Julie and I were in shock as we entered out little church; this baby shower wasn’t something we were expecting.
This was completely new territory for the both of us. For reasons God would reveal years later Julie and I did not start our family the traditional way. After being married for six years, and after attempts to start a family during the previous three years we were embarking on a journey which had far-reaching implications and struggles beyond our imagination.
For three years that felt like eternity Julie and I struggled to understand why we couldn’t get pregnant. With each Mother’s and Father’s Day our souls felt even more deprived of our true calling. Eventually, we quit going to church on those holidays completely. It felt like everyone was able to get pregnant with almost no effort at all. We watched in amazement as many couples were able to get pregnant, and many of them didn’t seem to even care that much, judging by their responses.
Finally, after three years and what felt like hundreds of doctors’ appointments and visits we decided to become foster parents. Obviously pregnancy was not in our future. It took us many months to receive all the training we needed to foster parent and to be eligible to adopt the children we were fostering.
After a very in-depth home study and background check we were approved. We had a very involved church family, but the surprise baby shower in the summer of 1997 was probably one of the most amazing moments of my life. Our church family made sure that we got the exact same treatment any expecting family would get with their first pregnancy.
All our friends surrounded us and showered us with gifts. There were no babies on the way only the hope of a foster placement and adoption very soon which is exactly what happened.
This last Saturday Julie and I had the pleasure of attending something very similar. Our friends Brent and Stephanie are in the process of adopting their first child. In just under a month they will be picking up Bojidar from the country of Bulgaria.
According to our hosts they received seventy responses for the event, and judging by the turnout, I would say that estimate was accurate. We had great conversations with the support system which surrounds Brent and Stephanie. They are in great hands.
I doubt it was planned this way but this was the perfect weekend for an adoption party like we attended Saturday evening. Yesterday was National Orphan Sunday.
Brent and Stephanie have had a love for Eastern Europe going strong for the last several years. When I heard they were considering adoption, I had no doubt Europe would be their destination.
Brent and Stephanie, welcome to rare air. Thank you for living James 1:27 in such a dramatic way. Bojidar will be a walking example of how God sees each of us. Rescued from an unknown future and placed into a life filled with hope and possibilities. A divine appointment with endless possibilities.
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.