Adoption has been a topic of conversation for the past 12 years, for as long as we’ve been married. We seriously have prayed about starting the process 3 different times: first, when I was pregnant with Evie; second, in early 2012; third, in the fall of 2014. We’ve been intentionally praying for God’s direction for our family and adoption for about the last 9 months. In November 2014, we began to pursue adoption in Mexico. We explored adopting internationally from Mexico through an agency in the States. Thanks to Elias’ birth here (and his immediate Mexican citizenship), we also had the opportunity to become permanent residents and complete a national adoption. However, every time we tried to take a step forward, doors closed. The Lord continued to burden our hearts heavily for adoption, so we didn’t understand why we could not progress in any direction.
On the morning of March 6th, I prayed in frustration to the Lord, “Do you seriously want us to pursue adoption from another country?” It was really more of a rhetorical question, because why would He ever ask us to adopt from another country, when we were living in Mexico and serving orphans here?? Immediately, the country of Nicaragua popped into my head. I thought that was the strangest thought, as I knew nothing about Nicaragua, had never been there, knew no one who had ever visited there, etc. About a week later, I had a scheduled consultation with an agency in Indiana, MLJ Adoptions Inc. (Earlier in March, I had contacted about 6 agencies that had pilot adoption programs in Mexico. MLJ was the first agency to respond.)
During our consultation, we spoke about their Mexico adoption program. At the end of our conversation, I asked if they had a Nicaragua program. At this point, I had no idea if Nicaragua even participated in international adoptions. They did in fact have a Nicaragua program, and she shared a lot of information with me that morning. Right before we hung up, she mentioned that she thought she knew me. I assured her she didn’t, as we lived in Mexico. She asked if I had ever taught at Mason High School in Ohio. Surprised, I responded yes. She had graduated from Mason High School, while I was a teacher there years prior. She also said she had interned at the Back2Back home office in Mason. It was a shocking “coincidence” and really confirmed our decision to stay with this agency.
I waited to share this Nicaragua idea with Grant and asked him to pray about the possibility of adopting outside of Mexico. On the morning of 3/23, I read several articles and devotionals that prompted me to seriously consider moving forward with the adoption process in Nicaragua. Due to a cancelled meeting, Grant returned home for breakfast. He told me that during his prayer time that morning he felt the Lord telling him that it was time to start the process. I told him about Nicaragua, and he said, “Let’s do it!” That day, we submitted our initial application to MLJ to begin the Nicaragua adoption process. We received our fee chart from MLJ and realized we would need close to $8000 to move forward.
Soon after, we found out that, due to living outside the US, we would have to pay for someone to fly to Mazatlan to conduct our home study. I emailed a home study agency, and a social worker responded immediately. She told me that she’d just received a message from a woman in Mazatlan who wanted a home study at the same time as our family. Another “coincidence” that would allow us to split travel/lodging/per diem fees and save about $600.
Amidst this, our Back2Back support account was at an all-time low. We were preparing to leave for the States for a visit and knew we would have to spend most of our time raising support, in order to stay in Mazatlan. The $8000 also hung in the back of our minds. God provided in several ways on our trip, and our Back2Back support deficit was brought down to $5000. We trusted that He would provide this and allow us to be fully funded for the remainder of 2015.
I texted a friend, who had recently adopted from China, and shared with her our plan to adopt from Nicaragua. She excitedly responded that she had just contributed to an adoptive moms’ devotional book, of which the editor was the director of an organization in Nicaragua that supports adoptive families who are in Nicaragua to adopt. (Nicaragua requires a 10-20 week stay in country, where the adoptive parents live with the child full-time. This allows a focused time of building attachment in a familiar environment to the child.) We later attended an annual conference on orphan care, where I met this organization’s director.
The Lord continued to confirm our decision to adopt from Nicaragua through various Scripture, articles, and friends. Our first payment of $3500 was quickly approaching. We received notice that we were due to receive an amended tax return that would cover this payment! Praise God!! Days later, we found out that this return was again delayed, possibly for months. We did have money in our savings to cover this payment but didn’t know if the Lord would call us to put a serious dent in our savings, after He had taken us through so much to pay off our debt and build our savings. After much prayer, we realized He did want us to use this saved money and trust that He would carry us through. So, we put the check in the mail.
Days later, we returned to Mazatlan. We received an invoice for our home study…$3000…due 5 days later. I had no idea how we were going to come up with the money. I started to worry that maybe I had NOT really heard Nicaragua from the Lord…maybe I had dreamt that up on my own. Maybe this whole adoption thing was a huge mistake! I asked the Lord that morning to give me clear confirmation that we were on the right track. I felt the Lord bringing the word “faith” to mind over and over again. I read 2 separate devotions that spoke of Hebrews 11:1, Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen . Later, I was flipping through the adoptive moms’ devotional that I referenced earlier and saw a chapter on faith. The key scripture? Hebrews 11:1. The author of this chapter adopted from Nicaragua, after having served in Mexico.
Now…this is a lot of detail, but hang with me. This all took place 5/19.
Early in the morning, I received an invoice for $600 for the home study. We wiped out our savings paying this, literally. $43 remaining.
I shared all that had taken place with Ezra and Grant. Ezra was visibly moved and told us that she wanted to give her $30 of birthday money towards the adoption. She reminded me that we could put that together with our $30 we had received from selling a few bracelets. At that moment, I received another invoice for our home study for $60. Ezra was floored! She tangibly saw how the Lord had provided, at exactly the time we needed it.
Later that afternoon, I spoke with a friend and financial supporter. She said she felt the Lord prompt her to give $5000 for our Back2Back support, the exact amount we needed to be fully funded for 2015.
That evening, I received an email that our tax refund was being issued…$2800. This would essential cover the remaining $3000 that was due days later.
Up to this point, we’ve paid close to $7,500. We are very close to completely exhausting our personal funds. But, He proves faithful. We are confident that He will continue to provide for our remaining $26,000 that we’ll need to finalize this adoption and empty a crib in a Nicaraguan orphanage.
Click here to see our personal tax-deductible fundraising site for our Nicaraguan baby!!!
We give ALL glory and praise to Him, our Provider. Jehovah Jireh.