Amber and I were married October 25th, 2003. Before I asked Amber to marry me, we did a workbook together called Before You Say I Do. If you’re not married yet or even if you are and did not do something like that, I strongly recommend it. It had us asking ourselves and each other all those questions you don’t want to ask or don’t even know to ask. In any event, in the Children section, we both thought that having 2 biological kids and adopting one would be “our plan.” Keep that thought.
Fast forward a couple years later. We decide we are ready to start a family (well, are you ever really ready!?). We prayed daily together (usually at the start of every morning) for God to provide us a child in His perfect timing and under His perfect will. Our faith in Jesus Christ grew more each passing day as we had to fully put our trust in Him to provide. So many times I say I’ve given something over to God to only hold onto it (unknowingly at times).
We had decided that if Amber wasn’t pregnant after 2 years, “our plan” would be to pursue artificial insemination (AI) along with learning more about adoption. We were still praying daily for a biological child but most importantly to be in line with God’s will for our lives. Throughout this process, we have had many, many folks (thank you!) praying for us as well. We are so grateful for the prayer of God’s people … it is very humbling to have brothers and sisters in Christ fasting, sacrificing, and praying with you.
A week or so prior for us making the call to the doctor, Amber approached me and said she wasn’t sure that AI was the right path. I had those thoughts settling in my heart as well but just hadn’t processed everything to begin to talk about it (those of you who know me know that I’m a processor). I respect Amber for starting that conversation because that wasn’t an easy thing to bring up. When you have thoughts you’re going down one path and now want to redirect that path, that’s a tough conversation to have, especially when that path is children. We both felt the pull towards adoption but really hadn’t researched it much at all. This conversation occurred on Wednesday, June 25th.
Over the next 4 days, a miraculous series of events occurred. Between people who God put in front of us (special thanks to Julie, Carey, and Julie!) to a special guest at church Sunday night to a child we sponsor through World Vision, we felt God was leading us to adopt from Africa and specifically Ethiopia. So, Sunday, June 29th, we 100% chose Ethiopia!
From the outside, one may think we jumped into this rather quickly. I would disagree as we (and many others on our behalf) have been praying for years for God's direction. We have more peace now than we did in the 2.5 years of “our plan.” We know that we are now following "God's Plan" for this area of our lives and we couldn’t be more excited because we know that His Plan is so much better than ours!