Hays Adoption Fund

Hi There!  We have teamed up with Gobena Coffee to raise funds for our adoption. $4 from every item purchase will go towards bringing our child home.  On top of that we have received a matching grant, so that $4 becomes $8.  Enjoy the fresh roasted coffee and thanks for your support!

Have you heard our adoption testimony?

Several years ago, Allen and I began to discuss the idea of adopting a child.  God had blessed our family so much in the areas of extended families and church families, and our own family life, that we felt we should share the blessings.  We spent many months in prayer and exploring all the options and landed on adopting a child with minor or correctible special needs from China.  We began the process through a well-known adoption agency, but doors seemed to keep closing on us.  We still felt that we had been called to adopt a child, but we decided that the timing wasn’t right.  Soon, Annie, our third child, came along and rocked our world.  Then, after we moved to Scottsboro, we both felt that it was time to get started with the process again.  This time, God has provided for us each step along the way, and everything has seemed to fall into place.  Last January, we applied to Lifeline Children’s Services to adopt through their China program.  After about a year of waiting, lots of dollars and mounds of paperwork later, we were matched with a two year old boy who lives in an orphanage in Chongqing, China.  This is really when we all started to get very excited.  We now have pictures and a name – Elijah.  We already count him as part of our family.  We pray for him daily, think about him constantly, and can’t wait to bring him home!

Here are some answers to a few questions that many have asked us throughout the process:

Why Adopt?

• The Bible encourages it.  James 1:27 says,”Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained by the world.”  What better way to show the love of Christ than to take care of those who can not care for themselves?

• We want to share our blessings.  As I stated earlier, our family has been blessed.  Allen and I both came from strong families with wonderful Christian heritages.  We have also been blessed with incredible church families who love us and love our children.  We love spending time with our children, with our extended families, and our church family.  We just did not see how we could enjoy all these blessings without sharing it with someone who has so little.

• We want to encourage others in orphan care.  As a pastor’s family, we seem to get a lot of attention.  We would like to use our small spotlight to encourage others in an area in which the Bible is so clear.  We are hoping that others will see our ordinary, imperfect family go through the process and begin to explore what they can do for orphans near and far.

• We want to share Jesus with a child.  We are so excited about adding another member to our family.  Timmy is especially excited that the boy-girl score will finally be even.  But more than anything we are excited to be able to share the love of Jesus with one who might otherwise never hear.

Why Adopt from China?

Several people have asked, “Why did you choose China?” and “Why choose international adoption over domestic adoption?”  The simple answer is this:  China just seemed to fit our family.  As I said earlier, we spent hours upon hours exploring the options.  We explored all the domestic adoption processes and could not find a good fit for our family.  We wanted to adopt a child who needed a family and might not find one otherwise, but we did not want to bite off more than we could chew.  Then we moved on to international adoption.  We explored all the country criteria and processes, and China seemed to be the most established and accessible for a family with three children already in the home.  Although we feel like the process has been difficult at times, China’s program is actually a good deal more predictable than almost all other countries.  So, we decided that, Lord willing, our next child would come from China.

How much does it cost?

The total estimated cost to adopt from China through our agency at this time is a little more than $35,000.  This includes agency fees, China fees, and all travel expenses.  The federal government offers a tax credit that is approximately $13,000 that offsets the out-of-pocket costs to around $22,000.  This was overwhelming to us at first, but God has provided throughout the process.  Most recently, he has provided through Lifesong for Orphans and Defend Orphans in Alabama.

What’s next?

Now we wait for all the paperwork, visas, and travel plans to be completed.  It seems to get harder to wait every day, but we know God’s timing is perfect.  We are really hoping to travel in about three months, but it may be later than that.  At that time, Allen and I will travel to China for approximately two weeks to bring our fourth child home.

What can I do?

• Pray.  Please pray for the orphans around the world.  I believe the number that is most often given for the number of orphans around the globe is 153,000,000.  That is a lot of children without families.  Also, pray for our family.  Pray that God prepares us for this new addition, and that Eli adjusts well to life with us.

• Give.  We would obviously appreciate any donation to our fund, but if you would rather help an organization in general, you may go to LifesongforOrphans.org or DefendOrphans.com and help them help others in Alabama.

• Consider how you can care for orphans around the world. There are so many ways to help these children without families.  Whether it is giving a child a home, praying, or making it possible for another family to give a child a home, you will be a part of something that God has clearly instructed us to be about.

Thank you so much for listening to our adoption story.  We just can’t wait to bring Eli home!