James 1:27

Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the
Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let
the world corrupt you.

Friday, October 8, 2010

May our hearts grow softer and our voices rise louder…

“Defend the cause of the weak and the fatherless; Maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed.  Deliver the weak and needy from the hand of the wicked.”  Psalm 82:3-4


Thursday, October 7, 2010

If I could take them all home I would.

Gloria at the "His Hands", where we will be adopting from.

Guest Blogger- My dad! A MUST read!!

Jesus Love will save a child. Jesus love will hold a child. Jesus love will place a child into the arms of a sister overwhelmed by His Love; a Love that only He knew would be ready to someday, save and embrace an amazing life that was fearfully and wonderfully made by God, to be placed into the arms of a sister whom Jesus Love was preparing to receive. The book, "Crazy Love" just happened to be holding up the pictures of the two girls which kept falling off my book case and I used that one book to keep them standing up for my eyes to

(PS You have to click on the picture to see the whole thing)

“THERE’S A LOVE THAT WILL NOT LET ME GO” …I can face tomorrow, because He’ll hold me forever.

The little girl in Gloria's arms is Bishnu. I found Bishnu sitting on the ledge of a mud hut porch in Nepal and could see she wasn't going to live much longer. I carried her, with Bishnu’s grandmother at my side, and took her back Ruann’s and my hostel-like room where our good friend Jeevan worked as the manager.

We asked for food to be sent to our room and later Jeevan came in and was astounded to see Bishnu on Ruann’s lap and feeding Bishnu with her hand. There were no forks as the people in Nepal eat with their hand. We asked Jeevan if he would be willing to go with us to a doctor and find out why Bishnu weighed about 1/3 of what she should have weighed and why she had 'no life' to her. Usually kids in Nepal love to see a foreigner hoping maybe for a pencil and they always have a smile; always unless something is seriously wrong with their health.

The doctor said she had advanced TB and would need hospitalization for one month. Ran and I were leaving for Taiwan the next day. I gave Jeevan enough money to care for her and asked if he would be her official caretaker for the duration of Bishnu’s hospital stay? Hospitals in Nepal don't provide anything beyond the normal medical procedure and all daily needs, like eating, are left to the family.

He or one of his workers sat with Bishnu 24 hours a day for 30 days. She recovered. And Jeevan then spent the next week alone and read the entire New Testament that I had given him five years before.

When he was done reading he went to a local pastor I had introduced Jeevan too and he asked the pastor to pray with him immediately for Jesus’ love compelled him to surrender all and follow Him. Jeevan found a love that would not let him go and he then went home and made a plaque that he hung below the Hostel’s name. It read, “For me to live is Christ. To die is gain.” It is a passage from Galatians and it was hanging for all to see where just a few years before it was against the law to profess Christ and meant six years in jail.

Jeevan’s sign, if interpreted as “trying to convert a Hindu”, could earn one year in jail. Later he shared, “When I took Bishnu from Ruann’s and your arms, the love of Jesus that you had been telling me about, went through me like electricity. I knew He was real." He also told us something that we hadn't known. Nepal and India have a caste system. Jeevan was in the top caste and Bishnu was below the bottom caste and was called an “untouchable". My request was the kind that ends relationships, but he said, "You and Ruann come to my country and cared for people of my land and loved them more than I did. I couldn't tell you "no".

That story went through my mind when I looked at the two photos of “Sisters in Nepal. Gloria is soon to pick up a baby that most likely would have been aborted had it not been for this ministry that shares with women that there is a “Love” that can help you give something that doesn’t look possible.

Gloria has two young happy and highly energized sons that are 2 and 5. She just moved out of the country- some 12,000 miles away, and shed tears of joy and pain saying goodbye and following Jesus to the ends of the earth. She brought with her another kind of pain that only she could feel and put her in a wheel chair upon arriving in Taiwan, which was a result of a very traumatic brain surgery she underwent just three weeks before she boarded a 30 hour flight to the land she calls “home”. She is pregnant which in itself compounds the emotions of saying goodbye to mom and family. When you put all these amazing life changes into a young woman it is safe to say that you usually find that person responding to a need with, “My hands are full right now”.

Yet she got on a train, alone, and went to an orphanage in southern Taiwan in search of a child who soon would need the Loving Arms of Jesus; the same loving arms that hold a smiling Bishnu in the “Sisters in Nepal” picture.

I just said to myself, “I should have used another photo I have of the two sisters taken one after the other.” In this photo Brenda is holding Bishnu. But when I glance at the photos back on my book case, I am not sure why but it is the right two pictures.

Gloria passed “a miracle” into Brenda’s arms for a second photo years ago in Nepal. The story from beginning to end was: “THE AMAZING LOVE OF JESUS”.

Today, Jesus continues to amazingly and wonderfully overwhelm Jeevan just as He did through the life of a needy child, Bihsnu, many years ago. Today there are hundreds upon hundreds of lives that have been overwhelmed by Jesus Love through Jeevan. Today each of these two sisters continue to give and receive Jesus Love just as it shows in these Nepal photos taken years ago. The same Love that caused Jeevan to do something he could only exclaim rather than explain; that Jesus love was like electricity that produced an unshakeable conviction that surpasses all understanding, is going to overwhelm us all again with AMAZING LOVE passed between the same two sisters in two photos.

Jesus Love will save a child. Jesus love will hold a child. Jesus love will place a child into the arms of a sister overwhelmed by His Love; a Love that only He knew would be ready to someday, save and embrace an amazing life that was fearfully and wonderfully made by God, to be placed into the arms of a sister whom Jesus Love was preparing to receive. The book, "Crazy Love" just happened to be holding up the pictures of the two girls which kept falling off my book case and I used that one book to keep them standing up for my eyes to

I decided I would take a picture of the three items outside into the sunlight, up against our shrubs. Right before I pushed the shutter button an "unwanted" glare appeared, but when I looked at it after it looked "planned". Just like these stories were planned by a loving God, so He signs with the symbol of “Crazy Love.”


Sunday, October 3, 2010

We want to be His hands and feet.

So I never thought I would have a blog, but my friend suggested it as a way to take all of you along this journey with us. We are so excited, and what to share what God is doing and how He provides all the details all along the way. Miraculous doors have already opened, and we expect many more. God is so good and we are excited for you to join us! I decided to entitle this blog "our miraculous adoption story", bc we KNOW it will only be through the Lord's provision that this comes to pass; and we believe with all our hearts that it WILL come to pass. We believe there is a child God picked out for us before the beginning of time to for us to rescue from an abortion or from a life of being unwanted.  We are humbled and honored to be a part of His plan and we can't wait to see how He continues to open doors. At church today we could light a candle for someone we were praying for. I lit a few, but the one that brought tears to my eyes was the one I lit for our little baby somewhere in a mom's belly in Taiwan. A little one that would otherwise be aborted if it were not for "His Hands" ministry reaching out to women who see abortion as the only option. God has really been stirring our hearts lately to increase our vision, to step out in faith, to pray about ways to meet the needs of the poor and the needy, to get uncomfortable, to be bold, to take a stand,- to make an impact in the short time (that the Bible calls a "vapor") that we have on this earth. Thanks you for partnering with us and keeping us covered in your prayers.

We are all adopted.

Below is the article that Eddie and I read together in bed one night that moved us much closer to our decision to adopt. It is powerful. It is called "Abba Changes Everything. Why Every Christian is called to rescue orphans". It is long, but so worth the read. By the way, wanted to tell you all that there are TWICE as many ABORTIONS per year in Taiwan as there are live births. Heartbreaking.

Abba Changes Everything
Why every Christian is called to rescue orphans.

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The creepiest sound I have ever heard was nothing at all. My wife, Maria, and I stood in the hallway of an orphanage somewhere in the former Soviet Union, on the first of two trips required for our petition to adopt. Orphanage staff led us down a hallway to greet the two 1-year-olds we hoped would become our sons. The horror wasn't the squalor and the stench, although we at times stifled the urge to vomit and weep. The horror was the quiet of it all. The place was more silent than a funeral home by night.
I stopped and pulled on Maria's elbow. "Why is it so quiet? The place is filled with babies." Both of us compared the stillness with the buzz and punctuated squeals that came from our church nursery back home. Here, if we listened carefully enough, we could hear babies rocking themselves back and forth, the crib slats gently bumping against the walls. These children did not cry, because infants eventually learn to stop crying if no one ever responds to their calls for food, for comfort, for love. No one ever responded to these children. So they stopped.
The silence continued as we entered the boys' room. Little Sergei (now Timothy) smiled at us, dancing up and down while holding the side of his crib. Little Maxim (now Benjamin) stood straight at attention, regal and czar-like. But neither boy made a sound. We read them books filled with words they couldn't understand, about saying goodnight to the moon and cows jumping over the same. But there were no cries, no squeals, no groans. Every day we left at the appointed time in the same way we had entered: in silence.
On the last day of the trip, Maria and I arrived at the moment we had dreaded since the minute we received our adoption referral. We had to tell the boys goodbye, as by law we had to return to the United States and wait for the legal paperwork to be completed before returning to pick them up for good. After hugging and kissing them, we walked out into the quiet hallway as Maria shook with tears.
And that's when we heard the scream.
Little Maxim fell back in his crib and let out a guttural yell. It seemed he knew, maybe for the first time, that he would be heard. On some primal level, he knew he had a father and mother now. I will never forget how the hairs on my arms stood up as I heard the yell. I was struck, maybe for the first time, by the force of the Abba cry passages in the New Testament, ones I had memorized in Vacation Bible School. And I was surprised by how little I had gotten it until now.
Gospel and Mission
When someone learns that I'm going to speak at their church about adoption, typically the first question is, "So will you be talking about the doctrine of adoption or, you know, real adoption?" That's a hard question, because I cannot address one without addressing the other. We cannot master one aspect and then move to the other, from the vertical aspect of adoption to the horizontal aspect, or vice versa.
Families, the Bible tells us, reflect something eternally true about God. It is God's fatherhood after which every family in heaven and on earth is named (Eph. 3:14-15). We know what human parenting should look like based on our Father's behavior toward us.
The reverse is also true. We see something of God's fatherhood in our relationship with our human fathers. Jesus tells us that our fathers' provision and discipline show us God's active love toward us (Matt. 7:9-11; Heb. 12:5-17).
The same principle is at work in adoption. Adoption is, on one hand, gospel. Our identity and inheritance are grounded in our adoption in Christ. Adoption is also mission. In this, our adoption spurs us to join Christ in advocating for the poor, the marginalized, the abandoned, and the fatherless. Without the theological aspect, the growing Christian emphasis on orphan care too often seems like one more cause wristband for compassionate conservative evangelicals to wear until the trend dies down. Without the missional aspect, the doctrine of adoption too easily becomes mere metaphor, just another way to say "saved."
No Natural-born Children of God
Little Maxim's scream changed everything—more, I think, than did the judge's verdict and the notarized paperwork. It was the moment, in his recognizing that he would be heard, that he went from being an orphan to being a son. It was also the moment I became a father, in fact if not in law. We both recognized that something was wrong, because suddenly, life as it had been seemed terribly disordered.
Up to that time, I had read the Abba cry passages in Romans and Galatians the same way I had heard them preached: as a gurgle of familiarity, the spiritual equivalent of an infant cooing "Papa" or "Daddy." Relational intimacy is surely present in the texts—hence Paul's choice of such a personal word as Abba—but this definitely isn't sentimental. After all, Scripture tells us that Jesus' Spirit lets our hearts cry "Abba, Father!" (Gal. 4:6). Jesus cries "Abba, Father" as he screams "with loud cries and tears" for deliverance in the Garden of Gethsemane (Heb. 5:7; Mark 14:36, ESV, used throughout). Similarly, the doctrine of adoption shows us that we "groan" with the creation itself "as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies" (Rom. 8:23). It is the scream of the crucified.
The gospel of adoption challenges us, first of all, to recognize ourselves as spiritual orphans. The gospel compels us to see our fallen universe—and our own egocentric kingdoms therein—as not the way it's supposed to be.
With our evangelistic emphasis on the sinner's prayer, evangelicals ought to recognize this more than we often do. "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved" (Rom. 10:13), we rightly insist. But we rarely feel how desperate—and how liberating—the call is. We assume it's a cry only at the beginning of the Christian walk, not through the ongoing work of the Spirit. We grow complacent in the present age, too comfortable to cry out for a Father we can sense only by faith.
The Abba cry of our adoption defines who we are and what family we belong to. That's why Scripture's witness to the doctrine of adoption has everything to do with church unity, away from the divisions of Jew and Gentile, slave and free, male and female, rich and poor (Gal. 3:28). None of us are natural-born children of God, entitled to all this grace, all this glory. It's not just the Gentiles—with their uncircumcised penises and pig-flesh-eating mouths—who were adopted into this family. The Jewish Christians, too, received adoption (Rom. 9:4). Yes, Abraham was the father of the Israelites, but he was an Iraqi Gentile before he joined the household of God. We Christians receive newcomers because, in Christ, we have been received. Our identity and our inheritance are found in Christ, or they are not found at all.
I was at first reluctant to adopt, because I assumed an adopted child would always be more distant than a child "of my own." I was wrong. And I should have known better. After all, there are no "adopted children" of God, as an ongoing category. Adoption tells us how we came into the family of God. And once we are here, no distinction is drawn between those at the dinner table. Love based on the preservation and protection of genetic material makes sense in a Darwinian—not a Christian—view of reality.
Thus, the adoption and orphan care movement teaches us something revolutionary about the evangel.
Orphan Care: Spiritual Warfare
We evangelicals often seem to identify more around corporate brands and political parties than with each other in our local churches. But our adoption in Christ makes us not warring partisans but loving siblings, whom the Spirit has taken from the babble of Babel to the oneness of Pentecost. The church's unity attests to the "manifold wisdom of God" (Eph. 3:10). Would our gospel be more credible if "church family" wasn't just a slogan, if "brothers and sisters" was more than metaphor? What would happen if the world saw fewer "white churches" and "black churches," fewer "blue-collar churches" and "white-collar churches," and fewer baby boomer and emerging churches, and saw more churches whose members have little in common except being saved by the gospel?
Our churches ought to be showing the families therein how love and belonging transcend categories of the flesh. Instead, though, it seems God is using families who adopt to teach the church. In fact, perhaps we so often wonder whether adopted children can really be brothers and sisters because we so rarely see it displayed in our pews. Some—maybe even you—might wonder how an African American family could love a white Ukrainian baby, how a Haitian teenager could call Swedish parents Mom and Dad. The adoption movement is challenging the impoverished hegemony of our carnal sameness, as more and more families in the church are starting to show fellow believers the meaning of unity in diversity.
That's why adoption and orphan care can ultimately make the church a counterculture. The demonic rulers of the age hate orphans because they hate babies—and have from Pharaoh to Moloch to Herod to the divorce culture to malaria to HIV/AIDS. They hate foster care and orphan advocacy because these actions are icons of the gospel's eternal reality. Our enemies would prefer that we find our identity and inheritance in what we can see and verify as ours—the flesh—rather than according to the veiled rhythms of the Spirit. Orphan care isn't charity; it's spiritual warfare.
A New Household Economy
After we learn more about our gospel identity, we start reflecting the economy and priorities of our new household. The God of Israel consistently urges his people to care for the orphan, the widow, and the immigrant (Deut. 24:17-22) by noting his adopting purposes as "Father of the fatherless" (Ps. 68:5). He announces, "If you do mistreat them, and they cry out to me, I will surely hear their cry" (Ex. 22:23). The Spirit drives us not just to cry Abba in the Christian gospel, but also to respond to the cries of the weak through Christian mission.
Orphan care is, by definition, missional. Paul's letter to the Romans, which includes perhaps the clearest explanation of the doctrine of adoption, isn't a systematic theology text; it's a missionary manifesto, calling the church in Rome to unify and to join Paul in making Christ known to the nations (Rom. 15:1-21). This is why James—the brother of Jesus—tells us that caring for widows and orphans is the essence of "pure and undefiled" religion (1:27). And Jesus himself—adopted by the righteous Joseph—identifies himself with the "least of these my brothers" (Matt. 25:40). And he tells us that the first time we hear his voice in person, he will be asking if we did the same.
Imagine, for a moment, the plight of an orphan somewhere out there. With every passing year, she will become less "cute," thus less adoptable. In a few years, on her eighteenth birthday, she will be expelled from the system. She might join the military or find job training. Maybe she'll stare at a tile on the ceiling above her as her body is violated—alone or before a camera crew of strangers—by a man who's willing to pay enough for her to eat for one day. Maybe she'll place a revolver in her mouth or tie a rope around her neck, knowing no one will notice except the ones who have to clean up afterward. This story could just as well describe a boy who is orphaned. Can you feel the desperation of what it means to be an orphan? Jesus can. Orphans are his little sisters and brothers. He hears them.
In saying that orphan care is missional, I do not mean that every Christian is called to adopt or foster a child. But every Christian is called to care for orphans. As with every aspect of Christ's mission, a diversity of gifts abounds. Some have room at their table and in their hearts for another stocking on the mantle by this coming Christmas. Others are gifted financially to help families who would like to adopt but cannot figure out how to make ends meet. Others can babysit while families with children make their court dates and complete home-study papers.
Still others can lead mission trips to rock and hug and sing to orphans who may never be adopted. Pastors can simply ask whether anyone in their congregation might be called to adopt or foster parent, or to empower someone who is. And all of us can pray—specifically and urgently—for orphans the world over.
Some would seek to contrast orphan care—and other so-called social ministries—with evangelism, perhaps even with the gospel itself. But such a dichotomy just does not stand up to biblical revelation. Genuine faith works through love, the Bible tells us (Gal. 5:6). The mission of Christ points us, as theologian Carl Henry reminded the last generation of evangelicals, to a God of both justice and justification.
Since genuine faith is always orphan-protecting, a culture of adoption and evangelism can work together. Indeed, they grow from the same root. Churches that are other-directed instead of self-obsessed in adopting unwanted children will be other-directed instead of self-obsessed in verbally witnessing to unwanted people. A conscience that's burdened for orphans, rather than seared over in the quest for more stuff, will be burdened for spiritual orphans. A church that learns to love beyond the borders of biology will learn to do mission outside the borders of geography.
A Kingdom of Rescued Children
As the Spirit draws more Christians to orphan care, we also must insist that adoption is not just a backdoor route to child evangelism. Of course, Christians who adopt will teach their children that what they believe is true and ultimately meaningful. Every parent does that and, to some degree, cannot do otherwise. A secular progressive parent would (rightly) correct racial bigotry or misogyny in his or her child. We wouldn't accuse that parent of having a child in order to export Western democratic values. In the same way, Christian parents will teach their child the message of Jesus, regardless of how the child arrived in their home.
But this doesn't mean that adoption is simply a means to evangelism, any more than biologically bearing children is reproductive evangelism. As those who have experienced gospel adoption, we know it is good for all children to have parents, even parents who do not yet know Christ. We advocate, then, for all orphans and rejoice when unbelievers adopt too, just as we encourage marriage between unbelievers, since marriage witnesses to the Christ-church union even when the married couple doesn't see it. The gospel is better understood in a culture that understands the one-flesh union. Likewise, the fatherhood of God is better understood in a culture where children know what it means to say "Daddy" and "Mommy."
Scripture characterizes the kingdom of Christ as a kingdom of rescued children. Solomon looks to the final reign of God's anointed and sings, "For he delivers the needy when he calls, the poor and him who has no helper. He has pity on the weak and the needy, and saves the lives of the needy. From oppression and violence he redeems their life, and precious is their blood in his sight" (Ps. 72:12-14). When we contend for orphans—born and unborn—we are doing more than cultural activism. A culture of adoption, orphan care, and ministry to mothers in distress announces what the kingdom of God looks like and to whom it belongs. We're contending for the faith once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3).
While I was writing this article, my children came running through my study hyped up on Kool-Aid and Pop-Tarts (don't judge me). I heard myself saying, "Will all of you please be quiet so I can think?" But I remembered when our house was quiet, and I remembered the silence of the orphanage where we found Timothy and Benjamin. The kingdom of God isn't quiet. Instead it's like my house these days, "like a flock in its pasture, a noisy multitude of men" (Mic. 2:12).
The universe around us is creepily silent—like an orphanage in which the children no longer believe they will be heard. But if we listen with Galilean ears, we can hear the quiet desperation of thumbs being sucked, of cribs being rocked. As we welcome orphans into our homes, we can show the orphaned universe what it means to belong to a God who welcomes the fatherless.
Let's remember that we were orphans once, and that someone came looking for us, someone who taught us to call him "Abba." Let's be ambassadors for the One who loves the little children, all the children of the world. Like him, let's welcome children into our homes, our churches, and our lives, especially those we are not supposed to want.
Russell D. Moore is author of Adopted for Life: The Priority of Adoption for Christian Families and Churches (Crossway). He is senior vice president and dean of the School of Theology at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. He is also a preaching pastor at Highview Baptist Church in Louisville. He and his wife, Maria, have four sons.

The process has begun!

Hi friends,
Wanted to let you know that we have sent in our application and check to begin our home study. This process could take anywhere from 4 weeks to 3 months or so. Praying for the shorter one, but regardless, we are so excited to begin! We got $400 in the mail from a friend from many years ago (still a friend of course:)), that was an amazing blessing, and we were able to put it towards that fund. Can't tell you how fun it is to be on our way and to see God already providing!

The home study consists of many things- lots of paper work, fingerprinting, psych evals, dr apts etc etc. We then have to be approved by our government first. I know there are a ton of details that I don't yet know about , but are moving forward! Very excited.

The beginning

Here is my original email that I sent out with a couple changes. I will posting updates all along the way and am going to try to figure out this whole blogging thing. Will also post our finances and where the money has gone to so you can see the details of where your donations have gone. I would like to post other things like articles on adoptions, encouraging verses, or about ways to help the poor etc; as God is really opening up our eyes and our hearts to the great need in this world, and the short life that we have to make an eternal impact.

Hi friends,
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)

27 Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.

Psalm 68:5-6 (New Living Translation)

 5 Father to the fatherless, defender of widows—
      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.
      Seek justice.
   Help the oppressed.
      Defend the cause of orphans.

      Fight for the rights of widows.

Matthew 18:5 (New Living Translation)

 5 “And anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf[a] is welcoming me.

Proverbs 31:8-9 (New Living Translation)

 8 Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves;
      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