While we were still in the process of adopting our first son, Hudson, we knew we would adopt again. After seeing the faces of the children left behind, we knew we had room in our hearts and home for more sons and daughters. It wasn’t a matter of if we would adopt again, but rather, when. As soon as the three of us returned home, we started looking for the right fit for our family in respect to agencies and countries. We asked a lot of questions. Some doors slammed shut. Others remained tentatively opened.
About six months after we returned from Russia as a family of three, Ryan’s job was terminated due to finances. Things were put on hold as we scrambled to make sense of this, and find a new way to provide for our family. God answered our prayers by sending us across the country, where we settled in. We inquired about several waiting children as we would see the needs arise, but none of these children were meant to be ours. We praised God as they found their forever families, but were still unsure as to how He was leading us.
It seems that when we stopped trying so hard to make puzzle pieces fit together that never would, God gently guided us to Serbia. We had never heard of adoptions from Serbia before, but we connected with a veteran mom who had adopted four times from Serbia. She was gracious in answering our questions and pointing us in the right direction to get a Serbian adoption started, if we were so inclined. We initiated the process by sending an email to the Ministry in Serbia, introducing ourselves and seeing if they thought we would be a good match.
We heard back from the Ministry right away, and they shared that they had just signed to be a part of the Hague Convention, which meant that no more independent adoptions would be able to take place after April 1. To adopt from Serbia, we must go through an agency, once they found one to work with. Brokenhearted, we felt like God once again closed a door, and we started to look elsewhere. The day we were about to sign with another agency to work with another country, we heard from the Serbian ministry again. They had found an agency to work with, and if we were willing, they would love to have us work with them to adopt from Serbia!
We jumped on board, and seven months later, we were looking at the preliminary information on our sweet son. The very same special need listed for him was one of the two special needs our home study had listed in detail, out of the hundreds we said we would be willing to accept. Once we saw his face, we knew he was ours!
We completed our paperwork as quickly as possible, and waited for all the ducks to be in a row in Serbia so we could come meet, adopt, and bring home our newest blessing. The days seemed to crawl by. Finally, after Christmas, we got word that we could come at the end of January! We were over the moon, and we scurried making preparations to be gone for three weeks, returning as a family of four!
Looking back, the graciousness and mercy of our great God can be seen over and over again. Our Judah seems to have just quietly slipped into our lives (and that is the last quiet thing he’s done) like he’s always been here. He already adores his big brother Hudson, and happily goes with the flow of our crazy lives. We couldn’t be more thankful for this precious blessing.
We are so incredibly thankful to you for bringing our family together. For everyone who has given sacrificially, you have blessed us beyond measure by expanding our family. You’ve added love, laughter, lots of noise and a fun bit of chaos to our lives, and we could never adequately express our appreciation. You’ve made our oldest a big brother, a position he takes very seriously, and you’ve taught us so much about God’s provision. We are so grateful that you chose to be a part of this growth for our family.
–Ryan & Melissa, adoptive parents & matching grant recipients
Ryan & Melissa – what a beautiful story of God’s perfect faithfulness to you! It’s evident through your testimony that God was directing your family in ways of perfect provision. Praying for you and your family as you grow in His love and truth!
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