There is no way to explain our heart for orphans and adoption. It started 15 years ago when Mary Ashtyn was placed in my arms. I held this 7 month old, 12 pound, tiny girl and knew everything was right in my world. Adoption for us started as a selfish desire to be parents. Spending a week in a Russian orphanage as we waited to get custody of our Mary Ashtyn, changed something inside of me. God broke my heart for the sweet children with their little noses pressed against the window of that orphanage who watched us climb into a van with our dream come true. I still close my eyes and can see them. On our first night as a family of three, Trent and I stood on the balcony in the early morning, too excited to sleep, and talked about God's plan for us. We agreed that He meant for us to do more than just adopt Mary Ashtyn and be done.
|Mary Ashtyn's first night HOME|
Two years later, we spent time in a Kazakhstan orphanage as we added Reece to our family. Broken for the orphans we left behind, the ones they wouldn't let us comfort or even touch as they cried in their cribs. God blessed us beyond anything we could ever imagine with our bigs. They were the babies we had asked for, the as healthy and as young as possible children that we wanted. Mary Ashtyn and Reece fulfilled every dream, every prayer we ever begged God for during the years of infertility.
|Reece, forever ours|
Ten years later, God ran us over with Lily. The minute I saw her duck walk across that room in her Chinese orphanage, I knew without a doubt she was mine. God has never told me anything as clearly as He did with Lily. At a point in our lives that we shouldn't have even been considering another child, God gave her to us. Adoption changed for us through Lily...no more selfish desires to be parents. God asked us to bring home a seven year old who couldn't walk and He gave us complete peace about making her ours. Through a devastating diagnosis that should cause a lot of worry and anxiety, God has shown us how to live in absolute joy!
As we advocated for "Frannie", our hearts grieved for this little girl. She had a diagnosis that no one would even consider...a diagnosis that changed our lives for the better. God was whispering that she was ours, but we refused to listen. As He nudged us completely out of our comfort zone, God was teaching us another lesson through our children...complete and total trust in HIM. Ava's adoption has shown us how God will be faithful to us if we remain obedient to Him.
|Ava, trusting God to bring her HOME!|
This post started as an attempt to explain why we adopt and where are hearts are. Just realized there is no way to explain it. It took God our entire lives to get us here. At this point, we are doing our best to follow His perfect plans for us. We don't expect to to join hands and skip off into the sunset as soon as we have Ava...but we know God has huge blessings in store for BamFam6!
Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure.