It goes without saying that our six children are a huge part of our story here on our little off-grid homestead. But just seven years ago things were quite different in our family. Evenstar was 10 and our only child after 13 years of marriage. The vision we felt God had given us for a larger family seemed a distant dream. After several miscarriages and years of infertility, we weren’t sure how the Lord was going to work things out.
But even years before this God was preparing our children in various parts of the world to be a part of our family. Evenstar prayed daily for siblings, and we gradually became aware of the huge needs of millions of fatherless children in this world who have a special place in the heart of our Heavenly Father. Seven years ago there were four children already born and one who would be formed in my womb that God would place in our family.
The Lord used The Shepherd’s Crook Ministry (TSC) to help us find several of our children. They have a heart especially for orphans who are hard to place, and were instrumental in helping us to see the possibilities in adoption; how opening our hearts and home to children who needed a family was part of God’s calling for us.
Our first adoption attempts failed. We were a few weeks from bringing home two little boys from Romania when the country closed its doors to international adoption. Alex has mild CP, and after Romania closed we were unable to keep track of his whereabouts. Marius, who is blind, was in a good foster home, but for reasons no one understands he was removed and placed in a state mental institution, the fate of many physically needy children in some countries. Before marriage I had visited a state institution in Romania, and those memories still make me shudder. How grievous that a child we thought of as our son is living in this setting. We can only pray and trust the Lord is ministering to his heart in special ways, and that some day we will meet in heaven.
When we finally accepted the fact that our boys were not coming home, the Lord brought to our hearts a little girl whose picture was on TSC’s website. She was 3 ½ and had an issue with her right leg not working properly. She looked so sad and alone, but she was in Kazakhstan which made her adoption look impossible. Kaz is difficult and very expensive to adopt from, requiring several lengthy trips by both parents, or one long stay to complete the adoption.
Our God is a God of the impossible, and the summer of 2005 found us in Kaz bonding with this little girl we’ll call Honey Bun. Ten days into our bonding time with her we were told we couldn’t adopt her after all. A local woman had stepped forward and said she wanted her, and locals get first chance. We were devastated! They gave us a little baby girl instead.
After spending the summer in Kaz we left for home with our darling new 11 month old with very mixed feelings. We were overjoyed to have our Little Bird, but felt like we were leaving another daughter behind.
We arrived home and discovered I was indeed pregnant! What joy! The Lord protected our son from miscarriage and Farmer Boy and Little Bird grew up together 18 months apart in age, but developmentally more like twins (babies in orphanages usually are way behind babies in families).
Meanwhile God had drawn our attention to the children in Liberia orphaned by war and the very tough economic situation. We ended up getting approved and matched with two unrelated little girls. They were hard to place because of their ages. It was the beginning of 2008 and we were preparing to travel to Liberia for Blossom (eight) and Butterfly (five). Then we got a phone call.
A stanger asked if we were the family who had been in Kaz three years earlier trying to adopt Honey Bun. They were to inform us that her adoption had been revoked and she was back in the orphanage. They wondered if we were still interested.
That was an earth-shaking, mind-boggling “God” moment! It started us on an 18 month journey fighting tooth and nail to bring Honey Bun home from a country whose adoption process had only gotten more difficult and expensive than ever.
Our whole family saw the mighty hand of God many times during that process, moving impossible mountains (some day we promise to write a book). But our God is a God of the impossible!! All of us came home from Kaz (yes, it was a family adventure) with Honey Bun after spending another summer there, making her the fifth child God had added to our family in four years!
Are we done? God only knows. There are still millions out there who are alone…who need to know the love and belonging God intended for every child. What an opportunity to make disciples! In our family five little girls are no longer alone: the four adopted, and one who prayed daily for siblings.
This weekend we go to Ohio for the orphan awareness event we were filmed for in April, hosted by TSC. Here’s a preview of that production we participated in: “No Longer Alone 2012.” We invite you to come if you can. Get your free reservation now for 6-9pm this Friday, June 22 at the Savanah Center in West Chester, OH. Learn how you can make a difference in the life of a child by adopting, by supporting someone else adopting, or by helping provide for needs of children in orphanages around the world.
Linked w/Barn Hop, Morris Tribe, White Wolf Summit Farmgirl, Growing Home, Frugally Sustainable, Live Renewed, Our Simple Farm, A Rural Journal, Simple Lives Thursday, My Simple Country Living, Ole’ Saturday Homesteading Trading Post, and Seasonal Celebration Sunday.