Our guest on the blog today is our nephew, Joel Davis. Joel and his beautiful wife, Claire, met while they were students at Samford University. They have three precious boys, Isaiah, Benjamin “Benji”, and Nico. God has given this couple a heart for the orphaned children in our world. As Americans, it is so easy to sit comfortably in our homes and think very little, if at all, of the “least of these”. May God speak to our hearts as we read the journey that has taken Joel and Claire half way around the world to some of the darkest places in Africa!
“We adopt not because we are rescuers. No, we adopt because we are the rescued.” – David Platt
Six years ago, my wife and I took our first trip to a home for street children in the jungles of Peru. During that trip, God began to impress James 1:27 on our hearts. Over the next couple years we continued to visit this home, as well as an orphanage in Haiti. Each time, our hearts were drawn more strongly toward the orphans and street children of the world. As we reached a point in our lives where we felt ready for children, God gave us an unexpected desire: to adopt before attempting to have biological children. We met Isaiah on Thanksgiving Day in 2010. Both our lives and his were forever changed that hot and muggy day in the heart of Africa. Isaiah became our son and we are eternally blessed to have him in our family. It wasn’t long after we saw God’s work in Isaiah’s life and our own that we began to feel His calling again. What? How? That’s crazy! We are still paying the exorbitant adoption expenses from Isaiah’s process; still getting used to a two year old and learning to be parents. Are we really ready to put ourselves through this tough process again? But God’s love for the fatherless had been branded on our hearts and there was no question we were adopting again. Through prayer, God led us to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and a little 3 month old boy named Nico. To tell you a little about the Congo; over 5 million people have been killed in civil wars, 30,000 children have been enlisted as child soldiers and it is widely considered the poorest country on earth with 60 million people living on less than $1 a day. Without question, it is one of the most dangerous countries on earth in which to grow up, let alone be an orphan. What we thought would be a one year process turned into a three year odyssey that included the birth of our biological son Benji (now two) and me (Joel) spending nine weeks stuck in the Congo this time last year. Three months ago, God opened an improbable door and Nico was given the final clearance to come home. He is fitting in perfectly and already loves his new brothers.
You are probably wondering what prompted us to adopt. Our reason for adopting was and is wholly identified in Christ’s love for us. The picture of His love gave us the desire to remove a child permanently from an orphanage and nurture that child as his parents as Christ has his children. There are many things God has used to draw our hearts and move us to adopt; here are a few from His word:
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. – James 1:27
…In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us… – Ephesians 1:4-6
I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. – John 14:18
Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation. God settles the solitary in a home; he leads out the prisoners to prosperity, but the rebellious dwell in a parched land. – Psalm 68:5-6
The question I ask you isn’t whether God has called you to serve the orphaned and poor, HE HAS, the question is, are you going to be obedient…