It was four years ago that we first felt God asking us to move to Nicaragua. We thought it to be a pretty crazy ask. In fact, it took us two months to share it with close friends (who ended up joining us!) and six more months before we dared announce it publicly. For a total of 18 months we prayed and questioned, “Really, God? This is really what you want us to do? Isn’t there something else (easier) we can do instead?”
Eventually we stared at the most terrifying and exciting decision of our lives thus far and said yes.
We really had no idea what we were doing. And most days we still don’t. But the difference between then and now is simply that we’re getting a bit better about accepting our cluelessness, and about letting the Author of our story direct our path.
But you know what is even crazier than that first ask… what God has done with it. He’s taken a messy family from the burbs of Maryland and given us His vision for changing the very landscape of international adoption care. In fact, four years ago the concept of caring for adopting families while fostering abroad didn’t even exist (or so I’ve been told). We’re no geniuses. We’re no heroes. We just didn’t say no. (Well, actually we tried to, multiple times. But eventually we realized we were facing the belly of a whale if we continued to run away from what God was asking us to do. So we finally gave in.)
And you know what’s happened since? He used that “yes” to provide emotional, physical, and spiritual support to more than thirty adopting families in Nicaragua. In the process, we’ve gotten to help as over forty kids have become orphans-no-more. These are not the kids you might hear about who are simply so poor their parents give them up to adopting parents for “a better life.” These are girls and boys who’ve never known an earthly father, kids who’ve been abandoned on the side of the road, or in a trash dump, never to see or hear from mom again. These are children who were born into prostitution and as a result of rape or incest, living a life of sexual and physical abuse until eventually they were simply cast aside. These are kids whose parents have died from AIDS, drug abuse, alcoholism, and violence.
These are kids who — like so many worldwide — just want a family and a home to call their own.
With so many obstacles to adoption, a required in-country fostering period can often feel like a deal-breaker. No wonder God came up with this plan!
[This ministry] has forever blessed our lives, and I don’t know if we even could have done this process without you.
I knew coming here to foster two children would be hard, I knew I would feel lonely, I knew I would be confused and scared at times, and I knew I needed people for fellowship, but I never imagined what a gift God had sent one step ahead of us.
The fostering period is one of the most difficult times that an adopting family will face, and having the proper support is so critical. We were so blessed by this ministry and it truly is what helped us survive through the final stages of our adoption process.
These are just a few statements from families, who tell us over and over again how grateful they are for this ministry. One family even made us a video testimony before they returned to the States:
These stories continually move me to tears, for two primary reasons. First, I am absolutely overwhelmed with gratitude at being able to witness the building of these families. Watching them bond and grow these past few years has enriched my life in ways I never dreamed possible. And then I look at the missionary family who is taking over the day-to-day ministry and see another six lives changed by God’s vision for adoption care. They were previously working a slew of odd jobs to make ends meet while trying to serve God in the husband’s home country. But, through the generous gifts of FIT Nicaragua donors, they will now be able to devote all their time and amazing talents to service, to fill a role so desperately needed!
Yet, I also feel something else: grief at what I might have missed out on had we not said yes to God’s ask. What else is our world missing out on because we haven’t yet said yes?
For so many of the families we’ve met, adoption was their big ask. They felt completely unprepared and had a million reasons to say no. But God kept asking. After almost eight years of being involved in foster and adoption care, I can tell you without a doubt that God uniquely prepares each one of us for whatever He asks us to do. I thought He had us in foster care because we’d eventually adopt. And while that still might happen, I now know that foster care was an amazing way of preparing us to walk alongside adopting families. It gave us insight and experience we didn’t even know we needed. It gave us compassion and understanding that has proved invaluable.
For this season of my life, adoption care is one of my big asks. It’s been anything but easy. But it’s been so worth it I can’t even imagine life otherwise. So, what’s your big ask? What’s God been prompting you to do that seems absolutely crazy? What desire has He planted in your heart, perhaps even years ago, that just won’t go away?
And what’s stopping you from saying yes?
Our adoption care ministry is currently raising support for the full-time missionary family whose primary job it is to provide emotional, physical, and spiritual support to adopting families in Nicaragua. We’re kicking off our #30daystofunded campaign to fully fund our adoption care missionaries in Nicaragua by the end of the month. Please consider helping us reach this goal. One-time or monthly, $25 or $250… any and all are much appreciated! Get the details to support this ministry.