The orphan crisis worldwide is overwhelming. But our God is described as "Father of the fatherless." (Psalm 68:5). How do you reach 147 million orphans? One at a time. And that's what we hope to do. Reach one little girl who needs the love of a family and ultimately needs to know the love of God. "God settles the solitary in a home..." (Psalm 68:6). While you may not feel called to adopt, you can still be a vital part in mirroring the Father's heart. You can help us bring change to one little sweet girl. And the simple way you can help us is with.... your spare change! We don't need you to dig deep and sacrifice (unless you feel called to!)... but how about all that spare change that ends up in the couch cushions, in the car, or in the dryer? What about the change that clutters your pockets or your purse?
Our 4 year old Seth
If you would like to donate your change to help us in this journey, we would gladly use it toward our next adoption expense, which is our $1500 home study. A dozen or so of these pink cups have already scattered throughout the state with family and friends. We know God will provide, but maybe He will use you!
If you are interested in donating your spare change to change the life of this little one, then please use the contact form below to let us know. We will gladly send you several pink sippy cups. Keep one and give a few to family or friends. See what God will do in the life of this little one because of you! We would love to have many of you be a special part of God's story and glory in this adoption.
Click HERE for our Store Front
Just Love Coffee Roasters is a wonderful company that we found by reading many, many adoption blogs over the last several years.
Here's some of their story... Rob Webb continues the coffee business that his father started in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. In 2009, Rob and his wife adopted 2 children from Ethiopia.
Soon they were discussing
How can coffee help a family? Watch this video to find out.
What is the coffee like? In their own words, "We source only the finest Fair Trade, Direct Trade, organic, and shade-grown coffee beans from the best growing regions around the world." And yes, we have bought several bags already, and it is delicious coffee.
How does it help us? Every time you buy a bag of coffee from our storefront, Just Love sends us $5 toward our adoption expenses. It's that simple. But it's a great help.
What a great opportunity to be a part of our adoption story, enjoy some super coffee, and know that you're helping bring fresh water to communities who need it.
Share our storefront link with family and friends.
Buy a few bags for your dads, uncles, and brothers for Father's Day. Plan ahead to give a bag of Just Love Coffee to everyone on your Christmas list. This would make a great gift for new parents, teachers, or new neighbors, too! Spread the love. Buy some coffee.
Finances are usually the major objection in people's minds when it comes to adoption. Let's face it, it's hard to think of writing checks for adoptions that could cost $25,000-50,000! Humanly speaking, we like to feel in control and on top of things financially. Most people don't have this kind of money lying around. But it's a matter of trusting God to provide if He's called you to the task. Is our God big enough to do this? Of course!
But where does all that money go? I think it's helpful for people to understand how adoption expenses can add up to such a big number. Here is a breakdown of some of the expenses related to an international adoption (that is, adopting a child from another country):
God provided for our agency application fee last week. This week we had our FBI background checks. Then it's on to our home study.
We are challenged by some great examples in church history to let our material wealth be used as a tool for God's glory instead of merely a means of securing comfort and pleasure for ourselves. While there's nothing wrong with buying new clothes, things for the house, toys for the kids, family vacations, we all know that Western society can go way overboard in trying to keep up with the neighbors. Does this glorify God? John Wesley is one great example of learning to live with "enough". Do you know his story? One year he figured out the amount of money he needed to cover expenses. What did he need to live... Not extravagantly, but -- what was enough? He came up with the figure of 28 pounds. Well, that year he made 30 pounds, so he was able to give 2 pounds away. The second year, his income was 60 pounds, so he was able to live off of 28 and give 32 away. By the third year, when his income was 90 pounds, he still lived off of 28. You can probably see the pattern by now. God continued to bless him, and he continued to use his material wealth as a tool. Eventually, John Wesley was one of England's wealthiest citizens, and by honoring God with his wealth, he was able to live on 2% of his income give 98% to the poor.
We want to leverage our money so that we can see it used for eternal treasure. The stuff of this world will soon decay, but reaching souls for Christ is spiritual treasure that is eternal! And right now our focus is on pursuing a little girl sitting in a Russian orphanage so that one day she will not only be our daughter, but our sister in Christ as well! Priceless.
When we knew that God wanted our family to adopt, the next question was... Domestic or International? I know several family and friends have asked us "Why Russia?" And so we wanted to try to answer that question.
Domestic adoptions can cost less money because you don't have international travel and country program fees involved. However, with our family situation of having 4 children already, the prospects of being chosen by a birth mother to adopt her baby are very rare. We asked several agencies this question and they kept discouraging us from pursuing a domestic adoption (that is, a child already in the U.S.). Most families in our situation pursue international adoptions.
So, with that settled in our minds, the next step was to see which countries we qualified to adopt from. Each country has its own criteria for adoptive parents. This can include income requirements, travel requirements, and number of children already in the home. Once we narrowed it down, there were only 2 countries still on our short list. And for a variety of reasons, we felt the Lord directing us to Russia.
As many of you know, our youngest is now 4 years old, so we are requesting a little girl between the ages of 0-4. Some countries only had children ages 8+ available for adoption, and we just didn't feel comfortable rearranging our children's birth orders. This way, the newest addition to the family will be the youngest, as in a birth.
We also felt burdened when we learned about the prospects facing children in Russia once they age out of the system. According to How to Help Orphans: “In Ukraine and Russia 10% -15% of children who age out of an orphanage commit suicide before age 18, 60% of the girls are lured into prostitution, 70% of the boys become hardened criminals. Another Russian study reported that of the 15,000 orphans aging out of state-run institutions every year, 10% committed suicide, 5,000 were unemployed, 6,000 were homeless and 3,000 were in prison within three years.”
We do know that the gospel is for every people, tribe, language, and nation. Can you imagine the scene in heaven?
"...a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and bring out with a loud voice, "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!" Amen!
What a year this has been! Our last post one year ago found us waiting on the Lord’s leading for our family to a new place of ministry. By November, God had opened doors and our family stepped through them. We are thankful for God’s gracious direction.
And now two years after first talking about the possibility of adopting, we are ready to officially begin the journey! It can be an overwhelming thought, but our God is big, and we know that His heart is for the fatherless and for His glory to be spread throughout the earth.
Why adopt? Why our family? Why now? Don’t we already have 4 children?
Simply put, we want to adopt because of God’s love for and adoption of us.
"But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast." Ephesians 2:4-9
"For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves." Ephesians 1:4-6
We want to adopt because of the gospel.
All of life for the believer – for married couples, singles, childless couples, and families with children-- must be motivated by the gospel, about the gospel, lived for the gospel and Christ’s glory being spread throughout all the world. God has placed adoption in our hearts and we want to follow Him.
While your family may not be called to adopt, you are called to live out the gospel. How does that look for you and your family?
“In a skeptical age, love on display is the greatest apologetic for the Gospel.” Francis Schaeffer
We are excited to finally begin this journey. We want to bring a little girl into our home, show her the love of a family, and point her to God the Father who alone can give her abundant life through Christ. We are happy to be Making Room 4 One More.
Seth holding our adoption application
Now some details:
We will be adopting a little girl between the ages of 0-4 from Russia. We discovered an agency that specializes in Russian adoptions only a skip and a jump from where we live now. They were the second American agency to receive accreditation from Russia.
This adoption will now require 3 trips to Russia as of 2012.
The first step will be to complete our home study. We will also be updating our Just Love Coffee Storefront to begin raising some funds for our adoption expenses and travel expenses.
How can you help?
Pray for our family. Pray for the little girl God has for us. Pray for her heart and emotions to be calmed during this process. Pray for her safety and health. Pray that she would know God’s love for her and come to saving faith.
Pray for opportunities to share the Gospel because of our adoption. It is a clear picture of what God did for every believer!
There are more ways you can help, and we will tell you about them soon.