Missionary Assignment Leads to Adoption
This all began one hot, sunny day in April 2011 when I took a second trip back to my birth land, Liberia, West Africa, after 31 years on a missionary assignment through an NGO program, “The Joseph Assignment Global Initiative” established through my church (New Faith Baptist Church International, Matteson, IL). This organization assists in global humanitarian ways to help transform the lives of poor children and their families through sustainable initiatives. Prior to and during my travel, I had no thoughts of wanting to expand my family through an adoption, but I strongly believe that my destiny is not mine but the will of my Lord God. I stood inside this very small, rundown, and unequipped pre-kindergarten/middle school auditorium of little children and faculties in a suburban town called Clay-Ashland, a city that was once well recognized and populated with outstanding middle and upper-class Liberians but was destroyed and mostly abandon due to the 14 years-long civil war.
I couldn’t help but to observe a child sitting on the very first bench with bright pretty eyes staring at me as I educated them about the purpose of our trip to their institution (which was to build them a better school to accommodate the entire population and supply them with all academic supplies and subsidize teachers’ pay). I felt an unusual warmth of affection and compassion, something unimaginable, and as I walked away, she turned and continue to watch me. I strongly believed that God had sent me on this mission, first and foremost, to rescue this child because He has a special plan for her life, and that I am just the instrument to fulfill His plan.
Following the presentation, I then inquired about the child and her parents through my elder sister who was currently living in Liberia and knew of the family. I was later introduced to the child’s mother who was at the time living in my family’s abandoned home that I grew up in. This family did not have a place of their own and could not adequately provide for themselves. I expressed my desire to the child’s mother to financially sponsor the child and be fully responsible for her well-being; the mother acknowledged that she knew my entire family. Being aware of her family’s desperate need, she agreed.
While growing up in Clay-Ashland, Liberia, I can recall that this child comes from a very large family who has suffered poverty, domestic violence, and alcoholism. This child has been living with my family since age 5 and is now 14. According to the mother, she has no knowledge of the biological father’s whereabouts, and the man whom she claimed to be the father has denied paternity. I have been traveling to Liberia over the years to visit with this child as often as possible and providing for her financial needs. I speak to and correspond with my child daily regarding her well-being, social life, and academics. I previously had her in a boarding school, “Ricks Institute,” but she is now in a Catholic institution and resides with one of my sisters in Monrovia. This child has known no other father and refers to me as “Daddy.” We have a very strong bond, and we can’t wait to finalize the adoption so that my child can come home to her family in the US. Anxiety, stress, and emotions of the adoption process will be a thing of the past.