Saturday, July 31, 2010


When I finally got the two-by-four message from God that He wanted us to adopt, I wouldn’t say that I embraced the idea so much as I was resigned to it - like a fact I read out of a textbook. Don wasn’t convinced yet and I didn’t know the details, but I knew some day there would be another child in our household.

We began our research. This mostly consisted of internet searches. We discovered the Indonesian children orphaned by the tsunamis were not available. However, Don was headed to Russia on a mission trip. So, our assumption was that God wanted us to adopt a Russian child. With that in mind, we kept looking for information.

Our second “discovery” was that there are no cheap adoptions. When this shocker slowly seeped into Don’s brain cells, his wide eyes told it all. “We can’t afford this.” That was his closing statement one day.

We each had our concerns about adopting. Mine centered on the logistics of caring for another child, while Don’s were big picture, mainly monetary. At one point, during a discussion about cost, I told Don, “If God wants us to adopt, He will provide.” And, that is exactly what happened.

Several months later, Don left for Russia. One of his traveling companions was my step-mother, Janice. We had told only a select few about this crazy idea and our parents did not make that short list. However, while traveling, the group visited an orphanage and learned about the Russian orphans. At one point, Janice actually suggested adopting to Don. He told her we were considering it. She offered financial help. Bingo! That piece of the puzzle fell into place.

When Don arrived home, he announced, “We are going to adopt.” My reply: “Can we please get a girl?”

Thought to consider: God is not limited. He owns the cattle on a thousand hills (Psalm 50:10) and we have access to Him and, therefore, His resources. Amen!

For His Glory!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Abba! Father!

Galatians 4:4-7 "But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, 'Abba! Father!'  Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God."
Paul points to our adoption to confront his opposition. He shows that those who claim to be the natural heirs of Abraham and seek to be justified by the law have put themselves in an inferior position. In these verses he contrasts the position of natural heir, which is no better than that of a slave, with the superior position of the adopted son.  God has no biological children. John 1:12-13 "Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God-- children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God."  As children of God we have the privilege and the security to approach the creator of the universe as, "Abba! Father!"
In the July edition of Christianity Today, Russel Moore shared a story about the deadening silence he and his wife experienced while visiting their soon to be adopted sons in a Russian Orphanage.  The babies in this orphanage have learned that their cries for food, warmth, touch, and love will go unanswered.  So over time they quit crying. Moore tells how day after day he and his wife would say goodbye to the boys in silence. That is until the last day of this visit. He writes,  "Little Maxim fell back in his crib and let out a guttural yell. It seemed he knew, maybe for the first time, that he would be heard. On some primal level, he knew he had a father and mother now. I will never forget how the hairs on my arms stood up as I heard the yell. I was struck, maybe for the first time, by the force of the Abba cry passages in the New Testament, ones I had memorized in Vacation Bible School." *

How awesome is it that we know our heavenly father hears us?  How awesome is it for a child to know that his parents will hear his cries? Unfortunately, statistics show us that there are over 100 million orphans in the world today. Many of these children do not know the security of knowing their cries for warmth, food, and love will be answered.  "If any group of people should be inclined to visit orphans in their affliction in order that they might remove them from it, it should be those in whose hearts the Spirit has placed the "Abba! Father!" cry. It should be those who, through their adoption as sons in Christ, have the sure hope of final and full deliverance from "the sufferings of this present time" (Romans 8:18). **  We are not all called to adopt, but we are all called to care for the children of the world.  Many of these children live right in our own towns and states. 

How can you be used of God to help these children?



Wednesday, July 21, 2010

All in God's Plan: Guest Blogger Diana DePriest

“Empty arm syndrome” is what I used to call it. Neal and I were the parents of a wonderful 6-year-old little boy, but we just knew our family wasn’t complete. Having our oldest had been difficult, and even after his birth we continued to struggle with infertility, and more miscarriages, but we just knew we weren’t “done,” and wanted to expand our family.

We come from a church where adoption is common. I can think of several good friends there who are also adoptive parents, including our head pastor and his wife. But despite all the exposure to adoption, it was still intimidating to us, but it was something Neal and I both had in our minds, and so we talked about it, it was as though there was a tug at both our hearts.

Maybe it was the long run of adoption nightmare “made for TV” movies that made us really nervous about pursuing the process. I had a background in pro-life ministry and had spent time helping put together books filled with “open adoption” applications. I had seen how couples/ families prepared single page presentations for birth moms in hopes of being chosen to be adoptive parents. I often wondered how they labored to choose the pictures and words they could fit on a single page in hope that a young woman in crisis would choose them to give their unborn child.

Adoption remained a topic of discussion between Neal and I but we struggled to find the courage to jump into the process with both feet. Finally, our prayer to God became, “if this idea is really from You, we need you to make it really clear, undeniably clear. We need you to throw it in our laps. ”

So it was in September of 2000 as I sat in a hot room waiting for Jacob’s piano lesson to end when my cell phone rang. I walked out into the hallway to take the call from my pastor’s wife. With the sound of scales being played in the background, I listened as she told me about a young girl who was in a crisis pregnancy. Not even 21 and a drug addict, she was pregnant with her third child. Her grandmother, who was doing most of the raising of the first two felt she was too old to take on the responsibility of a third. She was determined that this child should have a better life, and she was hoping she could convince her granddaughter to give the baby up for adoption. Pastor Carol told me how she had been praying about the situation and every time she did, Neal and I kept coming to her mind as adoptive parents. She wanted to know, had we ever considered the possibility of adoption?

When I finally got a hold of Neal later that day, we both sort of shrugged our shoulders. A drug baby was certainly not the ideal situation, but we had thrown it up to the Lord, we had asked Him to throw it in our laps if it was His will, and here without ever having made mention to anyone that we were even considering the possibility, we had gotten the call. We knew God’s will didn’t always fit the ideal, but we also know we did not want to say no to God’s will.

So we began to discuss the situation with our families, who quite frankly thought we were nuts at best, and probably foolish to boot. They didn’t think taking on a drug addicted child was a good plan at all. But our heart to obey God outweighed the need for our family’s approval, so we kept talking about it, and waited to hear from our pastor’s wife again with more news.

It was just a couple weeks later when I found myself again listening to our son’s piano lessons as my cell phone rang again. There on the other end of the line was Pastor Carol. She was calling to let me know that despite her grandmother’s best efforts to convince her otherwise, the young woman in the crisis pregnancy was determined not to give this child up for adoption. She just felt it would be too hard and too cruel. I have to say of all the arguments surrounding adoption this one is always the hardest for me to understand. To think it cruel to give up your rights to give your child a better life is an argument I cannot comprehend, but it is also the most difficult mindset to change. So as I listened to Carol, I wondered why our hopes had been risen at all when clearly this child coming into our family was not God’s plan.

As she finished telling me about the girl deciding to keep her baby, she ended her story suddenly with a “but” that I had not expected. “But,” she said, “as it happens I got another call today from my mom. There is a couple in her church whose granddaughter in Oklahoma is pregnant. She doesn’t want to keep the baby but she doesn’t believe in abortion. Would you consider talking to her about adopting your child?”

Unlike the first situation, this baby was not going to be addicted to drugs, the mother of this child was also determined to give her baby life, and she truly did seem to be more concerned about the best interest of the unborn child and not hung up on her own rights to raise him. We had asked God to drop the right situation in our laps, and we were still willing to obey, but when we returned to our families to share with them about this new situation, their hearts were far more open and receptive, and the resistance to us adding to our family in the way of adoption seemed to dissipate.

By late October we began to have contact with the birth mom through letters and emails, by November she and I talked almost daily on the phone, and it was early December 2000 when she and her mother came out to California to meet us face to face for the first time. Her situation was not ideal either, she told us at the time that the baby was the result of a date rape, and much of her extended family did not support her decision to give the baby up, but she was strong.

By the time we sat in a Chinese restaurant just a couple weeks before Christmas with her and her mom, we had already become fully invested in her and her unborn child. As she sat across from us we answered all her questions, told her stories about our life and family. As dinner ended she asked us finally, “Will you be the family for my unborn baby.” We didn’t even take a breath before we answered to tell her how honored we would be. I think that’s the moment we became parents again of our 2nd child.

We had no idea what would lay ahead in the next 3+ years. Our adoption story got very complicated after that night, but we had asked God to show us clearly His will, and we believed completely that he had. It was what we held to over the next 40 months between the night she asked us to take her son in, and the day we signed the papers that declared him completely ours. But we held to the Lord, and to the promises He made to us along the way, and we had at that moment embarked upon one of the most difficult and most amazing seasons in our lives.
This December, 10 years will have passed since that night in the Chinese restaurant, and I cannot begin to express the amazing things we have learned about the Father Heart of God in those years. To experience the miracle of adoption is at times beyond words. Words fall short to express the way God has revealed His heart to us, but also to have had the opportunity in some small way to experience having the very heart of God, is nothing short of a miracle. Becoming an adoptive parent is to get a glimpse of what it is to love another the way the Father first loved us, and to have that opportunity, and to know that truth is worth any challenge it brings along the way

Diana DePriest is wife for nearly 20 years to Neal, and mom to Jacob, 16, Ethan, 9, and Victoria, 8. Since giving her life to Christ in 1992, she has served in various ministries, including pro-life, post-abortion, women’s and youth ministries. With a passion for the Lord and her gift in writing she has been an avid blogger since 2008 when she felt the Lord called her to it as a new avenue of ministry. She writes regularly about her faith (  and her family (

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Home School Convention April 2005 - Part 2

The instructor introduced herself. “After my husband and I finished raising our children, we decided to adopt. We are now home schooling our adopted children.”

My ears perked up. Oh, no. The room disappeared—like a scene from a movie in which everything goes dark except the spotlight centered on the main character. I never heard another word the instructor spoke.

I sensed God’s presence and picked a fight. You do remember who you are talking to? I planned on being a career woman. I wanted TWO children. I am now raising three. And you have me at home with them—home schooling, no less. I am not motherly—that requires warmth, kindness and a caring disposition, of which I possess none. I am a mediocre parent, at best. I barely finish each day with my sanity in tact and the children unscathed.

He couldn’t possibly be talking to me. This was major. A big deal! How can I handle another child? I am already messing up three of them. I went on and on stating my case.

I must have sat in the wrong seat – God was definitely talking to the wrong person. I had received someone else’s message. That must be it!

God did not budge. He listened, but did not change His mind. My rational arguments did not work. He patiently waited while I spilled my guts, but did not give me the out I was looking for. So, after I had exhausted my list of excuses, I gave up and gave in. I took a deep breath, blew it out and said, Lord, I would rather reluctantly stand in the center of Your will than tell You no.

When the session ended, I made a beeline for the ladies room. I locked myself into the handicap stall. I had held back the tears for half an hour, and the dam burst. I sobbed – as quietly as I could so as not to disturb my “neighbors.” What God was asking began to soak in. How did I get to this point? I am content with my three boys. I love my life. And, now I am walking on rocky ground again. As the tears dropped, so did my desires. I loosened my grip on my life and let go of the craving to stay comfortable. I wanted to start this journey with a willing spirit.

I pulled myself together and left the ladies room. When I met up with Don, he said, “Where have you been? I’ve been looking for you.” (This was before we had cell phones.) I stated quickly, “We are going to adopt and I don’t want to talk about it.”

For His Glory!
Barb :-)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Home School Convention April 2005 - Part 1

Don and I sat at an indoor picnic table eating lunch. I watched families peruse the home school booths searching for curriculum. My mind wandered. What booth do I still need to visit? I looked at the hand-written list next to my sandwich. Sonlight. Abeka. Rainbow Resources. What session should I attend next? They had canceled the session I had chosen. I scanned the catalog. None of them looked appealing. Eenie, meenie, minie, mo — math? So be it.

Don started talking. The high convention center ceiling didn’t lend for an intimate conversation, so I leaned in, tuning out the noise of the crowd around us. “Have you thought any more about adopting?”

Gulp. “Uh . . . no.” I thought back to our first discussion four months ago. This topic hadn’t come up since then.

“I think we need to talk about it again,” he stated seriously.

“OK,” I agreed. “What do you think of me attending a session about math?” I asked, deliberately changing the subject.


Before the teaching began, the instructor introduced herself. “After my husband and I finished raising our children, we decided to adopt. We are now raising and home schooling our adopted children.”

We have many divine appointments in our lives. Have you had a divine appointment related to adoption?

For His Glory! Barb :-)

Monday, July 5, 2010

Children Awaiting Families

Here are some photos from the ribbon cutting ceremony for the Missouri Adoption Heart Gallery  I attended  at The Mark Twain Museum. Showcased are photographs of 240 Missouri foster children awaiting adoption. I was delighted to see the ceremony and pray that God will use this event to find homes for the children. My hope is to host a gallery at my church for children in Illinois in the near future.