Saturday, November 10, 2012

30 Days, 30 Posts: Adoption...Friday's Family

For those of you who donʼt know our family weʼre the Humistons. We started as just
Jeremy and Jennifer. Our family now includes our daughter Grace, 6 years, Faith, 5
years, and Titus, 2 1/2 years. We are in the process of adopting our son, David, almost
2, from West Africa. This is a glimpse at our adoption journey and Godʼs hand along the
way. It is taken from a testimony Jeremy and I shared with our church.

Our journey really began 8 1/2 years ago when we said “I do.” Coming from a broken
home, the thought of being able to provide a loving stable home, a family, really
appealed to me. I was interested in the idea of adoption. I happened to marry a girl
whose favorite movies as a child were “Annie” and “Pipi Longstocking.” She apparently
was interested in the idea as well- I was soon to find out just how interested!

As a newlywed living in the middle of nowhere I had lots of time on my hands. As I
began to get more excited about starting a family my interest in adoption grew. I began
to do internet research and sent away for information packets. That soon led to me
sining Jeremy and I up for an “informational seminar” put on by Bethany Christian
Services, an adoption agency. I was SO excited to go....

I followed my newly pregnant wife into this “seminar” wondering why we were there. Our
family was just beginning and adoption was more like a “someday” at this point. I started
the seminar naive and gullible thinking adoption would be simple. I left overwhelmed
with the length of the process and the cost.

As the saying goes, first comes love then comes marriage...then came 2 baby
carriages, a miscarriage, and a difficult pregnancy that ended in the miraculous birth of
our son Titus. After an emergency c-section I knew even as I held him in the hospital
this was the moment God has been preparing us for. Our next child would join our
family through adoption.

Our “someday” had come. But six years later with two gorgeous daughters and a
healthy son we had our hands full. A recent job change has also cut our income by
nearly 40%. It was time to decide what would become of our “crazy” God-sized adoption
dream. While Jennifer was giving away her maternity clothes I was pondering if we
would be part of the majority of couples who consider adoption or would we cross over
into the mere 2% that make that dream a reality.

Itʼs October of 2012 and we are driving home from celebrating Faithʼs 3rd birthday. I am
exhausted, but Jeremy gets my full attention when he mentions he learned of a woman
with an unexpected pregnancy. She is considering putting the baby up for adoption. Our
minds begin to real with what ifs and my passion for adoption is once again ignited.

We ask our small group to join us in praying about wether or not to approach this
woman. However, we soon learn she has made a decision to keep the baby. Little did
we know half way around the world on November 24th a little boy had been born as we
were praying.

We anxiously begin to wait for Ttiusʼ first birthday to role around. We knew that most
agencies require your youngest child to be one year of age before pursuing an
adoption. More internet research leads to me signing us up for another Bethany
Informational seminar in January of 2011. We came home from the meeting excited and
filled out the pre-application. However, we were stunned when we received an e-mail
stating that we did not meet the minimum income qualifications. We would have to wait
another year before we could apply again. God has clearly said, “wait.”

As the leader and provider of our home this was very difficult news for me to accept. I
was working a job I was overqualified for and fervently seeking other employment.
However God continued to shut the door on other job possibilities.

My determined personality wouldnʼt take no for an answer. If we had to wait than we
could prepare. We began fundraising for our future adoption. We held our first yard sale
and I began baking cupcakes to benefit our adoption. However, the waiting was so
difficult. Due to Jeremyʼs job being commission based we had no idea if we would
qualify at the end of the year. While people urged me to wait patiently reminding me that
our child might not even be born I had an urgency I couldnʼt shake. I began to pray
daily for our future childʼs needs and protection.

God kept us in suspense until the very end of the year. We became the most honest tax
payers ever and using all that money Jennifer had been raising as extra income we just
skated over the qualifying line. We began trying to figure out where in the world we were
supposed to adopt from. At this point, we felt international adoption was the best match
for our family.

My plan was for us to hit the ground running in January. The pilot program in Uganda
we were hoping to pursue had said that our youngest child would need to be two years
old. However, when I e-mailed the agent to get he ball rolling she said that instead we
would need to wait till Titus was 2 1/2...this wouldnʼt be until July! God has said wait

Out of the blue Jenn approached me about an opportunity to travel to West Africa in
April. She had been asked to lead a VBS for missionary children. There were two
women who had been asked to prayerfully consider this opportunity. I became a prayer
warrior for that unnamed woman. However, in the end Jennifer would be the one to go.

While in Africa God leads us to work with a local orphanage. (not the original purpose of
this trip) My mind reels as I visit an orphanage for the very first time. I work closely with
a missionary named Doris. I ask her if God led us to adopt from this place what her
thoughts would be. She tells me about a little boy named David. She takes me to a
room full of cribs where a little boy is sleeping. He awakes and wants his nanny. As I go
to bed that night I am overwhelmed with the possibilities that I might have seen the
orphanage that we would someday adopt from.

Jennifer returns from Africa in love with a place I have never seen or experienced. She
is full of stories. She tells me about a little boy that was found by a stranger at just a
week old and brought to the orphanage. However, at the first court hearing to have him
declared abandoned the stranger shows up and tries to claim him. His family is trying to
lay claim to David for evil reasons. Child sacrifice, selling his organs, financial
gain...unspeakable reasons. This leads him to be hidden in the home of the orphanage
director and his wife for a year. Just before Jennifer traveled to Africa his court case was
won and it was safe for him to return to the orphanage. His story captivates us but we
are told another family from Canada is coming for him. We begin to pray about adopting
from this orphanage in West Africa.

Through a series of crazy God ordained events we are put in contact with another family
attempting to adopt from this same country. A country that is “open” but has no program
or without any agencies who work in this country. Within a few short weeks another
impossible door has been opened and we find an agency who is willing to help us. For
all our waiting God is moving quickly!

As our paperwork process began we continued to hit roadblocks. We had little to no
communication with Africa. And then all of a sudden a woman weʼve been e-mailing for
months with no response begins to return our e-mails. We are given three boys pictures
to pray over. We are shocked to see that one of them is the little boy Jennifer met.
David indeed needs a family. We are that family!

God has been in the details. Every step along the way he has provided. If we face
discouragement he sends an encouraging e-mail from our contacts in Africa, “David
smiled and laughed today when we visited.” We host a yard sale and pray for our big
dream of $3,000. People give us their stuff. God raises $4,200. We have appointments.
People watch our children. More money is needed. People buy cupcakes and write us
big checks. People pray. God opens doors. God is writing a magnificent story for our
son through the people of God and we are simply grateful. But, this is an unchartered
road. The two questions people ask us most are, “When will you bring David home?”
Our best guess is sometimes between April and August...but really only the Lord knows.
The other question weʼre asked is “How much more money needs to be raised?” We
are estimating between $10,000 and $15,000.

This is our story. It is Davidʼs story. And it is a story many of Godʼs people are a part of.
But God is the one weaving our stories together. Maybe our story has made you think,
“If the Humistons can do this maybe we could do it.” Great- God needs more families to
open their hearts to an orphan. Maybe our story has made you think, “I could be a part
of that.” Great- we need all the help we can get. But no matter what I hope its made you
think, “God will go to great lengths to love an orphan.” Because his words tells us of his
love for the orphan, the widow, and the stranger.” over and over again. Francis Chan
summed it up wonderfully when he said, “We are not all called to adopt. But we are
called to do something.” What will your “something” for the orphan be?

Follow the Humiston family and their adoption journey:

Don't miss a thing! Follow the entire 30 Days, 30 Posts: Adoption series.

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