Interested in helping support our adoption?
Seriously. This is the last part. I’m not kidding this time. If you missed any of the cliffhangers, make sure you check them out here. You don’t want to read the end of the book at the beginning right!?!
So we waited and we prayed. Lord please give me one more sign that this is your will. We sent in our info form on February 17th and now have heard nothing since February 24th. Heather Hamilton had been announced as the new children’s ministry director on Sunday March 16th so a huge weight had been lifted for me. Running children’s had been one of the things the Lord had known I would be doing for a period after Katie passed away, one of the reasons he hadn’t given us peace to adopt way back in July and that period was ending. So that night, Than and I spent time in prayer and asked for confirmation and guidance. Should we reach out again? One more time?
I felt much like Gideon. “Then Gideon said to God, “Do not be angry with me. Let me make just one more request. Allow me one more test with the fleece. This time make the fleece dry and the ground covered with dew.” Judges 6:39
Our God is so good. Judges 6:40, “That night God did so. Only the fleece was dry; all the ground was covered in dew.” On Monday March 17th, I woke up to an email in my inbox from a stranger. Her name is Brooke. She had seen that we were praying about adopting Lenny on the Yahoo group I mentioned in Part 4. I just have to share the whole email with you as it was so out of the blue and such an answer to my prayers. It could have only been the Lord.
I am Brooke and I advocate for waiting kids from China who need a family. I have been advocating for Lenny for a long time and saw your post on the deaf adopt yahoo group. I was so excited! I have a deaf daughter who was adopted almost two years ago. I noticed Lenny was not noted as on hold or matched yet on Madison’s site. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns about adopting a deaf child or working with Madison. We used them for our 2nd adoption- our 6 year old son. I am also happy to connect you with someone who met Lenny awhile back.
Advocacy blog: www.littlewondersfindhomes.webs.com
My fleece definitely stayed dry while the ground was covered in dew!!! I knew it was time to reach back out to both the agencies we had sent emails to last month. So I emailed Sara at Madison and Than email his contact from the other agency. We knew we would hear back from them both, He made that clear, and prayed the Lord made it clear who to use for our coming adoption.
Let’s start with the response that Than got. The woman that he had been in contact with had been nothing but helpful on our journey began all the way back in June 2013, so it was weird that she hadn’t responded to the earlier email. Well, she responded back to Than same day this time explaining the situation. Her agency had closed pretty suddenly. She had been very busy trying to help all the families that had found themselves mid-adoption without an agency and his earlier email had just been missed. She had been reeling from the news of the closure. So it was very clear that we weren’t going to be using that agency. Now I need to make sure you all are connecting the dots here. If we had started our process with them last July, we would have been at the very end of our process right when they closed. Trying to figure out how to change agencies, make it to China, and possibly find even more funds. It would have been a nightmare!! Thank you Lord.
Now to my response from Madison. I got a response within an hour. Sara had never gotten the voicemail that I had sent her. She was still waiting to hear back from us. She was super excited we wanted to move forward and asked if I would be available to speak with her on the phone the next day. That’s right…we were moving forward!!!
So on Tuesday March 18th, I spent nearly an hour on the phone talking to Sara. She is an amazing lady and was happy to answer all of my questions about whether or not we would even qualify to adopt. She reassured me that we could adopt Lenny and that they would help us. That afternoon, I received an email with an official application to fill out and send back. Did I mention that they happened to be running a celebration special and had cut their application fee in half from March 15 through the end of April? Thanks for the extra little love God:) We sent the application in the next day.
I found out one other thing while I was on the phone with Sara. She had gotten a call from a family around 6-7 months prior asking that she pull Lenny’s file into their agency. They wanted to adopt him. So she did and then she never heard back from the family. Since then, she had a special place in her heart for Lenny. She had felt such a burden that they had been close to finally finding him a family and that she had let him down. (That tells you this woman’s heart for orphans, does it not?) After waiting and waiting, they added the $5000 grant to try and help find this sweet boy a forever family. That other family inquiring about him led to one of the huge confirmations that the Lord has for us. His hand was on this adoption so many months ago knowing just where our path would lead!!! I spoke to the person at Madison that had a huge heart for my son. She was overjoyed to have seen this burden of finding him a family lifted.
God had been so good to us throughout this whole process. He has given us so many more reassurances that we are on His path and I can’t wait to share those with you all too. The home study, finding an ASL teacher, fundraising and filling out the mountains of paperwork all have their own stories, but this brings our journey of confirmation to a close. The end of the beginning. Finally!!!
So our story isn’t a short one is it? Have you already read our announcement, Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. Could this be the last part of the beginning of our story? Don’t you wish that I told you? Nope you have to wait until the end to find out.
Where were we? End of January. The amazing memorial service for my sweet friend (what a truly Phenomenal woman!! Watch this video to see her triumphant 3-day walk) was just weeks away on February 8th and I truly haven’t thought about Lenny for a couple months. What changed?
It all started with a dream. I had a very vivid dream of picking up our son in China. *Multiple groups of foster parents were standing in a semi-circle with kids. Our sons foster parents were there and so was he. He was young at the time and hiding behind his foster moms skirt. Flash forward, same place. This time he is a bit older and looking at us from behind her skirt. She encourages him and he starts our way, only to turn around and run back to her. Flash forward again, same place. He is older now and standing beside her. He gives her a hug and walks to us. The transfer is complete. Connor Skylstad is there and is translating which is weird. (Love you man but why are you in China with us?)
I know that the Lord speaks to us in many different ways. I have wonderful Godly friends in my life that have heard from the Lord clearly in dreams. They have very prophetic dreams so I have no doubt that the Lord gives glimpses of what is to come in dreams. However, that isn’t the way the Lord has spoken to me before. I always try to take a look at the dreams I remember and analyze them for possible meaning but purple cows running through McDonalds in a snowstorm? Hard to make sense of that;) But could this be…could the Lord have given me a vision of what is to come. Remember, I hadn’t thought of Lenny for months. Life had been too crazy. Why did he come up in my dreams now?
I shared my dream with Than but I knew that I needed confirmation that this was of the Lord. If we were supposed to move forward with something so drastic and life changing, I needed more. So I began to pray. I would pray, “Lord if this dream was from you and you want us to adopt Lenny, show me a sign. Give me confirmation and peace.” I prayed and prayed and prayed.
Then about a week later, February 6th to be exact, I got this message from my dear friend Alicia on Facebook…
“Hi! I hope this link works: https://www.facebook.com/MadisonAdoptionAssociates/posts/796134780403232:0
I’ve never tried to link a post that way. Anyway, I thought of you when I saw this from my agency, and I’ve been meaning to tell you that Reece’s Rainbow also has a warrior program. If you felt drawn to him but not to adopt, you can pledge to pray, share, and even help raise funds if you want.
Talk to you soon!”
Ok Lord, you caught my attention. On top of this message coming out of the blue just after my dream, we had signed up as Lenny’s warriors but it never showed up on his profile, he had come up on her adoption agency’s list, and he had a huge grant!!! This was like a whole bunch of confirmations rolled up in one. I can’t deny His hand in this. But still we prayed some more and then peace came. When you sit through the memorial of someone that went to be with Jesus too soon from our perspective, things become more clear. You realize that this life isn’t your own and that the Lord walks before you. He has a hand on my life and I needed to trust His leading, whether I was scared of not. So on February 17, it was time to send an email out to get more information and see if the Lord continued to open doors. So we followed the link from Alicia and sent in the family info form. I also thought I would go ahead and become part of the yahoo group for adoptive parents of deaf children.
We sent off the form and waited and waited. It had been a week when we finally got an email back. It was a bit of a form email that said we would need to find a local agency to do our homestudy. I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to find a different agency for the whole adoption or what. So I called and left a voicemail figuring it would be easier to chat since I was pretty adoption clueless. At the same time, Than sent an email to the agency we had contacted months before. They asked a couple questions which Than answered and then went dark. I never received a call back. Was I reaching about this dream and confirmation? Maybe the Lord was closing the doors. That is what I had asked Him to do, wasn’t it? I didn’t want to strive but I didn’t want to let one roadblock by the enemy stop me either. We just want to walk in His Will, adoption or not. So we would just pray He would make it clear. So we waited and waited and waited…
So you can all blame my brother Ben for the delay of Part 3. If he, his wife, and son weren’t so awesome to hang out with, we wouldn’t have tried to convince them to stay an extra night while visiting and I would have written my post on Sunday evening;) It is hard to want such fantabulous people to leave. And of course they accepted the invitation to stay. I mean who would want to leave when you are around such cool people. I guess the awesomeness must be genetic. LOL. If you are just joining us, make sure read our announcement, Part 1 and Part 2. We wouldn’t want you to miss anything.
So where did I leave off. Ah yes, we had found Lenny and I was worried that someone else would snatch him up. But that was June of 2013 and we didn’t start the process until March 2014. There seems to be a gap. What happened?
We arrived home from our road trip the beginning of July. We had lots of driving hours to discuss things on the long last few legs of the trip. We decided that we wanted to reach out and learn more about Lenny. We started by reaching out to Reece’s Rainbow to become his prayer warriors. Did you know that you could do that? If the Lord draws you to a certain child, sign up and commit to pray for that child and their future family. It is much like sponsoring a child but with prayer instead of funds. Learn more about how to be a prayer warrior here.
Then we asked the folks at RR how to get more info about him. They put us in touch with an agency here in Washington. The wonderful woman at the agency emailed us his file and answered all my questions. Would we even be able to qualify for adoption? China had strict rules in place and having 6 kids definitely exceeds their limit. Would our small house be an issue? There were many what ifs and what abouts. The response that I got was great because none of those things would be a problem and sad because the reason they weren’t a problem was because he is special needs. They are willing to waive so many things because these children are unwanted. They so want these children to have a home and there are so few people that want them, that they are willing to look the other way on most of their requirements. As a mama this broke my heart. Do we truly value all life? Or just lives like ours?
Now, adoption is a scary thing. There are so many unknowns and so many hurdles to overcome. After getting Lenny’s file and praying, praying and praying, asking friends to pray, seeking council from trusted Godly people, we weren’t feeling peace to adopt him. I couldn’t understand. I knew he was my son. Than knew he was part of our family. Yet, we couldn’t get peace to move forward. We were impressed upon to be cautious and to take more time. Did the Lord not understand that Lenny had already been waiting for sooooooo long? That he held a place in our hearts. But there wasn’t any peace. The kids seemed less than thrilled at the prospect and that was a huge concern as well. This would affect our entire family for the rest of our lives. This isn’t a little thing and we couldn’t in good faith move forward if the Lord wasn’t in it.
Oh how I grieved. But we were his prayer warriors and we would pray for him and his future family even if it wasn’t us. I still found myself going back to RR and looking to see if he was still on the waiting list. My heart would start to drop as I would scroll farther and farther down the list and not see him. Then finally he would pop up!! He was at the bottom of the list. All the kids around him would be gone but he was still there. It was torture. I finally had to stop looking and things in our lives changed and looking for him took a bit of a back seat. The Lord knew there were trials coming that would need our full attention.
Life is precious. And that is never more poignant than when you are watching a friend battle for her life. An amazing Godly mama, wife and friend of mine had been battled Stage 4 terminal cancer for over a year and then in the end of August 2013, the bad news started piling up. More lesions, moving faster, harder treatments. There were meals to organize, children’s ministry needs to help with, and much more. Just before Thanksgiving she was given the news that it was time to start getting her affairs in order. In December, she stepped down as the children’s director at our church and Than and I stepped in for the interim. She got very sick in January and went to be with Jesus in February. It was a long hard road. She was an amazing testimony of faithfulness and grace sharing her faith with everyone she encountered through her illness. Please keep her husband and daughter in your prayers as they continue to learn to live without her.
Katie’s battle with cancer changed things in our lives. Looking back, I see that the Lord needed us present to be with Katie in the end and to carry on her legacy with children’s ministry until a new person was found. I needed to be able to spend time grieving and sharing the memories with friends. If we had been deep in the adoption process, all of that would have been much more difficult. So in those hard 4 months watching my friend say goodbye to her family and this temporal life here on earth, I had stopped obsessing about Lenny. As a matter of fact, I didn’t think of him much at all the last couple months. The Lord had my mind filled with other things and had me serving Him in other ways.
Isn’t it amazing how the Lord walks through this life with us!?! He is not only the Infinite God and our Creator but also our Father and Redeemer. When we surrender to Him and don’t strive for things ourselves, He will make our path clear. We didn’t know the trial that was to come but our Lord did. By listening to Him and that lack of peace, we were ready to do what He had for us. Had we ignored His promptings, we still would have done what He had for us through this trial but it would have been much harder. It wasn’t that the Lord hasn’t set Lenny before us as our son but we had to trust His timing. How did we finally know that the time was right? The Lord had quite the series of events that makes even the skeptical see the obvious path before us.
But I will save all that for Part 4. What’s another word for cliffhanger? I don’t know so CLIFFHANGER!!!
So after our announcement, I knew I needed to tell you all the story about how this all came about. It isn’t a short story so I decided it would be best in a few parts. If you missed it, you can start with Part 1. Let’s continue shall we?
As I mentioned, the Lord had been working in the midst of our church body in terms of adoption. Two of my adopting mama friends came across a young boy up for adoption with celiac disease and posted info about him on Facebook. Since we are a gluten free family, a special need like celiacs feels so minor so I followed the link to learn more about him. I continued to browse through the faces on Reece’s Rainbow. It is striking when you start to put faces with the need. These children have no families and are just waiting for someone to love them. I found myself going back to Reece’s Rainbow every few days to just pray over these kids. I see now that the Lord was softening my heart toward the idea of making the hypothetical of adopting someday into a reality of adopting today.
There were so many of these children that I wanted to reach through the internet and grab them to bring home. There was a definite tug on the heart strings. But I think we have all felt that way when we have seen the commercials for World Vision and other sponsorship programs. The cute little faces and big eyes. We had been moved to sponsor kids and support programs that worked with orphans. Wasn’t that enough right now? We were doing our part. Right!?!
On June 11, 2013, I came across a boy identified only as “Lenny” which was the name given to him to protect his anonymity online. He caught my heart. I read through his little biography and instantly knew he was different. There was something special about him. This is what I saw…
Waiting Children – RR
Boy, born June 2002 PRC Deaf
This guy has personality! He is 11, and has a great sense of humor (he’s a little jokester). Lenny’s special need is deafness. He attends a boarding school for deaf children during the week, and lives at the foster home on weekends. He speaks sign language, which will be great when he meets his forever family. He is very intelligent with the computer, likes cars, cartoons, and building blocks.
He has good relationships with both his foster parents. He is smart and willing to help with housework. He is described as a gentleman. When he goes grocery shopping with his foster mom he always points to the heaviest bags and says “Mom, I am Superman, I will help you carry that”. Every family needs a Superman. After all, Superman was adopted too!
I read it over and over again. I stared at his picture. Then I sent Than this text, “Do we need a Superman? He looks so sweet!” with a link to his profile. During this time we were on a road trip and used our driving time to do lots of talking about whether this was really something we could do. Could we adopt a child now? An older child? A deaf child? Yet even with all the challenges, I found myself checking everyday to see if he had been taken off the list because someone else had fallen in love with him and acted before us. There was such a wave of relief every time I saw his handsome face staring back at me from the “still waiting” page.
So how did we get from June of 2013 to March of 2014 before we pulled the trigger and began the adoption? If we knew he was our son then, why wait until now? You will have to wait until Part 3 to find out:)
Hello all ~
My name is Sarah Nap and I am the author of this site. While this isn’t my final draft for this page, I figured it will at least give you a little idea about who I am. I hope to expound on it soon. I am a…
Lover of Jesus
Helpmeet to Than (an amazingly talented, handsome, and loving man)
Mama to Teagan, Logan, Rowan, Declan, Dresdan, and Lawson (trusting the Lord in family size and everything else)
Live in North Bend, WA
Homeschooler (of eclectic style)
Natural Living Enthusiaist (Home cooking, traditional whole foods, natural medicine, Young Living essential oils, cloth diapers, Shaklee cleaners)
Hobbies (crocheting, organizing, reading, sports)
I hope this gives you a little insight into me. If you know me and I’ve missed something crucial, leave me a comment. If you don’t know me and want me to give a little more info on something right away, leave a comment too. May the Lord Bless your day.