We love Show Hope!!

We recently submitted a testimony to Show Hope as they were collecting stories from their grant recipients for the last year. This organization has helped so many families, and we will forver be linked with their ministry. I recently finished reading Mary Beth Chapman's book, and it was so fun to hear the Chapmans' adoption stories and read about how Show Hope was founded. I fell in love with her passion for orphans and her {huge} heart to come along side families struggling to pay for their adoptions.

Even though some of what I wrote for the testimony I've already written here, I thought it would be fun to post. It was good for me to reflect back over the whole process again, and remember what God did to bring Abby home.

Our grant was unusual, in that an anonymous donor who had never met us actually funded the grant to our family through Show Hope. I will never be able to personally thank that person outside of updates I still send to Show Hope. But, my dear donor friend, whoever you are--if by chance you read my blog and follow Abby's story still--know that we will be forever grateful for the part you played in helping Abby become a part of our family. Thank you. Thank you.

In August of 2009, we embarked on a journey with little logic and lots of faith. Years before, a seed had been planted in our hearts for adoption, but it loomed large before us, as something overwhelming and costly and unknown. We figured we’d stay open, and if God wanted us to adopt, He would give us the push when the timing was right.

After ten years in full time pastoral ministry, we moved to Florida in 2007 to plant a new church from scratch. Joe began working bi-vocationally and I focused on homeschooling our four children while we sought to honor the Lord in this new endeavor of ministry. In 2009, God brought a family to our church with a passion for Africa and for adoption. It was a clear sign to us. I remember the night Joe looked at me and said, “Well, it’s our turn.”

All of the circumstances around us pointed to us being out of our minds. Here we were, with little to no discretionary income, Joe working two jobs, balancing the pressures of church planting with the needs of our family, in a three bedroom house with six people. But we prayed, and realized: there is never a good time to begin an adoption. But, as my friend says, there is never a bad time to have a baby! You can plan and fret and try to be strategic but ultimately God gives you the grace you need, one. day. at. a. time.

We felt called to international adoption and specifically Ethiopia, as our church began to catch a vision for a long term, strategic ministry in that country. We loved that our ministry would overlap with our child’s birth country. But the cost scared us. It was almost laughable, the amount we needed. Then my friend said to me, “Do you have $100? Because that’s all you need to apply. Take it one step at a time. One fee at a time. God will provide.”

So that’s exactly what we did. We pulled together $100 and mailed in our application. Then we had a big garage sale. I designed a t-shirt and began selling it on my blog. I hosted a vendor/craft fair fundraiser night. I planned a raffle/auction event. I did market research to earn extra money. When we got our referral, friends –some we knew and some we didn’t—participated in a puzzle fundraiser online that covered our referral fee. And then we received a Show Hope grant that finalized our travel and finished our fundraising needs. God always provided just what we needed for the next step. He proved Himself faithful to provide for what He had called us to do. It also convinced me that money should never be what stands between a family and their calling to adopt. God is the Father to the Fatherless and owns it all—all we have is His and all we need is His to provide. We found that to be firm ground to stand on.

Abby was a little 4 year old on the waiting child list for our agency. She had been on the list for almost two months when our paperwork was completed, so we immediately asked for her file. On July 28th, 2010, we accepted her referral. Because of court closures and various hang-ups, she would not arrive home until January 8, 2011. But she was well worth the wait.

After a year of fundraising, our Show Hope grant took the pressure off by providing exactly what we needed to bring Abby home. We will forever be grateful for the way God used this organization and it’s supporters as a part of our adoption journey.

In the last eight months, our small church has seen three children come home to their forever families, and we will be welcoming the fourth home next month. It has been a movement of God, revealing the heart of the gospel in a tangible way and the ripple effect is ongoing. Our story is so much bigger than just our family—it is woven together with our close friends and colaborers as we have walked this out side by side, as deeply invested in each others’ adoptions as we are in our own.


It has been a wonderful six months since she has been home. I try to expect and be prepared for anything at the same time that I enjoy the relative ease with which Abby has integrated into our family. We continue to speak love and assurance to her little heart, not just of her place in this family, but as a child of the King. We try to be sensitive and open to her as we watch her continue to discover how God is weaving her unique story, consistently providing a secure and loving place to grow and develop. I know there are many who fear adopting an older child, and I would certainly never suggest our experience would be everyone's. But I am blessed to say any problems we have faced so far have paled in comparison to the joy we have experienced with Abby in our lives. Becoming this little girl's family has been one of the greatest gifts God has ever given to me, to Joe, to Josh, Nathan, Hannah and Danielle. We all agree: we are richly blessed.

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4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Beautiful

AGoodKindOfCrazy said...

<3!!! Love Abby's story.

I'm mailing in our Show Hope app next week! Hunter's adoption and placement happened so fast I didn't get any of the grant apps in before we went to get him! Ahhhhhh!!
-Kryste

Melissa said...

<3

Connie said...

Beautiful! We're Show Hope folk too, and forever grateful for their help in Paul joining our family. I alternated between crying buckets and laughing til my sides ached when reading Mary Beth's book. Great post, friend. God be praised!