It was so exciting to open up the Sunday paper and see a colorful, vibrant spread of pictures of one of our ABBA Fund families! The title of the article was “Plenty of Love to Give” and how true that statement is when it comes to this family!
In 2009, Jimmy and Gayla Renslow adopted their daughter Zuri from an orphanage in Uganda when she was 10 months old. The Renslows’ attend The Church at 5:14 in Greensboro, NC which is an ABBA Fund church partner. What a joy to have helped this body of Christ establish an adoption assistance fund and to see these beautiful children come home to their forever families! Today, we are happy to share that the entire family (Mac, Boe, Leia, Gayla, Zuri and Jimmy) is currently in Uganda finalizing the adoption of their son, Zeke! Please pray for this family as we await their safe arrival back in America in mid-August.
One thing we love is that not only did this article provide an opportunity for the community to hear of a local family’s adoption testimony, but it was also a chance to inform others about the country of Uganda and transracial adoption. The article higlighted that out of the 28.5 million people living in Uganda, 2.3 million are orphans and nearly half have lost thier parents because of AIDS (Source: goodsheapheardsfold.org).
A correlating article highlighted transracial adoption in which another family, Jenna and Keith Penner of our church partner Salem Chapel Church in Winston-Salem, shed some light on this issue from their own experience with adopting two children from Uganda. Although there was some hesitation in the beginning of the process, Jenna is thankful that her heart was pulled to Africa:
“I truly believe that most people are just curious. They don’t mean to be rude. It’s our job to be graceful and polite and take those times to educate people.”
“The bigger the family, the more ‘full’ and fulfilled we have felt,” Jimmy Renslow says. ”We only have one opportunity to live this life, and we want to make the most of it, and the more we give away, the more we experience life to the fullest.”
The Renslows are active in helping families interested in adopting from Uganda by being a resource to them. They started the “Out of Uganda” fellowship group which aims to “intentially build a community of African Americans - Ugandan Americans – who support each other. ” This group continues to be a blessing to many families.
You can follow the Renslowfamily at http://renslow.blogspot.com. Here’s a blurb from one of Jimmy’s posts:
“This in itself is an answer to prayer because the connection has taken more time than it did with Zuri. It is like experiencing a miracle to feel love well up for someone who is going to become you child. It boggles my mind to watch it happen to our family with each encounter.”
Courtesy: Greensboro News & Record, Life Section: “Plenty of Love to Give” and “Families Struggle with Transracial Adoption.” July 17, 2011