Tuesday Testimony is set aside to share some of our grant recipients and their stories. May you be blessed…
We are Jeff and Tina. We currently have seven biological children: our oldest son Sam 15, Luke 13, Emily 11, Elizabeth, 9, Anna, 7, William, 4 and Moza, 2. We are in the process of adopting our 8th child from Ethiopia, a 2 year-old boy named Engeda. We are hoping to have him home with us by March 2011.
Our story begins back in 2006 when Tina went to a Christian women’s conference in Illinois and heard the keynote speaker, Lysa Terkheurst talk about her family’s adoption of 2 Liberian boys. This is where God was starting to plant seeds of adoption in our hearts. But, Tina was pregnant with our 6th child at the time, so we put adoption on the backburner. Then we got pregnant again and in May of 2008 we had Moza. In February of 2009, Jeff took Tina on a surprise date to see Chris Tomlin in concert. It was so fun and we loved the music so much we bought the CD "Hello Love". Two days later we were driving in to church and listening to the CD, and there is a song on it titled "There is Love" and the Watoto Children’s Choir sings background in it. Tina literally heard that song and exclaimed to Jeff right there, "Hearing this makes me want to adopt a child from Africa." God was working hard on Tina’s heart, exposing her to the realities of children everywhere in our world that are orphaned. As much as it hurt to stare this kind of brokenness in the face, she couldn’t look away. Everywhere she turned, every book she read, every place she read in scripture, just kept pointing to God’s heart for the orphan. And so she prayed and asked the Lord what He wanted her to do, and if it was adopt, He was going to have to do a work in Jeff’s heart. In November of 2009, Tina was having morning devotions with the children and they were going through the book of 1 John. When she came to 1 John 3:16-18, she read it, broke down and cried. She wrote in her Bible next to these verses, "Do you want us to adopt?" She and Jeff would discuss this burden in her heart frequently, and pray together about it. In February of 2010, Tina and Jeff were doing their morning reading together, and they were in 1 John (Jeff’s choice). When he read 1 John 3:16-18, he stopped reading, and he wept, and he yielded and he said, "God wants us to adopt." What confirmation from the Lord!
In March 2010, we signed up with our agency to start the process, we sold many of our things that weren’t stuck to the floor, had a t-shirt fundraiser and applied for a grant from Katelyn’s Fund. We were matched with the cutest little 2 year-old boy on September 2, 2010. We met him for the first time on December 19, 2010 when we traveled to Ethiopia for court (he’s amazing and we love him so much already). Katelyn’s Fund graciously awarded us a grant toward our expenses in bringing our son home! A gift from the Lord! We are so very grateful to Katelyn’s Fund for helping us to raise the ransom for our little boy. Having to travel twice for an Ethiopian adoption was a new change during our process and one we didn’t plan on having to budget for. Katelyn’s Fund helped us trememdously to offset the cost of the doubled travel expenses. Our deepest thanks and gratitude to Katelyn’s Fund for helping us to obey the call from our Heavenly Father to set this lonely child into our family! May God richly bless your ministry!