I am going to try not to be long winded- which is VERY hard for me on email, especially concerning issues I am passionate about.:) So you may have to just brace yourselves.
Some of you know part of this story already, some of you don't. Let me first say that I am attaching a LONG journey entry by my sister, Gloria, who now lives in Taiwan. I know some of you won't read it but some of you will want to read every detail. I encourage you to read at least part of it so you can get an idea of the amazing things God is already working together and how good He is!! , and the amazing sister and brother-in-law we have!
Eddie and I decided a month or two ago that we were going to pursue adoption. Adoption is something that I have always been passionate about. I remember as far back in school as I can remember, any time we had to write a story or do a research paper, I would always do it on adoption or foster care. Three years ago December, Eddie and I began trying for our second child. Almost 3 years of and a few fertility treatments, miscarriages, and lots of hardship and tears later, we haven't been able to conceive. Recently, the desire to do any sort of fertility intervention left both of us- which is very bizarre because a year ago I would have said I would do anything and everything for as long as it takes to conceive a child! A long time ago in this process of "secondary infertility" I began praying about adoption. Eddie was not on board and said "maybe somewhere far down the road." So I just let it go and prayed here and there that God would work in Eddie's heart if it was His plan for our lives. Through a series of very cool things, God totally changed Eddie's heart. I remember the night he told me he was ready and we decided that we were moving forward. I was so excited. Eddie said for him at that time it was a decision of obedience, not emotion. He knew that was what God was saying, so he said "ok God." God has honored his obedience, and now the emotions have caught up with his decision and he is excited too!
We initially decided on Thailand. We quickly learned, through much research and some phone calls, that pretty much every country was closed to us. For any number of reasons, including Eddie's age, our income, my past record, me being on anti-depressants, my history of rehab, the children available being older than Leah etc etc. We tried not to get discouraged, but we thought the only avenue may be to adopt from here. Adopting from here is a wonderful thing, but we both felt so strongly that God wanted us to adopt internationally. There are many more here willing to adopt from here than those willing to adopt from overseas. The need here is great, but the need there is great as well, and we have the desire! Eddie said he wants our family to look like a picture of Heaven- because are all adopted sons and daughters of Christ. So, as we prayed, we new that any adoption from overseas would have to be a miracle. All along we have known that only God could allow this to happen.
I won't go into all details here, but basically, Lord willing, we will be adopting a child from Taiwan. Glor and Clive will foster the baby until all our paper work goes through. This is all through a series of miraculous events. It is absolutely amazing to us to think that Glor and Clive will be able to take care of our baby until we can. It is a dream come true. We could have our baby as young as 6 months! Many, many details have to fall into place, but we know the "details" are nothing to God. He has it all in His hands. We keep reminding ourselves that God opens doors that no man can close (Revelation 3:8), and so we put it in His hands.
When Glor told me the details of this story (she was working it behind the scenes for 5 days before she told me anything), I said to her (as I wept) "This is exactly like the verse Ephesians 3:20-21 'Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." I could never have dreamed of such an amazing situation! Ever! To me, it was literally perfection! I grew up in taiwan, I LOVE Taiwan! I got a card from my mom to Eddie and I a few days ago. She wrote it to us 2 days before finding out from Glor about this Taiwan option and in it she said "I just know that God is going to do more than all we could ask or imagine for your adoption." !! I told Eddie "man I hope we don't get pregnant right now because this baby comes first!". :) Of course, if we got pregnant, we would be ecstatic, but we just know that this is part of God's calling on our lives. We aren't pursuing adoption because we want a baby so badly and will do whatever we can to get one. We are pursuing adoption because we are obeying what God has spoken to us. God set this in my heart long ago, knowing what my fertility would be. He brought me to Eddie and allowed me to share my passion with him. We want to adopt, regardless of us having more children or not. There are 600,000 abortions every year in Taiwan, which is an insanely large number considering the size of this small island (approx the size of Maryland and Delaware combined). We believe there is a baby already planned and picked out by God for us in Taiwan. God is going to use us to save a life....to give a mother hope that her child can be cared for, rather than have an abortion.
In order for us to be able to adopt a number of things need to happen. We need to "pass" our home study- a process that will probably take around 3 months. We already have the social worker picked and she thinks we will have no problem passing (granted we will have to do extra paper work , evaluations etc). Once our home study is approved, we are cleared to adopt from "His hands", and Glor and Clive would be first on the list to get an "overflow" baby (because they are past capacity, being a small private run agency). Then we want for however many months, until it clears Taiwan.
More than anything we need prayers. I know everyone always says that when raising support for something, but it's true. It's going to be a long journey and we don't ever want to step ahead of or behind God. We want to trust Him every step of the way. We know things can "go wrong" or not go as planned, or take too long etc. We want to remain patient and prayerful. Plus, we have both been learning what a blessing praying for others is! When you pray for others, you are more invested in their lives. So when God shows up and does amazing things, you get to be part of that excitement and to understand God's goodness even more. It's such a privilege to pray for others and see the fruits of that! Also, major prayers for Glor and Clive!!!
And finally, we need to raise a nice big chunk of money.:) This adoption will most likely be less than half of other international adoptions or adoption of infants in the US (not foster care), which range from $20,000-$45,000 or more. It is hard to say what the exact cost will be. We need to raise money for the home study and all that goes along with that (Dr evaluations etc), money for travel to Taiwan, and then the money that goes to the orphanage. Total could be anywhere from $15,000-$25,000. Hopefully on the cheaper end, bc that would mean we get our baby much sooner! I know it is SO much money, but we know God is going to provide. It's all His anyways!
I want to share a few verses and thoughts with you regarding adoption.
One of the things that convinced Eddie and I we were being called to adopt was an article we read called "Everyone is called to adopt". The article wasn't saying that everyone is literally called to adopt their own child, but that, as Christians, we are all called to help in some way shape or form- whether that be actually adopting, giving of money, giving of time, and always giving of prayers. We knew that we were one of the families that we being called to actually adopt, and we knew that God would place people in our lives that don't feel that call, but feel the call to help in a different way.
These verses spoke mightily to us as we made this decision.
James 1:27 (New Living Translation)
Psalm 68:5-6 (New Living Translation)
this is God, whose dwelling is holy.
6 God places the lonely in families;
he sets the prisoners free and gives them joy.
But he makes the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.
Isaiah 1:17 (New Living Translation)
17 Learn to do good.
Help the oppressed.
Defend the cause of orphans.
Fight for the rights of widows.
Matthew 18:5 (New Living Translation)
Proverbs 31:8-9 (New Living Translation)
ensure justice for those being crushed.
9 Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless,
and see that they get justice.
We feel bold, confident, excited, hopeful, honored, empowered, and called to rescue a child and bring them home to our family. We simply cannot wait for this to pass, and we know it will.
We pray that you will not feel pressure from us that you have to give, bc there is none. God will make the money show up no matter what, because that's the kind of God He is! :) But you may see this as an opportunity to sew into a life, to sew into eternal rewards, and to sew into what God calls "pure and genuine religion", we would be so blessed (and God would bless you!) You could honor God's word in so many ways while not having to adopt yourselves. We want you to be part of the miracles. We want you to be part of the story God is creating. We want you to get excited to see Him at work! And we would love for you to partner with us!
We will be setting up a separate bank account to put money in for the adoption. We will keep track of every dollar given and every dollar spent, and report back to whoever gives, so that you know where your money is going. There is also the option of giving monthly, if you feel led, since we pay the orphanage monthly. We originally were planning on applying or as many grants as possible but since it's a private agency and doesn't have some specific type of licensing (can't remember what it is called), we can't apply for grants. Trying to think of other creative ways to raise money...I am thinking of loaning out my husband to cook a meal for you, for a donation, since he is an amazing cook!:)) We will keep you posted throughout this entire journey! Can't wait to give the next update! (it won't be so long!!:)) Also, you are free to pass this along that you think may have a heart for adoption and want to help as well, or knows of any connections.
Thanks so much for hanging with me through this long email- this was just the start of the story. God is good, so good. We are beyond thankful and so blessed to be able to share this journey with so many loved ones!
We love you,
Eddie, Brenda, and Leah (who prays all the time for a baby sister)
Eddie and Brenda White
281 Sondra Cove Trail East
Jacksonville FL 32225