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September 18, 2015

A Thanksgiving Story

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The topic of adoption first came up during our engagement, as it was always something I (Molly) felt a calling towards. We began talking and praying about adoption when our youngest biological child was one year old, and it was neat to see how the Lord had been working in Gabe’s heart. We asked our children what they thought of the idea, and our oldest son said if there is a child who doesn’t have a family, then we should share ours.

In November of 2011, we began the paperwork to adopt a little girl from Haiti. After that, the Lord provided just the right agency, a home study agency, and the time that was needed to fill out all of the paperwork. We were blessed to have enough funds in our savings account to begin the adoption process, but knew we did not have the full amount to complete the adoption. Some friends of ours suggested Lifesong and we decided to apply for a matching grant. After looking over the information, we knew this was how God was going to provide the funds we would need. We had several friends and family ask to donate towards our adoption and Lifesong made this process go very smoothly.

We were told by our agency that an adoption from Haiti can take 2 – 3 years, but that was very approximate, as it was hard to know when things would speed up or slow down. There were many bumps along the way, but it grew our faith and we continued to lay the entire process at His feet. The wait for a referral was very long and very hard. Finally, in January 2013 we got a call from our agency – “We have a little girl for you! She is only 6 months old and her name is Daphna.” After such a long wait, we felt so blessed to be matched with this beautiful baby girl and to share the news with our supportive family and friends. Little did we know that the hardest part of waiting was yet to come.

Each month, we received a brief email with a picture of our daughter and her current height and weight. We so looked forward to these emails, but it was very difficult to watch her grow up from a distance. Then, in November 2013 we were asked to travel to Haiti to meet Daphna for the first time and attend court. Words are hard to find to explain what it was like being with our new daughter for Thanksgiving there in Haiti! Daphna was 18 months old already and we were able to watch her take her first steps! It was a very blessed time and we had so much to be thankful for. However, we had to leave there without Daphna, and we left half our heart in Haiti as well. Until her exit papers were ready (this can take 6-12 months!) she was not allowed to leave the country. We knew Haiti required two trips, but did not anticipate the heartache this would cause.

We returned home and continued to pray that God would prepare our hearts, our biological children’s hearts, and Daphna’s heart for the day she would join our family. For another year, we watched her grow up from a distance, with a simple email update each month on her health and a picture of our sweet girl. How we longed to bring her home, but the Lord continued to show us over and over again how His timing is perfect, and this gave us hope and patience during this time of waiting. Finally, exactly a year after we traveled the first time, we got the phone call with an invitation to return to Haiti to bring Daphna home! This year, she got to celebrate Thanksgiving in our country, in our home, with her new family and how thankful we all are!

In November, we will celebrate her first gotcha day and it is so hard to believe she has been with us for almost a year already! She is adjusting well, speaking in full English sentences, and bonding with us all more and more each day. Her brothers and sister are enjoying her little quirks and continue to teach her new things about being part of a family. People frequently comment on how she’s “such a happy little girl,” and we give all of the credit to our Heavenly Father who has made this adoption possible, and has made all things beautiful in His time.

Thank you for sharing your story, Gabe and Molly! What a poignant reminder to be still before the LORD and wait patiently for Him (Psalm 37). We rejoice with you at the many doors God opened for you to adopt from Haiti.

Feel encouraged by this post? Have a story of your own to share? Comment below.

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