So many people have asked us how all of this adoption stuff came about. Well, naturally it’s a LONG story and starts much longer ago than most people would think. I will attempt to tell you some of the backstory now and continue the story with future posts. So here is part 1.
Amy and I first became an item of some sort when she was 14 and I had just turned 15. We were only “good friends,” at least as far as her parents thought. All the way through High School we were together and became best friends. Shortly before graduation, the Lord really convicted us that our relationship had become a bit of an idol to each of us and we needed to lay it down, bringing Jesus back to the center of each of our lives….this is the spiritual way of saying that we broke up! For three years. While we attended the same college. Yeah. Awkward.
While we were living our separate lives, I had ventured home to Elkhart one weekend for a school break. I went to a Sunday night service at my home church, Calvary Assembly of God in Elkhart, where a missionary named Sam Powloc was speaking (pronounced POV-lock). He had been a missionary to Poland and was home on itineration. I have no earthly clue what he preached about that night but I remember literally RUNNING to the altar at the end of the message. I couldn’t get there fast enough to respond to the drawing of the Holy Spirit in my heart. Now, I was already saved and serving God, so this had much more to do with my surrender to His plan and will for my life. I prayed and wept at the altar as some of our pastors and my mom prayed with me. I know Sam talked about the people of Eastern Europe (this wasn’t too long after the wall came down). The powerful work of God in my life that night through Sam Powloc and his ministry in Poland has always stuck with me as a pivotal and life changing experience.
Later that same year, I was back at my church home away from home, James River Assembly of God (now James River Church) where Christ for the Nations was ministering on a Sunday evening. They were sharing, not about Poland, but about the “sewer children” who live on the streets and sewers in Bucharest, Romania. Thousands of orphans live in the sewers because they have no place else to go. This absolutely broke my heart…I remember standing and weeping during the prayer response and committing to God that I would give my life for those orphans if He would call me. I meant every word.
At Christmas time that year (1999) Amy and I rekindled our relationship through some very cool “God-moments” and were married on August 4th, 2000. It was like we had never missed a beat…except we both now had Jesus squarely in the center of our lives and relationship, right where He belongs. We knew we wanted to have four kids….but from VERY early on in our marriage, we knew we wanted to adopt children who would otherwise not have the opportunity to live in a loving, safe, and godly home. Amy had not experienced what I had, but we shared a common desire to rescue whatever orphans God might bring our way. At that time, we didn’t have any specific country or type of adoption in mind…we were just willing when the Lord brought the opportunity our way. And He quickly did, just not the way we expected it.
Makes me think of a few things…..
1. God is always working in our lives for His purposes. Even things which seemingly aren’t connected are usually connected in the whole plan of God. We take the short view…but God’s view is a LONG view.
2. The WAY God brings things to pass is not usually (or EVER!!) the way we would do it. This has been played out in my life like a broken record!
3. We must ALWAYS remain mouldable, teachable, and sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s voice in our lives. He is ALWAYS speaking….are we listening??