We planned on adopting later in life, but God led us to begin the process when our oldest child was only 3. We weren’t enthusiastic about it: “Lord, we’ll start the process. But if it doesn’t work, we’re not going to push it. This was Your idea, not ours.”
And so the journey began. We had to pick a country from which to adopt. I said, “Lord, I can’t pick an orphan. If I pick one, then I’m not picking 150,000,000 others.” A friend said, “I bet God already has a child picked out for you.” I thought, “Yeah, right.” It turned out that way, though – of all the countries we could choose, the only one that worked for us was Ethiopia.
In 2010, we traveled to Ethiopia to pick up our baby, Joseph. But before we met him, another boy was placed in our arms who we mistakenly thought was Joseph. We did not naturally connect with him. Yet when we picked up Joseph, we knew he was our son! It’s like that with Jesus, too: “The Lord knows those who are his.” (2 Tim. 2:9)
While in Ethiopia, we met with a pastor who is in the process of bringing 16 churches into Foursquare – these will be the first Foursquare churches there. We told them we would like to partner with them in reaching the people of Ethiopia. “You’re coming back to visit us?! God sent you here not only for Joseph, but also for us!”
I believe our adoption story is part of God’s larger adoption Story. God redeemed us that we might receive the adoption as His sons. Adoption is the most visible representation of the Gospel Story, and my prayer is that God would pour out His spirit of adoption on all of us!