Friday, April 13, 2012

how God showed up in the switch

last month my sweet friend Karen asked if i would speak at MOPS about how we have seen God at work in our adoption process.  its funny really, because she asked before we found LBB,  before we switched, before our referral.  we had seen God at work in big ways even before all of that.  but after i agreed to talk at MOPS....WOW!  so here's my little talk so you can see how we have seen God move in the past year.

I’m Emily Jochim. My husband, Adam, and I have a 2 year old little girl-Bella Joy-and we have been in the process of adopting for a year. Actually, one year ago yesterday, we got our first acceptance into the Congo program.

When Adam and I were dating and began talking seriously about our future together, I felt like it was time to share with him that I have a “disease” that may prevent me from ever being able to have children. I also shared that regardless of whether or not I was able to have biological children, I had always wanted to adopt. He was very gracious and still loved me even though I may not be able to give him children and he shared in my desire to grow a family through adoption. Fast forward 1 and a half-ish years. We had been married 8 months and found out we were expecting! We were shocked and crazy excited. And so thankful to the Lord for the sweet miracle he had created in me. Bella Joy was born in March of 2010. When she was about 6 months old, I felt a stir in my heart. I knew that God was calling me to something bigger. I shared my feelings with Adam and told him that even though we had planned to “have two (if we were able) and then adopt two” that I wondered if God had a different plan for our family. God was doing a work in Adam too. And on our 2 wedding anniversary Adam shared with me that he felt the Lord leading us to adopt as well. So the next point was WHERE!? I had spent a total of 2 ½ months in Africa over 2 summers. I had seen the poverty, the hunger, the need in real life. I knew that God was leading my heart there. He was doing the same in Adam’s heart. To be really honest with you, we didn’t feel a pull to a specific country in Africa. We looked at Ethiopia, Kenya, Liberia…because of multiple trips and longer stays, we knew that those places wouldn’t be possible for our family. So when my sister shared that she and her husband were also feeling called to grow their family through adoption and that they were looking at the Democratic Republic of Congo, we checked it out too. We quickly discovered the great need in DRC. Girls sold into sex slavery, little boys made to be soldiers--the youngest of which are sent to the front lines with nothing but a whistle. We also found that wait times were typically short and that only one parent was required to travel one time. So Congo it was. We found an agency out of Georgia and quickly applied and received the confirmation that we had been accepted into the program! Home Studies, paper work and fingerprinting followed. And we began to raise funds. You see, some people often are afraid of the adoption process because it is so costly. My husband has an entry level job at a small company in White House TN, I am a stay at home mom. So initially we did have thoughts of “how will we fund this?”
But if God has shown us one thing through this process-it is that when He calls, He provides! And I’m not talking just kinda…y’all He provides in BIG WAYS! Friends, family, and strangers- and oftentimes those that we have least expected have jumped in to support us financially, in prayer and by helping us fundraise by using their talents. The most amazing thing about this is the witness that this is-the body of Christ at work-showing others what it is all about.  That is not anything but the Holy Spirit at work and it is our prayer that God will use our adoption process to bring people to Himself.

God has also shown us His faithfulness. When we walk by faith and not by sight,He is faithful. At the beginning, you may have heard me say that a year ago yesterday we got our first acceptance into the Congo program. When we first started the process, we were told that it would take 0-12 months (which would be now). Well a few weeks ago we were informed that it might be 2013. Now, when God called us to adopt, He called us. He didn’t promise us it would be easy. He didn’t promise it would be fast. But even knowing that, I felt like our time was now. So I began researching other agencies with programs in Africa. I found lots! And then I found an agency in Colorado who has waiting children in the Congo! Waiting children in our age range! I quickly emailed the agency and got answers to all of our questions. After much prayer and seeking Godly counsel, we felt confident that this was of the Lord and we made the switch. We took a huge step of faith, not knowing what would be on the other side. Would we still be waiting next march? But we stepped out, knowing that God was prompting us to do just that. Y’all that was 2 weeks ago. Friday, we got a referral for an 8 month old little boy named L. God is always faithful. God is faithful when we walk by faith and not by sight.

God has also shown us His sovereignty. When the agency began telling us about L, we asked questions about his background. They told us he was 7 months old. They told us that his mother was no longer living and that his father was born in 1931 and felt like he was too old to care for the child. One night in the middle of the switch, I woke up and couldn’t fall back to sleep for the life of me! So I began to look over some things that I had written in the past year. And I found something that I wrote in August. I had written about how that morning I couldn’t sleep and I couldn’t stop thinking of our child, so I prayed for them. I did the math and thought to myself…I wonder when this little guy was born? So I emailed our coordinator in the middle of the night asking her just that. She emailed me back the next day and told me he was actually born on July 18. So I pressed for some more information. Were there any other dates in his file?! And I told her why I was asking. She later told me that his mother passed away after a short sickness on September 4. And that she had started getting really sick at the end of August. God had me awake praying for our child on August 30, just days before our child’s biological mother would pass away. God is BIG. He knew from day one, that our child would be born on July 18. That he would need a mommy praying for him at the end of August when his biological mommy was on her death bed. God had this planned from the beginning.

Through this process, God has showedorphan into their home, but we are all called to care for the least of these. "Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world." James 1:27

so there it is folks.  the way God confirmed our choice to switch.  that was a month ago.  our little guy will be 9 months old on wednesday (the day that our sweet niece will be ONE!)  our dossier is en route to our coordinator.  it should be en route to DRC in just a few weeks.  we are exhausted and so thankful for God's faithfulness.

Monday, April 9, 2012

He is risen!

what a wonderful weekend we had celebrating our risen Savior. But more in that later.

As you will remember, I posed an Easter challenge a few weeks ago. Imagine my surprise when I started receiving picture messages with families joining in. Tears filled my eyes as I saw families advocating to bring our sweet BOY home! Yes, that's right! We have a referral for an almost 9 month old little sweetie and boy are we excited! We are working like crazy to get him home ASAP! And it brings us such great joy to see pictures of others journeying with us!

My sweet in laws excited to meet their grandson!

A sweet family at church. Oh this is so precious to me!

And my fave alvaton friends. Love them!!

Yesterday was also my sweet niece's niece Lydia who is an ocean away. We are looking forward to celebrating all kinds of things with these babies!