I do not remember a time when I did not want to be a wife and mother. In addition to the desire to be a wife and mom, the Lord also put on my heart as a child to adopt. Witnessing children begging in the streets of Nairobi, Kenya during my time there between high school and college cemented into my mind the reality of the suffering of the fatherless, and my heart broke for Africa in a way only the Lord could make it.
In our pre-marriage days, I recall our talks about adoption as something that is good and that we'll talk about later. In our married pre-children days, I recall researching adoption and realizing that we either hadn't been married long enough or didn't have the money.
Law school and kids kept me too busy for several years to consider adoption much. After our third child was born in 2008, I dove a little deeper into the research. Within months of losing our fourth child earlier this year, the Lord had heavily burdened my heart that our family should begin the adoption process. But my discerning husband was not convinced.
The encouragement I found from other families through their blogs played a large role in convincing us that we could adopt. I prepared my arguments for Curt by sharing link after link and video after video. The more information he had, the more clearly he saw how we could heed God's call to care for orphans through adoption.
I prayed relentlessly not only for the children that God would bring to our home but for God to lay on Curt's heart what He had placed on mine. I rejoiced in thinking of the day when Curt would go from being invited on board to captaining the ship. And then it happened. One day several months ago, not long before we witnessed the official move of our local church fellowship into orphan care, Curt said, "let's do it." And we haven't looked back.
Now, Curt was no stranger to orphan care. When we met, he worked in a children's home primarily for children in the foster care system. And since the loss of his brother just 8 moths ago, I have witnessed him become a father figure to our nephew, caring for him physically and spiritually. My husband knows what it is to be fatherless. And I am grateful that even through painful circumstances, our Father was preparing both of us for this decision.
If you are burdened to care for orphans (and if you are a Believer, you are burdened), then I want to encourage you to prayerfully seek how our Father would have you obey that call. And I want to encourage you to act. Not every family is called to adopt, but we are all called to care for orphans. You may have time to spend supporting a family in your church who is or has adopted by volunteering to babysit. You may have money to support an orphan care ministry or a family struggling to raise the funds to ransom their child. You most certainly can pray.
If you are called, know that our Father will provide a way for you to obey. And if you've listened to our pastor for any amount of time, you know that God's Plan A for obeying His commands is through His people. We are grateful and humbled (if somewhat uncomfortable) to come before His people for help in heeding this call on our family. But as I keep saying, there's nothing I would not do for one of my children. And my discomfort in exposing our family's personal decision and asking for support is not worthy to be compared with the blessing of ransoming our baby girl or encouraging others to care for the least of these, much less the glory yet to be revealed in us.
Our long-term goal is not to afford an adoption. Our dream is far grander and far more daunting: to raise our children for His glory, that we might see them in heaven and that they might be effective witnesses until then, to confidently send them out into the world with hearts full of the Word and heavy for the nations.
Thank YOU for being part of our story.