“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”
This verse can have many different applications for different people, but to us, it speaks to the fact that orphans are important to God and, therefore, should be important to us. For several years, we have both had a desire to adopt. I (Kari) have cousins who are adopted and we both have friends who have fostered and adopted children who didn’t have the love and support of a family. We see adoption as one way we can live sacrificially and offer our worship to Christ. We believe that by doing so, we are acknowledging God’s work when he adopted us as His son and daughter. Through adoption, we hope to be able to offer some shadow of that love to the children that we want to adopt.
Two years ago, I (Drew) went to a mission’s conference where David Nasser spoke about the overwhelming need of orphans around the world. Listening to the horrors that many children are forced to face each day and praying through how God could use me to help in this area, I began to seriously consider the possibility of international adoption. Over the past two years, God has continued to bring international adoption to the forefront of my mind. After much prayer, many conversations with others who have adopted, and seeking wise council from a few close friends, we have determined that God is calling us to international adoption.
I (Kari) have been reading a book the past couple months called Rhinestone Jesus and in it, it talks about saying yes to Jesus and taking simple steps to do big things for Him. It also talks about how no one can do everything well. There are so many great causes in the world that people can focus on and are clearly good things to support. The End It Movement, To Write Love on Her Arms, international child sponsorship through organizations like World Help, and many other opportunities exist for people to help those around them. Many of us find ourselves trying to stretch our time or our resources too thin because there is so much need in the world. Kristen Welch, in Rhinestone Jesus, says, “I believe we are all called to do something, just not everything. Focusing on our one thing and doing it well to His glory is both liberating and life changing.” Instead of trying to do everything, we want to choose our ‘one thing’ that God has called us to and do it well. For us, our one thing is going to be international adoption. We have seen the huge need of children around the world and we know that God has blessed us with much to give. My (Kari) desire in life has been to be a mom for as long as I can remember. It’s not glamorous, but for me, it’s the best thing I can imagine doing. I don’t believe that God has given me that desire for nothing. I think He has been preparing me to be a mom to many children – both our biological children, as well as to the ones that we are planning to adopt from around the world.
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘come you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me a drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.” Then the righteous will answer him saying, ‘Lord when did we see you hungry and feed you or thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the king will answer them, ‘truly I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these you did it to me.”
After praying and determining that we both felt like God was calling us to adoption, we began to consider several adoption agencies and different countries where adoption is available. Seeking God’s direction through this process, we both felt God drawing us towards Haiti. Once we decided to focus on Haiti, we realized that you have to be 30 years old to adopt from there. Since we are currently only 26 and 27, we were discouraged at first. However, after some prayer, we realized that God wasn’t shutting a door, but He was simply asking us to wait. After all, Peyton and Sadie are still very young, so we feel that waiting a little while will allow us an opportunity to be better prepared. We also know that adoption – especially internationally – is incredibly expensive. With this in mind, we have started to look for ways to prepare now for the adoption that God has called us toward. We have started a savings account and have begun looking for ways to begin fundraising. Many times, with adoption, people are left wondering where the money is going to come from and how they will be able get it by their deadline. Our desire is that, by starting the fundraising process before we are eligible, it will enable us to move quickly through the adoption process when the time comes.
We started a landscaping business last year and have decided to put all of the income from that straight towards our adoption. We are also praying through Christmas and how we can begin to put the money we would spend on presents for each other straight towards our account. We know that we will have to come up with many other fundraisers, but we are excited and we look forward to seeing God provide the $25,000-$35,000 it will require for us to adopt one child from Haiti, and that cost will double if we are able to adopt two.
We would also like to humbly ask each of you to pray about how you can be a part of our journey. We NEED your prayers. International adoption is a huge undertaking and there are so many variables that can affect the process, but we know that this is what God has called us to do. If God lays it upon your heart to help us in this process, that calling may result in giving of your time, money, and prayers. Our family has decided that there is at least one, and possibly more, children out there somewhere that are ours and we want to begin the process of bringing them home. Would you be willing to consider how you can begin to help us in this process?
We want to conclude this post with a quote from a book I (Kari) have been reading. This quote summarizes our desire to make a difference in the life of the one or two children we are hoping to adopt. Our prayer is that, by being faithful to serve one small child, God can use our efforts to make a profound impact on the world.
“People who really want to make a difference in the world usually do it, in one way or another. And I’ve noticed something about people who make a difference in the world: They hold the unshakable conviction that individuals are extremely important, that every life matters. They get excited over one smile. They are willing to feed one stomach, educate one mind, and treat one wound. They aren’t determined to revolutionize the world all at once; they’re satisfied with small changes. Over time, though, the small changes add up. Sometimes they even transform cities and nations, and yes, the world.”
-Beth Clark (foreword of Kisses from Katie)