As we shared before, we felt God prompting us to adopt again. The questions facing us were; from where and how old. As we began talking to God about it, He narrowed the options and made our path very clear that it would be from Ethiopia again. Looking back on Kyah's adoption, we were very "safe". We wanted young, less issues to deal with and not to disrupt our birth order. For this adoption, we both felt we needed to completely place it all in God's hands.
We are working with Bethany Christian Services again (in our opinion they are the best!) and they have what's called a "400 Campaign" which is basically 400 children who are waiting to be adopted. They are children from all over the world and as we began looking at these children, God began to work. These children are so beautiful, vulnerable, alone, and could be mine. We felt any excuse we came up with was completely selfish. It is not these children's fault they are orphaned and if we had faith that God was calling us to do this, than we needed to trust Him and leave it all to Him.
Faith was needed here and a lot of it. This could get real uncomfortable and messy. Eventually we conceded and told God we would do whatever He asked and wanted us to do. By then, we had our eye on a girl from this waiting child list and began to think about how she would fit into our family and fell in love with her. In several of her pictures, we noticed her with a specific friend. When we looked at this friends profile, who was also in this "400 Campaign", we would see "our" child in her pictures. This began to really bother us. How could we separate them? We decided to ask about the other girl and were told from our social worker that because they were not biological siblings, their policy was that it needed to be 2 separate adoptions. They would, however, check with the team in Ethiopia who knows these girls.
We felt so strongly, right from the beginning, that they were to be together somehow, we began to pray about this situation. If we couldn't adopt them together, we would pray someone from West Michigan would or we would get one child home and immediately begin the process of getting the other one home. About a month went by and we heard nothing and decided that we would stick to our plan on getting one girl home and going back for the other. Once again, God had other ideas. I got a call from our social worker saying that it was recommended that the girls stay together and be adopted as "psychological siblings"! Unbelievable. Well, not really when God's in charge! We are still a bit in shock and are humbled that God would call us to do this.
Knowing with God that all things are possible, (such as this rare event of adopting non-bio siblings at the same time, getting a referral for 2 children so quickly, paper work going smoothly, changing immigration status from 1 to 2 children, etc., etc., ) I simply have confidence that God knows best and knows how to care for us and what each of us needs (which I admit I'm praying now that He doesn't think I need to drive a 15 passenger van!)
As reality begins to set in, we are faced with challenges that go with this. The adoption for one child is about $35,000 This is a bit of a stretch for us financially. Now, with this amazing news of 2 children, the cost will be about $52,000. Additionally, we will need to buy a larger vehicle (NO 15 passenger van please. ha!) We know God will provide and He has so far. We have applied for grants and are willing to borrow money to make this happen. Since becoming debt free 4 years ago, borrowing money goes against everything we believe in, but will do whatever it takes to get these girls home and with our family!
Living among this community of believers and having a strong sense that Todd and I need to do something about the global orphan crisis, I wanted to share all these details with everyone so you can get a better feel of all that God is doing here and all that still needs to be done.
We are asking for your prayers with our adoption. We know there are going to be many challenges ahead, so we covet your prayers! We are getting as prepared and educated as we are able. And, we want these girls home soon so they can leave the orphanage, have hope and join our forever family! Join us in praying home our girls and our friends babies. For Kerri, Carmen & Lisa who are desperately wanting their babies home and trusting God will see this through. Also, for those darlings still waiting on the "400 Campaign".
Again, stepping out of our comfort zone, we are asking for help from whomever is willing and able. Maybe your role isn't to adopt, but you can surround us while we do! The cause of the orphan should be a priority. God expects action from us, especially where orphans and widows are concerned. What are we going to do about it? I personally would love to be surrounded by the body of Christ and be supported in helping bring these 2 children into my family where they can belong. We humbly ask you to help us with our adoption. We are joining with a non-profit organization called Lifesong who has set up an account for us.
There are a couple ways to donate towards our adoption. You can send a check, written out to "Lifesong" and 100% of what you send in will go directly into our account. Send your check to:
Lifesong for Orphans
PO Box 40
Gridley, IL 61744
* in the memo, please write: Klaasen # 4410
Your gifts are tax-deductible and you may ask for a receipt for your taxes. Lifesong is a 501 (c) 3 tax exempt organization.
Or, you may simply click the "PayPal" button on the top of this page. Again, using "Klaasen #4410" There is an administration fee of 2.9% that will be taken out of the donation when using PayPal.
Fund Raising Goal date is May 26, 2014.
Please consider this as part of your tax deductions for 2014. It would really mean a lot to 2 girls who need a family.
Words can not express our gratitude to God and our friends for the support and prayers we have received and we humbly thank you!