Our family is so grateful for your kindness and encouragement this week as we’ve shared Haven’s story. We’ve received messages from all over the US and around the world, and our hope is that her story – our story – has instilled in you a deeper awareness of God’s grace and a deeper desire to care for the fatherless.
But this is not just our story.
We are standing on the shoulders of heroes who have walked this road before us. We’re thankful for couples who have spoken into our lives and made adoption less of a novelty and more of a normality. We couldn’t have done this without having those people as a resource to answer our questions and calm our fears and point us over the next hurdle. Their story helped to shape our story.
But this is not just our story.
We now have just a minuscule taste of what other friends are going through. Friends who are currently pursuing international adoptions, which can often be an excruciatingly painful, draining process. I’ve found myself feeling guilty about God’s timing, wondering why this has happened so quickly for us and not for them. We’ve watched and prayed and ached with them as they’ve prepared dossiers, waited on home studies, seen foreign governments change all the rules, and wondered when their son or daughter will finally be home.
We’ve wept for friends who have pursued domestic adoptions. They’ve ministered to birth mothers, provided care for them, and received promises from them, only to have the child they’ve been promised given to someone else. Nurseries have remained empty. Clothing has stayed folded in the drawer. Dreams have remained shattered.
This is not just our story.
My prayer is that this week’s posts have opened your eyes to the world of adoption. Just as I never really understood international church planting before I went overseas for the first time, I never really understood orphan care before I dove into that pool myself. We don’t know what’s next for us: Haven may be the first of many children we bring into our home, or she may be the one and only. Perhaps our story has raised those same questions for you.
The obvious application of our story is a personal question: “Has God called me to care for the orphans?” (the correct answer is “yes.”) Maybe he has, in a huge way. Maybe your heart has been inclined toward orphan care, so much so that you need to begin praying about bringing a child into your home. Contact your local department of social services. Download the application to become a foster parent. Start reading anything you can on the subject (I recommend Adopted for Life by Russell Moore, a book that has helped shape our journey tremendously).
But perhaps a less obvious application is a generosity question: “Has God called me to help fund an adoption?” Somebody in your circle is trying to bring home a baby. Maybe they’re a small group member, a young couple that sits across the auditorium from you in church, or a friend of a friend who you know by name, but not much else. It seems that they’re raising money at every turn…having yard sales, selling handmade crafts, sending letters, you name it. Perhaps you could give to them so they can give to others.
Our church has set up an adoption fund through Lifesong for Orphans. The fund provides matching grants to couples who have been called to adopt, and who are nearing the completion of that process. You can find out more about that here.* If you don’t attend the Summit, you can just give directly to a couple you know who is adopting. The greatest honor that could come from our story is that you’re inspired to give to others. If Haven’s story has made you laugh, write a check. If it’s made you cry, write two checks. If it’s made you do both, just toss a brick of twenties through the window of an adopting couple.
Because this is not just our story.
This is not just their story.
This is your story.
*I want to be clear that this is not a veiled attempt for you to fund or donate to our adoption. Through some personal savings, very generous gifts from friends and family members, and a generous God who made it all happen, Haven is fully taken care of. All funds you give through the Summit will go to other couples.
All posts in this series: