Don’t let fear keep you from doing the things God is asking you to do. What He is asking may seem too difficult or scary. But I have learned God is faithful. If He asks you to do something, He will give everything you need for the journey.

Tammy Zevenbergen

God Preparing Our Hearts

Adoption: Now an incredibly familiar word that I use to know so little about. Yet over time God touched my life ever so gently with the idea. At the age of 15 was the first time I remember. After watching a commercial about social workers working with birth-moms, I decided I wanted to do that when I grew up. As a young couple struggling with infertility and several miscarriages, we began discussing the idea of adoption because I desperately wanted to be a mom. The next time God touched me was after we were told it was a miracle that we were able to have our girls. Then my aunt suggested we adopt a little foster boy they knew. We saw the needs of children but it never entered our minds that God was preparing us or asking us to adopt. I still knew very little about adoption and what it all meant. Dale and I were completely unaware of what God was doing in our lives.

The final time God touched me with adoption there was nothing gentle about it. My sisters and I were at a mom’s conference. At the end of the conference, the final speaker got up and shared a story she felt prompted by the Spirit to say. It was her family’s adoption story. As she went about telling it, the Holy Spirit began to overwhelm me deep within my spirit and I began to weep uncontrollably. I knew God was asking Dale and I to adopt.

I am ashamed to say I was more like Jonah than an acceptant and trusting Mary. Instead of obedience, I ran from God! In fact, I didn’t even tell Dale. I told God he would have to do that. Over the next few months, I did my best to hide from God and avoided all thoughts of adoption. However, God was relentless and wouldn’t let me forget what He was asking us to do. 

Walking in Obedience

A couple month later, completely out of the blue, Dale brought up the idea of adopting. I immediately began to cry. They were tears of fear and relief. No longer did I need to wrestle with this alone. After I told him the story, we prayed and started on together. We laid it down, but God continued to bring it back up again. Finally, we said Yes, Lord, we will obey, and filled out our first form. As we finished, the peace of God washed over me in a powerful way and I knew this was exactly what God wanted us to do. Thank you, God, for not throwing me into the ‘belly of a whale’ to get me to obey. I repented of my disobedience and resolved to walk in obedience as He led. “His ways are higher than my ways and His thoughts than mine.” Isaiah 55:9.    

It was a roller coaster of a ride for us, but God was so faithful. He continued to gently lead us each step of the way. He used His Word, friends, songs, radio programs, concerts, prayer and financial provision to encourage us along the way.  He continued to say, this is the way, walk in it.

Yet it wasn’t always easy and the enemy aimed many lies our way. The song Voice of Truth played a crucial role during this time, as God remind us that we needed to listen to Him. He was ahead of us each step of the way. He was faithful and would continue to be faithful. We needed to set our face like flint and trust Him!   

Meeting Our Daughter and Son

One year after starting the process, the wonderful day finally came. Dale and I along with our 2 biological daughters were in China meeting our 2 ½ year old daughter, Rayanna Liu. I cannot begin to describe how it felt to watch my little girl walk into the room and into my arms. All the fears and uncertainty I had felt washed away in an instant. It felt like she had always been mine and I couldn’t love her more! God had given us another little masterpiece. He was once again faithful. 

A year later God started tugging on our hearts again. We had another little one waiting that belonged in our family. I knew God had a boy for us because He had shown me a picture of Dale holding a little boy. After much paperwork and a year’s time, we found ourselves standing in that very same room in China meeting our son, Braden Liu. It was instant love at first sight and the reality became clear that this was exactly the plan God had for us and our family all along. We had to give Him back 4 precious ones through loss, but He gave us 4 precious children to hold on earth. I remember watching Braden sleep as he lay on the couch after he came home. God spoke to my heart and said, I took what Satan meant for evil through the heartache of losing baby Evan and I have made it into something so very good. I stand in awe of the way God grew our family! Yes, once again He was faithful!

Sometimes I look back and wonder, What if I hadn’t obeyed when it seemed so daunting? What if I had let fear win? What if I had totally dismissed what God said? What if I had just done what I thought was best and most comfortable? What if I had let the enemy’s lies stop us from continuing on? Oh, how I would have missed God’s wonderful treasures. 

Zevenbergen Family

He Will be Strong for You

Don’t let fear keep you from doing the things God is asking you to do. What He is asking may seem too difficult or scary. But I have learned God is faithful. If He asks you to do something, He will give everything you need for the journey. However, you will need to trust Him because He may only give you one step at a time. He says He is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. If God has put thoughts of adopting or fostering in your mind, please do not let fear hold you back. You can do this because He has promised that in your weakness, He will be strong for you! God doesn’t promise it will be easy but He does promise that it will be good! Many, many times along the way I reminded myself of this truth. He was faithful each step and I know He will be for you as well! May God bless and strengthen you to walk in obedience to whatever He is asking or calling you to do!