Sep 28 2010

The Story of Your Life - "One Less" - Greg & Sheila's Story


Matthew West a new album coming out October 5th called "The Story of Your Life" ... songs inspired by letters from people just like you.  Today we catch up with Matthew and connect him with a a family whose adoption story touched Matthew and inspired a new song.  Greg and Sheila's story is below ...


One Less


Greg & Sheila

Humboldt, TN


My wife and I started an adoption of a little girl named Lily in August of 2007. We were able to finally bring her home in November of 2009! I am the senior pastor of a church in TN and the adoption became a process embraced by our whole family of faith. As a part of the adoption my wife moved into an apartment there in that country so we could foster our now 8 year old daughter. We spent 7 months apart from one another. It was the most difficult test we have faced as a couple. The pain that marked those seven months was quickly replaced when we finally made it home. The joy we shared when we arrived here reminded me of what it must be like when one of God's children finally make it home. We left Guatemala with no fan fare and a few tears. We arrived at our home with church members lining the street with banners, cheering, and sharing great relief.


Matthew’s commentary:


“Defend the cause of the orphans…” Isaiah 1:17


I was inspired by the hundreds of stories from people who were so passionate about adoption.  What a gift for a family to open up their arms and welcome in a child with no home!  Every adoption story is truly the proof that God is involved in the details, even the smallest details.  I wrote the first verse to show how at the same time, in two different parts of the world, God is hearing the cries of two hearts, and little do they know they are about to be joined together by a God who can orchestrate the impossible.


There are so many orphans in the world today, that the mission of giving them all a home to the human eye seems more like a mission impossible.  But, as I read one story after another about a child finding a home, I found myself saying, “That’s one less, one less, one less broken heart in the world tonight.”


You may not be in a position to adopt an orphan in your life right now, but there are many ways to carry out the command of the bible to care for the orphans.  Personally, I have a friend who is in the process of adopting a little girl from Russia and he and his family are in need of financial support to do so.  Many friends and neighbors are helping support this family’s effort financially so this little girl can have a home.  Ask God to show you how to care for the orphans.  Every time you help, that’s one less… 


Comments (37) -

9/28/2010 5:09:19 AM
Keriann United States
As my alarm went off this morning, the first word I heard was the word 'adoption.'  I listend to the story of this sweet family and tears streamed down my face when Matthew West started singing his new song.  Our family has been touched by adoption as we are currently in the process of adopting a little boy.  It's been a long road, we have much more to do, and a while longer to wait before he can come home, but we know He's faithful, and so there's peace in that.  Thank you to this family who's story gives me hope and even strength while we wait.  Thank you, Matthew West, for  bringing the story of orphans and widows to song.  My prayers are that this song will encourage others to adopt and to reach out to 'the least of these.'  What a wonderful way to wake up- to receive some encouragement and support from prople I don't even know.  And to be reminded of how God's been faithful to us througout this process.  I may not even need that cup of coffee this morning!  Well, maybe....
9/28/2010 6:30:04 AM
Bryson Craddock United States
Bryson Craddock
I listen to ya'll all the time i don't go a day without listening to ya'll listening to you helps me get through the day.
9/28/2010 7:10:39 AM
Keith Toby United States
Keith Toby
There is hope in the message from Greg and Sheila. We too went through this emotional rollercoaster during the adoption of our son from Kazakhstan 10 years ago. We spent more time away from our biological children than we ever had before, it was painful and heartwrenching at times. God moved mountains of paperwork, he calmed us at times when calm was not something we thought we could be, he allowed us to travel with 4 other Christian families to a place where we knew very little about and share our experience together. We look at our son and often wonder how God could have been so gracious to put him in our lives and it makes us cry every time we think about what God has planned for this liitle boy that he is allowing us to raise. God Bless to everyone that is willing to disrupt what we think is "normal" and allow God to use you to bring hope to these loving children everywhere in the world.
9/28/2010 7:12:49 AM
Mike Henry United States
Mike Henry
Good Morning. I listened to the song this morning was on my way in to work and was choked up.  I was adopted about 25 years ago.  Before my wife and I got married, this is one thing we discussed; paying it foward and giving another child a second chance at life.  Jan 2009, our Adoption case worker called us and said Child and Family Protective Services (CPS) had a child that needed placement immediately as a Foster placement.  This little boy had several severe medical issues and my family was one of two families in South Texas who was qualified to take care of him.  Up to this point, our stance was that we would not take custody of any child where Parental Rights weren't terminated.  As my wife and I prayed about this, it was abudantly clear, this placement was God's will.  He was placed with us in late Jan 2009 and we are still fighting the legal battle to be able to adopt him.  Though the power and grace of God, a lot of his medical issues have been resolved.  We are on the down hill slope of the adoption process with him.  We are hoping the adoption will be finalized by the end of October.  If we had taken a leap of faith and followed in obedience what God told us, we would have missed out on a HUGE blessing in our life.  Since Jan 2009, we adopted a little girl as well.  I cannot express enough the need for children to be adopted and find THEIR forever family.  Being adopted myself, I know my life would not be as it is today if my Godly parents had not adopted me.
9/28/2010 7:41:19 AM
Lisa Davisson United States
Lisa Davisson
I was adopted about 40 years ago and I am so Thankful to God for giving me such wonderful parents! I always say parents because I have four parents I have my wonderful Mom & Dad who raised me from a couple of days old and my birth parents who I have Thank for giving me to such a wonderful Family. See without all of my parents I would not be the person I am today. I have always said I was gone to adopted a child and give someone the same chance at a having a family like I had! I remember my Mom telling me when I was a little - how special I was because they got to pick me & bring me home. I have to say growing up that make me feel so Special. I also remember growing up people would always ask my parents - Where did you get her from the milk man? I just couldn't understand why people would ask my parents that until I got older and someone pointed out that my Parents & two brothers had black hair and olive skins and I was blond hair and pale white skins! LOL I never noticed that until I was a teenager. I just had to share and want to say a great big Thank you to all the parents who adopted  or will adopted a child! Ya'll are so Awesome!  Good Bless.
9/28/2010 7:43:08 AM
Heather Riley United States
Heather Riley
35 years ago my parents got the baby girl they had been praying for, through adoption.  I was only 6 weeks old when they got me.  At the ripe ole age of 4 I came home from pre-school and proceeded to ask my mom if I was adoped (I had two other children in my class who were) and she said yes I was.  I then wanted to know if my brother was and she said no.  I was so excited that I was adopted and he wasn't!  Know keep in mind I was also excited about my first cavity because he didn't have one.  From that moment on it was just a known fact that I was adopted.  I have always been comfortable talking about it because I was special.  The question that is always asked is, "do you want to find your 'real' parents?"  My answer would be, "when the time is right." Fast forward a bit to age 32.  I was praying one day and felt a strong feeling that God was saying, "Heather it's time."  What? Time? Really? But But But... then I thought oh I know it's just that show on adoption I saw the other day.  I'm thinking about that.  God said, "no Heather, it's time."  Ok God here I go.  I talked to my husband and began the process as well as I know how.  I got in touch with a company that does this.  This was on a Monday.  They called me and told me how much it would cost.  Needless to say, I did not have the money.  So I talked to my husband, "we will just have to wait a while" was his response.  So I began to pray, "God if this is truly what you want then I need help.  I don't have this much money so lead me.  Help me find the money or lead me somewhere else that may be more affordable.  So on Friday I went to my parents house for the weekend.  We had been out to dinner and when we came home there was a message on the answering machine looking for me. So I called back and the lady on the other end said, "Heather I am the private investigator of your birth father.  He has been looking for you since you were 18 years old.  I have a letter from him, would you like me to read it to you?"  WOW GOD!  In the process I got to share my faith with this man.  He just could not understand why it took him so long.  He actually found me because he called the wrong number and got a company that hooked him up with the investigator that connected him with me.  It only took her 6 months.  I explained that it was all God.  Working in his time.  My dad (dad is the man who raised me) passed away not long after this meeting.  I just thank God that I got to experience this with him by my side.  Oue God is a GREAT GOd.  I am listening to the song as I Type, thankful I was one less...
9/28/2010 7:43:17 AM
Lisa Davisson United States
Lisa Davisson
I was adopted about 40 years ago and I am so Thankful to God for giving me such wonderful parents! I always say parents because I have four parents I have my wonderful Mom & Dad who raised me from a couple of days old and my birth parents who I have Thank for giving me to such a wonderful Family. See without all of my parents I would not be the person I am today. I have always said I was gone to adopted a child and give someone the same chance at a having a family like I had! I remember my Mom telling me when I was a little - how special I was because they got to pick me & bring me home. I have to say growing up that make me feel so Special. I also remember growing up people would always ask my parents - Where did you get her from the milk man? I just couldn't understand why people would ask my parents that until I got older and someone pointed out that my Parents & two brothers had black hair and olive skins and I was blond hair and pale white skins! LOL I never noticed that until I was a teenager. I just had to share and want to say a great big Thank you to all the parents who adopted  or will adopted a child! Ya'll are so Awesome!  Good Bless.
9/28/2010 7:44:32 AM
Debbie Hickey United States
Debbie Hickey
I was one of the ones that wrote to Matthew about adoption.  I know I am not alone when I say it is hard!  Just like a women who has just given birth says, wow I am never going to that again!  Guess what, a few years later...
Well I am trying to do it again also and could use all the prayers you can afford.  Thanks, Matthew, for your special heart!
9/28/2010 7:51:41 AM
Terrie Gaines United States
Terrie Gaines
My family has recently been blessed by adoptions. In Jan 2007 my daughter (at that time 25) told me she was interested in Foster Care. I didn't know much about Foster Care and I didn't really think they would allow a single girl to be a foster mom so I agreed. In Sept 2007, two weeks before my son was married, our daughter got a call to accept a 2 month old baby girl. Our lives have literally not been the same. In December 2007, she also accepted the 2 mth old's older sister (at that time she was 2 yrs old). This inspired my younger daughter to get her foster care license. To make it simple - August 2, 2010 the adoption was final on two of our granddaughters and on October 1, 2010, the adoption on our other granddaughter will be final. We have been truly blessed.
9/28/2010 7:52:06 AM
Stacey Floersch United States
Stacey Floersch
Thank you, Matthew, for this wonderful song! I had to just stop doing the dishes, sit, listen and have a good cry. Our beautiful little girl arrived from Guatemala to join her four big brothers almost seven years ago. I thought our story was amazing with God's hand all over it - unitl I met other families and I knew God seems to lead most families through these rollercoaster journeys. And each story is more amazing then the last! We were blessed to bring a little girl home from Ethiopia two years ago as well. God is good. My husband and I thought we were saving a life, but our lives were blessed a thousand-fold with our children. May God bless you for the lives you touch. Can't wait to see you in Omaha - I'll be the one in the front with the Guatemala princess on my lap Smile
9/28/2010 7:53:44 AM
Joy Stotts United States
Joy Stotts
Love the song!  Would love to hear more of the story that inspired it!  We adopted our daughter Jia through China's SN program last June.  It was the most amazing, life changing thing we've ever done!  We began the process in 2006 and she was worth every minute!  Can't wait to adopt again!
Since coming home, myself and 2 good friends have begun an adoption advocacy ministry (Joint Heirs Adoption Ministry) and we've enjoyed our time together sharing with our community and churches about the blessing of adoption!
9/28/2010 7:57:13 AM
Bobbie United States
This story was very inspiring to me this morning.  Adopting a child has always been on my heart.  We have four beautiful children, but even after having our children, I still feel that need to adopt.  My husband has always said that he didn't feel that need, but back in february 2010, he had a change of heart.  We cared for a little girl that's in a bad home situation.  That night, he said to me out of the blue, "let's adopt, and give a little girl a home with a loving family."  Since then we know that adoption will be in our family's future and I have no doubt that it will be a little girl. Thanks for the continued inspiration.
9/28/2010 8:11:49 AM
marletta United States
i love listening to you guys on my way to work. GOD works good with you both. all the songs are played at the right time to draw me closer to the father and his son. me and my kids are starting a new church this sunday. that is a blessing. thank you both and love you guys. not only are you both blessed but you both are a blessing!!!!!! :0)
9/28/2010 8:59:31 AM
Michelle Bryan United States
Michelle Bryan
Woke up this morning and decided to put KLOVE on the computer and heard Matthew talking about the 'adoption' song. Along with your song you challenged all those that have adopted.. been adopted or on our way.. well this is our story:
We got our little girl at 6 years old through the Foster Care system here in Shasta County,CA. When we got her the Social Worker told us that she was 'agressive, swears like a sailor, and has Attachment Issues'and that we were the 7th Foster Family Placement. We were also told that she was going back to her mother that summer. Little di we knoe that God was placing an "Angel" in our hands. When I took her to her Kindergarten class the following Monday, I heard a little boy ask if I was her 'new' mommy, my heart melted. Wanting to do what it took to keep her in this home so that she would not be placed in another foster home.
We attended many 'HRT' meetings(High Risk Team) to help us keep her in check. During one of the meetings in August of that year the Social Worker asked the question if the judge rules the parent unfit then would we be willing to adopt her? Really? our response was we were the only Foster Parents to know how to handle her. It also helped that we wanted to have a little girl too, We have 2 bio kids that are in High School(presently), so this makes her the youngest of which was suggested for this little one.
We know that Gods hand was on this little one through the whole process, her birth mother was one that did not want to give her up easily and we expected a huge fight for more than a year, but to our suprise she signed the papers for our little one to be adopted in December. It was a wonderful Christmas Present to us. Yet we still had to wait for the final papers to be signed.
When She heard the stories this morning as well as the song, I got choked up thinking of our process/ story. I would not change our mind for a second. Yes we have hard days with her because we got her at much older than most, and she has a vivid memory of what happened when she was taken from her birth mother.  So, please keep her in prayer. The awesome thing is she is beginning to see that she is not the only Child that has been adopted! God is soo Good.
On September 3rd of 2009, we Signed our adoption papers to make it official, and she is fully ours. This little one is going to be 9 in November.
9/28/2010 9:43:44 AM
Teresa Wright United States
Teresa Wright
As I listened to your story about adoption on my way to work this morning tears filled my eyes and I had goose bumps all over!  We too felt God's calling to adopt a baby girl from China.  March 1, 2010 Gabriella Grace Hao was placed in our arms at 29 months of age. Gabriella filled a place in our familys heart that only God knew was empty.  She has changed our lives, including her three big brothers lives, in ways we could have never imagined.  God blessed us beyond words when He united us with our baby girl and there isn't a day that goes by that we don't thank Him for such a wonderful gift, the gift of adoption and our daughterSmile
9/28/2010 10:01:02 AM
Allison United States
I have tears reading all the responses here.

We just finalized the adoption of our 2.5 year old son via foster care. It was such a traumatic and trying time (we spent 18 months fighting elderly and toxic bio relatives for custody), but God prevailed and we now get to keep our son safe from harm.

God bless and thanks to Matthew West for addressing both foster care and adoption in his CD.
9/28/2010 10:12:58 AM
Wendy Schmidt United States
Wendy Schmidt
I have a heart for orphans and adopted a baby girl from China 3 years ago.  I absolutely love the new song!! Thank You!  
9/28/2010 10:46:04 AM
Heather United States
On September 17, 2010 my husband and I adopted three children. They came to us through foster care in January '08. It has been a long journey with struggles and fears but God brought us through to the end. We love them so much and they complete our home!!! My babies are 5 and 3 (twins) and we also have a 13 year old who is thrilled to be a big brother!
9/28/2010 12:31:45 PM
Butch United States
I haven't heard the song but I'm so familiar with adoption. We have three adopted children; two girls from Guatemala and one son from the US. In fact, what makes this story so amazing is we adopted our daughter Katherine from the same group home as Lily. We called Katherine, Lily, and their friend Carmen the "Three Musketeers" because they were always together. Carmen was adopted in October, 2005 and we brought Katherine home in November, 2005. We had followed Greg and Sheila's efforts to adopt Lily and were thrilled when she came home last year. Now to see that Matthew West has written a song about it is .... well I'm just at a loss for words. God is so good!
9/28/2010 6:09:26 PM
Michelle Vaughan United States
Michelle Vaughan
My husband anthony and i are in the process of adopting our first child. We know this is something God has called us to do. I heard the interview and song this morning and with tears in my eyes as i listened i know God was telling me that we are doing the right thing.  Adoption to me is such a special thing to be able to experience. We look forward to holding our little boy or girl one day soon.  Thank you klove for all you do.  Please pray for us as we go on this incredible journey.
Love in christ,
Anthony and Michelle Vaughan
9/28/2010 7:21:31 PM
Sheila United States
We are the McFadden family from the song "One Less".  We are humbled and honored to be a part of this wonderful project.  
9/28/2010 9:06:17 PM
Karan United States
Matthew West is very special to my heart. His songs touch my soul. I pray he continues to be used by God.  After years of infertility, surgery finally ended our chances of having biological children. We adopted our daughter 21 years ago.  She has truly blessed our lives.  She will be married next June, and will be using one of Matthew's Valentine songs in her wedding.
9/29/2010 6:15:49 AM
Timothy Jackson United States
Timothy Jackson
Yesterday I got a call from my wife. She called to tell me about hearing the story of the McFadden family and the song. She was so filled with joy. The reason is my wife worked in one of the orphanages that their little girls was in in Guatemala. She often thinks of her and the other little girls and recently had told me that whe wondered how she was doing. So this was such a blessing for her to hear. What a blessing. Tahnk you.
9/29/2010 6:55:28 AM
Donna Hill United States
Donna Hill
Adoption is a gift from God to the child being adopted and the ones receiving. My mother did not raise me or my sister. Other family members did. Then in 2007 we adopted a little boy who was left in the hospital with a lot of health issues. He has brought so much joy to our lives. You might think you cannot love a child that did not come from your loins but you do. I am so glad we decided to take this angel into our home. Everyone calls us angels for taking him in but I know that he is the angel that God sent to us.  
9/29/2010 6:56:59 AM
Timothy Jackson United States
Timothy Jackson
My wife was listening to you show yesterday and heard the McFadden story. She called me right away to tell me. My wife worked in one of the orphanages where Lily was in Guatemala. Lily was one of a group of little girls that were always dear to my wife heart. Just the toehr day she was telling me that she wondered how Lily was doing. She talks about these girls alot. It was such a blessing for her to hear that Mathew West wrote a song about one of them. This really touched her heart.
9/29/2010 9:28:42 AM
Tina United States
God brought us the second child in our family through adoption.  After waiting for a little over a year we received a call that a 14 month old girl was in need of her forever home and the social workers felt that we were the right match!  We visited her in her foster home 4 days later and brought her home the next day.  She had been severely neglected and had difficulty trusting people and allowing herself to love and be loved.  As we left her foster home of 10 months she did not shed a tear.  At the time I thought that was a good thing, now I realize it was an outward sign of her inward pain.  God has led me through the parenting of this beautiful andtalented girl.  I somehow knew this little girl was not to be raised with all the traditional wisdom on childrearing.  I held her in my arms until she finaly relaxed her tense little body and allowed her head to rest ever so cautiously on my shoulder each night as she went to sleep.  I answered her cries immediately, knowing that she had cried for days before without response.  It was not always easy, and I had to turn a deaf ear to those who in their good intentions did not understand.  I did not make all the right parenting decisions, and it is an on going process as she is now in her teens. We were led to a counselor that specializes in Trauma Therapy.  God is still right here with us and I have faith that she will flourish as an adult woman and lead the life that God has planned for her.
9/29/2010 10:56:48 AM
Sally United States
In 2005 we met a little boy, Austen, in foster care with a friend who touched our family's heart so deeply. He opened our eyes to the children in foster care and how wonderful they are and their needs for a positive family experience. After a lot of prayer we then took the foster/adoption classes through our state. A week before we finished the course my husband received a promotion and we began to plan our relocation. A week after we completed the course Austen came back into foster care and was placed with us.I stayed behind with Austen and our 2 sons Jackson and Cooper. After 5 months he returned home and the boys and I joined my husband living in our 18ft rv for a year so we would not touch our adoption savings fund. Reality set in and we realized with the housing market our house may not sell right away so we rented for the last 1 1/2 years and with my husband's raise we did not have to touch our adoption fund. We felt led to move forward to begin our adoption journey again. After a year of heartbreak in not being selected at committee and continious prayer for God's Will we were finally selected for a sibling set of 4 (1,2,3 and 9yrs)who were in foster care. We welcomed them home in our arms on July 19, 2009. In Sept. our house finally sold and we were able to buy something more fitting for our expanded family. If our house would have sold right when we put it on the market we would have bought a smaller house and would be upside down on it as the housing pricing have dramatically dropped in the area where we purchased. And when we sold our house we did not take a loss which was amamzing in itself with the real estate situation. We were able to buy a large home with lots of room inside and out for all our kids to get their wiggles out. I am excited to say Oct. 4th we have a court date set to finalize the 3 younger ones adoptions!!! Our older daughter will be finalized in 2011. We feel so blessed!!! God's hand was in every part of this from the beginning and continues to be. When we were wondering about why things were taking so long, if we were doing the right things and if this was part of God's plan for us it all played out much better than we could have done on our own or even imagined. We have such wonderful and loving children! We feel so completely blessed!!  
9/29/2010 1:41:24 PM
Tammy Ingraham United States
Tammy Ingraham
I cried when I heard this song! Matthew West, you are truly a very gifted song-writer. I pray God keeps blessing your words.
9/29/2010 9:39:35 PM
Ryan Bartholomee United States
Ryan Bartholomee
Over 24 years ago, Lisa Beth was adopted from the Philippines by American missionaries living and working in Thailand.  She always had a smile and her face and could light up any room with her cheek to cheek grin.  Shortly after she was adopted, Filipinos could no longer be adopted by foreigners.  After 5 years in Thailand and establishing an orphanage outside of Bangkok, Lisa's family moved back to the United States.  She grew up and went to college where I met her.  I am so grateful for the opportunity for life that her mother chose, and how God hand picked her parents to raise her.  I love how God chose to weave our lives together, as we have been married for almost four years now.  And to think that we were on opposite sides of the planet when we were born.  We are expecting our first child in April of next year and plan to have children via adoption, as well.  God is so good.
9/30/2010 8:19:26 AM
Jeff & Alice Curl United States
Jeff & Alice Curl
We started our adoption journey in January of 2009.  Having been blessed by God financially, not wanting to take a risk due to health considerations and wanting to add a little brother or sister for our 7 year old daughter, we sought the help of an adoption agency.  After putting together our profile, taking countless pictures of our family in action, our profile, along with the profile of others, was submitted to a 20 year old single mother of two little girls who found herself pregnant again.  She selected us in June of 2009 when she was 4 1/2 months pregnant because she said Alice looked like her favorite aunt.  God does work in mysterious ways and we journeyed with our birthmom through the final 4 1/2 months of her pregnancy, making the 420 mile drive to visit her twice during the ensuing months.  A month before the baby was due, we received a phone call from the adoption agency that they had received reports of alcohol use by the mother and there was a chance the baby could be born with fetal alcohol syndrome.  They told us we could back out without repurcussion, but we knew that God had chosen us to be the parents of this child, and we were willing to accept our new daughter no matter what happened.  We prayed constantly the last month of the pregnancy for the baby and the birthmom and on November 16, 2009, we were at the hospital for the birth our new daughter, Hannah Grace. A beautiful, healthy baby girl.  We brought her home with us two days later and our family has been so blessed with her addition.  The courage this young woman showed to place her unborn baby up for adoption and give her to us cannot be measured and she will always be in our prayers.  God has a plan for us all and we need to be open to His call and trust that He will lead us in the right direction.  We pray that God touches those considering adoption and they allow Him to lead them on the beautiful journey we experienced.
9/30/2010 10:14:51 AM
Lanell United States
I too was adopted by a wonderful family 41 years ago, my favorite description is one i heard recently from a little girl about the difference between being adopted and natural birth, "i grew in my mommy's heart instead of her tummy" which is exactly how my mom feels.  i always felt extra special because there was no doubt that I was wanted by my parents. Thank you God!
9/30/2010 5:43:00 PM
Libby Felix United States
Libby Felix
This song completely touches my heart. I'm 15 years old, and I was adopted at birth. My Mother was a drug addict from the time she was 16, and my Father was a gang banger. She already had one baby (my older sister), and she knew she couldn't take care of me. So, she put me up for adoption. It was probably one of the best decisions she's ever made. I was adopted by two loving people, that weren't able to have children of their own. They have raised me in a stable, loving home for the last 15 years. About 9 years ago, they had their own child, but he was diagnosed with special needs. Yet, they still stood strong in their faith, and as a family, we've gotten through all the obstacles. I'm lucky to say that not only do I have my wonderful adoptive family, I also have my birth family (Grandmother, Grandfather, Uncles, Mother, 2 sister and 2 brothers) in my life. I thank God for both of my wonderful families; he IS good!
10/8/2010 6:03:29 PM
Diane Burger United States
Diane Burger
I've known as long as I can remember that my real brother and I were adopted from the same mother - what a blessing that God kept us together.  Out of respect for my adoptive mother (adopted at birth), I waited till she was on her death bed and talked privately with my adopted dad about it.  I found the adoption papers which gave me my birth mom's name.  A co-worker helped me and found her marriage certificate on line and I made a cold call - it was beautiful.  God reunited us 1 yr and 1 month after my adopted mom passed away.  My birth mom didn't want to give us up but had one son all ready, lots of medical problems, and couldn't take care of 2 more.  We have a great mother/daughter relationship and my adopted father is fine with our relationship.  Can't locate my birth father, but I asked God to block it if there was any way he could hurt my kids.  My older brother (that stayed with mom) is great too and totally accepting.  This was totally God.  I am so blessed - also am a 7 yr cancer survivor by His grace.  Praise the Lord!!!
10/8/2010 10:00:38 PM
Don and Tina United States
Don and Tina
My wife can put things in words so much better than I can.  I really wanted to email our story but never got up the nerve.  This is what Tina sent in to our agency for their monthly update.

One year ago today we received a phone call that we had been waiting 2 ½ years for!

I can close my eyes and relive that minute so vividly in my mind. Don had just gotten home from work and I was cleaning out cabinets, trying to keep myself busy because I was sad that on this day we had hit 11 months on the Ethiopia waiting list and still no referral. Don answered his cell and I could hear a woman's voice asking questions about whether I was there and such. I just squealed as I looked at him with his huge grin and tears in his eyes I heard her say I have your referral. I was shaking and crying as I grabbed a scrap piece of paper to write all of his details on. He was 4 months old, healthy and his name was Bereket meaning "the gift". What amazed me about his name meaning was that my Dad had said from the very beginning of our journey that he would be a "gift" to our family. As we were listening to Ashley give us the info, I remember her asking if I was ok and telling me to take a deep breath. Donald was holding Heidi (who was unsure about all of this) and laughing and shaking at the same time.

We hung up and sat down to look at his picture on the computer. Ashley had told us he had the cutest round face with chubby cheeks. When his picture popped up, both of our hearts melted immediately. This was our son! The child we had dreamed about and prayed for. The one we already had grown to love even without knowing or seeing him. God knew this little guy would be our son. We felt so humbled and blessed and so thankful to CHI and Ashley for helping us to get here to this day.

Little did we know we still had a journey ahead of us. In Nov., we still did not have a court date but we were thankful to Ashley for always keeping us informed on what was going on. The beginning of Dec. I was really beginning to get depressed as I saw so many getting court dates and we were not among them. I began to ask everyone to pray that we would still receive a date and that it would be before the end of the year. Don made a phone call to Ashley and she replied that we should hear something with a week to 10 days. A few days later, she called me and said we had a court date and it was Christmas Eve. Not only had God answered our prayers but He was giving us our gift on a very special day.

On Christmas Eve at about 130 pm we received an email from Sharon saying she had been unable to contact anyone in Ethiopia but to be encouraged. I was SO sad. It was a tough night and I knew it was going to be a tough Christmas Day because I figured we would not hear anything until the following Monday. I tried to put on my brave face Christmas morning but it just wasn't there. I finally broke down in tears and our three other children just held me and what a blessing that was. I knew they were hurting as well. I continued to check my email about every 15 minutes in hopes of hearing something. ( I was a little crazy!) I went to check it one more time before we headed out for our family gathering. To my wonderful amazement there it was in big bold letters : HE IS YOURS. I yelled for everyone to come and see and then we celebrated and went about sharing our wonderful news with everyone. We had received one of the most cherished Christmas gifts ever.

We will never be able to thank Sharon enough for taking time away from her family on a Holiday to share this news with us. What a blessing CHI proved to be over and over again.About 7 weeks later we were headed to get our son. On Valentine's Day our "gift" was placed into our arms forever. There are no words to adequately express how I felt when Almaz handed him to me. He took my breath away. He was finally in my arms and I was hugging him close to me and all I could do was breath in the moment. Thinking back, I can visualize that moment as she placed him in my arms, I kissed his forehead and said to him, " we have been waiting a very long time for you sweet boy".

When I handed him off to Don, Elijah leaned his head against Don's as if to say, "yep, you're my dad."

Ethiopia was amazing. House of Hope was such a blessing. We fell in love with everyone there. They treated us like family from the minute we met and by the time we left we felt the same way. Our whole experience was unbelievable. We had the best travel group for us. We made such connections with all of the families we stayed at HOH2 with. We shared so much with them and I know it will be a lifelong connection that we will have. When we headed to Ethiopia it was to pick up our son and bring him home. I had no idea how life changing this would actually be for me. It was so hard to leave. I know a part of my heart remained there.

Not a day goes by that I don't thank God for the journey he took us on to find our son. We know there was a reason for every struggle, bump, and blessing we experienced. Each step we took brought us closer to the most precious little boy. CHI will always and forever be a huge part of our adoption journey. We feel like CHI is a part of our family. We thank them for guiding us on our journey and for being there for us each step of the way.

I am forever thankful for our gift~ our son~ Elijah

Every good and perfect gift is from above... James 1:17
10/14/2010 2:10:59 PM
Becky Norman United States
Becky Norman
Okay... How do I get to that?
10/29/2010 7:41:07 PM
Pat United States
Driving home tonight, I hear Matthew West talking about "One Less" and the McFadden family. My first thought was how does he know about us? (my name is also McFadden) I am the guardian for three beautiful children brought to me through the courts. The song sang to our life story. The four of us brought together through adversity and bonded together forever with love. Four less broken hearts in the world... three small, one large. One family.

In Arizona alone, there are over ten thousand kids living away from their homes. They all need someone to care for them. If fostering a child is not possible for you at this time, remember that any of these children would be grateful if you took their name off a Christmas Angel tree this year.
2/1/2011 1:17:14 AM
Packer and Movers Hyderabad India
Packer and Movers Hyderabad
nice blog thanks for the post.
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