On September 10th of this year I traveled to China with Andrea and Abbie (our 7 year old daughter) to fulfill a dream of providing a home for a child without a family. That child is Malachi, a 15 month old from the Henan Province of China. He is a happy child with a smile that lights up a room. On September 15th, Malachi officially became part of our family. It was a surreal moment for sure.
People have asked Andrea and I how we got started on the track to adopt- especially from China. The short answer is that before Andrea and I were married, we were having one of those conversations that couples have:
How do you put the toilet paper back on the roll? Over the top or in the back?
Frosted Flakes or Fruity Pebbles?
How many kids do you want?
And somewhere in the midst of that conversation came up the topic of adoption. Andrea spent six months living and serving in India and Nepal and I had the opportunity to travel to Brazil when I was a teenager. Those experiences of traveling outside of the country certainly had a major influence on our conversation that night. I imagine that we talked about quite a few things while we dated that never stuck. But somehow, a conversation about adopted a child stuck with us.
After having two girls, Abbie and Chloe, the possibility of adopting came up again (we continued to talk about it from time to time). We knew the time frame to adopt and that if we wanted to adopt then we needed to get started. This was the summer of 2012.
Here is how it went down. It was a day or two before we were to leave on a two week vacation and we had decisions to make. We were discerning about starting the adoption process AND putting our house on the market. So the night before we left for vacation, we signed the paperwork to begin the adoption process, cleaned our house and signed on with a real estate agent. It sounds a little crazy, but we’ve found in our life that when we jump in with both feet that God makes sure everything works out!
A couple of years of following our dream, that dream has come true. Our trip to China was a great family adventure and a lesson to our girls about following our dreams and following the nudges that God gives us as we seek to follow Jesus.
So what is a dream of yours? Is there something that you want to do; something that you’ve been called to do that you haven’t? What is holding you back? What would it take to get you to jump in with both feet?
As we adjust to being a family of five and I realize that this dream has come true- I’ve wondered to myself- “What new dream will God give us to pursue?” I can’t wait!