|Much like this one.|
We have three young children Soph, Moose and Ollie. From the moment we mentioned hosting, having a boy come and spend the weeks around Christmas with us, they were into it. They seemed to understand some parts of this better than many adults did, this boy doesn't have a Mommy and Daddy like they do and they wanted to share their family and home with him. He came a few days after our oldest's birthday and she still thinks he was her birthday gift.
We almost gave-up the idea, because of the cost of hosting but one afternoon while driving somewhere with our children, it was like God was sitting right next to me in the van and he said you will raise the money. The deposit amount is right here in your account, just the right amount (and it was I just looked past it, planning to pay a bill with it or something). Take this leap of faith, send that money and the rest will come. AND IT DID! Within a month!
Now keep reading because this is where the really good stuff happens... We "were only hosting," in fact we felt like we didn't even need to think past "we are only hosting" as we prepared for him to come, because although my husband is more than 18 years older than him I am only 17 years and 2 months older. The country he is from has a law that requires both adoptive parents be 18 years older than the child they wish to adopt. So, hosting only and then advocating for him and loving him in that way. Well after he left at the end of the winter we knew it was something more, we both felt such a loss, we prayed and prayed asking for answers. Everyone we went to for advice said this is how it feels for all host parents when they say good-bye, its awful, but no exception to the law has ever been made so this is where it ends for us. God kept answering prayers in those few weeks with bible stories I would read to my kids or verses other people shared with us, about moving mountains, calming the sea, TRUSTING AND WAITING! We would spend so much of our time agonizing over how we could possibly do that but continuing to come to accept the trusting and waiting part. Since we were not in the process of adoption we were not eligible to re-host for the summer so we advocated for him. We spent many evenings answering emails and talking on the phone with people who were interested in hosting and then adopting him. We kept thinking, maybe this is Gods plan, how wonderful, all we wanted was for him to have a family and a home. For God's will to be done in his life. But over and over, for one reason or another, the doors would close. After weeks of this we were contacted at the end of the hosting matching period and asked if we would re-host since he hadn't been chosen! OF COURSE. We thought, maybe we will be granted more clarity with this time with him but we were mostly just so excited to see him and hug him. Well within two days of "signing up" to re-host we were given a large gift to afford the hosting fees and received a call that there was a rumor in his home country that the orphan court and ministry were going to begin to look at making exceptions to this age-gap law for families with a parent-child relationship established. They remembered our family and within a week an adoption agency and attorney felt that our story and relationship was that which could be granted this exception.
Now we had been praying, along with our family, friends and community for just this kind of thing to happen but couldn't imagine how! We are learning that there are no boundaries for God, he indeed can move mountains. So our boy came for the summer and it was intensely different. We know, without a doubt, that we are on the right path. He was normal, a teen from a troubled life, not on his best "hosting" behavior. He tested and learned and loved and pouted. We Love him for it. We were able to all grow together in love and with trust. He is part of our family and we will not give up until that is official.
As many people who come upon adoption, we never planned for this, we didn't have a single cent set aside for such a thing. But we are seeing people move in generosity in the most amazing way, we have raised over half of our goal of $32,000. This adoption is costly. We will need to travel to his home country three times before it is finalized, which is where much of the cost comes in. However, we trust that where God guides, God provides and He has provided all along. Bringing our boy home will take a village, it is something we can't do alone and we realize once he is home, (we have to believe he will be) that is when our real work will begin as his parents. We know we will be given all of the tools to be his parents just as we have with our youngest three. Sometimes, in life, opportunities come along that if you say "yes" to them you are guaranteed to look a little crazy, but your life will be full in a new way!