An Adoption Story

A few weeks ago I got an e-mail from my blog friend, Bridget, telling me about her friends Emily and Tony who are adopting two girls from Africa.

Tony and Emily

I've mentioned before that adoption is something that weighs on my heart - it's not something that we can do right now, but I love the idea of adoption, especially for Christian couples.  

When the Bible speaks about "looking after the widow and orphan" (James 1:27), I think that applies not only to couples that welcome these orphans into their homes, but to those of us who can't be involved so directly - we should still find ways to help the fatherless and the widow.  So when I had the opportunity to help Emily and Tony get the word out about their adoption, I jumped on it!   I may not be able to adopt myself (at least right now), but I love the idea of being able to support other Christians who are adopting.

I checked out their blog, and was impressed with how they both actually write on it!  A lot of times couple's blogs don't actually turn out to be written by both people (nothing wrong with that, just sayin').  I skipped back in the archives and read their story from the beginning, and there are so many ways that it was clear to me, even as just a reader, how God is orchestrating this family being brought together.  

We Love You

So I asked Tony and Emily if they'd write a guest post for me, telling a little bit about their adoption process.  Here they are to tell you a little more about themselves and their girls!

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Emily and I have known for several years that adoption was in our future. We had no idea how soon in the future it would be, but we both knew it was clear that God was telling us our family would grow in that way. We can remember talking about it in simple conversation years ago and it slowly evolving into something more concrete. We officially started the adoption process on paper this fall, September 5, 2012. To be completely honest...that seems like just yesterday to me. We started with a TON of training and quite a bit of paperwork. Two things we had heard would be reoccurring throughout the adoption process.

Huge questions came up when we first realized that our time to adopt was now. Where do we adopt from? International? Domestic? Black? White? Asian? Hispanic? Boy? Girl? One child? Two children? A baby? A teenager? These are all legitimate questions and when you're not sure where to begin those are just a few that will wander through your mind! We saw so many facets to adoption that it was overwhelming to even start the process. Emily and I felt that our first big hurdle was to decide whether to adopt independently or with the help of an agency, but even before that was answered...where do we adopt from?

We were able to decide early on that international adoption from Africa was on our hearts, but how in the heck do we decide what country? Well...we started to look at different countries and talking about them, but never wanted it to feel like shopping. We'd look up a country, do our research and see if we would get a sense that our child was there. Then we'd move onto another country, rinse and repeat. We relied on God nudging us toward one country and finally that happened. It came up in casual conversation by me saying to Em, "What about (insert name of our country)?" A couple of seconds went by and she responded, "Yeah...I could see us adopting from there." We prayed about it, again did our research, talked about it and that one kind of stuck. We never moved on. Fortunately for us, Emily and I are part of the Orphan Care Ministry at our church and we have a LOT of resources through the adoptive families involved there, so we immediately reached out to some of our connections with "our" country in mind. We asked several people many questions surrounding adoption, but our main goal at that time was to decide whether we should adopt independently or through an agency. Ok, ok...I'm rambling....here's Emily to finish off our story.....or at least the continue it!


Tony's right when he talks about all of the questions we had. Even now, with as much progress as we've made, we still have many unanswered questions. However, today we can share that we have the answers to all of the questions Tony listed above. Today, we know that we have have not one, but two daughters! They live in East Africa (name of country must be withheld from all social media platforms until they arrive home). We know they are black and we will have the experiences of a trans racial family. We know that our international adoption is being completed independently (that's a whole other post on it's own!). We know their faces, their names and we know that they're ours!

Shortly after making contact with our children's home, we received the referral for one child, a 2-year-old girl. We were told that she was sweet, shy and has a chronic health condition, but with the love and care of a family she would flourish. We were asked to pray about it, because "maybe she's your daughter." And what do you know...she is! Once we accepted the referral we were given her name, a photograph and some more basic information. We began to fall in love. In the days that followed we ask more questions and I couldn't seem to get settled until we knew more about her birth family. Tony felt the same. The answer to one question changed everything for us. She has a sister. Not only does she have a sister, but this little girl (at the time not living at the children's home) was also in need a family's care. That is when our family got a little bigger. We have two daughters! Our oldest is 8-years-old. She is very lovely, healthy and kind of grown up for her age. 

At the start of our adoption we didn't have a clue about the things bigger and better than our plans that lay ahead. If we had, would it have seemed like too much? Even with only a small amount of hindsight we are able to see that this story had to unfold in this way. The four of us are meant for each other. Everything so far has aligned to allow for these two girls to become ours. Some new plans on our end have had to be set in place; medical plans, education plans and financial plans. A few special exceptions have had to be made for us by folks on the other end as well. However, each new curve in the road is building our faith and each word of encouragement and helping hand blesses us in ways we'd never imagined. We can't wait for the two halves of our family to finally be together!

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I was so touched reading about Emily and Tony's adoption journey, especially about how open their hearts were to receiving both of their girls into their family - I can't wait to see updates on their blog of the four of them all together!

Emily and Tony are getting so close to being able to bring their girls home!  They are in the process of getting ready for a month long trip to East Africa, and after that they get to come home with their two beautiful daughters!  I'm looking forward to following their blog through this last exciting step in their adoption.

Love makes a family  adoption

Adoption in general is so expensive, and I'm excited  for this opportunity to be a part of Emily and Tony's Valentine's Day fundraiser.  From now until Valentine's Day they are asking people to consider donating 14 dollars toward the last of their adoption costs.  If you were touched at all by their story would you prayerfully consider donating to their adoption?  This is a great opportunity for those of us who are not adoptive families to still "look after" the orphan by helping two specific orphans finally join their family!

If this is something you would be interested in supporting, you can donate by clicking the button below - you can also donate anonymously if you prefer that.  If you'd rather send them a check, instead of donating through a website, please send me an e-mail and I'd be happy to get their address for you.  And be sure to stop over and follow their blog to keep updated on their story as it unfolds!


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Melanie said...

What a wonderful story! I cant wait to see how everything unfolds for them!

Anonymous said...

John and I will be praying for them! Thanks so much for posting this! :)

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