A Crib and Some Paint Cans
My husband put this crib together almost 5 years ago. I was VERY pregnant at the time with our son Justus and we were elated to be able to decorate a room that would soon be home to our little boy. The journey leading up to putting this crib together was long and hard…harder than we had ever imagined it would be – years and years of infertility and a miscarriage – but here we were – pregnant with our miracle boy. We felt so undeserving and profoundly grateful. Justus finally arrived in December of 2016, changed our lives in the most remarkable way, and we used the crib for several years until it came time to transition him to a big boy bed (around the fall of 2020) – right before his 4th birthday.
Around that time, we had lost another baby after several years of trying to get pregnant again.
When Jon was moving the crib out of Justus’ room to build the new bed, he asked if I wanted him to break it down and store it in the attic. I quickly, calmly, and assertively said, “No, I want it in the spare bedroom.” He looked at me with a cautiously puzzled and curious look, since I had just miscarried a month and a half prior. But, he quietly and lovingly honored my request. He later inquired about what had me want to keep the crib in the spare bedroom, thinking it might be painful to have around since our last miscarriage had been so recent. I told him that I knew it needed to be there, because I knew that God would fill that crib with another child. I wanted it to serve as a visible faith symbol. Every time I passed the crib walking down the hallway, it was a reminder to stop, pray and trust that God could and would grow our family in his time and in his way. This wasn’t some complicated grief or denial of our miscarriage nor was it a contentment issue – we are more than content with being parents to our wonderful boy, Justus. It was about deep calling, surrender, and bold faith.
So to add to what might already appear like madness I went out and bought some paint cans and painting supplies to set up next to it. After a little while, we decided to go ahead and paint the room and have it “ready” as we continued to surrender our family and home to God.
As Jon and I kept praying, we felt more and more certain that God wanted us to parent more children. During this time we had been evaluating all the options available to us again- adoption being a major one. Adoption had always been a conversation for our family – way before our fertility challenges and miscarriages. We strongly believe in it and advocate for it – because we see it ultimately as a grand representation of the Gospel.
Since way before we were married and all throughout our marriage, we have spent a considerable amount of our lives serving a wide variety of orphan care ministries, however possible -both globally and locally. Orphan care and ministering to kids isn’t just a thing we do every once in a while – it’s our heartbeat as a family.
Though we had talked about it and taken steps towards it at various points throughout the last 12 years – various things would occur that would halt it or indicate it wasn’t the time then. And it wasn’t. But early this spring – it became very clear, that now was the time.
This was what we were going to commit to pursuing together as a family. We would step out in faith into the land of lots of risks, complexities, and uncertainties, because kids matter – because every child should grow up knowing that they are loved and deeply valued – that they belong and are meant to be here – and that Creator God loves them and has a plan for their lives. Every child deserves the love and stability of a family.
We are strongly passionate about advocating for all kids. We both work with kids every week that are often marginalized, experience significant hardships, and many times are in and out of foster care. We long for God to not only continue to use our service to vulnerable children outside of our home, but for God to make our very home a place where this is daily lived out.
So here we are -with a crib, painted walls, surrendered hearts, bold faith and a whole lot of love to give.
But, in all transparency, adoption is incredibly expensive. This is unfortunate and problematic for so many reasons – since there are so many children in need – but I’ll save that discussion for another day. What I do know is that God isn’t phased by costs. It isn’t a barrier for him. Nothing is. When he calls us to do something – he will provide, guide, and sustain. We also know – we aren’t meant to do this life alone.
As a community, when we come together, we can make such a positive impact on the world. We truly are stronger together.
One of our favorite quotes says: “As one person, I may not be able to change the world, but I can change the world for one person.” Would you graciously and generously consider being a part of our adoption journey and helping change the world for one child?
If you feel called to help our family as we pursue adoption, would you do two things for us please?
(1) Click on the link to donate. (2) Share our story with a family member or friend.
We have already seen God providing in amazing ways – one of those ways was receiving a $6,000 matching grant from Lifesong. Every dollar donated up to that amount will be matched by Lifesong!
Thank you for rallying around our family in such a meaningful way!
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 “Johnson 09764”, to ensure it is credited to our account. Please mail to Lifesong for Orphans, PO Box 9, 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.