the prolouge (how it all began)
We knew when we began our dating experience that we were both called to international missions, specifically Africa. We also knew that we were going to work with orphans, but we assumed that because of my love for Kenya (it’s where I began my walk as a follower of Jesus) that we would be going to Kenya to run an orphanage. About 2.5 years ago some one asked me a question that made me take a hard look at my dream of returning to Kenya, and I was able to see that the call to missions was from God, but my desire for it to be Kenya and to be soon was man made. No sooner did I lay that idol down at the cross than God spoke clearly and distinctly to adopt. God moved on my wife’s heart, well at least she listened to it first, but she did not speak a word of it to me. It was when I brought up the idea that she told me what was in her heart as well. We thought we wanted a daughter, and we would adopt a son later, but that decision was purely for financial reasons, we would adopt all of the world’s orphans if we could. Through our research we kept coming back to Ethiopia, and the thought of Ethiopia quickened both of our spirits.
Now in the adoption world there is a lot to do and pay for and go through before you ever know who you are adopting. So we decided we would add the name Zoë to whatever daughter we wound up with and began our “MISSION 127 :Project Zoë” We did fundraisers, spoke about adoption to churches, scrimped and saved every dime we could, and sold everything in the house not needed to live. Amazingly, but not surprisingly God provided every dollar we needed to pay for the adoption, and the money we will need to travel and bring them home. At this current point the ONLY real need we have is a new vehicle (my motorcycle and my wife’s Echo are both shy of the seats needed for this new family of 6) And even with that I have assurance that Gods provision is there for when the time is right.
Now through this process our 4 year old son (3 at the time) would tell us at every chance he got that God told him that his sister had a brother too and he wanted to come live with us too. Like any good parents we told him, “that’s nice, pray about it and if it’s right God will tell us too.” We went through months of him telling anyone that would listen that he was getting a new brother and sister, and mommy and daddy were just waiting to hear from God like he had about the brother.
Well last September all of the paperwork got to the point of accepting a referral. Would you believe there wasn’t a single girl in the age range we had specified with no siblings? So we said we would think about a sibling set, tell us what was available in the 2 field (Ethiopia approved us to adopt up to 6). They gave us a few names and we prayed about it. As we were sitting in our living room discussing waiting vs. taking on adopting 2, the phone rang. Now mind you it was 10:30 pm. I know, because we were watching CSI, and I missed the 2nd half of the show because of this phone call. You see we were open to having 2 kids, we just had no idea how we were going to pay for 1 kid, much less 2 kids. The man on the other end of the line was a pastor of a small church, the father of a friend. His board of elders had met, and they decided they needed to give us another $2000 in addition to the $1000 they had already given. It was that late night phone call that made us tell our agency that we would accept a referral for 2 kids. When he told the board we had decided to adopt 2 not 1 they then gave us another $2000. This small church that we barely knew seeded $5000 into the life of these 2 children.
They e-mailed us 2 sets of photos. As my wife and I waited for them to download on my laptop my wife asked me how I would know. Her eyes. I had been dreaming of my daughters eyes for months, couldn’t explain it but I knew it was from God and that I would know when I saw her.
As soon as the photos loaded I took one look and knew I had my first photo of my daughter and son. The eyes I had dreamed of for months were now looking at me from this beautiful face and her handsome brother was there guarding her like a good son. I was in love, and I knew from that moment on my house would be empty until they were home.
That was in September of 2005. Since then my love for my children has only grown deeper and stronger.
God has also spoken to us very clearly through this process that our home is in Ethiopia. Our hearts are there, our dreams are there, our desires are there. Now it is just a matter of time, God’s timing isn’t ours as I would move tomorrow if possible. God on the other hand has told us to help start a new thing here in this season and this country. I know I have at least 5 more years with what God is doing now, but my heart is already on that day for when God says GO! Why is it the majority of the world would kill to live in America and I would kill to be in the 3rd world? They dream of the cities and cars, and supermarkets, and tv. I dream of deserts and mountains and villages built by hand out of cow dung where you have to walk to clean water and television is some myth if the ferengis. Where hamburgrs are made from Zebra meat and shoes are never required. I have to stay off flickr as i catch myself in my fantasy world where I already live in the photos of Ethiopia.
There is so much more to this story, but this is the begining. Now you know, and as GI Joe told me every day, Knowing is half the battle!!!!