Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Journey Begins....

For some time now, Mike and I have have felt an undeniable pull toward adoption. For the last several years, however, our lives have been too consumed with church work, various crises, and parenting the 2 kids we already have, to thoroughly process what this meant.

Lately, however, this pull has become so strong, so magnetic, that ignoring it is no longer possible.

We have traveled overseas numerous times in the past 15 years to places like Kenya, South Africa, Venezuela, and Mexico. On each trip we encountered mind boggling poverty, orphans, innocent children without parents to advocate for them or provide emotional or spiritual guidance. Many of these children were well-cared for in orphanages, transition homes, and health centers. Many, however, were not.

With each trip, each new exposure to injustice, our hearts broke open a little wider. I began to have serious doubts that I was actually living out my faith in a practically compassionate way. Ignoring or over contextualizing James 1:27, "Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you," became increasingly more difficult.

A few months ago, we had lunch with an Indian minister named Pastor Gilbert who works with the poorest of the poor in the diseased, dirty, and often treacherous slums in his community. He and all his church staff have adopted street children. He challenged us saying, "Take in a child. If you don't have enough food on your table, or love in your heart, then I will quit my job."

And then, there were the friends and relatives who began adopting. Mike's brother, Mark, and his wife, Kristen, adopted our nephew from the Foster Care system in California. Our friend Lynne adopted a little girl from China. Our friends Dan and Kathleen, empty nesters in their fifties, adopted two little boys from the streets of Kenya. Our friends Josh and Neely are in the process of adopting a three year old girl from Ethiopia.

So, we're in.

We're following the crowd on this one.

After much prayer and discussion with each other and our kids, Mike and I have decided to become foster parents in the Foster-to-Adopt program in Washington State.

Alex and Caleb have each started sleeping on the top bunks in their rooms to leave an open place below for a new brother and sister. They pray every night for their new siblings. They've told all their friends.

And, now I'm telling the Internet. :)

We start our classes for certification in May.

Somehow I don't think Pastor Gilbert will need to quit his job.


  1. So cool! Good luck on your journey! Adoptive Families is a great magazine to read. And remember that you will be an adoptive family, that way the child doesn't stick out as the only adopted one!:) Also, after the child arrives, speak of adoption in the past tense, it is something that happens once, it is not an ongoing state of being!!:)

  2. That's amazing! Congratulations!
    Tom & I hope to take the same path someday. Bless you!

  3. this is so awesome. i feel so proud to know you! really.

  4. This just makes me really really happy. Can't wait to babysit!

  5. I am bawling right now! Can't tell you how excited I am for you guys.

    Reminds me of something a Ugandan pastor said when he visited the states: "You could fit SO MANY CHILDREN into these homes you all live in".

    Crowded is underrated. :)

  6. WOW! I am glad to know! How exciting.

  7. That's so exciting and awesome! For some reason, I always pictured that you'd adopt... I guess I know why now! Congratulations on starting this amazing journey!

  8. So happy for you and excited for your journey ahead! Love You!

  9. welcome on the journey! so excited to grow our families together...

  10. I am amazed and inspired!
    Congrats.....I can't wait to see how your journey unfolds.

  11. yipee!

    can't wait to support you in this journey.

    we're great babysitters.



  12. I'm so excited for you guys! We won't be far behind! :)

  13. congratulations on the exciting journey yGod is about to take your family on!!! (my sister goes to your church and I enjoy reading your blog from time to time). My husband and I have adopted from Haiti and also recently started doing foster care. As a foster/adoptive mom I can tell is the toughest job you will ever have to do BUT is also the MOST rewarding and beautiful experience I have ever had!!

  14. How exciting! Praying for you, Mike, Caleb and Alex in this new adventure...

    Mike and I hope to go down this road someday also...we'll have to swap notes:)

  15. Wow!! I'm a little surprised to hear this outstanding news--on the internet!! But so happy for you all!! I know God will bless your family in this act of love. You are all amazing!! I know I am thrilled to welcome another little one or two into our growing fold!!

  16. I could see in your face when your were loving on the little ones at Itemba how much your heart would be to scoop em up and move em in ;). How amazing is our God that he used all of these circumstance to widen your heart just a bit more just a bit more and then the words of one man to make you just take the leap. Your children will be so loved! Cant wait to see what God does here with them!! Awesome!

  17. Shep and I are very excited about God opening your heart and home to foster children. We share a common heart! A terrfic book which I recommend and think you would be blessed by, Awakening Love in Deeply Troubled Children. I read it a few months back as I am tyirng to learn as much as I can about abused and neglected children as we think and pray about when a good time would be for us to be foster parents. May God richly bless you as you follow Him. We will be praying for you!


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