Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Adoption Journey. . . what got us here

To describe our journey to this point in one blog seems a bit overwhelming. For Greg and I the journey was a bit different. . .I have wanted to adopt from the time I was little. I have wanted to go to Africa since I was a toddler. (my first "I want to be. . .when I grow up" was "missionary farmer". . .not sure what that means!) Growing up, I wanted to be a missionary to Africa ~ though the country would change with whatever missionary book I was reading at the time =)
So, when Greg and I got married, I told him the plan. Yes, that tells you a bit about me. I'm pretty sure that in the beginning, I TOLD him the plan. Not that Greg was opposed, he just wasn't positively sure that he wanted to have 2 bios, 1 adopted from Africa and 1 from the states. Let me note, after Greg's involvement, this has grown to include not only the ones I dreamed of but also a child from South America!! Throughout the last 7 years, God has made Greg more and more tender towards adoption and to orphaned children throughout the world. Thanks to all my friends who have adopted before me and Greg crying at each of their children's dedication videos!

Ok, fastforward 7 years. Greg and I decided about 6 months ago that we were ready to pursue adoption. I began to research both South America and Africa. (we had already decided to wait on the home adoption b/c that child may need lots more attention because of an abusive background, so we'll wait till our other kids can be in school). Well, pretty quickly we found that most countries in South America require a long stay in country. With 2 toddlers at home, that seemed a bit unrealistic for us. SO, I turned my attention excitedly towards Africa. We soon discovered that the 2 major countries are Ethiopia and Liberia. I requested much information from agencies in both countries as I googled adoption for both these countries. Along the way, I came across Acres of Hope, Liberia.

Why Liberia? I have always told people that I wanted to adopt from West Africa, either Uganda or Rwanda. Well, after very little research I realized. . .duh! Neither of those countries are in West Africa. (Maybe I should have studied more geography in 4th grade!) Also, I tend to be drawn to any location on the coast (silly, I know!) Also, the trip. While travelling to Ethiopia, you stay at a 4 star hotel. While that is wonderful, I wanted a more "african" experience and wanted to see more of where my child was from. The biggest thing for us, however, was the relief work. I know that when you adopt, your heart is drawn to the country from which you adopt. So, I really wanted to work with an agency that ran its own orphanage. Which brought me to Acres of Hope, Liberia. They not only run their own orphanage, but they also have a feeding program (8,000 kids a day), a school training and supply program and a medical clinic with plans to add more!!!

So, I presented all of my research to Greg and asked him to pray. 1 month later, Greg told me "YES, Let's Do it! Let's go to Africa!" I am thrilled, scared, excited, nervous and a thousand more emotions!!

Please join us in prayer for our journey, our hearts and a little one halfway across the world who may be hungry right now.


Lindsey said...

Brandi & Greg,
I am so excited for you guys! What an exciting adventure for you all! I can't wait to hear about the little one that God brings to you.

Michelle Maher said...

Brandi and Greg,
Welcome to the wonderful world of adoption! We are also working with AoH and will be traveling next month to pick up our 2 beauties. Your story reminds me much of ours when we started. We had a 4 yr. old boy and a 1 yr. old girl (also Gracie)and hoped for a toddler. Somehow that one toddler became two, though! It is an amazing journey and I wish you all the faith, hope, love, and grace it takes to complete it.

Laura said...

I am so excited to be an aunt again. Can't wait to see things progress with our new little one.

Love you guys. Squeeze Brayden and Gracie for me and Uncle Slim.


Johnny said...

He said Yes! I am so thrilled for you guys!! Can't wait to hear about your phone conversation with Acres of Hope. I love you, Sun

christie said...

What a nice blogspot! I sure am excited for you guys! This will be an exciting year...can't wait to hear all that God does during the process! Love ya, Christie

mommy zabs said...

What a great story!
I have some "plans" to that I keep making (in my head and heart). I'm an internal processor (even though i talk a ton), but i tend to not talk until I have arrived on a decision... JJ is the opposite... so often i take something he says thinking out loud as an action motivator. I have learned to echo back what I think I'm hearing to see if it gets confirmed :) I often think that i have told him what i have been thinking about too... only to be told that i never did :) I guess when you dwell on something so much you assume you communicated it.

So all that to bring me to...
This is encouraging. I have some big decisions on my heart lately... And I'm pretty sold and think it's God, but JJ is not quite there yet. So I'm praying that God would either change my heart or his :) He isn't closed to the ideas... he just doesn't have the vision i do right now. But that is okay.

ON another side note (i should probably just email this comment since it is so long!), this sunday at church a girlfriend of mine that normally attends the church my brother pastors was there... and she came up to me and asked to pray for me during the ministry time. I'm not one to deny that! :) And she prayed (having no clue the things I have been thinking about) that God would cause JJ and I to have new dreams together.

I just thought that was awesome because i have been praying for that.

Thanks for encouraging me with your testimony :)