We met 11 ½ years ago on a mission trip to Mexico, and it was there, working with orphanages and loving on children that I (Jodi) saw Brian’s heart. I do not think that was coincidence…it was God leading us to this time and this moment. As a couple, we have been active in other trips to care for orphans. We’ve led 2 trips to China and 3 to Guatemala and each time we would discuss the possibility of adding to our family through adoption.
It was after the premature birth of our second son, Levi, that we began to explore possibilities of adoption. As I was doing research and reading and educating myself, God opened my heart wide open to adoption. There are so many orphans who may never know the love of a family…and here we were, with plenty of room (by the world’s standard) and willing to grow our family and open our hearts to give a child an imperfect chance to experience God’s beautiful institution of family. However, God had other plans and 20 months later, our third child, Isaac was born.
It was not long after the birth of Isaac that I began to pray fervently whether God would lead us to adopt our fourth (or fifth, or sixth…) child. I committed my heart to prayer and promised myself that I would wait until God led Brian to the same conclusion. So I remained silent…and prayed. It was in Guatemala on a trip to Village of Hope with members from Brian’s football team that my prayer was clearly answered. Midway through the week, I walked into the dining room while Brian was reading his Bible and he looked up and simply said, “I’m ready. When we get home, let’s see what we need to do.”
So in January of 2014 we began the journey of adoption. Many of you are familiar with our story. This journey has not been easy or smooth. In December of 2015 our placing agency closed and we were forced to find a new agency. In June of 2016 we were matched with a beautiful baby girl…and a day later moved our family to Maryland where we had to transition to another home study agency. In April of 2017 Ethiopia placed a suspension on all international adoptions. Slowly we began to see movement again and in June 2017 we received the much anticipated approval letter from the Ethiopian government. We were simply waiting for a court date to travel and complete this adoption. Then, in September 2017 our agency closed AGAIN. This was quite unexpected and honestly a bit challenging to navigate. Therefore, we have now transitioned to yet another agency and are waiting for transfer paper work to go through the proper channels in order to officially bring her into our home.
Until September, we believed we were financially prepared to complete our adoption and bring our little girl home. However, this latest change of agency has added an additional amount of $11,000 that we were not expecting. But in God’s beautiful timing and His perfect grace He has provided a matching grant of $2,000 from Lifesong for Orphans. Every dollar will be matched up to $2,000 AND every gift will be tax deductible!
We know God’s got this. Throughout this process we have continued to believe 2 things. 1) God is good. 2) God is in control. This doesn’t mean things go perfectly and turn out exactly as we desire but we are confident that if he calls and tugs and leads, then He will EQUIP. It isn’t up to us to determine an outcome. Maybe it’s not about us at all. Maybe this isn’t about what the world says makes sense. Maybe…this is about HIM. We’re not all called to adopt. But we are all called to care for orphans and we all can do something.
We are excited to lean fully on Him...willing to press deeply into Him. All…all of it…for His Glory.
Brian, Jodi and Family
STRIPE charges an online processing fee (2.2% +.30 USD per transaction). Your donations will be decreased by this amount. You may also send a check payable to “Lifesong for Orphans”. In the memo line please write “Fish 7365”, to ensure it is credited to our account. Please mail to Lifesong for Orphans, PO Box 40, Gridley, IL 61744.
Lifesong has been blessed with partners who underwrite all U.S. administrative and fundraising costs (TMG Foundation and other partners). That means 100% of your donation will go directly to the adoption.
- In following IRS guidelines, your donation is to Lifesong for Orphans. This organization retains full discretion over its use, but intends to honor the donor’s suggested use.
- Lifesong is a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization. Individual donations of $50 or more and yearly donations totaling $250 or more will receive a tax-deductible receipt. Receipts for donations under $50 will gladly be sent upon request.