Well, I always said I wanted to have a football team…..
….never in my wildest dreams did I think we would BE the entire 11-person team!! (Why couldn’t it have been tennis?!?)
Yes, those Crazy Gowins are adopting again! But you already knew we were crazy, right? What’s three more kids???
When we found out that Kieran had three younger siblings, we knew it was a possibility that they would eventually be put up for adoption too. As much as we hoped and prayed that they would be able to stay with their birth father, though blind, only he could know how difficult it would be continue to provide for them on his own.
So now that we recently found out Kieran’s siblings were at the orphanage, how could we not pursue them? We have prayed and asked God what is best for them (other than not to have to be in this situation in the first place) and for our family, and we haven’t come up with anything other than the fact that they deserve to be together.
What would you do?? How would you answer to God on this one?
Well we are answering “Yes!”
Are we scared?
Are we going to screw up as parents along the way?
Do we wonder how the finances will pan out?
Do we wonder if we need another bathroom?
Will we need to buy a bus?
Will it be good for our kids already in our family?
Will people think we are nuts?
Absolutely! YES to all!!!
When we wonder, we come back to these verses of Scripture:
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. (1 Cor 13:4-8)
As Brandon Heath’s song “Love Never Fails” says, “Love does not run. Love does not hide.” Maybe our flesh would be tempted to run and hide from this situation, but we know God has got our backs. Jesus ran straight TOWARD people in difficult circumstances. How can we tell Him that we won’t? That we don’t trust Him enough? “Lord, to whom shall we go? You alone have the words of eternal life.” (Jn 6:68)
Once when I cried and begged God during LCU’s Christmas in the Chapel program, “Why?? Why us? Why them?”, he answered me: “Because of Your Tender Mercy.” That’s why. The end. Amen.
OK God. You’re the boss.
So how are we going to manage this??
When Jesus and the disciples fed the 5000, Scripture never praised the disciples for their budgeting and operations management abilities. It was simply ALL GOD. At this point we are way past our abilities, and our prayer is that God is glorified because people will know that ONLY GOD could be making this work!
So this time around there have been no lightning bolts from heaven, no audible Word from the Lord through people or movies as with last time. (And I am NOT going to tell you that God spoke to us through a Three Stooges movie. No, I would not tell you that. That would just be anathema.)
This is simply pure and unadulterated religion.
God has a special place in His heart for the vulnerable and alone, the orphan.
God wants our hearts to imitate His.
There are three orphans who desperately need a home and need to have at least one loss, the loss of their big brother, taken away.
We have room in our home.
We only live one life and it should be lived for Him first and foremost because what else really matters??
We have been blessed to be a blessing.
Why should we not fill every square inch of our home that God has blessed us with?
So where are we in the process?
We have prayed and fasted and asked some of our amazing prayer warrior friends to be on their knees about this decision with us over the last several months, and we have all come to the conclusion that we at least need to try our best to make this happen. However, just after we decided yes, Ethiopia began making announcements that they might shut down their adoption program. But we kept forging through, even already sending thousands of dollars toward the process, not knowing if it all would be lost. It’s God’s money in the first place, right? We can’t let a silly thing like money stop us…. (Since then Ethiopia has decided to keep the program open, but with some changes to make sure everything is safe for all involved.)
God’s hand has been at work with the paperwork and we were able to get it all done, including a new home study written with a new agency, in three weeks!! We have waited on some approvals, and then yesterday our home study was sent to the State of Illinois. After state approval (provided we’re granted approval), all of our paperwork will go to Ethiopia and we will begin the Homeland Security paperwork, etc.
We were going to wait until “after the first trimester,” after we had state approval, before we made our announcement. But we feel this is the part where we need the biggest amount of prayer so we are sharing this with you now. Passing the state will be one of our biggest hurdles because we already have a large family and we are asking to make it bigger. They are leery of this (as they should be) because they have seen many families fall apart in this type of situation. But our social worker has done a wonderful job of explaining in our home study our experience and our training, and hopefully that will prove to the state that with God’s help, we can do this!
This is where you come in. Please pray over the next month or so that our home study is approved quickly by Illinois. The quicker we get through this stage, the quicker we can get these kids in our home where they belong, and out of the orphanage.
And of course pray for finances along the way. But God “owns the cattle on a thousand hills” and money is nothing for Him! He’s got a plan, I’m sure of that part! (You do have a plan, right God???)
Chris August’s song “Unashamed of You” can announce our news for us this way:
Everybody ought to know…
I will sing about your love
I will shout it to the sky
I will tell of what you’ve done when people ask me why
I live my life this way, I’ll say that I am unashamed of you….