God has blessed Preston and I beyond our comprehension with four beautiful children. Through each of their lives, and Mia's death, we have learned more about His character, love, peace, provision, presence and so much more. Our lives are full of the joy, excitement, sense of accomplishment and tender love that only children offer with their innocent heart. Parenting is one of the most difficult and amazing jobs ever!
So why adopt? Why now? About two and a half years ago Preston and I were riding to a Christmas party for the boys at Glenwood (a home for troubled boys, most with autism but the group we work with has behavioral problems) that our Sunday School class was hosting. A few weeks earlier I felt God stirring in my heart to start praying about the possibility of adoption. I mentioned it to Preston on the ride home and he told me that God was working in his heart too but did not want to say anything until I brought it up...knowing we had a lot going on at home and he did not want me to feel overwhelmed. We committed to pray about it for a while and just allow the Lord to lead us in His timing. For the next year and a half we would pray about it, talk about it, but knew the time was not yet here.
Along the way, we had a few different friends of our family to adopt. God was painting beautiful pictures of adoption right before our eyes. Some friends of ours have four biological children and God called them to adopt two girls from China, 10 years old, one with physical disabilities and one with some cognitive delay. We have another family of good friends that is finishing up their adoption of the most precious little boy. Their little boy has down syndrome. As a mom of two children with special needs, these adoptions are one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. These parents see and understand the perfection in God's creation... just as God planned it to be, not as society said it should be. Any thoughts that tried to creep in to my mind about this task being too overwhelming, God put to rest when He brought a particular scripture before me. I felt God saying these words found in Deuteronomy 31:6: "Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is The Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you." For me, the dread was just the unknown of the entire process. It was so reassuring to watch God walk with our friends and to know that God would walk with us through the process. We had another family of really close friends who were finishing walking through this process as we were starting. They were so wonderful guiding us in every step, praying with us and for us, motivating us, etc. They now have the most precious little girl!
In October we decieded to attend an information session on adoption from China (where we initially thought we would adopt from), orphans in general, etc. We felt God telling us this was the time to get started. Learning there are 153 million orphans in the world just rocked my world. 153 million children with the danger of a life without parents. There is nothing I could physically do for all 153 million, but God could use me to change the life of just one. If all Christian families in the world adopted just one, there would be no more orphans.
So, why adopt? God has clearly called our family in James 1:27, "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." He has been and will continue to be with our family in Deuteronomy 31:6. Looking back on the process so far I can honestly say the dread of the unknown left the day we went to that initial meeting. God has guided us every step of the way through this joyful and exciting process.
Now we are here in Ukraine, just waiting for the day we can bring Karis home with us. God knew from the beginning that Karis was part of the Hite family. We are so blessed beyond measure by all five of our children.