I have known my whole life that God was calling me adopt a child internationally. I did not know when or where this calling would take me, but I had no doubts that it was His desire for my life. My dad (who is a pastor) and mom accepted a one year missionary position in Kenya while I was in high school. That year changed my life in so many ways, one of which was that it created in me a burning passion and heart for the orphans in Africa. When I met my husband several years later, I was amazed to learn that he too had always felt a calling to adopt a child. After we were married, we decided to have two biological children and then adopt our third child, thereby completing our family. (Even as I write this, I can just hear that old saying that if you want to make God laugh, just make plans!!) We were surprised to learn after having our two biological children that a third biological child was on the way! This was nowhere in the plans we had made for ourselves, but like everything else we'd been through, we knew to trust God fully with His will for us. When our youngest daughter was about 6 months old, we nervously began to revisit our adoption calling. We knew God was still calling us to adopt, but we were unsure of how we would manage four children. For almost a year, we prayed for His guidance in our decision. We shared our struggle with our closest family members and friends from our small group who all agreed to surround us in prayers through this decision-making process. In October of 2009, we felt so strongly that the timing was right and that we needed to trust Him fully as we agreed to follow His calling. We were completely convicted, and we sent in our application to adopt a child from Ethiopia, just north of where I lived all those years ago in Kenya.
The adoption agency we've chosen to work with, America World Adoption, is a fully-committed Christian organization. We are so excited to have found an agency who shares our belief that adoption is a gift from God and a beautiful picture of the way God loves us and "adopts" each one of us into His family.