Our adoption of our sweet little Malachi was finalized on June 15, and this is the letter I read in court. I wanted to share it with you, because this is the story God has given me.
My story began in 2001, when I spent 10 days in Romania with a group from Cornerstone University loving on a bunch of abandoned babies in a hospital there. My eyes were opened not only to the big world outside of Michigan, but also to the brokenness in this world. I wanted to bring all those orphans home with me. At age 18, with 3-1/2 years of college ahead of me, it just wasn’t practical. But it planted a seed way down in my heart, a little thought that said, “One day, maybe I’ll adopt.”
Life went on. Luke and I got married. We had babies. We loved our church and our life together. It was good.
But during my first year of BSF, studying the life of Moses, I felt a tugging in my spirit. I didn’t know what was in store for us. I didn’t know what this uncomfortable prodding of the Spirit meant. But I told God that I was willing to do what He asked of me. And then began a period of waiting to see what He would do.
And we all know what He was preparing us for. He started tilling the soil of my heart in 2001 and again in September 2014 in preparation for the birth of a tiny little boy on November 7, 2014.
Malachi Charles, I wanted to adopt a baby from Romania in 2001…but I didn’t know at that time that God had my sweet son in mind to be born much later. You were worth the 15 years’ wait!
Today as you become officially ours, I have to give all praise and glory to God, who created you and blessed our family with you. His plans are so much richer and more beautiful than ours, if only we’ll step out in faith.
I can’t imagine our family without you – your sweet smile and infectious laugh. It is my heartfelt desire that someday soon you will learn about the awesome God who created you, and about His Son, Jesus Christ, who died to pay the penalty for our sins. I pray that you will grow to be a man who loves Jesus and serves Him with his whole heart. Your name – Malachi – means “messenger of God,” and it’s my prayer that you will have a beautiful testimony of His grace in your life to share with others.
On this special day, I have some people to acknowledge. First, my family. Luke, it has been so amazing to see the way God took your steps of obedience and turned them into a true, deep love of a father for his son. It’s such a beautiful picture of God’s love for us…and I get to see it played out before my eyes every day.
Grace, Caleb, Ava, and Jaden…I love you. You are awesome kids. It has been so fun to watch you with Kai – the way you loved on him from the very beginning and always treated him like your baby brother. You are such great helpers with him, and I know you’ll continue to help teach him how to be a godly boy. I hope you 5 will someday realize how blessed you are to have each other.
To our extended family – thank you. Thanks for praying for Kai and the rest of us throughout this long process. You’ve prayed for this for over a year, and I want you to know that we don’t take that for granted. And thank you for treating him as part of the family from the very beginning. We’ve been blessed with some pretty stellar family members.
Dana…you were the one to bring Kai home from the hospital and love on him through seemingly endless hours of crying. You sacrificed your Christmas with the girls to snuggle him in the hospital for 2 weeks when he was very, very sick. You endured my not-so-subtle attempts at seeing his sweet self after I’d fallen in love with him, but before I had the courage to say it. You loved him with a mama’s love for 7 months before he came home to us, and for that I will always be grateful. Thank you for being a living example of Christ’s love for the orphans for the last 9 years, so that when it was our turn to step up to the task of orphan care, it was much less scary.
To our other friends who have gone before us into foster care and adoption – thank you. The Simonises, Sturmans, Perrons, and Perrys…your steps of faith and godly examples gave us courage to obey God’s leading. When you chose to love the orphans, you didn’t just change the lives of your children. You’ve impacted the lives of those around you, including us. Thank you!
And last, thank you, God, for adopting us into Your family when we were unlovable. While we were still Your enemies, Christ gave His life for us so we could become your sons and daughters. What’s happening here today is just a picture of the beautiful thing you’ve already done for us. May we bring you glory as we strive to live for you.