Evan & I believe that we are all called to care for orphans. James 1:27 says, "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress..."
Well care for is one thing, but adopt? Two years ago, Evan & I began mentoring a young man through Big Brothers Big Sisters. Through our experience in spending time with and building into this young man, we witnessed how a life can be transformed. By the grace of God, this young man is not who he was two years ago.
Soon after this point a student of mine was in a play, and he invited me to come.The play was called "They Chose Me"- a play about adoption. The musical was both tender and funny, and at the end of the performance one of the performers shared that she was adopted. She then asked all the adoptive parents in the auditorium to stand. The house lights came on and the water works started. God moved us.
This same year, the semi-biographical film Blind Side came out. As many were, I was moved by the movie, but it didn't stop there for me. Evan & I talked and decided we would adopt.....someday. Maybe after we had biological children, but then again it's so expensive and comes with so much drama....and we are on teacher salaries. We left it as, "we'll see."
God didn't let us forget. Every time adoption was mentioned in some fashion, Evan & I would give each other a look. While in Dallas for my nephew's baptism, we saw a display in the church that offered information about local foster care and adoption. I took a pamphlet even though we don't live anywhere near Dallas. I kept that pamphlet and rediscovered it this summer.
This summer, God's whispers transformed into smacks upside the head. We kept meeting people who had or were in the process of adoption. God also really spoke to me through the Beth Moore Bible study I was doing with some ladies from church on the book of James. Yep, James. The half-brother of Jesus that doesn't let you grace your way out of right living. The one who makes it clear faith also requires action. You can be moved and touched by a great sermon, but it's where the rubber meets the road that matters.
So, Evan & I started to discuss adoption seriously now. Two years of talking began to turn into doing. A friend and neighbor of ours had just been on a mission trip to Ethiopia through Visiting Orphans. She and her husband went to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia's capital and to Korah, an area of extreme poverty. My friend invited us over for a 4th of July celebration and we talked with her about her time in Ethiopia. She shared that they are working towards adopting a young girl they met while in Korah.
The next day on July 5th Evan & I requested a packet from the agency she and many others recommended, America World Adoption Agency. We read through the materials and researched the countries that they served. Some countries we are not eligible to adopt from because of age. Other countries, you can only adopt older children and that is not what we are called to do at this point. We kept coming back to Ethiopia (I'll explain more of why Ethiopia in another post). We "interviewed" the agency for 2 hours with tons of questions, and the ladies we spoke to were amazingly patient and knowledgeable.
On July 24th we completed our online application, and two days later we found out that we were accepted. We then filled out a whole lot more paperwork and mailed in our first payment on July 30th.
The timeline will be 2+ years, and the next 4-6 months will be the Dossier compiling. It's been a long road to get us to this point, and people like my friends Jess, Deanna, and Whitney inspire me to persevere through their adoption stories.
Please pray for us through this journey. If you feel led to give financially, I have included the link here: https://www.awaa.org/forms/donations.aspx . Feel free to contact me if you want more info. Thanks for joining us in this journey!