Colorado 2009. My team of summer youth workers and I were sitting in the back of our newly issued pick-up getting to know one another at the end of the first week of training. Up strides a handsome guy in a cowboy hat covered in leathered bands. While the teammates ask “what’s up with the leather bands?”, I attempt to hide my swooning as the cowboy shares his testimony and calling to be a missionary in SouthEast Asia. A man who shares my desire to be an overseas missionary and can pull off being bald!? Yes, please.
On our early heart of adoption
I can clearly remember our earliest adoption conversations.
Me sitting in the backyard of my parent’s house talking on the phone with my almost fiance. “I’ve always wanted to adopt. I just know for sure that’s something I want to do one day, how do you feel about that?”Yea, let's go for it," he answers.
Fast-forward 2ish years from our first chat and we are married, living and serving as youth directors in a suburb of Birmingham, AL.
I remember the “No more Orphans conference” we attended just a few months into our marriage at a local church. We were sold out on adopting the only questions was when. Because we knew that life in the states was temporary, we decided to put adoption and kids in general on hold until we were in a more permanent place.
After 2 years of Birmingham life in 2013 God made it clear, now’s the time to move toward church planting in Asia.So we packed up life, found an organization, attended bible school, and arrived in Thailand the beginning of 2015.
Hopes and disappointments
Just a few months into life in Thailand we felt that now was the timing to add kids to the mix. We decided pretty early on to try for both biological and adopted kids at the same time. We knew of other missionary families that had adopted from the Thai government. We loved the sound of “free” when you applied to adopt through the Thailand government, so we dove right in. We thought, surely in about a year or so we would have a little Rittscher either of the biological or adopted sort. But then a month passed, followed by more months, and then even the years.
Trying biologically for almost 3 years, and being in process with the Thai government with no end in sight after 2 ½ years, has been… no fun. Disappointing? Very Painful? Insert all the words here.
Where we are
Our journey towards kids has not been an emotionally easy ride. I am thankful knowing that God is in control and He is the one who will bring our family together in His perfect timing!
So the announcement....
Drumroll…….as we have spent time praying and processing we have decided to move forward with applying to adopt from China.
To those who havewho have journeyed with us so far- listening, processing, praying- thank you!
Stay tuned as the adventure continues.
Matt & Heather
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