Where do we even begin?!
If we go back to the VERY beginning it would be over 20 years ago when my husband’s family chose to adopt from China and brought home our Mika. That was the moment that changed our hearts to be forever connected to adoption.
Or maybe we go back 8 years ago when we chose to pursue an international adoption through Nicaragua. A country that was our second home and brought so much joy, we thought it was for sure the yes that the Lord called us to. But after job changes, moves, and ultimately political unrest in the country that door was closed and we were back to square one.
Or how about we start in 2019 when we switched from international adoption to domestic, we quickly rushed our paperwork and within 12 months we learned so much about adoption and eventually brought home our son Forrest in July of 2020.
Or we could just start with 2023. A year we knew the Lord was calling us to do so much more we just thought it had more to do with our work and hospitality at home. In January of 2023, I chose to sign a lease to open a brick and mortar art studio and move my business from our home. I named it “Called Creative Studio” because I wanted to use it as a space that would give us the freedom to do ALL that God has called us to. We teach our children that we have been given the spirit of God, wisdom, understanding, knowledge, and craftsmanship to do all that God has Called us to (Exodus 31). This is something I hoped we could share in the new studio space, that it could be used to share craft from many artists, to support small businesses, to host fundraisers and be a gathering place to support our community in whatever way was needed. So we opened our doors in May of 2023 the same month we chose to pursue the paperwork for our second adoption. We tend to joke that we like to move fast and go big or go home. So we quickly flew through the familiar paperwork and somehow managed to squeeze into a training conference hosted by our agency the last weekend of July. It honestly didn’t make sense for us to go, we were busy, our paperwork was barely completed and we were 1 fee behind. But somehow we made it in! This training was the last step before our home study could be written and submitted for approval.
We drove home Friday discussing all that we learned and what we would do to try and catch up on our fees and be prepared to be a waiting family again. Then that very next Monday after the conference we received a phone call from our agency asking if we would like to expedite our paperwork because there was an expectant mother they thought we may connect with. With LOTS of surprise, but no hesitation, we said yes. We fully expected our small letter, single family photo, and incomplete profile would put us at the bottom of the list and barely catch a glance. But I excitedly drove our paperwork to the agency's office with our 2 children Wednesday morning at 11. We then went on about our day running errands, not expecting any phone call for at least a week once the mom had time to look it over and choose someone else. But by 3pm that afternoon our agency called back and in shock told us she had already chosen our family and SURPRISE she was in labor 3 weeks early! Not only did this mean we had to quickly update our closest family to find childcare so we could go meet the expectant mother and now baby boy who was born early that Thursday morning. But we also needed to find a car seat, a few outfits, diapers, and formula and needed to come up with roughly $30,000 in adoption fees. All of this felt like the biggest yes we could possibly say but there was no reason we ever would have thought to say no.
Clearly, God heard us say we like to move fast and he was showing us that He can go faster. Not that any of this was expected but then sort of unexpectedly the mother chose to pursue a different route and was looking for help from family. While of course, the rush of preparing to then not need to be prepared was rough. I was confused about how my heart should feel, sad because the outcome we expected didn’t happen, or excited for this new mom loving her baby that she wanted him to stay as close as possible. So that Sunday, just over a week after our journey home from our training conference we heard a sermon about saying yes, and what ministry can look like in our daily lives. The song Send Me by Bethel Music was played. My heart surged with spirit reminding me that THIS is why we chose adoption. We chose to say yes before God even asked, so no matter the outcome we would say yes again. We would not regret or be discouraged because God is good and he knew the heartache and how it would perfectly align us with him.
SURPRISE another turn, Tuesday, we received ANOTHER call from our agency, this time telling us there was news they had never experienced before. The same mom we had met just 5 days before was asking for help again and wanted to know if we would be willing to step in to help love her baby boy. Immediately yes. Yes, Lord Send Me.
This time we told no one, we found childcare, we quietly took our carseat to the hospital and brought him home just 9 days after our final agency training requirement was completed.
What a dang ride that was! And still is!
The Lord has taught us so much about trusting him. He knows our hearts, He knows our home, our finances, our worries, and our desires. He takes everything we have and He multiplies it and makes it into something that will forever stamp his name on our lives. We know that if God did not help us get this paperwork done quickly, or squeezed us into a conference early, or remind us of our ministry after heartbreak, we would not have been able to say yes. We could not have gone faster on our own, we could not have had the confidence to say yes to the initial call, and we would not have had the wisdom to say yes in the midst of heartbreak. So God Helped and we now have our son Laz at home as a daily reminder that God will always help.
And that is our stance on our final fees for our agency. We have been blessed by family and friends to help cover some of that massive bill we said yes to when we said yes to Laz. We have also received some blessings through grants, like Lifeson for Orphans and Josiah’s Adoption Fund. However, we still need about $13,000 to be totally up to date on fees. We know God will continue to help, we will continue to give it to him and I know we will continue to be blown away by the story he has written. It is still shocking to me! God is so good, and his timing is perfect. Thank you, Lord, for showing us that you mean it when you say you’ll help.
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