Short answer part 1: Facebook.
Now if someone would have come up to us sometime in the past years and let us know that we would be adopting two children from Costa Rica, one who is 16 years old and happens to be deaf along with her 5-year-old brother AND that we found out about them on Facebook we would have never believed them. Mostly the Facebook part.
But again, God reminds us of who He is and who we are in Him with the roots and the branches. This is a story we never could have written. As we were growing deeper into Him, He was doing His own work and growing this tree that we could have never designed ourselves.
Short answer part 2: the Wienke Family.
Depending on what part of our life you are from, you may already know about this amazing family. Our GBCC fam from back in the day certainly will! Even now, many of you know them or have heard about them through our story (hope that is okay Tollef and Sheila!).
We first met the Wienkes when we were in youth group (as in, like, attending as high schoolers…) and they were two of our leaders when they were a hip, young, married couple and before they had any kids. And they were lovely then, but to be honest, we had fallen completely out of touch. But, like He does, God was working His Roots and Branches story in them as well.
Fast forward 15ish years and this young couple we once knew now captain a crew of TEN children, SEVEN of whom entered their family through THREE different adoptions. Their story is a story of bravery, of trusting God, and of #extravagantlove. We have followed their story with this most recent adoption and are blessed by their willingness to share so much of it.
It’s basically Facebook stalking, but in the best way possible.
So then one day, the Wienkes shared a post from their (and what is now our awesome) adoption agency that was advocating to find a family for C and J. We (Ann and Brian) both read it, as we always look at these types of posts. Every story of every kid matters, and we often feel that when we read other adoption stories. But this one was different. The story just stuck in our head and in our hearts, and both of us felt we needed to do…something. We talked about it and prayed about it and felt like we should at least make the call. So we did! We were honestly expecting the agency to tell us that they had found another, more-qualified family. Or a family that was already in their system. Or…
But they didn’t. They kept wanting to talk to us. And we wanted to talk to them.
With each call, each email, and each step of any sort, our prayer was just that God would lead us with that very part. We didn’t instantly know “this was it.” That’s just not how He spoke to us in this time. But gradual steps led careful hearts to the point of, “yes.” Eventually, we felt very strongly that He had led us to the point where we are now.
And so here we are now, in the middle of our “yes,” and trying to navigate what comes next, and trying to trust God every step of the way. Success is being wherever Jesus is. So we are choosing to trust.
Facebook. The Wienkes. God’s guidance. The help of wonderful people like you. One heck of a recipe to get us to Costa Rica.
[And side note to all my friends who have been Small Group Leaders over the years...See? You'll never know how you might affect someone's life! See? I TOLD YOU.]