This is where it appears we are heading right now. Just wanted to give everyone an update.
As I told you a few weeks ago, Jonathan's heart has been burdened for Ethiopia for a long time. I am so proud to tell you that yesterday Jonathan was on a conference call with a group that sponsors orphanages in Ethiopia and it appears that the Lord is definitely calling our family to make this a big priority. So, you will be seeing us blog very shortly about how you can personally help us in this challenge. What does this mean? Simply put, we are going to try to assemble at least 20 people who are willing to commit to adopting 1 child a year to support financially (the cost is roughly $35 a month). If we can assemble this, there is a strong possibility we can actually find an orphanage that is currently getting no financial support and get these kids fed, clothed and taught (not only with school related materials, but about the Lord!) How awesome is that!
As for us personally, I think we are both feeling led to do another domestic adoption so we will begin filling out of packet pretty soon for that. What does that mean? RIGHT NOW, we will not be adopting from Ethiopia, but instead here in the United States. We will only be open to African American children and we are also open to some medical issues so please begin praying for us as we begin this process. We just want to do God's will, not our own so this may change, but right now, we feel at peace with this decision. God has definitely put some people in our path this week (thanks Tracie!) who we totally feel comfortable with and this time we probably won't be doing a traditional agency adoption. We feel very strongly that we want to adopt a child that may be considered "hard to place" either because of age, health reasons, etc. and we love that Tracie sees our vision in this.
We are so thankful for your prayers. As I told my friend Laura last week, if you do nothing else to support else in this adoption process for us but pray, you have done the most. We are SO THANKFUL for money, don't get me wrong. That is what makes it possible. BUT without your prayers for us and with us, I'm just not sure what we would do. We have FELT THEM many times. We FELT THEM last Friday as we wept for the son that would not be part of our family. We FELT THEM when we brought Mary Elizabeth home. We FELT THEM when we announced God's decision for our family to go to Ethiopia initially.
Someone asked me recently in a comment if you can find an agency that will let you adopt if you don't attend a church/aren't a Christian. I'm ashamed to admit that I never responded. Not because I didn't know what to say, but honestly, I forgot about it until now. This is Brea's response. Yes, you can adopt and find an agency if you aren't a Christian. If you want to email me privately (firstname.lastname@example.org), I will be happy to point you in the right direction. In my opinion, being a Christian and attending church are two different things. Should attending church be something a Christian does? Sure. But attending church doesn't affect salvation.
Now, as for adopting without Christ being your personal savior. I have physically birthed three children and mentally birthed one, and I can tell you that the process of adopting a child is one of the hardest things emotionally and physically I have ever done in my life. How I would have done it without Christ in my life is beyond me. I seriously CAN NOT comprehend it. There were days when I seriously did nothing but CLUNG TO MY DADDY. My relationship with Christ is so much stronger because of our adoption experience. I would love to share this with anyone that will listen, so again, please email me if you want to know more. So, I say this. Yes, you can adopt without having Christ in your life, but I wouldn't advise it. I wouldn't advise your feet hitting the floor without Christ in your life.
Sorry this post got long. God just put this on my heart to share.