When I became a believer, I began praying for a life of adventure. I prayed that He would help me live a life of no regrets, no retreats and no reserves. My husband didn’t quite know what he was getting into when he married me that’s for sure–but I do want to live this life differently…and that is one area that Richard and I both whole heartedly are passionate about. Oh that God would spare us of living “the American Dream”…and instead let us live His dream—His will—for our lives. We know that will look different. It may look radical. And it won’t be easy. But we are His…children of the Heavenly Father and we want to live this short life for Him.
When I was in college, I led a weekly middle school ministry. Every Wednesday night I’d meet with about 10 middle schoolers, and one I especially connected with–Amber. Amber was in the Foster Care system, and being cared for in the home of a single dad, I quickly became the motherly figure in her life. College life became less of a highlight to me, and I spent many days with these girls–specifically Amber. It was then I was knew in my faith and I would pray desperately for a heart like His. Funny how He was already answering that prayer and immediately brought an orphan my way.
Years later, now a mommy of three–my husband and I continued to grow in our love of children and especially the orphan. Almost three years ago, we encountered a new ministry in Africa and little did we know what God had in store. Before we knew it, we were helping start an organization supported from Roswell by a handful of friends in Zambia/Africa called Wiphan Care Ministries. God used Wiphan to take us deeper into the heart of the orphan as Wiphan today supports 450 orphans and 150 widows. On a trip to Zambia in 2007, Richard and I found ourselves sitting in an orphanage asking a million questions and trying to figure out if Zambia could ever be an open country for adopting. How we got to that orphanage/adoption center I don’t know…well, I think I remember crying the night before and begging my husband to just go and check it out with me…which was NOT on our original Wiphan agenda. God had begun to call our hearts to adopting from Africa but 2 years (and another baby) would come before he would bring the first steps of our actual adoption to begin.
Now with a 5 year old, almost 4 year old and a soon-to-be 1 year old it seems from the world’s standards probably crazy for us to think about adoption. I guess even if we decided to have a 4th biological child some people would think we were crazy. And if you asked me 6 months ago I would have told you that we were going to have a fourth…but the more we thought about it—with 143 million orphans in mind—trying to have another just didn’t make sense. When we dreamed about adoption in our minds we would always “wait” until our three kiddos were older so we could “devote our time to our adopted child”. Our hearts were still being prepared. They were not ready as we were still seperating the two. If we tried for a fourth biologically then we wanted to have one right away–be done with diapers all at once and let the kids grow up together. Why should it be any different if our fourth is born in our hearts through adoption instead?
After reading “Adopted for Life”, I began to really grasp the beauty of adoption and the Gospel. Before accepting Jesus as my Savior, I was an orphan. I lived my own way and truly–I was lost…and lonesome. When I prayed to receive Christ and He adopted me as His daughter, I not only became His–but I also became a heir of His throne. I am really, really His! He is my Father, and no longer can I live like an orphan. How beautiful the gospel is and there is no more beautiful picture of God’s love for us than the miracle of adoption here on Earth. There is a fourth child of mine our there. He will be ours. He will be a part of our family.We want him now, so he can grow up with his brothers and sister. And so he can experience our love, our home and a life with our family. This is the same thing God offers to us. He longs to rescue those who have not yet been adopted. He wants each of us quickly…so we can experience life with Him and with our other brothers and sisters. This is the miracle of adoption.
We know that some will support our journey. We know others will not agree with our adopting from Africa. We know that there is need all over the world and even our own country–and we also have held our hands open and asked the Lord to lead us wherever He desires. Time and time again, He has led us to Africa and now specifically to Ethiopia. We also know we have to keep our eyes focused on God and follow where He leads our hearts…and leave the rest to Him.