"Our Journey" Part 2: Getting Started

By Khylee

International or a domestic adoption?
How old of a child?
Boy or girl?
One child, or a sibling group?
If international, what country?
What agency is reputable?
How do we know when to start?

These are just a few of the questions that we have wrestled with.   And…I know these are just a few of the ones that many of you want us to answer. 
Honduras, 2004
In January of this year, I began to feel a pull towards the Central America country Honduras. It was one of the countries listed on several of the agencies I had been researching and the Lord would bring Honduras up when I was watching the news, reading an article, talking with friends, watching gangland-that’s right Adam is a big fan of the show, I watch from behind the covers. It was also a country that holds precious memories for me. In 2004, during my freshmen year in college I had the opportunity to travel there for a mission trip to work with boys at an orphanage/school.  It was only 6 days but it was a life-changing six days as those boys showed me love and held me when I cried and I didn't want to come home.

but then my heart would say things like “the wait is too long, 2-4 years is ridiculous to wait for a child”, “you aren’t guaranteed a baby and a toddler will come with too many issues.”  So, I began to research a little more on Ethiopia and domestic private adoptions because the wait isn’t as long, and you can get a referral for a child that is under a year old, problem solved, right? 


What a selfish, selfish human being I am.  I am embarrassed to even admit I thought that, but that was the state of my heart.   I was only attracted to Ethiopia and private adoption, so MY needs would be met, so that I could become a mother on my terms.   

In May of 2011, Adam and I took a vacation to Mexico.  Every night we would go down to a street called 5th avenue that was filled with all sorts of touristy things to buy, places to eat, and live music. Among all the “stuff” though, we saw young children without shoes picking up cans, digging through the trash to find things they could make money off of, and selling bracelets.  One night, Adam looked at me and said “Khylee-I think we need to adopt from Honduras, I don’t care how long the wait is.” 

And I knew in that moment- I knew that Adam was right, I knew that the Lord had our children in that country, I knew I needed to wait, to wait as long as it took, and to open my heart to a wider age range.    The Lord had already intimately connected my heart to this country and he spoke through Adam to help wake me up to the boundaries and rules I was setting up for how this adoption-thing was supposed to go. 

It wasn’t a coincidence that I had learned to speak Spanish in college or that I already traveled to Honduras once in college on a mission trip and fell in love with a group of orphaned boys.  The Lord had purposefully placed in my heart a love for this community of people.
Mi mono "my monkey" was my nick name for this little guy.  
So we both came home from our vacation, with a firm grasp that it was time- Time to begin this new, exciting, scary, unpredictable journey… 

(For Part One of our story: "Why we are adopting" click here)


Our Inspiration

By Courtney

When we announced we were adopting, our friends, the Forgety family, told us they were also starting the adoption process. (Just one more way the Lord was confirming our decision) We immediately wanted to team up and help support each other along the way. We couldn't believe another family was just as "crazy" as us, struggling with the same issues as us, and believes the same as us.
What a blessing to be able to walk through this journey together!

During a drive to and from an adoption workshop we were all discussing ideas for a blog name we could use together. We tossed ideas around but nothing was really jumping out at us. When they mentioned this song had really spoken to them we immediately pulled it up and listened to it. WOW. 

This is the inspiration not only for our blog name but also to title this journey we are on.  It also represents our relationship with Christ.


"Our Journey" continued... Why Adopt?

The Folsoms' Story
By Courtney

I think many times as Christians, somewhere in the back of our minds, we think adoption is a great idea.  We rarely know someone who has adopted and we rarely actually consider it. Yet we think “Oh, that’s great! For them.”  I believe that if you actually stopped and considered it, you might be surprised.
Over the last year the Lord has opened my eyes to such injustice across the globe. In the past year our church studied The Hole in Our Gospel (eye opening for all Christians!), I read Jen Hatmaker’s book Interrupted (changed my life), Matt and I went on a mission trip to Belize…. In each of these events the Lord opened my eyes a little more and tugged at my heart even more.  I was convicted by how wasteful Americans are and how little the rest of the world lives on. I was convinced that I could not go on living my life the same...working, buying stuff, and fulfilling selfish desires. I was also convinced that Christians needed to be doing something about these injustices – that I needed to be doing something .
 Several months ago Matt and I celebrated our 3rd anniversary. We started talking about starting a family. Each time we discussed it, I never felt at peace about it. During the year I felt like the word orphan was in my face every time I turned around- time and time again. In the spring I read the book of James. Wow. It was like the words jumped off of the page – ORPHAN. I started thinking about adoption but I never mentioned it to Matt, I didn’t want to him to think I was crazy.  
One Sunday after church Matt asked what I thought about adoption.  I almost jumped out of my skin. WHAT?! So from that point on we discussed adoption and I said things like “We’ll have some of our own then consider adoption.”  Each time I said this I felt convicted. It sounded so fake and (I’m sorry to say this) just gross. I felt like the Lord was leading us towards adoption and I was tainting it with MY timing and MY selfish desires and MY idea that I thought sounded good.  Matt and I discussed it and prayed about it for months. I jokingly say I felt like Gideon… “Lord, if the fleece is wet and the grass is dry, I will know it’s Your will. Lord, if the fleece is dry and grass is wet….”  I prayed time and time again and the Lord kept confirming it. Adoption and the orphan were put in front of our faces over and over. I wanted to be sure. I wanted to be sure that this wasn’t just something I thought we needed to do just because it sounded good. I needed to know it was from the Lord (although he was trying to show me – I’m slow – I need a neon sign). Well, he gave me one!  One evening Matt and I had prayed about it yet AGAIN. I prayed, “Lord, I am a little slow. I need you to make it obvious. Put it in writing. Let me know this is from You.”  That evening while reading my devotional these words practically jumped off the page -
Adopt the child.” 
The devotion was about how God has great adventures planned for us. I could have fainted! As tears ran down my face, I promised the Lord I would follow Him, and I would do it NOW, in His timing.
Why adopt? First of all, I believe it is a command. We are called to take care of the widows and orphans (Yes, all of us). If you physically cannot adopt, foster, or help support a cause in some way, you CAN help other families do so. 
Second of all, I’m pretty sure the Lord made it crystal clear for us, and I’m not going to tell the big guy no!
For us this is as much about awareness and making a life change. I want every single person to know that EACH one of us CAN make a difference. We are put on this earth to know Him, love Him, and make His name known. “By this the world will know we are HIS disciples – LOVE.” John 13:35
For me personally, I just know I can no longer say I didn’t know…. Proverbs 24:12 


"Our Journey" Part 1: Why do you want to adopt?

By Khylee

High school, for me, is a time in life I am glad is over. I had absolutely NO sense of personal style (I shopped at GAP kids) and my hair was a short frizz ball. Don’t judge, my friends-the CHI had not yet been purchased. 

I do know one thing though that was very certain during this time: I wanted to adopt.

 Call me crazy, but I used to tell my friends I wanted a child from somewhere in Asia, India, Africa and Latin America.   And this desire to have a family full of diversity has not changed.

Fast forward to January of 2011, 2 ½ years after Adam and I had been married.  I had been looking at tons of different adoption agencies. We had already had several LONG discussions on adopting our children versus having them biologically. On January 12th, with adoption heavy on my heart, I prayed that God would make it as crystal clear to Adam as it was to me and that it would he would become 100% on board. 

Over the course of the next 4 months the Lord was faithful to answer that prayer.  It wasn’t that Adam was opposed, he did WANT to adopt.  It was just that He needed the Lord to give him some confirmation to move in this direction.  And the Lord did just that: through the stories of two men, lots of prayer, and a gut wrenching reality check Adam was ready. 

So, for those of you who are wondering, adoption is not our back-up plan, not our plan B. As far as we know we have no issues of infertility that would prevent us from having biological children. 

What we do know is this: 
  • The Lord has made it clear that we are to adopt our children
  • We are to fight for, protect, love, and be parents for at least a few of the MILLIONS of children out there that are without a mother and father
  • That the road ahead is full of uncertainty, long waits, first-hand experiences with injustice, heart-ache and yet will bring unspeakable joy  
"Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless..." Isaiah 1:17


Two Families, One Call

Welcome to all our family and friends!  We couldn’t be more excited to be sharing our journey of adoption with each and every one of you.  This blog will feature not one but two couples- Matt & Courtney and Adam & Khylee- two separate families who have felt one call to ADOPT. We want to share with you our stories of how we each got here, the journeys we take to bringing our children home (each and every one of them), and the challenges we will encounter as adoptive parents.  

Why the name? After much discussion among us all, we decided the name Our Welcome Home Journey best encompassed our vision, our calling.  In Matthew 18:5 it says “And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me.”  Adoption is just that-saying welcome to our family-we don’t care where you came from, the color of your skin, or that you come with a whole lot of baggage (which don’t we all?).  We love you, we’ve been praying for you, and we WANT you forever in our family!   We cannot wait to hold our arms open to our babies and say welcome home.

More importantly, however, adoption is a picture of redemption. God has adopted EVERY one of us who accepted Him into HIS family (Ephesians 1:5). “Welcome home my child,” he says to us when we take those initial first steps to believe Him, when we return after being away for months, when we think we done something so awful that He won’t forgive us, or when we replace his love in our life with other things.      

Over the course of the next several weeks we will share our stories. In our personal journeys we have been faced with issues that are HARD and that have caused us to look at our lives, our faith, and to examine if what we say we believe is what we really live.  Expect to be challenged, expect to feel uncomfortable as we honestly share our hearts of how God brought us to this place.  Welcome to "Our Welcome Home Journey."


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