We would like to share with you some exciting news about a change that will soon take place in our family! There have been many things which have led us to this place, but we will share just a small piece of that for now. In the summer of 2013 Paul went on his first mission trip to Guatemala at the prompting of two of his close friends, who would not take “no” for an answer. Last summer, we were fortunate to be able to travel back to serve together. While in Guatemala we had the opportunity to get to know, hold, hug, love, and support many children who have been either removed from their homes due to abuse, been orphaned through the death of their parents, or been abandoned by their family. There is nothing that can put words to what it is like when you hold a baby or play with a child whose identity is defined by such hurt and loss.
All children desire to be loved and want to know they matter. In one orphanage, there were over 30 children with only 4 women to care for them. These women are saints on earth and have given their lives to care for, protect, and love each child. However, resources are scarce and just as there were few to care for the many, the children also wear the same uniforms with their names on them each day. You might think that a uniform with a child’s name on it would help us remember the names of the children, but you would be as mistaken as we were. It did not take long for us to realize that the names on the uniforms did not always match the child, as they were handed down from their previous owners who had grown out of the clothing or left the orphanage. The very clothing these children wore made them obscure to the point that the name represented another’s identity.
After leaving Guatemala, we quickly realized that we had been changed to our very core. As Christians we believe that we were once orphaned and that God adopted us into his family through the death of His beloved son Jesus Christ. He named us and calls us His own, and now because of that great love we have an unexplainable desire to call a child without a father and mother our own. To be their forever family in both the joyous times and the times of struggle, so that they know that they are unconditionally loved and their name matters.
The decision to adopt a child was not made lightly and we are not naïve to think it will be a process without struggle. We have already met with several challenges, the first being that because of international adoption regulations we will not be able to adopt a child from Guatemala. While this realization was disappointing, God has made another way, and we have been approved to adopt a child from the eastern Caribbean Islands. Another challenge that we are facing is the cost, which comes to roughly $30,000. This is why we are humbly asking that you consider partnering with us to meet this challenge. Our prayer is that you not feel pressured or just see this as another request for money, but rather an opportunity to help share in God’s redemptive love for orphans around the world. Also, we ask that you please pray for the care and safety of our child who we have yet to meet and the changes this will bring for all of our children.
We have partnered with Lifesong for Orphans, a non-profit organization, that underwrites all U.S. administrative and fundraising costs. That means 100% of your donation will go directly to the adoption and will be tax deductable. Thank you so much for your support both in prayer and finances. We will continue to provide updates as we receive our official referral and more information about the newest member of the Johnson family.