(Julie’s Note: Before Martin left for Air Force basic military training, I implemented the Guest Blogger Series (GBS) as an invitation for friends, family, and fellow bloggers to share advice and showcase their writing talents. I didn’t really know what to expect, but I was so impressed by the talent and stories people submitted us for the GBS. While I meant for GBS to be a temporary thing while Martin was gone, I’ve decided that I will continue GBS from here on out as posts come in. Enjoy today’s post.)
By Brooke Breeze of Finding Isaiah
“Isaiah is here.”
Those words haunted me for over 2 years.
For those of us who have adopted, we know exactly where we were and what we were doing when “the call” came. It’s the call that comes that turns your life upside down in the most amazing way!
But this time the call came in a dream. In my dream, a woman was on the other end of the phone saying the words, “Isaiah is here!” She was so excited. It was definitely a referral call. I should know: after all, I have received 3 other referral calls, so I know how they go.
But this was a bit different.
In my dream, when I responded, “So we can travel to get him now?” the woman kept saying, “No, he’s here.”
Then I actually SAW this child. A 3- or 4-year-old little African boy. Thin, a little timid-looking, not much hair and big, sweet eyes … Isaiah.
Then I woke up!
Great….so now what?
My first response was, “We haven’t been talking about adoption. We don’t know anyone named Isaiah. We don’t have ANY money for adoption. I’ve never been to Africa…nor do I plan to go.”
I told the ladies in my small group about my dream, wrote the details down in my journal and tried to let it go.
Of course, God wasn’t about to let that happen.
Over the next weeks — then months — I found myself thinking more and more about who this little boy was, and where in the world he was, and when he would be shown to us. I couldn’t shake the nagging feeling that someone was definitely missing from our family.
I mean, why would God give me a specific name and the beautiful face of a child, and then not lead me to him? So, I finally went to a website called Rainbowkids.org, a photo-listing website for waiting children. I entered some very basic data about our family makeup and the information that I thought I knew about “Isaiah”…boy, African, under 6 years old, etc.
I was disappointed to find out that:
1) At that time, not very many countries in Africa were even open for international adoption.
2) Our family didn’t meet the qualifications for many countries in Africa (i.e: we have too many children).
3) None of the little boys’ pictures that I saw matched the face in my dream and they certainly didn’t have the name Isaiah.
So I set up a profile at Rainbowkids to send any matching descriptions to me via email and went on with life. From time to time, I would look back at my journal or search the faces on Rainbowkids looking aimlessly for Isaiah…where was he?
After a while I really started to think it was all just a dream or maybe God was trying to use it to tell me something else…but not to adopt.
Two years later: November 2011.
I had been teaching a student earlier in the day a lesson about ancient trade routes between China and Ghana.
Now, keep in mind this small detail: we have three children adopted from China.
Later that evening I flopped down exhausted from a busy day of teaching.
My husband Jeff says to me, “What did you think about that email?”
I half-heartedly grunted, “What email?”
He says a little more seriously, “Uh, Brooke, the email from Rainbowkids… Isaiah?”
Ok, so NOW he had my full attention!
I excitedly sat up and said, “What are you talking about?”
To which Jeff replied, “Haven’t you been getting pictures and information about available children from Rainbowkids for the last several months?”
“Yes, but we suddenly got so many,” I said. “I know we don’t have the money to adopt and we’d be CRAZY to adopt another child, right?”
To which Jeff replies, “Don’t you want to see the picture?”
Oh sure. Why not? What could it hurt?
So he brings the laptop over, pulls up the email (which I had already deleted), and right there in the subject line is the name: Isaiah.
Well, we clicked. We looked. We fell in love.
We finally found Isaiah!
Remember the China-Ghana part I told you to keep in mind before? What are the chances that on the very day that God first revealed our future son to us (who is living in Ghana) that I would have been teaching a lesson about the relationship between China and Ghana?
It was like a foreshadowing of the relationships that the children that we already have in our home would have with their new brother. Only God can orchestra that!
And the part of my dream that he was 3 or 4 years old….that part was true too. He turned 7 years old at that time, making him 4 years old at the time of my dream.
Now you would think that we would immediately start the adoption process after all this positive confirmation, but some of us need God to smack us upside the head with a 2-by-4 a few times first.
So we asked a couple of trusted prayer partners to PRAY, PRAY, PRAY about our decision. The more we prayed about it, the more we knew that this dream was most certainly from God and that this child was meant to be a part of our family.
So we finally started the official adoption process in late January 2012.
As with our other three adoptions, we are following God’s lead and stepping out in faith to adopt this little boy. To defer some of this expense, we’ve come up with a unique way to help us raise money for our adoption.
We’ve had a puzzle created using Isaiah’s picture posted below. We’re asking folks to consider sponsoring puzzle pieces. By doing so, donors will assist us with our remaining adoption expenses.
Everyone who sponsors a puzzle piece(s) can specify a name to be printed on the back of the number of pieces they sponsor. We will then place the completed puzzle in a “floating” frame so the back of the puzzle can be seen. This will be a treasure to our son and a lasting reminder of the many wonderful people who helped bring him home.
As we work together as a family to put each sponsored puzzle piece in its place, it will also serve as a reminder of God’s faithfulness. Hopefully by the time the puzzle is complete, our precious new son will be home with us.
If you would like to donate and contribute to Isaiah’s adoption/puzzle, visit Finding Isaiah to learn more.
Julie’s Note: I’ve known Brooke for more than half my life. I was 15 years old when we first met, and she was the mentor/manager of the acting group, The Troubadours, that I belonged to all four years of high school. The group went from school to school, performing skits about drug and alochol abuse, eating disorders, date rate, stress, etc. At the time, she and her husband had been married for a few years and were in the midst of fertility treatments as they tried to start a family. She was candid about it, and as we all adored Brooke and knew she would make an amazing mom, it hit all of us hard when those treatments didn’t work. A few years later, after I graduated high school and was living in Germany, my Mom sent me an email with the news that Brooke and her husband adopted a beautiful little girl from China. And they named her Juliana … not for me, but because it’s the most awesome name ever, of course.
And since then, their family has grown a lot more! Thanks to social media, Brooke and I are connected again, and I’m happy to share her family’s story here.
And good news: Brooke is traveling to Ghana next week to see her son.