Let me first say, I am an adopted child. March 3rd, 1989….my official “adoption day” or “gotcha day” as it is called by many modern adoptive parents. I was technically adopted at three days old; but it wasn’t until I was three that the courts recognized it as “official”. I always knew I was adopted…always. It was never a secret in our family but rather something to be celebrated and to rejoice over. Without getting into a long droning tale of my childhood realizations on adoption I will just say this: I ALWAYS knew that some day I would do the same…adoption was always a calling for me and it was never a question of “if” but “when?”.
The “when?” was answered a few months ago by a random google ad that had decided to interrupt a show I was watching…not the most likely of callings but I still took it as a sign. It was your typical “run of the mill” feed the children ads…now, I had seen the same starving children living in poverty commercial countless times and it always got to me and tugged at my heart. But, for some reason…this time was different. It was as if God had slapped me in the face at that moment and said, “Go now…don’t wait”. I prayed about it and went on with my evening…thinking the “pull” would go away….it didn’t.
For weeks after, I found myself almost obsessively researching adoption agencies…international adoption, domestic adoption, open adoption, dossier documentations, and watching every youtube video on the subject. God was laying adoption on my heart in the strongest sense possible. I talked for hours to my husband about my feelings and urged him that our “someday” way of thinking was today!! “God told me!”, I pleaded. I knew that I likely sounded like a new escapee from an insane asylum…but I didn’t care…I knew that we were suppose to do it now!
Like most practical and loving husbands…mine nodded in agreement and said, “yes honey, I’m glad God has called you to this but it can’t happen right now”. My husband is a wonderful man and the Lord has beyond blessed me with him…I could not love him more…but I have to admit, in this moment I could feel anger and frustration rising. Why didn’t he believe me?? Why couldn’t I make him understand?? Why wasn’t he as excited and researching for hours on end like I was??….after a few days more of me “driving him insane” (which looking back on it, I know I was) I decided to back off….I needed to leave it alone for a while and pray for God to touch his heart about it like he had touched mine.
While I waited and prayed I had visions of adopting from Ethiopia…picking up our precious baby, coming home, and living this happy little life with our new little one. That was the plan…Ethiopia…it HAD to be Ethiopia and it HAD to be a baby. I was so sure of it. But once again….God changed it all and he answered in the BIGGEST way imaginable.
A couple Sundays ago we were at church…a typical Sunday morning. I had dropped the girls off in their class rooms and had headed down to the service. Like usual, I made a quick stop for coffee and to run by the bathroom to finish my makeup before heading into the sanctuary. But as I walked in the bathroom there was a small group of girls…very excitedly talking and checking themselves in the mirror ( like typical teenage girls ) but I noticed that they weren’t speaking English…I was intrigued; I could have just sat and listened to them talk ( I LOVE listening to other languages though I sadly only know English ). I assumed them to be foreign exchange students. I went back to our seat and told my husband about them…somehow fascinated by them and not really knowing why. The sermon ended and we made our way upstairs to get our girls from their classrooms. But as I went to pick up Piper ( my youngest daughter of 16 months) her teacher said words I don’t think I will ever forget; ” did I tell you about the orphans?”. OF COURSE my antenna went up and I wanted to know more. ( Keep in mind…for MONTHS I had been praying for God to show me HIS will..not what I thought his will should be ). As it turned out the girls I had been drawn to in the bathroom were orphans from the Ukraine. They, along with other children, were here with a WONDERFUL organization called “Bridges of Faith”. (It is thanks to them and the wonderful works of our Lord that this is ALL possible and we were called to the Ukraine.)
I felt that “pull” again. I asked my husband if we could PLEASE go talk with them and to my surprise he seemed just as eager as me ( which was new for me since he had always been the reluctant one with anything “adoption” related ). All of the children in this group were ages 10-16 and every single one seemed to make an instant impact on us. We knew at that moment what God meant for us…it ALL made sense. We were suppose to adopt from the Ukraine…that was it.
After church we went to meet with the children and spent a few hours speaking with everyone involved with Bridges of Faith. Let me just say….What an AMAZING ministry…they make such a glorious difference in these kids lives. Even though we were with them for only a few hours…the kids still managed to impact us in a huge way.
We went home that evening excited and anxious about Gods calling for us. At this point we still thought “maybe next year” we will for sure start the process of adopting an older child from the Ukraine. Of course as soon as I get home I start browsing sites on Ukrainian adoptions…the process, how long it takes, how we would start…God changed both our hearts that day…he changed my husbands heart on the timing of our adoption and he changed my heart with only wanting a “baby”.
Then, I stumbled upon a web site that had pictures of waiting children in the Ukraine and Russia. I browsed through them…my heart aching for each and every child…praying that there was some way we could just do it now…and then I came across a face that I could not look away from or overlook. Even now, I can’t put my finger on what it was that made me notice him in particular. It sounds insane…but from that one picture I knew….I knew that he was meant to be our son. I showed my husband his picture and he said, ” He is cute…but doesn’t strike me”…my heart sunk and I went to bed that night and prayed for God to give me an answer…was I just wanting it so bad that I would choose any random child? …no, I knew better. God would show a way.
Sure enough…the next morning after my husband had gone to work I got a text message from him. It read, ” Andrey has been on my heart…how do we get him home?”… I was SO excited because I knew that God was showing us the path that I had prayed for for so long.
We believe 1,000% that God provides for his callings. And without a doubt we know that Andrey is the child that we are meant to have…its a feeling that may sound crazy to those who have never felt it. He is a gorgeous 5 year old little boy with some minor disabilities…we are praying that the Lord will make it possible for us to have him with us by his 6th birthday in May.
The BIGGEST peace and assurance came over us…we knew that God had us by the hand leading the way. And so our story has begun….we know it’s going to be hard…nothing worth doing is ever easy…but he is worth it to us. Please pray for us on this journey. God blessed us twice over with our two gorgeous girls…whom we love more than words could ever hope to express and we thank him for this gift and journey he has laid before us…to love another.