“We’ve been talking about adopting…” her words made my heart happy thinking about the love a child would be surrounded by in this family.
“But we aren’t sure if we should foster, or adopt internationally, or domestically… how did you guys navigate that?” My friend waited for my response…
I took a deep breath in and began our story.
The Lord gave us a heart for orphaned children but didn’t give us details at first. One day when I made a new prayer list, I wrote the word “adoption” close to the bottom of the list. For years, we prayed and asked the Lord if He wanted our family to adopt one day, that He would show us. We prayed for orphans. We prayed for other families adopting and watched the beauty of the lives and family transformed by adoption.
Then, one day, years later when I was making a new prayer list in a new prayer journal, I realized that I had an urgency to write “adoption” close to the top. Right after my husband, son, and daughter’s name, was the word “adoption.” I prayed almost daily, asking the Lord to lead us to the child He wanted us to welcome into our family. And step by step, whisper by whisper, He showed us each step to take and led us to Uganda in 2014 to welcome home our daughter Sharon.
The Lord’s voice was so clear each step.
“Just ask the Lord to guide you guys, and He will,” I told my friend.
The short response I was able to give my friend above the joy of the loud music at the wedding reception we were attending just scratched the surface of our story of navigating our call to adopt. Years in the prayer closet and hours I had spent typing our story out on keyboards could, indeed, be summarized into “Just ask the Lord.” But in true girl nature, I have thousands of words to share more detail about how to follow God’s voice in adoption or just in general. This verse sums up how to follow Him:
Ask. Seek. Knock.
“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will
find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks,
receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be
opened.” Matthew 7:7-8 NLT
Put it on the Prayer List
“Adoption” was just a word on my prayer list for years. It was a word I wrote on there
after my husband and I heard stories of babies in Chinese orphanages who just didn’t cry
anymore because when they did, nobody came to soothe them. So I wrote it. And I
prayed about it, everyday, for years.
Sometimes we just wait in the holding room of prayer until he tells us it’s time to get
moving. Just like an earthly Father makes preparations for a trip, Our Father is getting
you ready for the journey ahead of time through prayer. Prayer prepares us for what’s on
the path before us. We can converse with The One who knows every curve in the journey
before it begins. Prayer moves our hearts as we wait for Papa to say, “move your feet.”
Hear his direction
“God’s Word is living and active and sharper than any double-edged sword.”
Since God’s Word is alive, it will speak to you. Your Father God will speak to you
through his word as you seek His guidance there. Whether you are trucking through a
Bible reading plan or Bible Study, start conversing with your Father by asking Him for
direction in the area you are waiting to be led in. Just ask him!
This is what I did next as the word “adoption” sat on my prayer list.
I asked God to show us the details of the first step in our adoption process.
I wrote down verses I came across as we prayed about adoption, talked about adoption,
read the word, and kept our ears and eyes peeled open at church and around our family of
We already had two biological kids, and we started talking about what we would name
the little boy we would adopt one day (yeah, boy, we were way off!).
We decided we loved the name “Fisher, “for this verse:
“And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Matthew 4:19
Even with this, we were still in the prayer waiting room. All we had was a dream, and a
But, hey! We had a powerful bible verse to hold onto as we kept waiting, praying, and
One important thing we did was wrote the verse down, proclaiming it as the verse God
had given us with the name in my prayer journal. I prayed and told Our Father that we
wanted to adopt Fisher, and teach him about how much Jesus loved him, so he would
follow Jesus and become a fisher of men who told even more people (maybe even more
orphans) about how much Jesus loved them, to make even more followers of Jesus.
Yep, I had it all. Planned. Out. I bet you never do that, do you friend?
A few weeks later, Father God was about to give me a big “giddy up,” it’s time to go sign
at church. There was a guest speaker, a missionary from Asia who had come home to
share what The Lord was doing in their ministry. He was talking about one young man in particular that they had been ministering to, and how God had transformed his life. What happened next was the moment I’d been waiting for…he looked right at me and said,
He was an orphan, but he became a fisher of men! This was one of those heel to toe moments where I felt the breath of God right up next to my ear as the words from the speaker filtered through the sound system. My fingers couldn’t scribble the details of the moment down in my journal fast enough. Somehow, I
made them legible.
His hand was held out. Father God was leading. He was leading through His Spirit, just
as he said he would. His word had been a lamp to our feet and a light to our path to show
us it was time to take the first step. We had been just waiting and praying, not seeing a
path at all yet to take. And now he was confirming it was time to stand up, lace up our
shoes and start knocking.
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Psalm 37:23
We had sought him for the “go ahead.” When we got it from him that day in church, we
started knocking. We knew we wanted to adopt from the country of Uganda, so we
started looking up adoption agencies that had a partnership with that country. Out of all
the ones I could find, only two were taking applications for this small east African
country. One was in our hometown. Our hometown! That just felt right, ya know? It
didn’t take much knocking. Father God opened the door very quickly this time. We made
our first consultation, called the babysitter, and wrote the appointment on the calendar,
scared to death, but following The One we knew was leading us, like a Father leads a
child, like a daddy leads a daughter.
When you are knocking, fellow daughter, be prepared to walk through the door your
Father opens. As you knock, speak trust in His power to unlock. He’ll unlock room in
your heart to trust Him deeper as you wait for the door to open. Go ahead and ask
yourself, do I trust Him like a little girl who just walks right through a door she’s never
been through; just because she’s holding her daddy’s hand? If the answer is yes, you are
ready! If He has opened a door and you are afraid to put your hand in his and walk
forward, just be honest with him. Journal out your fears to him, or whisper them to him in
a prayer. He will be faithful to give you courage to take the first step over the threshold
with him. You’ve been praying for this direction, remember? The one who has called you
If you are considering adoption, reach out to me and I’ll join you in prayer for you to hear His guidance!
If you’d like to speak with an adoption specialist for a free consultation, click here!
It’s National Adoption Month! If you have a group you’d like me to come speak to and share about the need and beauty of adoption, visit my Speaking Page!
I’d love to come encourage you to fulfill the mandate from the Lord in James 1:27.