Jason and I married in December 2004, and quickly added to our family by having three babies in three years. After three complicated pregnancies and premature births, we felt very blessed to be the parents to three beautiful, healthy children: Aidan, Hannah, and Houston. We were content knowing that we were done adding to our family. But God had different plans for us. In the summer of 2009 Long Hollow started preparing for the Crazy Love Campaign and each Sunday they showed pictures of orphans on the big screen during service. Then David Nasser came to speak and said that if just 7% of the church would rise up and adopt, then the 147 million orphans in the world would all have a home. JUST SEVEN PERCENT! And this wasn’t seven percent of EVERYONE – just seven percent of those that choose to love Jesus and follow his Word! So that Sunday Jason and I got in the car in Long Hollow’s parking lot, he looked at me and said, “I think we are going to need to be part of that seven percent.” My response was, “You do realize we have a 3 year old, a 2 year old, and an 8 month old.” He said, “I know. It’s crazy.” And the next day we picked an agency and started the paper-chase to adopt a little girl from Ethiopia.
We had plenty of hurdles and fears as we dove into the world of international adoption. Our first hurdle was the financial aspect of it. HOW in the world were we going to raise around $30,000? Thankfully, God quickly took that fear from us. Through hard work and generous friends and family, God provided every last penny. Also, the health “unknowns” made my heart race – “What if we bring a child into our house with health concerns that we aren’t prepared to handle?” God pointed out to me that our “homegrown” children don’t have health guarantees either. And “OHHHH what would people think of us adopting a child from Africa?” Honestly, that was the hardest hurdle of all. We lost dear relationships over our decision. But we remained steadfast in knowing that doing God’s work isn’t always easy and comfortable.
After God calmed our fears we completed the paperwork and “officially waited” for about six months. Then on July 14th, 2010 we received THE CALL. When the phone rang, the tears began falling. Just hearing the details about this precious child made it obvious that THIS was the child intended to join our family. God had handpicked this sweet two-year-old little girl in Ethiopia to be a Humphrey. Her given name, Bereket, means “Blessing”. How very appropriate!
After two trips to Ethiopia in one month, we were THRILLED to bring our sweet blessing, Macy Bereket Humphrey, home to Tennessee on November 4th, 2010. Introducing her to her brothers and sister in the Nashville airport was a truly surreal moment. The love my four children have for each other is beautiful.
Jason and I have been thrilled to talk to other couples considering adoption and have watched several of them start their own adoption process. We feel VERY thankful that the Lord has led us down this path. He truly broke our hearts for what breaks HIS – and we are so glad he did.
From early on in our marriage Clay and I had discussed adoption. Our plan was to have several biological children and when they were older, adopt a child. We thought that the adoption process would be great for them to experience with us. After having two biological children we felt a strong word from God that His plan was for us to adopt now. As we prayed about it we were overwhelmed with a clear vision of God’s love for orphans and his desire for Christians to take care of them.
One Sunday morning David Nasser came to speak at Long Hollow and God used his sermon to confirm our calling and we started the process immediately. We had no idea how we would do it financially but knew that God was calling us to step out in faith! Over the next 14 months we did lots of paperwork to adopt a son from Ethiopia. God provided every penny that we needed and we saw God’s provision like never before. We were 100% dependant on Him and He was so faithful.
In July 2009 we received a phone call telling us that there was a 4 week old baby that was found and needed a mom and dad. We were overjoyed and couldn’t wait to get to him. We passed court which made Nile officially our son in August 2009. On September 12th, 2009 we boarded a plane to go and pick up our son! The moment they put him in my arms I was in love. It was the most surreal moment of my life. It was just like the birth of my other two children. He was now 3 ½ months old and weighed 8.8lbs. He was very small and acted very much like a newborn.
We flew home from Ethiopia a week later. He had several doctors appointments that week at our local Pediatricians office. After a week of fever we were admitted into Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital. When we got there his oxygen levels were very low and he was very sick with PCP Pnemonia, a parasite and salmonella. We were told that this type of Pneumonia in infants, if untreated, can be very deadly. We were so thankful that Gods timing is perfect all of the time! He knew that this little boy needed a family and medical attention that would have never been possible in Ethiopia.
Today Nile is a very healthy, happy and energetic 19 month old boy. We are so thankful for his life and what he has taught our family. We are always reminded of the way that our Lord and Savior has adopted us as sons and daugherts into his kingdom. God has changed our perspective on life in so many ways which may not have been possible had we not followed Him on this journey to adopt.
We recently brought home our four-year-old son, Jadon, from Ethiopia. We have been praying for another child for 11 years now and God has answered our prayers through International Adoption. Our biological daughter, Lily, is so excited to finally be a Big Sister. We attempted to begin the adoption process in 2007 and 2008 and both times we were so overwhelmed by the financial aspect of it that we backed out. In August 2009 we decided to quit limiting God by looking at our circumstances of our lives and thinking this is impossible. God tells us to trust in him to take care of the future we cannot see and with HIM ALL things are possible.
We first began our journey to adopt from Haiti and when the earthquake happened in January 2012 adoptions were closed for an unknown timeframe. For a period of time we were still and prayed for God’s guidance. We knew God had called us to adopt and it became clear that just because we couldn’t adopt a child from Haiti that we couldn’t stop the process and not give another child a chance to have a forever family in the next year. It became apparent that God was leading us to Ethiopia. The idea of traveling so far from home was a little frightful but we knew we had to trust God to see us through it. HE has done just that and now we are living, loving, and laughing daily with our precious little boy. It is a pure joy to experience his “firsts” with things we have taken for granted.
Throughout this journey God has blessed us beyond belief. Our faith has grown so much over the past year and God has used this journey to grow the faith of others around us. HE has provided just what we need financially just when we have needed it.
Adoption may have not been our plan to add to our family but God’s plan is always better.
Proverbs 16:9 “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.”