In January of this year, James left for his third mission trip to Africa. This trip was different, he was going to be camping out at an orphanage in South Sudan. The night before he left, he turned to me and asked, "What if I sneak one of those little guys home in my suitcase?" God used that little joke to begin to stir rumblings on adoption inside my heart. James, Jordan Henderson, and James's brother Donnie Lane spent almost two weeks in Africa in January, and they arrived home late Saturday night, just in time to have a few hours of sleep and get up and have church with Citychurch Sunday morning. I now have first hand proof of that Philippians 4:13 strength when Donnie got up and spoke to the church after two weeks of sleeping on Sahara Desert ground and battling stomach viruses in 100 degree weather, not to mention jet lag from traveling over 8,000 miles in the last 2 days. That morning, Donnie shared pictures and stories from South Sudan with our church family. As the invitation portion of the service came, I had a clear calling from God. I have only heard the Good Shepherd's voice this distinctly a few times in my life. The first time was as a 12 year old girl, when I jumped out of my seat to receive Christ as my savior. The second time was in 1998 when God called me to serve at Citychurch. This calling to adopt a little boy from Africa was so clear, I wanted to rush the stage and share my new command with the whole congregation. I held myself back because something told me I might want to discuss adopting a child from another country with my husband first. After church, I was surprised to find that I was afraid to talk to James about my calling. I was afraid it would be my idea or something I was pushing him into. I hoped that God knew this marriage had two partners, and that He had already talked to James for me. When I finally got up the courage to tell James, the words out of his mouth were, "I already knew that. I knew that before I even left for Africa." Turns out, I was the last to know. Now we just had to figure out where to begin.
(Photo James texted me as he was packing to come home from South Sudan in January.)