God is just really cool - He works things out in amazing ways and it makes for wonderful stories when you begin to connect all the dots. Well, our current adoption journey dots started when my sister's family decided to come to Franklin for their six-month furlough from Thailand. Her two sons play football for Franklin High and her son, Jon Mark, needed to sell coupon books as a fundraiser. Being the very kind, sweet and helpful Aunt that I am, I told him I would help him. I posted on Facebook that I needed to sell a few books and within minutes many friends had responded and offered to buy them. One of those wonderful friends was Beth Krehbiel. She and I decided we'd meet for coffee to make the money/coupon book exchange. We met at Starbucks and she brought her beautiful children with her - four of whom they adopted from Ethiopia two years ago. We were chatting and she reminded me that they had decided to adopt two more Ethiopian beauties - three year old identical twins. She pulled up the web site to show me their pictures (and they are precious) and on that web site were the most adorable seven year old twins. A girl and a boy. Um, let me see them!! (: So, I went home and requested access to the waiting child area on that site. I'm staring at the twins and feeling so drawn to them BUT THEN I saw the fine print that said, "Oh, by the way, there's an 11 year old sister who is being brought to the orphanage and needs to be adopted with them". There was no picture of the older sibling.
Well, I know Brian Green - Brian Green can do one kid, and he can be talked into two...but THREE was not gonna be an option. LOL So, I closed my computer and put it out of my mind. However, an hour later there was a strong nudge urging me to look at the web site again. So I did. And in that hour they had posted a picture of the three of them together!! Wow - she was amazing. Has the coolest hair ever!! They were so joyful - obviously very happy to be together. I decided to ask Brian to pray about it.
Well, that night we had a big fight. Just being honest. Not just me and Brian - but all four of us. Gatlin and I were crying wondering why we couldn't just jump in. Brian was being all practical and Cooper just wanted us to stop being mean to Brian. If we could watch a video of it now, it would be quite funny. We all went to bed frustrated, but Brian promised to pray about it. Tuesday
Ironically, Brian was in rehearsals all week with Steven Curtis Chapman, who he is Music Director/Keyboard player for. They began an extended tour last week -- so it's been a crazy busy time for him. We affectionately call Steven, Captain Adoption -- so it was pretty wild that Brian was there with him all week. They prayed together over our decision. This was Wednesday.
On Thursday morning a friend called me to talk to me about a decision her family was making and she wanted me to pray about it with her. At the end of our thirty minute conversation I told her I was going to send her a picture and that I needed her to pray about our decision to adopt. She knew it had been on my heart for years and it didn't surprise her. But what she said next surprised me. My precious friend told me that she wanted to help us cover the cost of the adoption. She didn't know exactly how much they could do, but it would be significant. I was blown away. I texted Brian at his rehearsal to let him know what had happened. He and Steven prayed harder and were quite aware of the big door that the Lord had just opened.
When Brian came home that night he said that the Lord reminded him that on our two previous adoption attempts we walked in faith and the doors were closed. Brian said that he thought we should walk in faith on this attempt too and trust that if it wasn't meant to be then the Lord would close these doors as well. We agreed that we would trust the Lord for the finances (whatever we still need after the friends' amazing donation...and the day-to-day living expenses) and that these children deserved to have a family to call their own. Thursday night.
Friday morning I called the agency to tell them we were interested in pursuing the adoption of Bemnet, Kalab and Kalkidan.