After church, we ate lunch with the ministry team. Mike and Martha were both out of town, and therefore, not at church. That afternoon we were dying to talk to them. We wanted to get their advice about adoption, to hear their story, and to share with them what God had been doing in our lives…
That afternoon I called Martha, but she didn’t answer. Daniel called Mike a couple of time and finally got in touch with him after dinner. As soon as Daniel said, “Hey man, I was just wondering if we could get together to talk sometime soon.” Mike immediately responded, “It’s about that little girl, isn’t it?” We later learned that as Martha drove home from an hour away, she couldn’t get Dana out of her mind. She had been praying for her all weekend. She knew that circumstances weren’t right for her and Mike to adopt Dana. She still prayed for a sovereign move. Little did she know…
That night, we visited our relatives in NC and asked them to pray for us. We simply stated that we felt God was telling us to “go somewhere and do something.” They immediately thought we were going to go onto the mission field.
To end the day, Daniel responded to the adoption agency’s personal questions about us. Here’s an excerpt from that email:
Probably the most important question above is why we feel we would be the right parents for Dana. This is a pretty hard answer to put into objective terms, and I don't think we've come to the point yet where we are really ready to say that we're the right ones for her.
When our friends unexpectedly forwarded us the email with Dana's pictures attached, my heart broke for her in a way that I can't explain. I just cried and cried. I have seen countless pictures of orphaned/handicapped/abused children, and nothing has ever affected me this way. Maybe it was love at first sight...maybe it was something else. But the thought that she might spend her childhood in an institution without the love of a family because she looks different than other people really grabbed me.
My wife and I have been very blessed with wonderful families, great childhoods, lots of friends, good educations, great jobs, a large house in a great neighborhood (plenty of kids running around!)...why shouldn't Dana have this too? Because she looks different? We her to know that God loves her no matter what she looks like. We want her to be loved as God intended for her to be loved.
This is a significant departure from the "plans" that my wife and I had envisioned for ourselves. Since before we married, we have talked seriously about eventually adding to our family through adoption. We believe it is a wonderful picture of how God has added us into his family. But I don't think either of us had considered adopting a child before we had one of our own, let alone a 5 year old girl with special needs.
But the fact that she has special needs is actually another reason we are interested in her. We understand that adoption is a costly process. It is also likely that Dana will need a number of expensive surgeries to address her Treacher Collins conditions. The truth is, we are having a hard time thinking of a better way to use our money than to improve someone else's quality of life like we might be able to do with Dana. God has blessed us financially, and we are starting to wonder if He did it specifically so we could bring Dana into our lives.