opened the Bible to the verse, “Suffer it to be so now, for it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness.” He closed the Bible and said, “OK, there’s my answer!”

We listened to a sermon  the following day, and the minister said that when God asks us to do something, we need to humbly follow.  It may seem impossible or scary, but He has gone before us and prepared the way.  He encouraged us to “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” He said that God would take us places we never dreamed we’d go. Even though it seems like there are huge obstacles in our way, God has already rolled away the stones in our path, just like He rolled away the stone from Christ’s grave.  That night, Malia brought a Bible story to be read at bedtime. It was about Christ’s baptism, and included the verse, “Suffer it to be so now.”

On Sunday, December 27,  Chris and I both found the sermon to be very powerful.  The preacher talked about how we may have something to do or think about in the next week. We may need to step outside of our comfort zones, but we need to follow what God is telling us and step out in faith.  When God says ‘go’, we need to go. He will prepare the way for us.  Sometimes what we do may not make sense to those around us, even family members, but we have to follow God rather than man.  We then sang a hymn, which said, “My praise and thanks I give to thee -  for through Thy grace Thou makest me - an heir by Thy adoption.”

We  told our families about our decision on January 2. While playing the Game of Life with our kids over New Year’s weekend, I landed on a space that said, “Help orphans in Africa – pay $40,000.00.”  On Sunday, January 3, the sermon was about helping the poor and fatherless.  At lunch, I sat by a friend of mine, and even though she had no clue what our plans were, she talked all about adoption and how she adopted an Ethiopian boy through a sponsorship program.  She is a teacher, and her school kids write letters back and forth to him.  She said that if she was married she would definitely consider adoption and admires those who do adopt.

As I look back, I realize how God was leading us every step of the way, even before we knew anything was going on.  We had decided earlier in the fall to remodel our laundry room and make it bigger.  At the last minute, after we had made arrangements for a crew to do the work and we had picked out paint samples and everything, we decided that we better save the money instead.  We figured that we could always put the project off just until Spring, and that there were probably people that needed the money worse than we did. I’m glad now that we waited.  Our laundry room is just fine for us, and we really need that extra money for the adoption.  Also, we had thought about taking the kids to Florida during Christmas break for their Christmas present.  I spent days online looking for all kinds of condos and resorts to stay at. Many had availability, but even though I e-mailed lots of the owners to set something up, nothing worked out.  I spent lots of time and got very frustrated, but we couldn’t find anything.  God shut the door, knowing that we needed to save the funds for a little Ethiopian child.  After we finally decided to go someplace closer to home, the various websites kept e-mailing me places that would accept us for our original dates. God certainly knows what He’s doing, and even though the adoption process can be a very long, difficult, and tiresome journey, I just trust Him to be there for us every step of the way. And somewhere out there is a little child who may not have enough food to eat or clothing to wear. Who might be lonely and scared. Who might be hugging his mother and wondering why she is crying all the time, not realizing that she is concerned for his future. Not knowing that she cannot provide the food and care he needs.  Not  knowing she is thinking of trying to find a better life for her precious son. Or he might be sitting in an orphanage, waiting for his forever family to come and take him home.  Wherever he is, I pray each day that God will wrap His arms around him and hold him close. I can’t wait to meet my child.


  1. You already know that I love your story, but it has been good to read it again. I have just been overwhelmed lately at how much God loves us - at how beautifully He leads us through every moment - at how patiently He answers our requests. Praise His name!

  2. LOVE YOUR STORY!!!! WOW!!!!!! :) Isn't it great that HE gives us so many truths, hints, and others to help us know HIS WILL :) AMAZING!!

  3. Thanks for sharing your story. Praying that God will continue to bless your family with peace as you wait for your little one. "Nothing is impossible with God."