For some time I have thought Ricky and I may adopt a child in the future. Right before Emma was born, we started volunteering for a humanitarian relief organization called "Kids Against Hunger" in Cincinnati. Before you start helping pack meals for the world's poor, they show an awareness video about the plight of the orphan in the world. They gave a lot of sobering statistics and showed pictures of many precious lives, but one statistic stuck in my heart more than any other: if every orphan in the world held hands, they would be able to reach around the circumference of the globe twice. Maybe it's because I have traveled on a plane around much of the world that the vastness of this fact stood out to me, but I knew we had to do something. Scripture is filled with truths about God's heart for the poor, such as Zechariah 7:9-10, "Dispense true justice, and practice kindness and compassion each to his brother; and do not oppress the widow or the orphan, the stranger or the poor..." It is also filled with the amazing truth of how we are adopted into God's family through faith in Christ's atoning work on our behalf on the cross. So, as Christians, Ricky and I knew that our question was not 'should we help orphans?', it was 'how does God specifically have for us to help orphans?' This is a question we have been praying about in a more focused manner since early Fall and as we prayed and sought guidance and spoke with different adoption agencies, the answer became clear: God has for us to adopt a child, not at some vague time in the future, but to start the process now.
Therefore, we are delighted to share with you our joyous news this Christmas season! We were recently accepted into a renowned adoption agency called 'Bethany Christian Services' China Special Needs program focused on a adopting a child with a minor correctable need (such as a cleft lip and palate). This program resonated with our hearts because it would give us the opportunity to adopt a child that is given very little hope in his/her home country, but could become part of our family, receive the needed medical attention, and be given the opportunity for a full and abundant life! We sit in thankfulness for how God has worked in our family and brought us to this place to move towards adopting! (We were also accepted into their Uganda program, but are primarily focused on China at this time).
So, as we enter the new year, we will begin the home study process and gathering all the needed paperwork to help bring our child home! And we also just learned that we received the house we had put an offer on in our church neighborhood at a much lower price than we originally thought and will be moving in in January. We are humbled by God's provisions for us. If everything goes as planned (which is not a given in the world of international adoption!), our home study and gathering materials portion of the process will take about 6 months, the referral process for a boy in this program is 1-6 months (these children are on a waiting list and a large number of them are boys). We will be adopting a child younger than Emma, so our referral process will be longer than 1 month, but is not thought to be longer than 6, meaning that by next Christmas, it is possible our child would be in our home!
We will update this site as our journey continues. Please let us know if you have any thoughts or questions or wisdom to give us on this journey! Also, as you may know, the cost of international adoption is high. Depending on our travel costs, the total cost for our adoption will be somewhere between $30,000 and $40,000. We will be raising this money through those led to give, grant programs we can apply to once our home study is over, and any other ways God has to provide these funds! If you are interested in giving financially, please contact Ricky or me and we will let you know the best way to do this (our email addressess are below). Please let us know too if you would like to be part of our prayer team! Your prayers are a special gift to us!
Thank you for learning about this adventure that awaits us. And Merry Christmas to your family! Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Link to the song 'Kings and Queens' by Audio Adrenaline. This song has been especially powerful to us: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U64bongHqYU
Ricky's email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Michelle's email: email@example.com