As this is my first official blog post since coming on with Lifeline. I thought I would take this opportunity to introduce my family and our adoption story.
It is amazing to look back at our lives and see how our God is a God who plans. He is at work in our lives long before we are even born. He knew that adoption was a BIG part of our story of redemption in His eternal family and so He teaches us that true religion is to care for the orphans! The adoption of our daughter was much bigger than “rescuing” her. Instead this is an even greater love story of Jesus.
Geoffrey was young when he first heard the testimony of missionary given at school. He thought to himself, “I will do this one day.” So when the opportunity arose to travel to Kenya, he went. That summer he spent days in the slums of Kibera. He did some door to door evangelism, but spent most of his time playing soccer with the children. The love for the fatherless was planted there in the dirt fields of that slum. Over the years, that love grew and he knew he wanted to love on the fatherless forever.
Junior year of college, he met Jama. It did not take long for both of us to realize that we wanted to spend life together serving the Lord. After college we had plans to go serve on the mission field, but God had a different plan. Surprise! We found out we were pregnant with our first child. So instead of traveling overseas, we began our family in Birmingham, AL and Geoffrey started seminary. Over the first year, we sold our house and made some money. Not long after that, the Lord impressed upon Jama’s heart that they were to save and set it aside. Over the next 5 years we prayed and searched for where God wanted us to give, patiently waiting. Meanwhile, God was making a way for us to adopt.
Adoption had not been a thought in Jama’s mind, but after struggling to have a second baby God began working. After a miscarriage, God did bless us with another baby, but the adoption seeds had been planted in Jama’s heart. Three years later, God placed the call on our lives to adopt, June of 2010. After praying, we felt that he desired us to adopt domestically through Lifeline Children’s Services.
It is amazing to see how lost fingerprints (the State Department lost Geoffrey’s papers), were all part of God’s plan. Our journey to our daughter, became very real when we got the call that a birthmother had chosen our family and that we would meet her soon! We never imagined how hard, but how wonderful the next 3 months would be as we awaited her birth. Initially being very closed minded, we didn’t want to have contact with her, but God changed our hearts and we decided to go and see our birthmother. I can remember walking into the room and thinking, “She is the most beautiful woman.” There is something special about that first meeting and we loved her already so much.
After that very long meeting our relationship began. We then came to doctor visits, heard heart beats, and lastly she invited us to be in the room for the c-section. Now I do not want to paint a perfect picture of a seamless or easy adoption. But it was in those moments that we stayed on our knees. God woke us up many nights, in the middle of the night to pray for our birthmother and our daughter. We were aware that we were fighting a spiritual battle that was very real and that God was using our prayers to protect.
During that wait, we attended our old church. It was Father’s day morning and before beginning any part of the service the pastor asked for all the families adopting or that have adopted to please stand. He shared scripture on adoption and then began to pray for us. So there we were standing among a crowd of 2000, with a few others, being encouraged our God through His church. It was at that moment, in our tear filled hands, that I knew He was going to take care of birthmother and our daughter. After the service, a sweet lady approached us and wanted us to know that God had impressed upon her to pray for us today. And that she wanted us to know that she was praying for us. Wow!
So we went bright and early June 20, 2011 where I watched the most amazing story unfold. There in the delivery room our birthmother instructed the doctors to take her baby from her belly and place her in our arms. It was that morning that I witnessed the most selfless, courageous women sacrifice herself for her child. It was in that moment that I witnessed the gospel and I gained a greater understanding of God’s adoptive love for myself.
While in the hospital, we spent long days and nights holding our daughter and loving on our birthmother. We would eat together, rock the baby, and hear her stories. It was an emotionally and very cherished time. I got to know our birthmother in a way that most adoptive parents never get and I am so grateful that I will get to tell her story to our daughter. One day I tell my daughter that her birthmother loved her so much and I know because she told me!
This adoption journey has changed our lives. It has taught us more about God’s love for us and more about His plan for our family. It was not long after this adoption, that God placed the opportunity in front of us to serve in the adoption community! January 3rd, Geoffrey began his job with Lifeline Children’s Services, as their International Manager of Programs. We never imagined how our daughter would lead to a complete life change and that God would use her to begin our family’s life passion! We are so excited about bringing orphans home to Godly families, where they will hear about our heavenly Father’s love for them!
Too God be the glory,
Geoffrey and Jama
International Manager of Programs