Many of our friends and family have adopted or are in the process of adopting. It is really wonderful to be able to support them and follow their journey. I wanted to share one of their stories with you.These are our dear friends Mark and Datha. We've been blessed to have known them for almost seven years now. We have been friends and neighbors. We were living in a duplex, when they moved into a new house in town and found out the house next door to them was up for rent. They called and told us about it, and before the month was up they were helping us move.
Datha and I met while teaching, before I had children, and we became friends almost immediately. She is one of the most nurturing caregivers I have ever known. I call her the baby whisperer. I have seriously seen her take a crying baby into her arms, whom she did not know, and had him completely calm within seconds. I am not exaggerating. It's as if she emits some nurturing motherly pheromone and children are drawn to her. It still amazes me. We have had the opportunity to work together, and we've learned so much from each other over the years, not just in terms of teaching, but just life in general. We seek each others advice on everything from motherhood to ministry.
Mark and Datha are both educators and they both work in full time ministry. They also have three beautiful children. They were talking about having a fourth baby, when Mark shared with Datha that the Lord had impressed upon him that they were going to add to their family through foster care. Specifically that they were going to adopt through foster care. So, they prayed about it and started the necessary classes. Within the first six months they opened their home and hearts to three different children, all of whom would eventually leave and be reunited with their own families. It was wonderful and heartbreaking all at the same time. That's just from my perspective, because I cried with Datha each time she had to send a little one home. Aside from the hopes that this child may be the one, it's hard to send a little one you love back into what may be a precarious situation. You just don't know. You may never know. You may never see them again, and that's hard. Datha said she takes heart in knowing that no matter where they go they will always have two people who will pray for them for the rest of their lives. Maybe that in itself is the reason why God has brought them into their lives. There is something so simple and yet so profound in that statement that it makes me emotional just sharing it here with you. To think that the Lord would take them so far down this road, and allow them to feel so deeply, so they might never forget to pray. Would our great and mighty God orchestrate all that so that these little ones would never be forgotten? Absolutely! That is what is so beautiful about their story. But, it's not over yet.....
Our Lord is faithful. He never forgets His promises. After six months the opportunity came for them to adopt a beautiful little twelve month old boy. His parents had relinquished all rights and he had been passed over by two other couples because he is a special needs child. The agency knew the fact he was special needs would not matter to Mark and Datha. They invited them to come and meet him and to see if they would like to take him into their family. It was an answer to every one's prayers. To God be the glory.
We had the chance to meet him when they came to stay with us during the Christmas holidays. He is precious. I got to spoil him just a bit with a new toy and blankie from his Tiffy. I did not include pictures of him, because it is part of procedure until his adoption is finalized, at the end of May. I just feel so blessed to be a witness to all of this and to help them celebrate and welcome him home.
Adoption is so important. There is such a need and I admire anyone willing to consider opening their hearts and homes. Hugh and I don't feel that the Lord is calling us to adopt, but there is no reason why we can not support and encourage others in their journey to adopt. The Lord asks us to care for orphans and widows, and to give fair judgment to the poor, the afflicted, the fatherless, and the destitute. He also says that whatever you do for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you do for me. We are all called in some capacity to help. As long as we are willing, He will use us, even if in some small way. Please pray for this special family. -Thank you.