Twenty one years ago, we met with a social worker in the living room of our little apartment in Belleville, Illinois. We wanted to talk to her about adopting. She showed us pages and pages of available children. Beautiful little boys and girls, some just tiny babies. Almost every one of them was African American. And she told us that we could absolutely start the process but that the State of Illinois would never place a black child in a white home. They couldn’t flat out deny us since it was against the law, but they had ways to make it nigh impossible. We were young, and impressionable. We didn’t think we had the power to fight that, so we laid aside that attempt.
Over the years, we looked into adopting from China, India, Russia, Kazakhstan, Poland, Ukraine, and finally Bulgaria. We have been burned by unscrupulous placing agencies, started and stopped home studies, and hosted children with the intention of adopting. We have been blessed with nine children through birth along the way. The desire to answer God’s call to care for orphans never faded.
Two years ago, I saw two little faces on an adoption photo listing. I committed to pray for them, as I do any time the profile of an orphan touches my heart. I know that the timing wasn’t right for us, but I printed out the information I had. Six months later, a friend sent me a message and asked me to consider two children she knew were available for adoption. The timing was still terrible, but I promised to pray about it. And we did. For two weeks.
We were paying two mortgages, trying to run a farm and renovate a house. There were NO savings and it didn’t look like there was going to be anything extra in the budget anytime soon. We knew we would never have the $30,000+ we needed to cover adoption fees and expenses. But we felt that God was calling us – loud and clear. So we stepped off in faith. It felt like stepping off a precipice over a yawning chasm. But we chose to believe, and stay in prayer.
He moved mountains and hearts. Folks gave so generously right from the beginning. Some gave $5, some gave much more. More people than that offered prayers for us and for our children, shared links to various fundraisers. There were times it came right down to the wire, funds were due and we didn’t know where they would come from, but we always trusted. And we asked for your prayers. And always – ALWAYS – we were provided for in lavish and spectacular style. Every single barrier fell before the power of faith. You who have been with us on this journey, you have witnessed faith in action. You have witnessed a miracle.
Tomorrow, we board a flight to Bulgaria to bring our son and daughter home. Forever. And we are so grateful. We can’t wait to see how their lives unfold, to see what things God has planned for them.
And we ask you to go before our Father with one last prayer. Pray for those who still wait. Pray for the children who are “too old” to get a second look, pray for sibling groups who are “too big” to take on, pray for the children with special medical and developmental needs who are “too great a burden” to raise. They are precious and worthy. They need us to do whatever we can for them. They need families and a future. So pray for them. Pray most fervently, and every day. And if God moves your heart to reach out and open your heart and home to one or more of these children; and if you feel that you just don’t know how you can possibly make it happen, you get in touch with me. I promise to pray with you, and to help you in whatever way I can to make it happen. Because so many did just that for us. Maybe one of those people was you. And it will make all the difference in the world.