My friend Chadwick, from Different Parent , is back guest posting today. He and his family are going through a wonderful journey toward adoption. In the process, they are learning as a family what it means to love as Jesus loves.
Over 10 years ago, as my wife and I were dating, I had the privilege of traveling as lead vocalist in a worship band. We were pretty cheesy, looking back, but had some great times. Because we were sponsored by the University, we had financial backing and all the “right” connections. I had the chance to lead thousands of people in worship, and we had recorded alive album. Things were looking great for the future of however God might use me in ministry.
In a moment of honesty, my wife(fiancée at the time) took a step of faith, by asking me through tears, “Would you give it all up?”
I asked what she meant. She shared with me that God had been saying something to her about Africa. wasn’t sure what it was yet, but wanted to know…if God eventually called us to Africa together….would I be willing to “give up”any status I’d gained in ministry? My response was…of course…ifGod was calling us somewhere, we would follow.
As time went on, we were prepared to follow Him anywhere together. God’s direction took an ironic turn as we ended up feeling His call to do ministry in her hometown. As we grew a family, and our ministry continued to beat with the heart of“God’s Family”, we continued to feel a tug toward Africa, and prayed for clarity.
We have 3 daughters, close in age, and are continually looking for ways to shape their identity, and that of our family, to carry the image of God’s Love. We experienced huge waves of joy in moments like watching our daughters deliver baked goods to senior citizens, or pray for our sponsored child together. But even these activities left us wanting something.
Adoption is something we’d talked about here and there, always safely in the background as a possibility. A“someday” type thing, when perhaps we’ve figured life out, plateaued or something. But this past Spring, as plants began to bloom, so did the urgency. So many children are dying young or growing up not knowing family or God’s love. Our children are growing through incredibly formative years quickly. It seemed that actually NOW is the best time for us to reach out to one of God’s children in Love. NOW is the best time for us to wrap our family’s identity around living for something larger than ourselves in a sacrificial way.
Of course, at the ages of 3, 4, and 5,it’s hard to have a deep conversation with our daughters about theology. Our daughters may not grasp the similarities to God’s“adopting” us as His children, or giving us a familial identity that invites us to a new Hope. The “Kingdom Work” of caring for and loving the orphans and widows. But for now, they understand the basics: God has called us to help one of His daughters. They have a sister out there, who needs us to bring her home. They can’t wait to meet her, play with her, and (learn how to) share toys with her.
If you’d like to join in prayer/support, and keep updated on our adoption process from the DRC, check out my blog: www.differentparent.com It’s an expensive process, and if you’d like to give check out the“Adoption Journey” page, or buy a copy of my book“Different”…all funds will go directly toward the cost of bringing home our daughter!!