Testimony Tuesday is dedicated to the stories of our grant recipients.  May you be encouraged by their stories…

Adoption has been a part of our lives for the last 18 years, as we have two nieces and a nephew who are adopted. From the moment our niece joined the family, we have seen first hand the beauty of adoption and how it manifests the sovereign hand of God. There are no words to describe the awe of seeing God bring children into our family for His purpose, for His glory, and for our joy. We have long held this view of adoption.

Over the past four or five years, Toni had a growing desire to adopt. During this time, however, James thought adoption was a ‘good idea’ yet was not ready to embark on the journey. As Toni prayed and waited (sometimes not so patiently), the Lord continued to impress this desire upon her heart and reminded her to be silent (ugg!) and trust His perfect timing. By our country’s standards, we do not have much. Yet we have the love in our hearts and the room in our home to provide for children who have neither a home nor the love of a family. Because adoption has been such a blessing in our extended family, we see adoption as our family ’gaining’ blessings not the giving of ourselves. It is not sacrificial on our part….it is our family joining the Lord in one of His most beautiful miracles.

During Toni’s years of praying, James “liked the idea of adoption’ but did not own it. In His timing, the Lord began to work on James’ heart. Almost daily for several months, God bought adoption articles, orphan testimonies, conversations with adoptive families, and Biblical texts that revealed God’s heart as the perfect adoptive Father. In a relentless manner, God dropped the proverbial final straw that broke James’ stubborn and selfish back. He used “The Manliness of Adoption” article by David E. Prince to be that straw (along with the faithful prayers of a patient wife and daughters). Out of the providential blue, James was looking for the Gospel Coalition’s statement of faith and came across the Prince article on GC’s homepage. After reading it, God sealed the adoption deal in James’ heart and compelled him to live out the gospel in joyful obedience. Here is one quote, based on James 1:27, which challenged James’ manliness:  “To visit the fatherless is to deliver and rescue the fatherless. How do you do that? The most important way is to give them a father. Men, you are called to lead the charge. Pure religion calls for testosterone, courage, boldness. It is going to take courage to march into dark, difficult, and disease-ridden places, and to take a child and say, ‘You will be mine.’ It’s going to take courage to march into some neighborhood here in our own town and to take some child who has all kinds of baggage and say, ‘You will be mine.'” James knew that God was asking him to put hands and feet to his gospel understanding and manifest a father’s heart through making a child his own through adoption.

The ministry of Katelyn’s Fund is one of God’s instruments and affirmations that He will provide everything we need for this adoption. They have encouraged our family  through  providing a grant, but more importantly, through their obvious commitment to provide children with forever families in Jesus’ name. We have experienced the loving care and prayers of the board; the encouraging emails from the ministry and friendships of the Sioux Falls support group. God is clearly receiving glory through the sacrificial service of Katelyn’s Fund. The entire Swanson family is eternally grateful for your faithfulness.

At present, we are on the waiting list for 1-2 children from Ethiopia with All God’s Children International. While it is so very hard to wait, our family’s faith is growing as we anticipate  God’s sovereign hand in the life of our child and our family. What a blessing for each of us to journey with our Father in this earthly adoption while praying for our future child(ren)’s eternal adoption through saving faith in Jesus Christ.