Sermon:
I. Magee Adoption Story:

A. Some of you will remember my wife Angel’s talk as we gave our Forward in Faith testimony in November, 2001. We knew that pursuing an adoption would be very costly financially and part of our sacrifice was to give up that pursuit in order to increase our contribution to our Forward in Faith campaign. Angel and I landed our FnF commitment around 23% of our income. It is now 2 ½ years later and I tell you, “God has done immeasurably more than I could ever have imagined.” Not only has He allowed us to fulfill our FnF commitment, He has also allowed for the finalized adoption of not one child but three more children. As of last Tuesday, April 13th, 2004, Talyor Joy, Stephen “Cross”, and David Mark were adopted into my family and now wear my last name of Magee. With my son Micah, I now have four precious children. I’d like to share a bit of our story.

B. During the 2002 Hillsboro Family Camp, David Faust, President of the Cincinnati Bible College, preached a sermon that included the story of the adoption of his daughter that served as the main illustration. That sermon stirred my wife Angel’s heart in a way that she felt led to pursue the same.

C. My first response wasn’t very supportive. I thought, I’m totally content with 1 son. I’m too busy with the Kingdom. Then, after further probing (nagging) from Angel I finally said, “Look, I will be 100% supportive, however, I cannot take the lead in this endeavor. I’m too busy. I feel the responsibility of a growing church. I’ll have to follow your lead and be 100% supportive.

D. Being clueless about where to start the process, we pooled a list of adoption agencies in our area and chose Bethany Christian Services to be the agency where we’d begin. We interviewed and began the pile of paper work.

E. During Thanksgiving Break of 2002, we told some of our extended family members about our pursuit of an adoption– really for the purpose of their reaction. Everyone seemed to be supportive.

F. About a week before Christmas break that same year, my sister Meri from Jacksonville, Florida, called and asked me, “Mark, are you and Angel still considering an adoption?” I affirmed that was our desire and then she asked the question I will never forget. She asked, “Would you consider adopting more than one?” To which I promptly replied, “How many more than one?” After a bit of laughter, she said, “How about Three!” I said, “No way Meri! I can’t believe you would do this to me!” And then I said, “But, I won’t decided this one. When Angel gets home I’ll talk to her about it. If her first response is positive, we’ll check it out. If it is negative, you won’t hear from me on this one.”

G. Angel returned home about 10:00 p.m. from her teaching job. Got ready for bed and then I sprung it on her. I said, “Honey, there’s an adoption possibility that I’d like to share with you. Would you