Community, Kids/Students, Parenting Going the Extra Mile


Carrie and I had spent over three years waiting to adopt our son, Miles, from Ghana. We felt strongly God had called us to begin our family through adoption. During our first trip to Ghana this past December, Miles officially became our son. Four months later we found ourselves back in Ghana to get Miles’ U.S. visa approved so we could finally bring him home. We expected this to be a quick, one-week trip with no trouble along the way. Little did we know we were in for the most faith-testing, soulwrenching five weeks of our lives.

When we arrived at the U.S. Embassy in Accra for our visa interview, Carrie and I felt confident we would pass the interview and come home with Miles a few days later. When our name was called we walked to the window with Miles in tow. All three of us were excited and happy for this long-awaited moment. To our utter shock, a few minutes later we were told Miles’ orphan status needed to be investigated and that our case was being put in administrative review.

To say we were devastated would be an understatement. As we left the Embassy, we felt baffled, angry and surprised, but our overarching emotion was complete hopelessness. We were honestly upset with God once we returned to our hotel. Carrie and I had a son whom we couldn’t bring home. The Embassy didn’t give a timeline for Miles’ visa other than telling us, “It could take weeks, could take months.” While emotionally exhausted Carrie and Miles took naps, I would have normally turned to prayer, but this time I just couldn’t grasp the words to put together to plead to God. I couldn’t understand how He could leave us stranded like this after calling us to adopt.

So I texted our small group.

My text message traveled the 6,000 miles from Ghana to Indiana and, within a few minutes, my phone was blowing up with prayers. Our small group and others close to us jumped into action.

Not only has our small group functioned as our family in Indiana (both our families live out of state), but when we didn’t pass the visa interview, our group bridged the gap between us and God and unceasingly pounded on the door of heaven on our behalf. When we found ourselves at the absolute lowest point of our entire three-year adoption journey, our small group carried us to Jesus just like the four friends who carried their friend to Jesus to be healed. At a certain point, they seriously looked into buying plane tickets to come stay with us until we had Miles’ visa in hand.

Over the next four weeks, our small group mowed our lawn, got our mail, sent us encouraging messages and even gave us money so we could afford to wait it out. After staying in Ghana over a month, we arrived home and they were at the airport welcoming us with smiles, hugs and tears of complete joy. And, if that weren’t enough, we came home to a fully stocked fridge and a house full of celebratory balloon booby traps.

When our faith faltered, our small group’s faith was at its strongest. They carried us to the finish line of our long adoption journey. When we needed to see it most, God’s faithfulness manifested itself through this group of people. Our small group saved the day.

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