Guest post by Renaut van der Riet (pictured above)
The Gospel compelled my wife Brooke and I to get involved in reaching children from hard places, in bringing children who didn’t belong into belonging spaces.
We were inspired, we were ready, we were gonna go do it, we had tenacity, we had planted a church, started businesses, and created a nonprofit. We thought, “We got this!”
But our kids were in some complicated spaces. It turns out, it was north of six figures to bring them home. We had plenty of tenacity, but zero six figures.
We could have brought all our tenacity to the table, and it would have made zero difference because we still needed six figures.
Every time I told an attorney, “I’ve got tenacity!” They said, “Oh well. Where’s the money?”
So we couldn’t bring our kids home.
Except that there were other people with the resources who believed in the mission. Their part in the story was not to adopt my four kids. Their part in the story was to fund the adoption. And because they did, we were able to bring our kids home.
The bottom line is this:
The actual entry of four kids into our home with our four other biological kids was insanity. When people ask me about it, this is the best way I can describe it:
“If you take a tractor-trailer and you take another tractor-trailer and you drive them at each other at 100 mph and your naive belief is that when they collide they’ll turn into one big happy tractor-trailer, you’re an idiot.”
And that’s exactly what happened. My two tractor-trailers collided and there was death, fire, and everything else.
I remember, two years into adoption, my wife standing in her closet, weeping her eyes out, banging the wall, saying, “I’m over missional living!”
And I felt the exact same way. But I mustered up, “It’s going to be fine in 10 years!” (Which, by the way, it isn’t yet.)
But we kept going.
And here’s what we realized.
Not only did we need some people on the front-end to help us fund what we could not fund, but we needed a whole army in the middle and in the back-end to be able to help us survive the story.
We needed equipping and wrap-around care. We needed community and people. That’s hard to find when you’re on your own.
But because we had incredible people that were generous upfront, and because we had incredible people that gave heir time, energy, and resources to equip us the middle of the story, we are seven years in. And I’ve got piles of those tractor-trailers. But I’ve got wheels and axles and I even think the engine is going.
I’ve got a 21-year-old that is at Palm Beach sharing the Gospel. He lettered in his sports and had a 4.0 GPA. He’s from Ethiopia.
I’ve got a son who is a sophomore in high school and going to state as a cross country runner. He happens to be Ethiopian, as well. (They run like the wind.)
I have a daughter who’s at YWAM studying to go share the Gospel in lots of places in the world.
There’s brutality in those kids because of the hard places they’re from, but there is also such beauty.
And the reality is, the only reason we’re realizing my children as leaders walking into the story ahead of them is that we have had an army of people around us helping us get there.
Lifesong is the place that does exactly that for so many. When you support adoption, you’re coming alongside families that have tenacity and inspiration! The only thing they lack is resources.
They will go find their children, and you will participate in that.
WAYS TO SUPPORT ADOPTION
Start a church adoption fund.
Your church was built to care for orphans. It’s in our DNA as believers. By establishing a Lifesong-facilitated church fund, you can meet the need by helping fund adoptions inside and outside your local church. It’s easy and free. Learn more.
Get practical post-adoption support tips.
Our friends at CCAI have a team specifically for post-adoption support. Here are 6 practical tips for partnering with adoptive families over the long-haul.
Partner with Lifesong to support adoption. Your gift sends Christian families matching grants, interest-free loans, fundraising support, and more. Give here.
Considering Adoption? We can help.