Matthew

Little Family3

Thank you so much to everyone for your kind words and congratulations as we’ve celebrated the good news of our son. We’re so thankful for family and friends who are on this journey with us.

We won’t be posting any images of our son online until all the legal processes are completed and we are officially his parents. However, if you come within 20 feet of either of us, we’ll probably run over and show you a few photos on our phone!

But until then, we do want to share his name with you. Our son’s name will be Matthew George Kroeker.

Matthew means “gift of Yahweh.” While we don’t know the circumstances and reasons why Matthew ended up at Source of Life infant rescue center, we do want to declare that he is a gift of God. He is precious and loved and special. When some people learn that we have three (now four!) children, they like to tell us how busy we are, as if our children are an inconvenience and we’re a bit nuts to have so many of them. We’ve never felt that way. Like our other children, we view Matthew as a gift from God and it will be an incredible honour to be his parents.

George is Melissa’s Poppa’s first name. Poppa is now in his mid-80’s and is a godly man. He spent over 50 years preaching the gospel in local churches and even continued preaching well after “retirement.” Poppa was adopted himself and has been very supportive of our adoption journey. George is also Melissa’s Dad’s middle name. Dad is also a godly man and super grandfather who is really looking forward to meeting Matthew. Our son is named after both his grandfather and great grandfather.

Many of you have asked how our fundraising is going. We are so thankful that God has provided for every step of this journey so far, but we do still have a ways to go and most of our biggest expenses are coming up in the next month or so (legal fees, visas, flights, etc). The awful Canadian dollar hasn’t helped. We have just under $10,000 left to raise, so we’d seek your prayers for God’s provision, financially, as well as praying for Matthew and our family as we prepare to meet and bring our son home. If you’re able to help we would be so grateful.

We’ve started a Fundrazr page so can give online and track our progress. We are counting down until we can meet Matthew and when we can pay our last bill. Your support has meant the world to us. We are so thankful.

 

 

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Big News: Adoption Update

The adoption journey is a roller-coaster. Huge ups and downs. Excitement and delays. While with pregnancy there is a very clear timeline and obvious progress, adoption presents really different challenges. You sometimes wonder if progress is being made. Are we a day closer? Or are we stuck? While in pregnancy you feel kicks and movements and see visible growth all of which indicates healthy progress, in adoption you are left wondering what your child is doing, if they are healthy, they are growing. Are they loved? Are they cared for? When are they coming?

We’re happy to report that on our big roller-coaster, it’s been far more ups than downs lately. We apologize for not updating more often, as some days you are just hanging on for dear life.

1. Many of you know and have been praying with us about communications between BC and Guinea. It’s a long story, but the short of it is that BC was stuck waiting for a certain response to a letter they sent inquiring about adoption between these two jurisdictions. From our research, we knew that Guinea were unlikely to respond, as that’s not how they operate. They will respond when they receive a dossier (application) and not before. But BC was insisting on this protocol. However, finally after talking with the authorities in Alberta (where there have been 6 adoptions from Guinea), BC agreed to simply go ahead and send our dossier to Guinea once it’s ready. After 7 months of waiting and praying, God opened the door right when we needed it! We’re so thankful that this hurdle has been crossed.

2. Our adoption education is complete! Two weekends away from the kids and church was hard, but it felt great to complete this requirement.

3. Our home study is complete! Our social worker has submitted it to our agency for their approval. Once they approve it and we approve any edits that might be needed, we will be free to send our translated dossier to Guinea.

4. Although we don’t have any details or specifics at all (and none that will come until our dossier is received through official channels), we do have confirmation that there is a child waiting for us at Source of Life in Guinea. Things are ready on their end and are simply waiting for us to get our documents and due process together.

Finally: we are only a few days away from our big fundraiser. So much work has gone in to it and we are so thankful for our Community Group and friends who have worked so hard to make this happen for us.Cupcakes are baked, music is prepared, video is ready to go, decorations are organized and we are excited to share our story with you and have fun together. I hope you can make it on Friday!

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God Told Me

watching the rain

I don’t like the God told me card. Don’t get me wrong, I do believe that God can speak to us through his word and through prayer and other means. We ought to sense and discern the will of God. There is a place to say that God told me to do something. However, in a discussion, that “God told me” card can act as a trump card against all other arguments or points of view. Who can argue with “God told me”? For this reason, I hesitate to speak this way. I would rather say, “we sense that God is calling us to….” Some might view that as a lack of confidence or lack of faith, but I mean it to be an openness and sense of humility. I want to be open to correction and rebuke. I want to discern God’s will alongside others without playing the trump card.

That being said, I was encouraged lately to speak more freely and passionately when I feel God directing me. To not hesitate to speak with conviction if I believe God calling me or the people I lead in a certain direction. While “God told me” is not a card to be played, if I believe that God has called me to something, to follow that boldly and speak about it with conviction.

Meanwhile, recently some people have been puzzled about our adoption, not understanding our reasoning or not understanding why we would pursue adoption when we don’t have the funds to pay for it all. So here it is: God is calling us to adopt. I have no doubt in my mind. This is not simply our wish our desire or motivated by self-fulfillment. We feel called by God. In fact, I have never been so sure about anything else, save my call to be a preacher of the gospel. In both cases, this call came not from a want or desire, or a selfish motive. In fact, in both cases my life would have been much easier if I took another route. But in both cases there was a fire in my belly call from God. A divine must. To the point where I believe to withhold any longer would be sinful. When God calls so clearly and powerfully we must obey.

This call has been re-affirmed in me at every step. When Melissa and I both felt called to adopt. When we both agreed that we were called to adopt internationally. When we both believed that God wanted us to pursue an adoption from Guinea. When we first talked with our social worker. Over and over again, God has re-affirmed this journey to us.

And while we knew, deep in our hearts with complete conviction that God was calling us to this journey, there’s a big problem. Our adoption could cost us as much as $30,000, which we simply don’t have. We have a stable home and job in an awesome community and church. We have a great marriage and family that is eager to welcome another member. We have a loving and supportive extended family. We have a great network of friends to support and encourage us. But we don’t have $30,000.

So what do you do when God calls you to do the impossible? What do you do when the call of God and the bank account don’t agree? In our prayers and conversations we felt that God was calling us to move ahead in faith. As a pastor, I talk about faith a good deal. But here God was actually calling us to step out and do the impossible. To trust him with what we couldn’t control. To believe that if we obeyed and trusted and surrendered our plans for His that he would meet all our needs in his timing and his way for his glory. And so we move forward in faith.

We are realizing that God is calling us on a journey that will stretch our faith in him and will teach us to pray like never before. He is calling us to an impossible situation, because that’s the best place for us to be as a family. He’s calling us to rely on others and live the way I teach people to live: in community. In calling us to raise funds, he is pushing us to share our journey with others and hopefully inspire others to also adopt or at least support someone who is. He’s calling us to teach others about God’s heart for adoption and that we are his adopted sons and daughters in Christ.

Why are we doing this? Because God told us to. It’s the scariest, most exciting, all-encompassing journey we’ve been on, but we take heart, because God told us to.

-Steve

Early Days

I’ve thought a lot about our adoption today. I’ve felt prompted to pray for our little one lots. It’s hard, these early days. We aren’t matched with a specific child yet. We don’t yet know if Noah, Eva, and Jeremy will have a little brother or little sister, as we’ve chosen to be open to either.

I wonder if our child has even been born yet. If they’re sick today, or getting a first tooth. Maybe they’re sitting up for the first time or learning to crawl. I don’t know. And it’s hard not to know.

There is so much unknown, so much out of my control. Yet, my Mama’s heart yearns for our little one. For this special child we believe God will choose for our family.

In the same way I sometimes think about the three babies we lost to miscarriage, I think about our little one in Africa.

I’m Mama to all of them.

Those I hold in my arms, and those in the arms of Jesus.

And the little one, someday to come.

 

~Melissa