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So, here we are, thinking that we’re going on mission to Haiti with a group from our church, so why am I feeling so uneasy about it?


I’ll never forget the Sunday that Pastor Dave played the following video as part of his sermon. This video and song shook my whole world, and it stills brings tears to my eyes when I watch it. It seriously gives me chills. Please take a moment to watch it….betcha can’t guess which verses touched me the most! :)

After a prayerful week spent listening to God, Chris and I realized why we both felt a little unsettled about the Haiti mission.  A little voice kept whispering in my heart, “This is not your mission…this is not your mission.”  I knew that I wanted to go on a “mission”, and as soon as the word “mission” was said in church, I jumped all over it.  But, I had jumped on a mission that wasn’t mine.  It was then that I realized that, somewhere in the world, there was a little girl “with no family of her own” and she was waiting…waiting for her family to come get her and bring her home and love her for the rest of her life. She needed a mother and a father and two big brothers to be her family, and *that* was my mission.


God Blessed…

Chris and I talked with Jon, who was running the Haiti mission, and let him know that we would not be going to Haiti after all.  If we were going to be adopting, we decided that we would need to focus all our resources, financial and otherwise, into our adoption efforts.

About a month later, I was vegging out one night after the kids had gone to bed and I happened upon a blog. I had been checking my cousins’s blog, where I found a link to another blog, and another.  Somehow this chain reaction led me to her:

Meet “Anika”.  Just look at that beautiful little girl.  Someone had written a blog post advocating for Anika.  She was a waiting child in Eastern Europe who needed a forever family.  The girl who wrote the blog had a great idea.  She talked about the odds stacked against Anika, one of them being the huge amount that her adoption would cost.  She did not want this to be a factor that held her family back.  The blog encouraged everyone to host a “Love for Anika” party.  What is a “Love for Anika” party?  This:

“150 people [you!] have a get together in the month of May.
they invite 9 of their friends to have a night in instead of a night out.
each of those 9 friends [and you!] bring $20 to donate to Anika’s adoption fund.
150 parties x 10 people x 20 dollars = $30,000
Anika’s life spared from an institution & the hope of being part 
of a loving family simply because you shared her story & had
a fun night with your friends in her honor!”

Isn’t that such a neat idea!!!! I spent the rest of the evening doing more adoption research.  I learned that there are numerous grants available for families who want to adopt internationally.  I learned that many families get really creative with fundraising for their adoptions.  There are so many families out there, just like my family, who don’t have an extra $35,000 sitting in the bank, but who have enough love and space for another child.  They make it work! And if they can do it, why couldn’t we?

Chris was working late that night, but as soon as he got home I showed him her picture.  For days, she was all I could think about.  Finally, I said to Chris, “I want to be her mama.” His response floored me…he had been thinking the same thing!  The very next morning, we  emailed the organization that had Anika listed and found out how to get started.  In the meantime, we started looking at local adoption agencies so we could get started on our home study.

Several days later, we heard back from the agency that would facilitates Anika’s adoption.  She let us know the situation regarding Anika.  The region in her country where she lived would be closing for the summer and not accepting dossiers from new families until that September (this was in April). So, in order to adopt Anika before the summer closing, she needed a family who was “Home study ready” (either finalized or mostly done) and who would be able to get their dossier put together in just a couple weeks and be ready to travel soon. These were huge odds stacked against us.   There were also several families who had inquired about Anika, and the families were contacted in the order they inquired.

So, here’s how the story went: Family #1 was very excited to hear that several others were wanting to adopt Anika and were already in the process of adopting another child; Family #2 was having trouble finding a home study agency and wouldn’t be able to complete all the requirements in time; Family #3 (this seriously gives me chills, and I probably won’t get all the details right, but that’s ok :) )This family had seen Anika in the past and knew that she was meant to be their daughter, but ran into some bumps along the way. Their family size was considered too large by Anika’s region. When they saw her picture again, they were determined to make it work.  Their home study need a couple changes and tweaks, but they were already planning a mission trip to Anika’s region, and they were able to extend their trip to travel for Anika’s adoption. They were able to finalize their home study, get their dossier together in record time, get an exception regarding their family size, and Anika came home to her forever family in August!!!!!!

We were family #4.

…The Broken Road…

My heart was broken just a little.  It’s amazing how much you get attached to the thought of a person.  But, luckily, I was able to follow Anika’s journey on her family’s blog.  Their story was AMAZING! And had the fingerprints of God all over it. This was definitely her family. I felt so blessed to be a little bit of a witness to it.
So, a random evening surfing the internet led us to Anika…..Anika led us to an organization who advocates for waiting children in other countries…and that organization led us to…

Baby “Helen”.  Isn’t she a doll?! Helen is located in the same region as our Baby Sister and they share the same birth month and year, May 2010.  We were put in touch with Helen’s adoption agency and found out that several other families had also inquired about Helen.  Can’t blame them!  Helen ended up being adopted by a family local to her.  What a lucky little girl! She went home with her forever family in June 2010.

By now, we knew which country we felt lead to adopt from. We knew that we were looking for a little girl and what age range we were hoping for.  We had learned so much more about the international adoption process including that there are numerous grants that families can apply for to help with the cost, and all the fundraising options that are available.  We knew that if God really was calling us to adopt that it was definitely possible and, with Him on our side, we would make it a reality. We really liked the agency that would have facilitated Helen’s adoption, Hand in Hand International Adoption Agency.  We let them know our preferences and then sat back to do the hard part…..wait.

That Led Me Straight to You!

August 2011. Redfish weekend! Every year my family has a “Family Reunion that is NOT a Family Reunion” camping trip at Redfish Lake near Stanley, Idaho.  Chris, the kids, and I were on our way out of town for the weekend and I get an email from Hand in Hand.  Their coordinator in the region we were looking into had received referrals for two little girls who matched our preferences and we needed to let them know as soon as possible if we wanted to pursue the adoption of one of them.  It is such a weird feeling to read this in an email and to receive pictures of a child who may someday become your daughter…


And That is the Story of How We Met “Baby Sister.”

I could hardly think of anything else for the rest of the weekend.  We had not shared our adoption plans with our family yet, so I couldn’t tell anybody.  We prayed over it and when we came home, I emailed the agency and let them know that we wanted to adopt her.

Hopefully, and God-Willing, the rest will someday be history.

Phew! That took me awhile to get all down and organized. I hope you enjoyed reading my story :)  It is so incredible to me, and so reassuring, to see how God puts everything together. I can definitely feel His presence woven into the details of our journey so far, and can’t wait to see what He has in store for our family!

2 Responses to “Why Adoption? And a Million Other Questions…CONTINUED…”

  1. Molly says:

    It’s really neat to hear your story. “Helen” played a part in ours, too.

  2. Bethany says:

    Our road to our girls had a few twists and turns, too. Funny how that happens and in the middle of it, it seems like such an emotional roller coaster, but in the end we got exactly the right children meant for our family. I’m sure you will, too! In our case, we fell for twin girls in RU (which is how we chose the country program even though Ukraine was another option we were considering and would have been the Easier option). Then once we were well under way with paperwork, we found out ONE of the girls had been adopted domestically. (Who separates TWINS?!) That was a major setback for us, so we took 5 months “off” to reconsider how to proceed. Then we saw the picture of our youngest and traveled as soon as we could, but when we got there, we were told there was no chance. Ten days later they told us she was ours :) Our oldest was a blind referral although we had known about her and thought she was too sick. But when we got the referral, we went ahead and met her and totally fell for her. The twins ended up both getting placed together in RU and we would have suffered a major disappointment had we gone with Uk*ine but that country programs changed dramatically during our adoption process. So it all makes sense now why everything happened the way it did. I should probably tell the whole story on my blog. Anyway, sorry this is so long, but I wanted to thank you for telling your story – truly inspirational!