For Christmas this year my mom had our family blog printed into book form. For the past several weeks at bedtime I have been reading our blog to the kids. For some of them they remember living the pages of this book very well. Several of our kids have had no idea what our family thought, felt, or struggle with while we were waiting for our forever family to be complete.
It is always with tear filled eyes (as Garrett rolls his eyes yet is so interested) that I read the words that I had written during the long and painful wait to make our forever family complete. I can barely speak as I read the notes at the end of each blog that I had written to Tia and Garrett each day during the wait to bring them home. Each night I see Tia and Garrett light up with joy as they listen to the love and desire we had to bring them home.
A few weeks ago when we finished reading Garrett questioned me about this book, "Mom, Can other people buy this book at the book store?" I explained to him that this was a special book for our family and that it wasn't a book that anyone else could purchase at the book store. He got very quiet and then he said, "You know I think it should be at the book store. Mom, if other people could read about our story I think more kids would be adopted. I can help you write the book so we can sell it at the book store." I told Garrett that I would love for him to write a book with me but that writing a book takes a lot of time and for now we are just keeping a blog of all that God is doing in our life. I also told him to start praying that God would allow us the time and resources to write a book if that is how God wanted to use our adoption story. Before I tucked Garrett in he prayed the sweetest prayer that God would help others to get to read about our story so that other orphaned kids could have a home.
For many months I had felt the need to share our story but this conversation with Garrett prompted my heart and I had a very hard time going to sleep that night. I hear over and over from others that I need to write our story in book form (Yes, Laura I know you will be the first to buy one) yet I am not a writer. Most of the time the keys are wet from tears as I try to type my emotions of the story that God is having us live out. I went to sleep praying that God would give me wisdom on leading Garrett to share our story.
Honestly, I should not be surprised but God's timing still always amazes me. The very next morning I had a message from Daniel who is with the Abba Fund. The message said,
"Dave & Mendy, Just touching base to make sure my emails got through to you and didn't end up in a junk email folder (see below).
Willie Mangum, the creator and producer of the show, has a team interviewing people in Charlotte in the coming week and was hoping to connect with y'all if you're open to the idea. Let me know and I'll make an introduction, or steer him in a different direction ...
Jan 28 (2 days ago)
to Dave, Mendy, Eugene, Dwain
Dave and Mendy,
I hope all is well -- love seeing all the adventures of the family on Facebook. And Dave, love the sermon series you've been doing -- God must have really filled you up during that sabbatical time
I wanted to touch base with y'all to see if you would be open to talking to a friend of ABBA Fund's, Willie Mangum, who is working on a pilot TV program for Inspiration Network (more explanation below). He is right in the Charlotte area and asked us to help find an adoptive family with an inspiring story. When I shared a little about y'alls adoption journey, the missional impact y'all helped spark for the Zay people, the adoption culture that has developed in y'alls church, and the 1+1+1=0 initiative that was birthed for North Carolina... not to mention your history with ABBA Fund -- well, let's just say Willie asked that we bump his getting to meet y'all to the top of the list."
As I read these words again tears poured down my face. I think I read this four or five times in amazement. In God's perfect timing we didn't receive this note on the first attempt of Daniel sending it to us but the day after my conversation with Garrett. We of course said that we would love to share God's story being lived out in our family. I could not wait for Garrett to get off of the school bus that afternoon so that I could read this email to him.
Fast forward to today, here in our home. We all got up earlier than usual this morning as the crew had to get here early to set up. All nine of us had our hair and make-up done (The boys LOVED that part as they teased each other about the bright red lipstick) as our home was transformed with lights, cameras and sound equipment. It was neat to experience such a thing in our home.
We all nine had a personal interview time and I was first. As I sat in the chair with the camera inches from my face tears began to fall. We hadn't even started and I had to ask for a box of tissue. I was once again overwhelmed with God's faithfulness to us when we say yes to Him. I thought back to the journey that He has had our family on and to the night where Garrett and I knelt in his floor and asked God to help us share His story being lived out in life of our family.
A small side note- It was very strange to be sitting inches from a camera, someone fixing your hair and having someone that you watched (and voted for) on American Idol (Chris Sligh) snapping pictures of me. I would think that I should have been taking pictures of him........
Today we took another step on this journey. A step that we couldn't begin to imagine but one that we know He had us take. The step of making our story a little more public in hopes that lives will be changed. Our prayer is that by sharing our story many other families will step onto the journey of adding the fatherless to their home- We are praying that more Forever Families will be established!
Humbled that He has called us and looking forward to the ever changing journey up ahead-