Yes, we are officially back from our first visit to Bulgaria visiting our little boy in an orphanage.
I know many have been asking for an update and more information as we were gone for a while from our friends and church family. Because of that, I wanted to designate this post so that I may encourage all on our adoption journey.
Our adoption agency said the entire process from the beginning to the end will take as much as 18 to 24 months. And they were correct. This journey has been about two years or so as we are at the last stretch in waiting to bring him home.
The adoption journey and the process has not been a simple one. But we thank God and praise God for His kindness and His provision throughout it all.
Why International Adoption? How Did the Journey Begin?
Like every married couple, my wife and I made plans, set goals, and dreamt together. Even before we got married, we made plans to have a family.
Soon after we were married, we were blessed with my true pride and joy, our beautiful daughter, Kaede. It was the absolute best day of our lives. My dream come true was born soon after our first anniversary and this changed everything.
Amid changes in parenting, through the entire time, no matter what the outcome was going to be, the idea of adoption was always in our hearts. Adopting has been on our hearts for many years and we truly believe this was the Lord’s plan for our family. Adoption gave us great excitement and joy as parents. We have talked about it so much that it had become part of us.
So, our journey began; Here we are, ready to adopt the newest member of our family!
The Reason Why Adoption is Close to Our Hearts and God’s Heart
The greatest reason we are adopting is because of the Lord’s call in Scripture,
“Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” (Ps 82:3-4).
God brought us from the dominion of darkness into the Kingdom of Light when He chose us. Adopted us as His sons and daughters.
Our family’s pursuit of adopting the child that the Lord has for us is our way of celebrating what our Savior sacrificed for us. And we pray that our child will know their Heavenly Father’s love the way my wife and I do.
Every Single Life is Worth Fighting For
First and far most, we must recognize that we live in a fallen world (Gen 3). All adoption begins with loss. A severe and terrible loss.
Children are living in orphanages all over the world without families. The neglect of abandoned children in orphanages is tragic, especially those who are mentally and physically disabled. These children are without access to the Gospel and are dying and wasting away. The Gospel of Jesus and the love of Christ is needed in all nations.
As a result, after much prayer and preparation we did, we decided to adopt a baby boy from Bulgaria. We are preparing to support our child in all of their loss and trauma.
We saw these numbers of children on the waiting-list with special needs, and it clicked with us, that these children need a family. We need to be that family! We so look forward to that moment when we hold him in our arms in his forever home with us.
In certain countries, there are 3,572,000 orphans, with nearly 5000 children with Down syndrome who are unwanted. Many of those children are killed at birth. The “lucky” ones end up in orphanages. We are so lucky to be matched with him.
We truly believe every life is precious to God. Not based on color, race, any background, any creed, nor any socio-economic status. All life is precious to God.
Scripture says God loves all life and cares for the needy in this broken world (Deut 10:18). The sanctity of life and the value of is evident throughout scripture as our Savior gave His life for the many (John 3:16). This means the lives of those little ones who are abandoned and neglected because of the orphan crisis which God cares for (Ps 10:14). Every child deserves the utmost attention and all are worth fighting and investing all our resources in.
As Psalm 139:14 says, “Fearfully and wonderfully made.” I praise God and thank God for a mother who is also fearfully and wonderfully made by God chose to give life to a precious boy that I will get to soon call my son.
How Was Your Recent Visit to Bulgaria?
We honestly have done some research on the orphanage and place of the city. This was the first of two trips in this adoption (The second trip, we will be able to bring him back. We needed to do prior work before bringing him home).
Some comments people said was it is a lovely city, yet the orphanage was a different story. Few of the comments made by families who visited and adopted were,
“No child deserves to be there.”
“Be prepared for a LOT of trauma. That place is a nightmare on earth.”
“The kids there desperately need out.”
“It was obvious that our son didn’t know what it was like to be held.”
“The children were shells of humans because of the trauma they endured there.”
The overall trip was good. We sensed people praying and the peace of God (Phil 4:7) was evident in every interaction we had with people. However, the trip was a hard trip at the same time for certain.
I remember one time, where we asked for an opportunity to feed our little boy. The orphanage agreed, so we fed him during the mealtime. They brought him in his stroller as usual and sat him in there with the translator being there.
The nurse handed first the spoon to feed him along with the bottle and a towel to us. Our little boy pushed away from the spoon as he simply wanted the bottle. He grabbed it and shoved it in his mouth as he was starving. I honestly did not know how to respond initially as he instantly began to sputter trying not to choke.
The nurse took the bottle and I noticed that the tip of the bottle was essentially cut off. She then gave the other bottle which was a drink and said, “Banana juice” as it was his favorite drink, yet he panicked and fought and refused to drink it.
As I watched this short encounter, I learned a few things;
He had to learn how to survive at age 3. He knew if he didn’t go for the bottle of food even to the point of choking and coughing out loud, he wouldn’t get the other bottle till the next mealtime. A liquid-based food that was in essence water three times a day. He learned how to suck it down so fast while needing to clear it out of his airway.
Eating was a panic of a traumatic event for him. It was a scary, painful and horrific experience. He was dehydrated and water was not provided, but instead, the juice was given.
This is just our assumption, but our little boy was NOT an orphanage favorite. He is a sweet boy and his smile is contagious but has an intensity about him. It kept him alive in that orphanage but probably made him “high maintenance” as he was fighting for life. The orphanage does not like high maintenance children.
The trauma that he experiences relating to feeding and eating is one part. I am certain that there will be more that he will need to overcome as he will transition into our home. I can almost sense where we will struggle to teach him the basic need of feeding, let alone transition into a new country and new home.
As I am even sharing this, writing this has been the most painful and raw post I have made in my life. I have shared about with a few of our church family, but every time I share, I relive the experience watching him go through the horrific experience of simply eating.
You may not believe me, but the horrors are even worse for some other children. This is just the reality of those who have left behind and neglected. The suffering of these children who are dying in their cribs is now always in front of our minds.
I am thankful our little boy is in a “good orphanage” We are thankful God has been in control and protecting our little one, but the reality still hurts even coming back from the country.
What Now? What Is Happening Afterward?
Many of our friends and family have been asking if there is anything they can do. We continue to covet your prayers and support in bringing this little one home.
If you are interested in supporting us financially, please check out our fundraiser through called,
As James 1:27 calls believers to, “ Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” We will be serving a widow in our community and raising funds for our adoption at the same time.
There has honestly been fear of uncertainly. So many times, we have felt that the adoption wouldn’t go through. The daunting question such as, “Are you ready to adopt?” But it dawned on me, a child was never ready to be an orphan. We are trusting Him with all aspects of this adventure.
We realized we have this amazing network of people around us, who also want to help us bring the newest member of our family home. With all the prayers, kind letters have been a confirmation of God being evident in the midst of this plan. Thank you all so much for always supporting our family. You all mean so much to my wife and me.
Whatever the circumstance, in the most uncomfortable and most scared moments I believe beautiful things have birthed. We have walked through some very dark times which doesn’t mean it’s over. I think it can just be another chapter in our story. We are not moving on; we are just moving forward by faith in the midst of it all.
Please join us in prayer. As our God has become a Father to the fatherless (Ps 68:5-6), by the power of His Spirit (1 Pet 1:3) and enable us as churches around the world gather today to celebrate God’s gift of adoption for His glory.