Living Out the Faith

The Darling family, a 2008 ABBA Fund family, were recently featured in a local newspaper –

The decision to adopt for Justin Darling and his family
was based not on the parents’ inability to produce biological children,
because they already have three of their own. It was a decision made
because of its ministry and the pull to follow their heart.

Justin said he was the first to start thinking and talking about
international adoption with wife Melissa. She was hesitant to begin
because of the approximate $20,000 price tag attached to the process.
However, she soon became a convert of the idea and in April 2007 the
couple, along with children Hannah, Elijah and Israel, began the
adoption journey.

Read the rest.

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Celebrate Adoption Conference in Kentucky

jms-logoThis weekend I have the joy of heading to London, KY for the JMS Ministries Celebrate Adoption Conference. JMS Ministries is a great Christ Based Pro-Life and Pro-Adoption advocacy ministry helping educate the community about adoption. 

If you are in the area this is a free event! Here is the information below –

November 8, 2008 at First Baptist Church, London Kentucky in association with Victory Baptist Church.

3:00 PM to 6:00 PM: Come meet International, Domestic and Foster to Adoption Agencies

6:00 PM to 6:30 PM: Awards presentation and recogition of regional adoption advocates

6:30 PM to 7:30 PM: ABBA Fund Overview by Jason Kovacs

7:00 PM to 8:30 PM: Childrens Program presented by Phil Wong

7:30 PM to 8:30 PM: Keynote Presentation: Hidden Treasure by Kristin Wong

Those who choose adoption are entrusted with one of life’s most precious gifts – a child. But there’s more! Adoption also offers other riches, treasures which can expand our hearts and change our lives forever. Hear from author and adoptive mom Kristin Wong as she shares some of these secret gifts. Go away inspired by the marvelous riches of adoption.

ABBA Fund Road Trip

We are heading out today for the next three weeks hitting Nashville, Memphis, Dallas, Waco, Austin, Houston to meet with churches and friends! Then spending some time with my wife’s family north of Dallas. 

Give me a call or shoot me an email if we’ll be coming through your neck of the woods!

Serving Him Together

We are excited that the Robert’s family (one of the first recipients of an ABBA Fund interest-free adoption loan) will be serving with us at the ABBA Fund as Midwest Regional Representatives. This family loves Jesus and loves the fatherless. They have adopted both domestically and most recently internationally from Ethiopia and have been a huge encouragement to many in the adoption world through their blog.

Please join them on their new adoption blog called Serving Him Together. This is their description: 

We hope that our on-line home of Serving Him Together will provide a place where we can encourage, strengthen and equip families in their journey of adoption. Primarily it will be “adoption focused”, but I have a feeling will be a whole mix of things as we live out what God has given us to do. 

If you are a family currently in the adoption process, be sure to come visit us and let us know where you’re at in the process and how we might be able to pray for you. If you are just friends & family who enjoy seeing “happenings” and pics of our crew, you are certainly welcome as well. Perhaps you have become more aware of the needs of orphans through following our blog and want to know more about how you can be part of that …. we invite you to drop on by our new on-line home.

Serrano Adoption Testimony

newsletter-2

This is the story of the Serrano family. It continues a wonderful story of God’s grace and provision in the lives of two families that are members of one of our church partners that have a church adoption fund (The first part of this story is found in our latest ABBA e-newsletter. Click here to subscribe)

In 2006, I became aware that several families I knew at church were adopting. I also knew that there were already a few children there who were adopted. My husband and I had decided that we were definitely finished having children. With four kids in the family, the house certainly felt full, and I had no desire to have another baby. Still, I felt drawn to the families that were adopting or had adopted already. I studied the moms with their new children. It was through watching them that I saw how adoption really “works” in a family. Adopting didn’t give these parents an “adopted child”. Adoption gave them a daughter or a son. I began to question why all of these families were adopting. What was it about the people I saw adopting that drew me to them? It became clearer and clearer to me. These families were demonstrating the love of God. I was adopted into God’s family, and there was a big price tag for my adoption…the blood of Christ. 

Galations 4:3-5 Even so, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world.4But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.

I wanted to adopt! My husband, Julio, didn’t. I struggled quite a bit with this. I understood that for my husband, already having 4 children was a big responsibility. What I didn’t understand is why God would call me to adoption and not my husband. So I prayed about it. I even asked God to take this desire away from me if it was not His plan for our family. Weeks passed and nothing changed. I spoke with my friend, Holly, who told me that God would not call me to adopt and not call my husband.  I prayed and asked God why I felt so strongly about adoption and why it was such a focus in my heart. Still, I didn’t see any change or any answer. So I told God that I trusted him, and waited.

Holly was to speak at church Friday night. She and her husband had returned from Ethiopia weeks earlier with their 2 newly adopted babies. Before getting to her intended topic, she made an announcement. She told us that while in Ethiopia she and her husband, Pastor Tom, had met a little girl in the orphanage with type 1 diabetes. She explained that Tom and her had asked their adoption agency about children with type 1 diabetes at the beginning of their adoption process. They already had a teenage son, Tommy, with type 1 diabetes. They were told that children with type 1 diabetes did not survive in Ethiopia and that they had never seen one in the orphanage. When Tom and Holly arrived at Kibebetsehay orphanage months later, they met a 5 year old little girl with type 1 diabetes who had arrived at the orphanage only days earlier. Holly sat on the steps with her, sobbing, knowing all the care that she needed, not wanting to leave her there. They took many pictures of her. Her name was Rediet, meaning Grace, which also happened to be the name of our church! Tom and Holly spoke to the orphanage workers, explaining the dire need to get Rediet medical attention. Then they went back to their hotel room and prayed for God’s direction. God told them that Rediet was not their daughter, but that they were to advocate for her. Weeks later, Holly had kept tabs on Rediet and knew that she had been moved to an orphanage able to provide medical care. Now she had finally received permission from the adoption agency to advocate for Rediet and show her picture. Holly told us that night about Rediet. I asked Holly about how to finance an adoption. She told me about grants and interest free loans, fundraising and private donations.

That night I told Julio about Rediet and all of the financing options. “Really?” he asked. This was the first time he had responded positively to the idea of adoption. We agreed that we would pray about Rediet and the possibility of adopting her. I didn’t get much sleep the next couple of weeks. I felt God wake me up night after night to pray. The funny thing was, I wasn’t always praying for God to let me adopt Rediet. I was praying that God would sustain her body throughout the night, and that He would comfort her soul, as one of her parents had died and she had been taken to the orphanage only weeks earlier.  After 2 weeks of prayer, Julio and I agreed to send in our application to the adoption agency. We didn’t know how we would pay for this adoption. We did know that God would provide for His plan, but we were still nervous about it, and excited to see what God would do. The praying continued.  

Tom, Holly, and their son Tommy, their teen with type 1 diabetes, had told a lot of people about Rediet prior to us making our decision to adopt. As they gave the update on finding parents for Rediet, a grandmother of one of the girls in Tommy’s diabetic support group wanted to help. She gave us a check for $5,000.00!  We had never met this family. This gift gave us the confirmation we had desired that God would provide. I couldn’t help but see the connection to the $500.00 that we sent to Karen and her family. God had literally multiplied it ten times. Then we received another cash donation of $1,000.00 from the son-in law and daughter of the $5,000.00 donor. These were the parents of a type 1 diabetic child. The $1,000.00 arrived just as we were having our home study done. The donors gave the check to Holly to give to us. She drove straight to our house and was able to hand the check directly to our social worker! What an answer to prayer. Months later, our last payment to the adoption agency was due, several thousand dollars. We had a few hundred left with our Kingdom Kids Adoption Ministries account, but not enough to cover our final payment. We were to leave to get Rediet in only a few weeks. I had seen God provide again each time a payment was due and so I tried to relax and trust in God’s miraculous provision. We received a letter from Shaohannah’s Hope in the mail. I scanned the page and yelled, “We got the money!” I was crying. This was the last bit that we needed to be able to finalize our adoption. Our next financial hurdle was paying for travel expenses, which was going to cost over $5,000.00. We were overjoyed to receive an interest free loan from the Abba Fund, allowing us to bring Rediet home without financial worry.