When we were first married, we were not sure if Ansley could have babies because of some health issues at the time. So the topic of adoption came up and we said if God ever had this in our plan down the road, that we wanted it to be international.
We have both loved learning about and experiencing other countries and cultures since before we were married. And we have recently learned, international adoptions have drastically gone down the last decade, mainly because of the length and depth of a very long process. Something else we considered many years ago was being short or long term missionaries. We even took a survey trip to New Zealand in 2010. And even though we loved the country and the people, God showed us that was not His plan. We didn’t understand at the time, but we do now.
So fast forward about 8 years when Ansley Google searched for international adoption agencies. She signed up to receive one agency’s weekly emails and for over a year they came into her email box—some opened and some not. Until one Wednesday in July this year, she opened the one. She saw two sweet faces—a brother and a sister—who melted her heart. She felt something stir inside her, almost like a magnet drawing her to them. So she immediately forwarded the email to William. He replied with—what does this mean?! Ha! See, when we’d talked about adoption over the years, our plans were to adopt a baby from another country. But we know now, God’s plans are ALWAYS better than our own. He sees the BIG picture, and knows what is BEST for us!
So, we sent an email to the contact agent that evening, and she replied the next morning with the kids’ files. We read the files and prayed over all of this for almost 3 weeks, and asked a few close friends to pray intentionally with us, too. The Lord clearly showed us multiple times that we were meant to adopt these two siblings. So we went forward with the initial application, orientation, etc. over the next few months. There are a million steps to international adoption—and every country’s requirements are different. We are now in the “long middle” phase of beginning our home study and dossier. This can take 3-5 months of collecting documents, appointments, home study visits, adoption parenting certified education and trainings, etc.
Why? Why are we doing this big, scary out of the box adventure? Three simple reasons.
1-God is leading us to this for some big purpose that’s HIS purpose, and bigger than ourselves. We trust Him and surrender to His plan for our lives. This is the mission work He has called us to do.
2-To be one for someone. At Young Living Essential oil’s convention in 2020, the focus was “Be one for someone” in advocating for the many direct charities that the Young Living Foundation sponsors. But this can be in anyone’s life.
When Ansley taught first grade for many years, she could tell the impact that just ONE positive role model or mentor had for kids—it made a difference. Matthew West has a song “Do Something” in which he is saying that people see others in need and asking God, why won’t someone DO SOMETHING?! Then by the end of the song, he’s had humility poured over him and realizes, I (ME) need to be the one to DO something! We both have a passion for ministering to others, especially children, and make a difference in others’ lives!
3–To leave a legacy. The humble feeling that you have unselfishly forever changed the life of one or more people, to guide your family to the Lord is worthy and priceless and giving God all of the glory!
We are using Adoption Bridge to give our friends and family a safe avenue to donate towards our adoption journey.
Gregory and Cheryl Even
We're making this donation in honor of our adopted son Oliver, who passed away this May following complications from heart surgery. Many friends and family donated to Oliver's Go Fund Me page (see below) so that another family could achieve their goal of adding to their family through adoption. Oliver was adopted in a sibling group with his sister Brianna, so were were excited to hear you are adopting a brother/sister sibling group also. We would love to get a picture of your newly enlarged family so that we can share it with all the people who donated. Praying for God's support and wisdom as you adapt to having two more children in the home! Oliver's page: https://www.gofundme.com/f/oliver-even-memorial-adoption-fund?utm_campaign=p_cp+share-sheet&utm_medium=email&utm_source=customer