It began in the fall of 2011, When God called us to do something we never expected. It was our 5th year in ministry and God put in our path a global mission trip opportunity. We were never overly interested in global missions work. It was great for others, but not for us. Kellee and I were both still in college, married a little over a year, and hopelessly in student loan debt. I had even told God at one point, "Please don't ever call me to do overseas mission work, especially Africa!"
At this point I think God laughed a little, because in December of 2011 we were boarding a plane to...you guessed it, Africa! God used people that fall, some we had only just met, to completely change our hearts. We had no idea how we would pay for the trip. (If you've ever booked a flight to Africa, paid for immunization shots, passports, travel money, etc. then you know what we're talking about.) We weren't even sure why God had placed Africa on our hearts. All we knew is God said "GO!", so we went.
What happened in Africa that December changed our lives forever. Our hearts were wrecked. Our minds were blown. How is it that in the middle of such poverty these beautiful people knew more about worshipping God then we did? We spent the week with hundreds of children who just wanted to be held, sang to, and played with. As we did, God began to stir something up in hearts. Something we could never have predicted. God wanted us to be the parents of a beautiful African child. That is how our adoption adventure began!
Unfortunately in January of 2015 we had a conference call with our caseworker, the local St. Louis Bethany office as well as the global office, the news they had for us was not good. Due to circumstances beyond our control, beyond the control of the agency in the US and unrelated to our move to Oklahoma, we were told that we would no longer be able to move forward with our adoption of a child through Uganda.
As Kellee sat in the library of a church we had been a part of for only about 72 hours, all she could do was silently sob while Robert asked all of the questions that also swirled around in our minds. What did this mean? What happened? Where do we go from here? The Bethany team did the best they could at explaining the circumstances and expressed how heartbroken they were for us. They offered us the options we could choose from, provided as much information on these options as they had and gave us time to discuss and pray over the new road ahead of us.
We are settled in Oklahoma, and after our hard news in January...we now have exciting news to share!!
We have been working with Oklahoma DHS since January. We have met out caseworker and have completed all of the necessary paperwork. We have reviewed and approved our homestudy and we have completed an additional 27 hours of Foster/Adoptive Parent Training.
Now we wait for a phone call from DHS telling us they have a child (or children) that they believe will be a good fit for our home!!
We ask that you all would be in prayer for our future children who may currently be in the foster care system and are struggling with the great losses they've experienced. And for us as we try and prepare our hearts, lives and home. There are a lot of things we need to purchase (bed, car seat, clothes, toys, etc) We can't wait for you all to meet our newest addition(s)!!!
$10,000 sounds like a lot of money, and it is, but we are confident that God will provide all we need in order to bring our child home and to care for him or her during our first few months together. This total amount covers all of our medical expenses incured by our homestudy and the costs related to having a new child, such as furniture, clothing, etc. We know that this is a lot of money, but we know our God is greater than any dollar sign and we with ruthlessly pursue what He has called us to with everything we have!
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