As James and I begin to have conversations about adopting to Africa, and we sat wondering where to even begin. I told James, “I know this lady. We can ask her.” Now when I say I “know” the lady we need to talk to. What I really mean is, I’ve typed this lady’s name into the PCHEA database at some point, so her name is familiar to me, we’ve been same room before at our home school Bible study, and I’ve heard her talk about her kid from Ethiopia. The monthly Bible study for home school moms was next week, and I knew she might be there. If you know Pam Cavitt, then you will know I’m not exaggerating when I say that Pam is one of those women who shine. She has a reputation for being a very Godly woman and a resource for home schooling high school. I was a little bit intimidated. So at the Bible study, I gather up my courage, and before I leave, I approach her. “Um, Pam. My husband and I are thinking about adopting from Africa. Is it ok to email you and ask you for some information?” I was expecting an affirmative answer, but Pam looks like she going to start crying. She says, “Oh I would love that. How EXCITING!”
So now I can email this lady I “know” and ask her for information. One week goes by. Two weeks go by. Three weeks. Ok this is getting ridiculous. I set a goal for myself of emailing Pam before I leave with the Citychurch youth for our spring break mission trip. Guess when I email Pam? In the van, as we are driving out of town for mission trip. I kind of felt like a mouse with a ball of yarn, about to take that yarn down a mountain. I knew as soon as I took that first step, things were going to get hairy, and I was going to be pretty wrapped up. So my first step email sounded something like, “I don’t know anything. Can you just tell me what websites I should go to and books I should read to figure out how to adopt from Africa?”
Sidebar: Last summer I had read Jen Hatmaker’s book 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess. If I had a conversation with you last summer. I probably cornered you and annoyed you with stories from this book. When I was reading it, I was loving it, and I was eating up every word. A week before the spring break mission trip, another home school mom, Lisa Hokanson, had called me to ask me about the book. She said, “I heard you read this book 7.” I wondered which person I annoyed enough that Lisa knew that I had read the book. Basically, she had got me thinking about the book and maybe doing the new Bible study based on the book with her. So when I was packing for mission trip, I had grabbed the 7 book off the shelf and threw it in my bag.
Back to the van: I had just emailed Pam, finally, and I picked up my 7 book. I was shocked to see that I still had a bookmark in the book and I had not read the last chapter. You mean I annoyed all those people, and I didn’t even finish reading the whole book? Well, God knew I wasn’t suppose to read that last chapter until that moment, right there in the van. I begin reading, and Jen Hatmaker is lining out the details of her adoption of 2 children from Ethiopia! Now I’m crying. James is driving a van full of teenage kids, and there I am in the front seat bawling my eyes out. When I finish the book, I go to Jen Hatmaker’s blog on my phone and read more about her adoption. When I finally compose myself enough to speak out loud, I tell James about the amazing story of her adoption.
In the book, Jen mentions that they used the adoption agency, America World Adoption Agency. When we finally get the youth to the spot we are suppose to be at in McKinney, TX and bunk down for the night, I look up America World Adoption Agency on my phone. There is a ton of information, and they even have a references page with names and cities of people who have used their agency. As I’m scrolling down the page of names, I wonder if anyone on this list is from Amarillo and has adopted from Africa. Then I see her name. Pam Cavitt. I can’t describe the feeling God gave me that night. I felt like God was waiting for me to take that first step, and when I did, he started pointing me in the right direction and letting me know He was in this thing and I didn’t need to worry. God had already pointed me to the right person to help our family get going on this adoption journey. God wasn’t going to let me just roll down a mountain. He already has the whole thing planned.
“'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
If you want to read more about Jen Hatmaker’s adoption, here are links to her blog:
Jen Hatmaker’s book “7” (Now you too have been annoyed.):
(On my bike inviting kids to come hear about Jesus with the Citychurch youth in McKinney, TX during spring break. Did I tell you ministry at Citychurch is fun? Well, it is.)