So, backing up to right after Ben had his "adoption moment". We didn't really know where to go from there, we just knew that God was opening our eyes to see the real need to love the orphans. Honestly, life just kind of got back in the way until about 3 months later, in June 2014. I (Brandee) had a vivid dream that a child was in trouble. I woke up feeling like we didn't have years to begin the adoption, but should pursue it sooner, rather than later. However, we were getting preparations ready for a summer camp in July that we attend each year and decided to look into adoption agencies after camp.
In Sept. I began seeking information. I checked out a book, You CAN Adopt from the library and began reading it. It was a good book to learn from and I think God used this book to soften my heart for the orphans even more. It sparked several conversations between Ben and I. As I finished that book, I reserved A Guide for Christian Families for Successful Adoption. This book was great in providing the advice we were looking for from a Christian perspective.
In October, Ben and I decided we were going to seek out families who were living out what we were trying to figure out. We met with some friends who were fostering kids here in Kettering. We got great info from them on the ups and downs of fostering. Then we met with a family from our church, who had recently brought home their daughter from China and learned a lot from their story as well. We asked a lot of questions about their agency, which led us to start requesting info. from different fostering and adoption agencies. We also got great advice from the worship leader at our church (who has adopted internationally and currently fosters), that we should just take one step at a time. God will open the right doors and close the ones that are not for us. I feel like that's what we kept going back to, just keep taking steps. Through the times of seeking information, we kept coming back to China. However, the cost seemed like too big of a hurdle to even consider, ranging from 28-43K. With fostering, there wouldn't be that huge expense; in fact, they even pay you. But God is bigger than finances and if He's calling us to something, He will provide everything needed to get through it. In the book, A Guide for Christian Families for Successful Adoption it says, "Christians are lovingly commanded by God to love others, particularly the innocent, the young, and the poor. If you have ever felt even the smallest pang of curiosity of adoption, the merest flicker of interest in an orphaned child, then ask God if He wants to fan it into a flame. Then trust Him to take care of the details. As you consider adoption, focus on the resources you do have and let God take care of what you don't." By this point, He has definitely fanned the desire into a flame.
In November, I read a statistic that many people say they want to adopt, but only 2% actually "follow through to completion." One of my fears at this point was that we wouldn't "follow through to completion", which led me to pray all the more fiercely that He would carry us through to completion and beyond and that He would help us be a part of making that percentage rise.
Over the next month, we just kept taking baby steps which led us to applying for an international adoption from China through Gladney Center for Adoption on December 17, 2014.
|November 26, 2014 - Submitting our online Pre-Adoption Application with Gladney|