Within a year after our wedding, we started trying to have children. For several years we tried, cried when we could not conceive and cried whenever we saw a baby at a restaurant. I can remember my wife sobbing as she banged on my chest crying, “Why is God doing this to us?” After nine years of infertility, we decided to adopt internationally. We interviewed many adoption agencies and chose Nightlight Christian Adoptions.
We first adopted a little boy and girl from St. Petersburg, Russia. It was an amazing journey. While we were leaving our new daughter’s orphanage, quite a few of the orphans were literally hanging on me yelling, “Papa!” It changed me forever. Less than a year later, we adopted a six-month-old girl from the same orphanage that our son was raised in. We were done. Our family was complete, until… my parents and I decided to take a humanitarian trip back to St. Petersburg, Russia with donations from members of our congregation and local stores. While I was in a Wal-Mart store, my cell phone rang. It was Ron Stoddart, the President of Nightlight Christian Adoptions. He knew that we were traveling back to Russia and he ‘just mentioned’ that there was a little two year old boy that was turned down by a few American families for adoption. His eyes were crossed and in that culture someone with crossed eyes is considered ‘mentally deficient’. I told Ron, ‘no’ as we had just arrived back from adopting our little girl a few months earlier. I asked how old the boy was. Ron checked his birth date, and it was May 4, 1999. I was shocked! I said, “Ron, that’s the birthday of the little girl we just adopted a few months earlier.”
We ended up adopting the little boy with crossed eyes and named him Timothy. We were NOW complete! Four kids; that’s enough, until…my wife and I decided to sponsor and advertise an adoption Information meeting less than an hour from our house. Very few people showed up, but Ron Stoddart had flown in for this meeting. Of course, he brought his photo album of children waiting to be adopted. As my wife and I flipped through the album with no interest in adopting more children, we kept coming back to a little girl with crossed eyes. I got so emotional, I had to walk out of the hotel room where we were looking at the album and I cried. I didn’t know why, but there was something about this little girl that took our breath away. Several months later we flew to Minsk, Belarus and adopted the little girl. While in country, as we were in the orphanage director’s office, she casually mentioned that the little girl had an older sister in another orphanage. OH NO…how could this happen! Adoption agencies try their best to know if there are other siblings as they want them to be adopted together. I said, “Let’s go see her.” LONG STORY SHORT…we adopted her, too, several months later. Six children? I would have never imagined it, but God’s plans are always superior to ours!