In May, 2010 our family took a wonderful cruise to the Bahamas. We immediately came back wanting to schedule our next cruise, but God kept telling us that our next family trip would be something that was focused on him and not just a relaxing vacation.
In August our church started planning a mission trip to Honduras. Julie and I both want to go on this trip because we have friends in Honduras we would like to see again, but neither of us have felt a peace about us personally going on this trip for a variety of reasons. Instead, we were already praying about going to China as a family to love on orphans, let Leighanne (and her brothers) see the country (and hopefully even the village) where she was born.
November 7, 2010 -- Julie (my wife) led an Orphan Sunday emphasis at our church on Sunday evening. It was called "One Day in the Life of an Orphan". During this emphasis, we had orphans and their stories from 5 different countries and everyone who came to church was given one of the orphan stories and went through simulation rooms as to what sleep, bath time, school and play, eating, etc. was like for that orphan. Then we all came back together to learn what happened to our orphan in the end and to watch the "Answer the Cry" video and then talk about some practical ways we could do something for orphans. One of the ways Julie had for people to get involved was to take a photo listing of a waiting child from one of the 5 countries and pray for that child to get a Christian forever family. In the process of collecting the information on those waiting children, Julie and our other children focused on this one child from China that was about 20 months younger than Leighanne. As you would have it, that child (we will call her Hannah") was not taken for prayer that night so she brought her information back home for our family to pray for. Both Julie and our children were all talking about adopting Hannah, but as the financial provider for the family (I know.... God is the provider.... I am just the conduit) and after been through what we had already been through with the other two failed adoptions, I wasn't interested in having in part of it, but I was willing to pray about it and let God tell me it wasn't something we should do (you do understand I already had my mind made up though right?).
Julie contacted the agency that Hannah was listed through to get more information. The first step was to complete a free online pre-application. I helped Julie get the information she needed for the application (income, net worth, etc.) and she filled it in and sent it along. We learned that another family already had Hannah's file and she was listed as pending (meaning there were more than one families in line for her) so we all concluded it probably just was not an open door for us (I felt relieved).
On Friday, November 19th, Julie received an e-mail from Hannah's listing agency with her file attached. We have two weeks to review the file, have doctors review the file, and make a decision. Okay, so now I have to start getting serious about whether God is really calling us to do this. I get on the internet and research the agency. As with any agency there are people who love them and people who hate them. I checked their financial forms filed with the IRS and didn't like what I saw, but I already knew they were not a Christian agency and their focus on working with orphans is not in line with mine so it really wasn't a surprise. Honestly I think at this point I was looking for a reason to not do this and I thought I found it. Over the weekend, God showed me the following truths:
In history (as documented in scripture), God has on more than one occasion used people who are not His children to accomplish His will. God is in control and even those who do not believe in or follow him are under his authority and work towards accomplishing His will even though they may not know it.
God provides all of the resources necessary to accomplish His will.
We were already praying about going to China as a family.
Hannah is from the same province that Leighanne is from and one of our reasons for wanting to visit China was to visit her province.
Somebody (God) has already opened doors that were not supposed to be opened to get us the file.
As of Sunday (November 21, 2010), I have concluded that we are almost certainly supposed to proceed with this adoption. We are still working on getting doctors to review her file, etc. before we make the final decision, but based on what I know right now the answer is likely yes.
Here are our immediate prayer points:
For wisdom and discernment as we get Hannah's file reviewed by medical professionals.
For financial provisions to proceed with the adoption if that is God's will for our family. I know it doesn't surprise you to know that we don't have an adoption savings setting there waiting on God to tell us to adopt again. We already know we have the first amount due within a couple of weeks if this is to be, so we are waiting and praying.
I thought I was over the corruption, evilness, and loss that we experienced with the attempted adoption from Kazakhstan, but this has brought up a lot of emotions that apparently God wants me to work through for the next level of healing.
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