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In 2007 God gave us a wonderful gift of a beautiful son named Jackson. He came to us not in the traditional way but through adoption. God gave us this wonderful child through the foster care system. He stole our hearts the first day we met him. God has taught us so much about His love for us through Jackson. We love him more than anything and he has helped us realize that God chooses each of us to be His. At that moment, He accepts us and calls us sons and daughters. He never again thinks of us as not His own. We understand this because we can say that of our little boy and us.
Since we had been so greatly blessed by adoption, we almost immediately began contemplating adopting a second child. We believed that might be through foster care once again but those doors continually closed. We did not know what God’s plan was for us and at times that was very discouraging.
One night in 2010, Kendra was awoken from sleep. She began sobbing uncontrollably. She felt as though God was speaking to her heart. We were to adopt again. This time, God was calling us to do so internationally. At first we thought that Haiti was the country to which God was calling us. Many of our friends from our time in Maine were adopting from there and the stories were compelling.
So we began to look. Even though so many we knew were choosing this country, we never had a peace about adopting from there. Next, Ghana seemed like the logical choice. Our church had a partnership with this country. In 2011 Jasper took his first trip there and fell in love with the children. There was a heart connection to that country for sure but still God had other plans. The adoption restrictions in Ghana were tightened and the prospect of bringing a child home from there was limited.
So, we began to search and pray about from which country our adoption would come. Not wanting to limit God, we considered European and South American countries as options. One night we asked Jackson what he thought. He told us in an innocent, heartfelt way that he wanted a new child in our family to have the same skin color as him so he would not be the only one. We were perfectly willing to do that. We have a love for children of African decent and that love brought us Jackson. We felt that we now had a clear view of what continent we would pursue but the question of country still remained.
Jasper began researching adoption agencies and found that one called European Adoption Consultants actually had two programs in Africa. One in Congo and one in Uganda. After talking with the agency, Uganda seemed to be the best fit and the most readily available for adoptions. Jasper also has a former college roommate whose family serves as missionaries in this country.
The timeline from beginning to end usually takes about 18 months and we could be relatively assured of a child younger than Jackson. As we read more we found that there are 2.5 million orphans in Uganda. Our hearts break that we can’t find homes for each and every one of them. We do know, without a doubt, that this country will be the birthplace of a child we have not yet met but already love and cannot wait to add to our family.