+4 More! - An Adoption Story
Zaria - Cordell - Kenan - Zakera
What a blessed thing – to be able to write out and testify to the amazing workings of our great God.
The words of JESUS echo through the lines on this page. He came to offer life, not just any life, but life more abundantly (John 10:9-10). My prayer is that, through reading this true-life account that you will think about your relationship with Jesus. It truly is an eternal life or death relationship.
Marand and I find us smack dab in the middle of that abundant life He so freely promised. This read is our third God-Story adoption; our testimony to the amazing and almighty Creator/Sustainer of the universe directing our very human, very fallible steps. He has ‘before ordained good works, that we should walk in them,”(Eph. 2;10) and this was one of His good works, before ordained for us to walk in.
Most of what follows is from Rachel’s journal entries:
October 17, 2015
Well, I’m compelled to say it’s feeling like….’Here we go again!’ Last week after classes with our little homeschool Co-Op, Livia informed A.J. and I that she is pregnant! Miraculous. What a blessing, please protect both she and this new little life as things with her pregnancies are very ‘high risk’. After letting us in on that news, she proceeded to encourage me that she thought Marand and I should be a ‘little more pro-active’ in that category. So, thinking, praying, I mentioned that to Marand tonight, and he’s game for calling Bethany Christian services again to consider adopting out of the foster system. Then my sweet friend Anneke tags me in a face book post about being an adoptive mom…ahhhh, your timing, God, amazes me. Your gentle nudges encourage my heart. Please guide us in the way you’d have us go. May we be assured of your will in bringing the next people into our home/family. Looking on the website, it appears that the majority of kids ready to be adopted are 8-13 years old….I was thinking of younger than Isaac (4.5) to maintain birth order…Please have your way in that. We are willing. Please show us. You are faithful, gracious, the merciful One. I can’t wait to watch you work through us for your glory!
January 20, 2016
I sense that you are leading us toward the domestic infant adoption route again. Really?! $23,000 - $30,000, Is that how you want us to do it? I’ve barely been able to pay our mortgage each month. Right now we are $900 into our cash reserve account! We’re in the hole! I know you “own the cattle on a thousand hills, the wealth in every mine.” I KNOW you’ve done it twice in the past. Please provide the $500 application fee; please lead us to the most cost effective option. Please show us, lead us. Place just the babes of your choosing in our home-YOUR home.
February 9, 2015
There it is. Amazing. Thank you. The $500 towards the adoption application for our third child!! Application is done. You provide, you lead, you assure. Thank you for our Jesus family who put on a ‘secret’ fundraiser to help us. Jesus, you’ve miraculously accomplished it twice before, show off your glory through us as you see fit!
February 16, 2015
E-mail from Shay at Bethany Christian Services, saying there was a ‘glitch’ in their system that kicked out our preliminary application-filled it out again….’funny’ how these kinds of ‘God-things’ rarely go smoothly…
Wow! $500 from a couple who heard from their kids about us! Thanks God, for Jesus family. Then came a reduction in total cost due to us being ‘returning’ clients. Yea! Please use us, grow us. May we walk in the light and lead others to you through this process.
Please prepare the way before this adoption. We head in for fingerprints tomorrow. Please place the perfect child of your divine choosing here with us soon, as Your will sees fit…
…As we delve into this 3rd adoption, please go before us. I pray specifically, in Jesus name, for siblings’ ages 1ish-3ish. Please continue to provide the finances.
The adoption training meeting down in Co. Springs with Shay was today. What an encouragement!! Thank you Father, for the way you go before us. You intervene on our behalf. All glory to you! Please use us for Your honor and glory. May, all who glance at us fix their eyes on You! There was one other couple there, newbies to the adoption scene. It was nice to be an encouragement to them with our God-stories. Next came, the conversation with Shay about being willing to adopt out of the foster system…that would save so much money. Your will not ours-Your kids not ours-Your money, not ours. Please see your perfect plan for these children’s lives to fruition! It was fun to talk with Jacob and Isaac and see them get excited about it tonight!
…The CPR class was today. Thanks for progress in this journey! Please prepare just the right birth family, just the right kidos. Have your will be done on their ages, not mine. Please help us to be assured of your calling in our life. You alone are God. I live and breathe for you.
WHAT?! Tonight we were handed a card containing $1,000. Thank you for prompting them to give. Thank you God! (Only $700 to go if we adopt out of the foster system!) Please prepare us for these kids, and them for us. May we honor you through this adoption.
Soooooo, Rose Marie, the home study lady was scheduled to come May 11th and 12th…and she randomly shows up today!! That was a tad inconvenient! But we worked it. She is coming back later today, then a few days in a couple of weeks. Please help us to say the right things, help our house to be the right way. She seems to be more of a ‘stickler’ to the rules than our last two were. I pray for your will and timing in all things! Please prepare the babies you have to join our family, even today. I pray you’d ready us for them.
We’ve got the 3rd visit for home study down. Rose Marie is quite a bit more thorough…aka… intimidating than the others were, but we are making it. Thank you for leading us down this road, all glory to you, for the furtherance of Your Kingdom alone. Please help us.”
I was handed another card from Jesus family, with $850.00 in it today! PAID IN FULL (if we adopt from the foster system). Thanks God, for your amazing provision. You prompt, your children listen and obey.
The subject line of the e-mails read URGENT! Lord, the back and forth with Rosemarie has been a challenge! So….many….questions….some of them so silly and redundant. Please help me to be kind and respectful. Please allow patience to be demonstrated. Please provide just the children you desire in our home. We wait on you. We trust you.”
….Please bring children to live in our home this year…
I’m anxiously waiting to hear something from the adoption agency…
We get word that Shay is no longer working with Bethany Christian Services. Wow! Bummer! That is sad.
The day scheduled for us to sign foster papers passed yesterday. Rose Marie e-mailed with more questions for our home study, and asked to reschedule our time to sign papers….
Rose Marie redeemed herself in our eyes! She drove up today for us to sign our home study finalization papers! We are certified! (Or so I thought….)
The call from Sharon at Bethany Christian Services was encouraging. Thanks that they haven’t forgotten us. We know our kids just aren’t ready yet! We rest in your timing, God.
Our name is given to local case workers. Please ready us for the right kids, and them for us!
Mark 14:38 “WATCH and PRAY.” Jeremiah 33:2-3 “Thus says the Lord the maker thereof, the Lord that formed it, to establish it; the Lord is his name; Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show you great and mighty things, which you know not.” You, oh Lord, have heard, I anxiously await your answer!
What?! So we aren’t really certified yet…just a 12-page application for foster care licensing in the state of CO…and we’ll be there…Please guide us through this process, it’s been a frustrating one!
…Please only bring other kids here if you want them here Lord. I don’t want them if they are not supposed to be here!
Psalm 119:165 “Great peace have they which love thy law; and nothing shall offend them.” Philippians 4:6-7 “Be anxious for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known unto God. And the peace of God which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ.”
“I got the call from Julie today regarding a potential placement! They are a sibling group of 2 boys and 2 girls. Ages are: 8,4,3, and 2. Whoa. O.K…..That would be interesting. They’ll send a ‘rap-sheet’ on them via e-mail. We can read what challenges we may face with them due to their history. Please guide every aspect of this – I plead with you to only place them with us, Father, if they are the ones you’d have for us….We are terrified, but willing.
“There is a difference between being too scared to do hard things and doing hard things scared. Communing with the God of the universe will inspire all kinds of unscripted movement and giant leaps past ‘normal’. It’ll make surrendering seem like the safest way.” – Shannon Martin
…No word on the kids yet…Kind of dying over here…your timing, your will, not mine. Please ready us for the task ahead.
Information Meeting set for the 21st
The meeting with case workers went well. Got the ‘nitty gritty’ on the kids and their situation. Please ‘foam the runway’ for this possible transition. Not an easy situation. Please protect the kids.
We got to meet Zaria today. She is a love. Thanks for the casa worker, Deb, for lunch at Chick-Fil-A and Yo-Craze yoghurt after. Please protect her. Jacob and Isaac were supposed to come too, but got violently sick in the night. We are exhausted. Thanks for Bethany watching them last minute for us, so we didn’t have to cancel! Plans to meet the other three in three days!
It’s a no-go on meeting the three ‘littles’….very complicated. Sad days for many involved. We are asked, and are willing to take them ‘sight unseen’, with out meeting them prior. What a crazy week! I feel like I’m in labor with 4 children and a bleeding stomach ulcer ta boot’!
This is my dad’s earthly birthday. The whole ‘rest’ thing last night…not so much…easier said than done. I had a fairly sleepless one last night. As morning dawns, my eyes open and my mind begins to comprehend, I repeat these words, as I have made a habit of each day: ‘Thank you God, for this new day, please empty me of ‘me’ and fill me with your Spirit. So that I may walk worthy of the calling where with you have called me.’ And I truly mean it. You are the vine, I am the branch- please help me to abide in you so that I’ll bear much fruit. So that I’ll point others to your amazing face!” At 6:00pm we headed to Denver, and picked up 4 little lives.
“Just as cold can move you closer toward the fire, hard things can move you closer toward God. “ –Ann Voskamp
These days were hard. The kids took no time at all adjusting to life in our home. What a blessing. Yet there were times when they would ask about if they were going back to the other home, or if they could call us mom and dad. I’m so thankful I could tell them that I didn’t know yet, but that God did, and HE cared for each one of them more than anyone else ever could. We snuggled lots, read books and did puzzles. They liked watching ‘P.J. Masks’. It snowed a lot, and we played outside in it almost daily. We all, very quickly, got to the point of wanting this to be a permanent arrangement!
We got to meet some birth relatives tonight at a McDonalds. It was nice to be able to put faces to names. Please help them to know that we desire to keep open communication with any and all birth family that provides healthy relationships! I’m so grateful to you Lord for letting us know them. It was good, but hard on the kids.” I’m compelled to reassure them often of how many people love them! So many family members God brought into their lives at just the right times. Their story is one of damage and hurt, but also one of forgiveness and restoration!
Court date; turned out to be a ‘review’ of the case…we were told we could tell the kids they get to stay, but another hearing was scheduled for April.
There is still talk of this placement not being permanent. There are more ‘Kin’ to contact, more situations to be considered. SO terrifying. Your will, God. Not mine. Open handed-living, no fists closed around what I ‘think’ I want!
Things really get hard. There comes; Struggles with our marriage, scares with my health, phone calls with bad news, Support crumbling, emotional issues, Boiler not working – no hot water…kicked when I’m down…not sure what you are doing here God, but assured you’ll walk it with me.
We met the birth parents at a family party today. It was totally unexpected and terrifying, but good. You work in amazing ways, God. No one owns these children but YOU, Please have your way with their whereabouts. I surrender.
Permanency hearing happened today, not void of drama. I’m thankful we did not have to attend.
I don’t believe that pen and ink could ever express the emotional exhaustion that comes with parenting – with adoption- with ‘presentation meetings’…they all combine to wipe me out. The presentation meeting was with three other caseworkers. We were read all the history of the kids’ files and asked if we’d still like to adopt them.
WOULD we STILL LIKE TO ADOPT THEM?!
We respond a resounding YES.
FINALIZED ADOPTION!! Officially the ‘Barrientez 8’! What a God-story!
They are our family. Their birth family is their family, and in turn, our family. Above all else, I pray they each, in His time, join the JESUS family.
Through faith and trust placed only on God the Son’s coming (John 10:9-10), dying for your sins (Romans 3:23), and raising to life again on the third day (Luke 24:6-7), you too can join the JESUS family (Acts 16:31). He has come to seek and save the lost – to redeem you and me – I pray you accept His free gift, and surrender your life to him today. Join us in this ‘life more abundantly’, I can testify, it’s worth it. Eternity is just around the corner, are you ready?