Don’t ask me when I first became interested in adoption. I couldn’t tell you. Somewhere between high school or college is my best guess. It really doesn’t matter though. What matters is that this desire has continued to grow and take root.
|Me (Emily) & my better half, Nick|
I met and married a rather special someone who is also passionate about adoption. It was something we first connected over in our dating days, something we talked about as we made our budget during engagement, and something we’ve saved for since day one of our marriage.
Two and a half years ago we both would have told you we would get married, live life just the two of us for two to three years, then have a couple biological children, wait till they were 10-12 and then adopt. All while saving for this long-term goal of adoption.
Yet God has a way of changing our plans, or at least showing us that our plans are not always His. We hadn’t even been married a year when my heart began breaking more than I thought possible over the fact that are millions of orphans around the world. One of my friends has termed this ‘orphan pain’ and it is an incredibly accurate description. There were days I just wanted to do nothing but scheme and plan how we could help and days my heart was just broken beyond belief at the thought that the word orphan even exists because it represents a very real crisis and very real hurting boys and girls who need care, love, and a family.
I began to pray. Some days I pleaded for this burden because the timing was all wrong. Other days I begged Him to let us do this NOW! Most of the time though I read and researched and felt compelled to do something all while knowing that wouldn’t happen.There was no way my husband would be on board this early…
Imagine my surprise when he came home one night a month or so later and mentioned that the Lord had been working on him! I hadn’t said a word to him! This whole time I had been in silent turmoil feeling like we would never agree on this. I was wrong.
|Courtesy of Kristi Witek. Taken during her trip to Columbia.|
We began researching options and trying to think through what we were being called to do. We hit some BIG roadblocks. I remember being very real with the Lord and questioning why He had given us this burning desire only to bring us to an impossible place. We got no real answers. Rather, we continued to talk about it, pray about it, and plan for it.
This fall we were able to attend the Together For Adoption Conference and were challenged by some amazing speakers. We spoke with some true servants in ministry, and walked away knowing NOW was our moment. We were just three days away from our second anniversary. Not exactly what we had planned, but we knew this was where we needed to head. We didn’t even think twice about our old plan of having biological children first and then adopting. This was what we were being called to do. We are so excited (and admittedly a bit intimidated)!
|Photo courtesy of Kristi Witek|
Orphans are part of that all. Children who just want a home, a warm meal, a mom and a dad or maybe a sibling or two are part of that all. Adoption is a true picture of the Gospel. Our prayer is that just as He has provided for us, cared for us, loved us with an everlasting love, and sought us out, that we would be able to do the same as much as humanly possibly for a sibling group in Latin America.
Did you know sibling groups are considered ‘special needs’ because most people aren’t open to adopting more than one. They aren’t the youngest children available for adoption so they face more risk of never being adopted.
Adoption is not without its costs. Both financial and physical/emotional. The average international adoption will cost between $35,000- $45,000. We don’t have that money. No matter how much we save or sacrifice we just don’t. I could (and often do) get overwhelmed and tell God there is no way this will happen, that just CAN’T. But then that still small voice reminds me I have been called to this. I may not understand the hows, whens, who, why, or be able to control any of it, but it isn’t about me. It’s about the orphan. The children who are waiting to come home, who are waiting on us to come and get them.
We’re not sure how we are going to do this financially. We want to do it debt-free. We’re saving, trusting the Lord, and inviting others to partner with us. I’m selling Jamberry through online orders, Facebook & in-home parties. It’s providing some extra income to bring home children I can’t get here fast enough. We’ve started a Just Love Coffee storefront where the certified fair trade & organic coffee friends and family buy helps give us funds and a Pure Charity account where others can donate money they earn from online shopping. We’ve put off vacations, home decor or house projects, we live a simple life without smart phones or cable/Netflix or newer cars. I honestly don’t feel like any of that is missing (most days), but I do find myself missing the children that are waiting on us. I find myself wishing I could do more to save more to send more money to places right here and around the world that provide care for the orphans.
Not everyone is called to adopt. Yet, I do believe we all have a role in orphan care. Have you considered doing a clothing drive? Sending money to an orphanage overseas? Sponsoring a child through Compassion International? Being a Safe Family?- (You have to check them out!) Being a mentor? Giving to those who are called/equipped to provide a home for orphans? Going on a missions trip to love on and care for orphans even for a few days?
You can keep up with us and our adoption journey at our blog Sunbeams & Raindrops.