He’s With Us: The Lane Family Adoption Story

Jennifer Lane
Jennifer Lane Amarillo, Texas

In January of this 2013, my husband James left for his third mission trip to Africa.  That trip James was going to camp out at an orphanage in Juba, South Sudan.  The night before he left, he turned to me and asked, “What if I sneak one of those little guys home in my suitcase?”  God used that little joke to begin to stir rumblings on adoption inside my heart.  James spent almost two weeks in Africa, and he arrived home late Saturday night, just in time to have a few hours of sleep and get up and have church with City Church Sunday morning.  As the invitation portion of the service came, I had a clear calling from God.  This calling to adopt a little boy from Africa was so clear, I wanted to rush the stage and share my new command with the whole congregation.  I held myself back because something told me I might want to discuss adopting a child from another country with my husband first.  After church, I was surprised to find that I was afraid to talk to James about my calling.  I was afraid it would be my idea or something I was pushing him into.  I hoped that God knew this marriage had two people in it and that He had already talked to James for me.  When I finally got up the courage to tell James, the words out of his mouth were, “I already knew that.  I knew that before I even left for Africa.”  Turns out, I was the last to know.  

We knew of a family who had adopted a daughter from Ethiopia.  We made arrangements to talk with that family about their experience.  After talking with that family, we applied to join the first agency’s Ethiopia program in March.  It took about 10 months to complete our home study and dossier.  January of 2014, our dossier was sent to Ethiopia.  The summer of 2014, I traveled to Ethiopia and ministered at orphanages in Addis Ababa.  The next summer James and I both traveled on the orphan care mission trip.  And this last summer, our oldest daughter Lucy and I went on the summer orphan care trip.  These trips have really helped prepare our family to understand the African culture and orphanage life that our son will come from.

Coming home from visiting family for Thanksgiving this year, I got a text from an adoptive mom that I had met on that first mission trip.  She said that I should really look at a different adoption agency’s website.  I looked at their waiting child list, and 4 & 1/2 “A”’s little face was the first one I saw.  We immediately emailed to ask if he was still waiting for a family.  It took about a week to find out that he was still waiting.  We prayed about pursuing adopting “A”.  It would mean changing agencies and paying agency fees that had already been paid.  Even though we knew it would not be easy, we both knew God wanted us to do it.  (Please read our update about this.)

Even though the path from our calling to adoption and now has been long, I know God has been with us every step of the way!

I am so thankful that God gave us this calling.  All of the waiting, trusting Him, and opportunities to participate in orphan care have changed our hearts and lives forever.  We have made dear friends on this path, and our whole family is anxious to love our little boy in person.  I’m anxiously awaiting the day when we will have our little guy in his forever home here, in Amarillo, with us.


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 “Lane 6674”, 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.
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Raised to date by 21 people
 of  $20,950
135 days left

My Story

In January of this 2013, my husband James left for his third mission trip to Africa.  That trip James was going to camp out at an orphanage in Juba, South Sudan.  The night before he left, he turned to me and asked, “What if I sneak one of those little guys home in my suitcase?”  God used that little joke to begin to stir rumblings on adoption inside my heart.  James spent almost two weeks in Africa, and he arrived home late Saturday night, just in time to have a few hours of sleep and get up and have church with City Church Sunday morning.  As the invitation portion of the service came, I had a clear calling from God.  This calling to adopt a little boy from Africa was so clear, I wanted to rush the stage and share my new command with the whole congregation.  I held myself back because something told me I might want to discuss adopting a child from another country with my husband first.  After church, I was surprised to find that I was afraid to talk to James about my calling.  I was afraid it would be my idea or something I was pushing him into.  I hoped that God knew this marriage had two people in it and that He had already talked to James for me.  When I finally got up the courage to tell James, the words out of his mouth were, “I already knew that.  I knew that before I even left for Africa.”  Turns out, I was the last to know.  

We knew of a family who had adopted a daughter from Ethiopia.  We made arrangements to talk with that family about their experience.  After talking with that family, we applied to join the first agency’s Ethiopia program in March.  It took about 10 months to complete our home study and dossier.  January of 2014, our dossier was sent to Ethiopia.  The summer of 2014, I traveled to Ethiopia and ministered at orphanages in Addis Ababa.  The next summer James and I both traveled on the orphan care mission trip.  And this last summer, our oldest daughter Lucy and I went on the summer orphan care trip.  These trips have really helped prepare our family to understand the African culture and orphanage life that our son will come from.

Coming home from visiting family for Thanksgiving this year, I got a text from an adoptive mom that I had met on that first mission trip.  She said that I should really look at a different adoption agency’s website.  I looked at their waiting child list, and 4 & 1/2 “A”’s little face was the first one I saw.  We immediately emailed to ask if he was still waiting for a family.  It took about a week to find out that he was still waiting.  We prayed about pursuing adopting “A”.  It would mean changing agencies and paying agency fees that had already been paid.  Even though we knew it would not be easy, we both knew God wanted us to do it.  (Please read our update about this.)

Even though the path from our calling to adoption and now has been long, I know God has been with us every step of the way!

I am so thankful that God gave us this calling.  All of the waiting, trusting Him, and opportunities to participate in orphan care have changed our hearts and lives forever.  We have made dear friends on this path, and our whole family is anxious to love our little boy in person.  I’m anxiously awaiting the day when we will have our little guy in his forever home here, in Amarillo, with us.


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 “Lane 6674”, 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.
Read more

He Restores My Soul – Adoption Update

March 26, 2017

We have some disappointing news about our adoption.  Monday we got a call from the case worker at our new agency.  She called to let us know that because of the breakdown in communication in rural Ethiopia, something unexpected had happened.  Because little “A” that we had been working towards adopting the past 3 months was on the waiting child list for so long, the orphanage directors had reached out to other adoption agencies to advocate for him.  One of those agencies found a family wanting to adopt “A.”  This family already had their dossier complete and updated, and they had all their agency fees paid and were able to sign an official referral with their agency.  It had already been two weeks before our agency knew this had happened.  Our agency told the orphanage that we were working hard to adopt “A” and very, very close to having our dossier (fancy word for official adoption paperwork) updated, but the orphanage made a judgment call.  The orphanage decided to allow this other family to proceed with adopting “A.”

This isn’t something that happens often in Ethiopian adoptions.  These were unusual circumstances, but after visiting orphanages the last three summers, I could see how this communication breakdown could easily happen.

We were very disappointed to hear this news Monday, and it has been a rough week dealing with all the feelings that bubbled up after hearing this news about our adoption.

We know we cannot give up, and we are not supposed to quit trying to adopt from Ethiopia.

Our friends and family have been so generous helping us raise money to pay the adoption fees to adopt “A.”  We were so very close to having all of our agency fees paid.  We have raised $20,600 since the last week of December!  We were only short $7,000.  That is amazing!

Our home study should be finalized any day now, and our dossier only lacks our final home study copy and about 5 other documents.

Being so close to having everything we needed to adopt “A” made it really hard to accept that we were not going to be able to adopt him.

We are honestly happy that “A” will have a forever family.  He will have a home.  That is what we wanted for him all along.  We are just disappointed that home won’t be our home.

All of the money we raised and work we have done updating our home study and dossier can be used to adopt a different child through our new agency.  Our agency has given us a time line that we can expect to be matched with a new child in the next 6 months.

We are going to continue to gather the last of the paperwork needed to complete our dossier, and we will continue waiting for the child God has to place in our home.

It has been hard finding our confidence that the Lord has a plan when we felt so sure that “A” was the boy God had chosen to add to our family.  But God has been slowly speaking into our hurting hearts this week.

On Monday, when I got the heartbreaking call from our agency, I was sitting in the Michael’s parking lot about to buy paint.  The plan had been to make as many wood signs as possible this month to sell at a craft show this weekend.  I had just started a new sign.  I picked a Bible verse completely randomly.  I was looking for a Bible verse that was universally loved.  I didn’t even think about what the verse or sign said on Monday when I started making it, hoping to make several to sell at the craft show.

On Tuesday, when all I wanted to do was watch mindless television and eat Captain Crunch, I realized that God had given me this verse that I would need before I even knew I needed it.

 

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.

He restores my soul.

He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death.
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

— Psalm 23:1-4 ESV

God is restoring our soul.  God is planting dreams in our hearts and reassuring our family that He is leading us.  He has a plan.

 

*NOTE We received our new home study update in the mail ready to send with our new dossier.  This big step being completed is giving me some hope for what God is doing in our adoption and in our family.

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Hidden

Apr 26, 2017

“James and Jennifer, We are thankful for your work for the Kingdom of God, and hope that this helps in your adoption process. Our God truly does own the cattle on a thousand hills, and will surely provide for your needs! Be encouraged! Blessings!”

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Apr 22, 2017

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“Praying your boy home.”

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