Tuesday, August 19, 2014


I never tire of hearing how our Father God brings children into families. The stories are endless confirmation of a miracle-working God whose love is extravagant, both for us and for our children. You will really enjoy this story from our friend Martha Cook. Martha and Andy have been married for 13 years. They both went to Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary where Martha got her Master of Arts in Counseling. Martha and Andy have two biological children, then two adopted from Ethiopia, then another biological son, and are now again in the process of adopting from Ethiopia! Some of you are familiar with Promise686.org, a ministry they helped start and play a key role in today. Promise686 reduces barriers to adoption and fostering by giving grants, offering childcare/meals, and help equip churches to bring orphans into their homes. In her spare time, Martha coaches people in all stages of life through her business, www.allabouttheprocess.com.  

 Don't forget to register for Hope at Home 2014 before August 26 so that you can take advantage of our Early Bird Special. 

From Martha Cook:

Our oldest (11) recently asked at the dinner table, “What if Andrew (9) and Sydney (6) had to go back?” I said that’s not possible. And he said, “Yea, but what if?”  

I shared that the legal process prevented it--but he wasn’t giving up! I didn’t want the idea even in their minds, but our oldest wasn’t letting go. So, I finally said (or maybe “overstated”) in a serious voice, “It’s not going to happen.”  I had, for no substantial reason, created an awkward moment. The brief silence, at the table with the seven of us, was ended by Andrew. He stood, looked at his sister, and raised his hand to high-five her and exclaimed with a huge grin, “Home Sweet Home!

Now let me describe a different scene—6 years ago we were three weeks away from flying to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to get Sydney who was 4 months old, when I sheepishly asked my husband to adopt again. This was a bold move because we hadn’t even gotten our first one so if you know him, you do not ask for something next until the first thing happens. He went through many reasons for why he just couldn’t go through this again. With each reason, I had a beautiful defense, but by the end I just outright begged, because I really wanted our daughter to have another sibling in our family with a similar story. This had always been on my heart, but we had two young children already, a 4 year old and 3 year old, and that would be four children four and under. I had always hoped in my heart that somehow we would get a sibling group, but our agency had told us that it was so RARE to get a sibling group under 3 years old. So after an hour of debating, I surrendered and thought, “I’ll just have to pray about this.” He closed the conversation by saying that he’d only adopt again if the second child came alongside the first one. 

The next morning, I went out to get an oil change while my husband was home from work during the day (which never happened), and he answered the phone to discover our case worker on the other end. She explained to him that Sydney’s biological brother had been brought into the orphanage and then asked my husband if we were interested in adopting Sydney’s brother. 

My husband came to pick me up at the gas station, and casually said, “Guess what? We are having another baby.” 

Well remember, twenty-four hours before, he had just said “no,” so I thought, “What kind of mean trick is this?” I said, “What? Why are you doing this to me? This is so mean!”

 It took him six times before I believed him. He finally said, “The agency called and told me Sydney’s brother who is almost three was up for adoption, and I already told them yes.” 

Only God could design circumstances such as this where I would never have to worry over whether I was pushing my own desires on to my husband--he had come around in less than one day! 

At this point we expected we would have to wait another six months to bring our newest son home, since none of his paperwork had been done, but another prayer changed that. 

Each day that went by leading up to our trip, we began dreading having to take two trips and not be able to take our son, Andrew, home when we got Sydney. We just couldn’t understand how we would be able to leave. On the plane over there we devised a plan that before going to meet the children, we would go meet with the Ethiopian director of our agency and ask to bring them both home. When we went to meet him, he looked at us as if we were a bit crazy. His answer was, “It would take a miracle to do that.” My husband replied, “Would it be okay for us to all pray right now and ask  God for a miracle?” The director looked annoyed, but since it was a Christian agency I think he thought, “Well, I guess I have to do that.”  My husband  prayed for all of the necessary paperwork to be done in two weeks. As we left the office, we noted that the director’s mood was much lighter, and off we went to meet our children. About ten minutes later as we were in the taxi, we got a phone call from the director… He said, “You won’t believe it but one of the steps has already been done on Andrew’s paperwork. Let’s take this one day at a time and see what happens.” 

Home-Sweet-Home came two weeks later. I think of this story frequently and some days I wonder why I ever wait to pray about my desires or concerns. The God who provided my children still sits on the throne today. Life is a bit hectic in our house, and frequently there are questions like Bobby’s persistent “What if they had to go home?” that I just don’t quite know how to answer.  

But I smile when I remember that God still provides one day at a time. 

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