I think it really started when Noah was born. Or rather, 5 months later when it was discovered that he has albinism. I began scouring the internet for photos and video of other people with albinism, just to see what we were “getting in to.” That’s when I learned that people with albinism in Tanzania are killed for their body parts and that children with albinism in China are abandoned. The injustice of it cut me to the core. I knew I had to do something about it.
It has been two years and God has been working on our family… Chiseling us in His gentle way and preparing our hearts for what was to come.
So, it is will great joy that I tell you… We have started the adoption process! We have submitted an application to adopt a child with albinism from China!
I don’t think we could be any more excited or hopeful or scared! And even though we have ALL of those emotions at any given moment, we know for certain that this is something God has called us to do. There have been signs, the overwhelming support of our family and close friends, but most of all, that quiet but firm voice of God telling me, “Just say yes.”
So we did.
John 14:18 says “I will not leave you as orphans. I will come to you.” This is a great verse to pull out when wanting to justify adoption, but as I read the context of that verse in John 14, I am reminded that adoption is at the heart of the Gospel. As Aaron Ivey (Worship Leader at Austin Stone) so perfectly put it: “But God in his kindness saw me and adopted me into his family, changed my past, changed my future, changed everything about me. We’ve been adopted.” I hope that our story will be a reminder of what a beautiful gospel shadow adoption is.
So far this is how it has gone down:
- This last year in December I filled out some preliminary paperwork with an adoption agency that came very highly recommended to us. They specialize in placing children from China with special needs into forever families. (Albinism is considered a special need because of the vision impairments that can come along with it.)
- We became overwhelmed by the requirements that China has in order to adopt, but did find that they have been known to make exceptions for certain children that have special needs or have been waiting for a while. It still felt impossible for us so I put it on the back burner.
- Two weeks ago, I received a call from the agency asking if we were still interested in adoption. I told her yes, but expressed our concern over not meeting the requirements. She said they had a file for us to view if we felt like we still wanted to adopt. She sent the file over immediately and gave us a week to decide if we wanted to begin the process to adopt this specific child.
- The next few days we hardly slept. We asked for signs from God that this was our child. We were instructed to say yes and accept this referral.
- We filled out a formal application with the agency (We hadn’t even done that yet and we already had a referral?!) and wrote a Letter of Intent to send with the application to China.
- And now… we wait. We are waiting to hear if we have received pre-approval from China. If we receive pre-approval that means this child will be locked-in for a year and we will have a year to bring him/her home. (Sorry, I can’t disclose any information about the child until we receive pre-approval.) We should know in the next two weeks.
That’s where we are! Not only have we submitted an application to adopt, we actually have a referral for a child already! It is by no means the typical adoption timeline. Everything is coming at us fast, but I am convinced it is all in God’s timing. He is orchestrating this whole thing and I just have to be obedient. One verse we have been clinging to is Matthew 7:7. Billy wrote it on the chalkboard that hangs on our refrigerator so that we can clearly see it often.
I was telling Billy that it’s so funny how God knows us so well. (That shouldn’t be a surprise!) He knows that we would have probably sat on this for years and thought about it and waited until we felt like we were appropriately equipped. That time may never have come. BUT because our timeline is different, we have already seen a little face, a face that is now forever burned into my memory, and there is no way we could back out now. The home study paperwork is enough to make me want to change my mind, but I know there is a child in China waiting for us to come get him/her.
We are inviting you on this journey with us. We are inviting you to hope and dream with us. We are inviting you to hurt with us and rejoice with us. We are inviting you to pray with us and for us. And we are inviting you to help us bring our child home! We NEED your prayers and support.
Because this will be a special focus adoption our timeline is going to be short. We will only have a year to bring this child home so that means we will need about $30,000 in less than a year. That number is so huge for us, but above everything else, this is one area that God has already over and over again told us that it won’t be a problem. Again, we just have to be obedient and He will provide.
Our specific prayer need right now is that we will find favor with the officials that view our application in China so that they will grant us pre-approval. Our specific monetary need right now (to break down that huge $30,000 amount!) is $2,500 for our first agency program fee and $1,500 for our first home study fee.
Thank you for coming on this journey with us! We can’t wait to share more with you!
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