Meet Evie Joy.
She currently lives on the other side of the world, in China. In almost two weeks from now, I'll be hopping on a plane and flying 15 hours to help bring this precious little girl home to her forever family.
I honestly don't know how this happened. Well, I take that back. I do know how it happened. The Lord did His thing. But I'm still in awe/shock that He chose me to be a part of it.
Meet the Peterson Family.
What started as a casual comment during a fellowship meal at a revival Nick preached back in April, evolved into me being their "Plan B" just in case Tyler couldn't go when their travel approval went through. He's a high school football coach and couldn't be gone in August when the season kicks in high gear. Hoping for July, I honestly never thought I'd actually be going because we prayed so earnestly for them to be able to experience this special event together. I'm all about those happy endings and wanted it so bad for Erica and Tyler.
But God had other plans and now I have the privilege and honor to be a part of this precious family's incredible journey to bring their daughter home. I am finally over the shock of the fact that means going to China to do it.. Being on a plane for 15 hours and being away from Nick and my tight little family that I love so dear. I won't lie and tell you I was excited at first. Fear and anxiety would be more like it. But the Lord has done a work in my heart already and we haven't even left. One fellow empty nester sister on instagram said it best...." I am loving the way God uses us at this stage of life. The ministry of being available is a beautiful blessing." YES! Nick and I share all the time how "We're making the best of our empty nest". My availability with my time now that our girls are grown and married has allowed me to be able to serve others in new ways! Just a few years ago, I wouldn't have been able to go. This TOO is also making the best of our empty nest. I love that perspective and that God would choose me to be serve in such a way.
So I'm putting laying down my fears and I'm going to the other side of the world to be His hands and feet for this family. Not because I'm anything special or super sweet or experienced or qualified. I'm none of that.
I'm just available.
And that is all God requires.
A willing vessel.
And speaking of willing vessels,
I asked Erica if she would share her adoption story and this is what she told me.
The Lord put adoption on my heart many years ago. Long before I was ever married or even knew who my husband would be, God began to give me a heart for the orphan.
Adoption wasn’t foreign to me. I had casually heard of people adopting, but I had never really known anyone personally that had done it and I had never really given it much thought. You see, I had no idea that there were millions of orphaned children in the world and that many of them would never be adopted. I didn’t know that there were precious children in the world literally starving to death or laying in hospital beds without a mom or dad at their side. I didn’t know that many of them turn to prostitution or drugs when they “age” out of the orphanage because they have no family…no education…no hope.
And then God interrupted my way of thinking, and placed a passion in my heart for the “least of these”. It started when I heard the story of Christian artist, Stephen Curtis Chapman and his wife, tragically losing their adoptive daughter. That story broke my heart for their family, and it also sparked a fire in my heart for adoption. The more I learned about the fatherless, the more I felt that I had to do something. You see…to whom much is given, much is also required. I had been given MUCH and the Lord was revealing to me what was required.
Before I even met my husband, I began to pray that God would open his heart to the possibility of adoption, and God answered BIG! Although, Tyler did not have the same passion as I did (at first), he was very open to researching and learning more about adoption. AND THEN GOD!!...He used Tyler’s respect for me and willingness to share in my passion to completely break my husband’s heart also. I’ll never forget the day Tyler looked at me and said, “It’s easy to live in our own little world, but once you know, you’ve gotta do something.”
Our story is not a “burning bush” moment, but it is listening to the still, small voice of our Creator and being obedient to His calling for our life. We just want to do something!
Amen!! What a beautiful example of surrender! I'm so blessed by their obedience and expect the Lord to teach me so much through Erica's passionate heart for "the least of these" as we're together in China. We ask that you pray for us both. Pray for little Evie Joy's heart as she is taken from the only world she knows, and given to the lady who she is still yet to learn already loves her fiercely. I've read enough to know that "Gotcha Day" and the days and weeks that follow can be really hard. Pray for Evie Joy to sense our great love for her that transcends all cultures and language barriers. I haven't even met her and it she feels like another little grand daughter to me.
We leave on August 7th....almost two weeks from now and there are still needs to be met with our travel expenses. Through this entire process, like so many other families who have stepped out in faith, Erica has never made the astronomical cost of adoption hold her back from this call on their family. She has been so calm, trusting God to provide. Honestly, she never once has told me there was even still a need when it came to our travel expenses...I had to kind of pull it out of her. Once it was official and I began to share that we were going, several people have asked for a donation link to so they could take part in the blessing too. We were blown away and honestly didn't have anything set up. But by the encouragement and help of a couple of "adoption veteran" friends of mine, we have set a link to do so if that is something you feel compelled to help with.
So here it is dear friends.
You can click this picture if you'd like to help in bringing Evie Joy home. Or click the button on my side bar.
Hopefully I'll be blogging on the trip to share the journey with y'all but definitely will be sharing on instagram. If you'd like to follow along, I'm honeyholden and Erica is epeterson1 and we will be using the hashtag #BringingHomeEvieJoy. We would covet your prayers!
"Now unto Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we can ask or imagine "