Be ready for your heart melt! --- I first met the Yoder family at church. When I was raising money for my missions trip last March I asked if they would like to donate towards my trip. The donation would get them a family photo shoot. The Yoders told me about everything that was going on with their adoption and so they decided to do an "Adoption Shoot", little did I know that this one shoot would end up with me being there the day they bring their little girl home! Getting to know the Yoder family has been such a blessing. I asked Julana (the mom) to write their adoption story, which follows below. I would definitely suggest reading the WHOLE thing.
"Our adoption journey! Oh my where to start?! ...
It all started back in 2011 over 2 years ago. We had 3 kids and I wanted more but my husband was so DONE! I never once thought about adoption. I like being pregnant. I didn't know why I didn't feel done and my husband did?? God started speaking to me about adoption... I tried HARD to ignore it! Adoption was never something I had dreamed about like some do... Day after day, week after week God kept putting adoption on my heart... I kept trying to ignore it. But everywhere I looked I saw adoption and the GREAT NEED! Every video I watched, what I heard and most of all through the scripture!! Here are some Scripture and quotes I read that made me NOT ignore it any longer!!
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and Faultless is this; to look after the orphans and widows...
Suppose someone has enough to live and sees a Brother or sister in need, but does not help. Then God's love is not living in that person. My children, we should love people not only with words and talk, but by actions and true caring.
-1 John 3:17
...God sent forth his son, that we might receive the adoption as children.. Therefore you are no longer a slave (orphan) but a child
"I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something I can do."
...Learn to do right! Seek justice, Encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, Plead the case of the widows.
Verily I say unto you, In as much as you have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren you have done it unto me.
"Do for ONE what you wish you could do for EVERYONE!"
(But the verse that REALLY put me over the edge and I KNEW adoption was what we needed to do was this..)
our eyes are opened, we can't pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weigh our hearts and keeps our souls, knows what we know and holds us responsible to ACT!
Ok, so once I knew there was no way out of this I went to Jason to see what he thought of my crazy thoughts and I was sure he would shoot the idea down FAST because he was sooo done! I told him what I felt God was telling me and he simply goes "I have been feeling adoption for awhile now and was waiting for you to feel it too..." (WOW!)
It was crazy simple. We knew God had asked us to adopt. We prayed a little more about it but then told family and searched for an agency we felt good about and a country. Ethiopia was quickly where we felt we were suppose to adopt from. We quickly found an agency we felt God led us too.
Money was a problem. Adoption cost around $30,000 total. We didn't have quite enough to even start our application fee. We decided to wait till we had another pay day to start the process... Crazy story but a few days later I went to check the mail and there was a couple hundred dollars laying in our mail box with a note saying "for Jason and Julana's adoption fund" JUST the right amount of money that we had needed yet to start the process!! We cried. Wow, God speaks CLEARLY!! We knew the time to start our adoption journey was NOW!
Through the next 2 plus years of this adoption journey we did a ton of fund-raisers. God always brought the money just when we needed to make another payment. Just in time. Church family was amazing in helping with all our fund-raisers. God was so close to us through it all. We NEVER doubted for a minute that this was not what God had for us. It was the hardest and most amazing journey we have ever been on. God also changed my heart so much. Adoption is something I once tried to ignore thinking about and now Adoption is ALL I think about. Adoption changed me... I have so much passion for this. Something I was once not into is something that now gets me more excited then anything else in the world!!
We brought our daughter home last week from Ethiopia. Most amazing child ever. I just don't know, we might just go back one day and get another child... There is such a NEED. How can we stop?! I wanna shout it from the roof tops!! So many children without families. It breaks my heart more then anything else does!! I know adoption is hard, I know adoption does not "fix" everything. BUT... why not?? Why not help a child? We have so much to offer.
I cannot wait to teach our daughter all our about Jesus. I love her so much... Even though she is still on Ethiopian time and is making for a lot of sleepless nights. My heart breaks for her story and I pray for her as she has to deal with her story one day and pray we can be what she needs. But I know only God can truly heal her hurts I am sure she will have one day. How would we feel in her shoes? Being abandoned? My hearts breaks. None of us truly know how orphans feel. But she is no longer a orphan. I would die for that dear girl!
God once adopted us. Same thing, adopt... During Our adoption journey we have felt the closest to God we have ever felt before!! God is amazing!"