November is wrapping up with the Christmas season upon us. The snow has fallen a few times in Saskatchewan, and the christmas trees lights are popping up! But before we say goodbye to November and adoption awareness month, I thought I should get one more blog post in.
This year we had the opportunity to share our adoption story with our church family on Orphan Sunday. So here is what we shared that morning.
As many of you know my husband Ryan and I adopted our little girl through His Hands in Taiwan. Grace is 1 year old and the light of our life!
Our adoption journey started long before we ever filled out an application form or met with a social worker. God had a plan for us long before we ever knew.
When I was a young girl God planted a seed in my heart of love for orphans and kids around the world in need. Fast forward a few years and God brought into my life my best friend and life partner. When Ryan and I started talking about marriage and the future we discussed adoption and the importance of doing whatever we could to help orphan children.
Shortly after we were married we entered an unexpected season of our lives. We were crying out to God for direction for the future when He made it very clear that we were called to grow our family through adoption.
I was ready right away to fill out the forms and commit to a country and get the adoption process started. However, even though we knew this was God’s plan, He was asking us to wait for His perfect timing. I remember being frustrated and saying to God “ You have showed us this is your plan for our family, it says in the bible that we are supposed to take care of the orphan and the widow, giving a child a home is a good thing…. Why do I have to wait?” I look back now and see how God used that time in my life to teach me and mould me, to deepen my relationship with Him, to knit our relationship closer together as Husband and Wife. At the time I had no idea how vital this would be as we entered the adoption process.
A while later Ryan and I felt like it was time to start filling out applications forms and figuring out where to adopt. We looked into many different programs and countries and were praying for direction. One Sunday morning I was feeling discouraged as I grabbed a seat near the back of the church. I said a quick prayer for peace as the service started. That morning there was a special skype call with Holly and Regan Muir discussing an organization called His Hands. We had heard of His Hands in passing through the church but this was the 1st time we had an opportunity to hear more in depth about the ministry. After the skype call I said a quick prayer for His Hands and then God rocked my world.
I felt it in the core of my soul that God was promising that someday we would adopt a little girl from Taiwan.
We were so excited about working with His Hands and immediately felt a peace about this direction. However when we discussed with people why we chose His Hands I usually left out the little part about God promising us a girl. Ryan and I would have been over the moon if our baby had been either a boy or a girl, and I often reasoned that a baby either way was good enough, that was a pretty specific promise, and I pushed the little girl part to the back of my mind. When I opened the email for Grace almost 2 years later God strongly reminded me in that moment that He is faithful to do what He says He will do, even in the little details.
I would love to say that it was smooth sailing from that Sunday morning on, but there were so many bumps in the road, you would have thought we were on a Saskatchewan Highway.
But God was FAITHFUL!
We emailed His Hands to start the application process but they were not taking applications at that time. We continued to pray and believe that this was God’s plan and when it was His Time we received an application in our email inbox… Totally 100% all God’s doing!
We hit brick wall after brick wall with social services but God used that to build character in our lives and to remind us every day that He is in control.
He faithfully provided a Christian woman to do our home study and education process. We had called 8 social workers she was the only one to return our call, that was 100% God’s doing!
He provided all of the finances for the adoption expenses even when unexpected bills popped up.
He provided workplaces for both Ryan and I that were incredibly understanding and generous with the time off we needed to complete the adoption process.
He provided me with a prayer warrior that checked in often and who would email me to encourage me
He provided a wonderful woman of God who mentored me and loved me, who prayed with me each week, who encouraged me beyond words
He provided the wonderful team at His Hands who loved Grace, lavished her with Hugs and Kisses, who prayed for her, and took care of every one of her needs until we could be there.
He provided us friends and family who encouraged us, celebrated with us, and gave us a hug when all we could do was weep.
And when our hearts were breaking and we were so tired from the struggle and waiting for things to move along in the process, He provided us a church family to pray for us and encourage us. Your prayers blessed us.
God was faithful to provide for every single one of our needs through our adoption process. On July 10, 2012 we held our beautiful baby girl for the 1st time in a train station in Kaohsiung Taiwan.
I was reminded of these words that day
“ I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Joshua 1:5 Hebrews 13:5)
“ For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord, “ Jeremiah 29:11