Summary: When God wanted to describe how He wants to relate to us, He used the illustration of “Adoption”.
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 consider adopting three children?” Her immediate response was with an ear to ear smile as she said, “Let’s go get them!”
H. The next morning, I reneged on my not taking the lead, I called the foster mother and we began a journey that would occupy the next year and a half.
I. On January 25, 2003, Angel and I officially got involved with a lawyer and a Florida Based Adoption agency. We visited the children on three different occasions and knew God was leading all the way. In fact, we were convinced that if these children came our way, it was only because God made it happen. From January to October 2003, we endured a series of nerve racking court dates that finally concluded a two year Foster situation and legally terminated the rights of the birth parents. On October 25, 2003, exactly nine months from our official involvement, we were able to tell the children that we were not only their Prayer Partners from Delaware, but we would actually be their new Dad and Mom because we were going to adopt them into our family. And I’ll never forget how Micah stood and said, “Taylor, Stephen and Mark, I want to be your brother!”
J. I was a bit nervous about their reaction, but the news was received with a squeal from T.J., a smile from David Mark and a big, “Daddy!” from Stephen. It was a great moment. After a few days together, we loaded a U-haul and traveled north. We brought them into our home and loved them as our own as we waited for a finalization date.
K. Finally, last Tuesday, April 13, 2004, after several postponements, we went before a Judge in Duval County Florida and after an intense time of prayer and wondering about the paper work, we finalized the adoption of T. J., Stephen Cross and David Mark. They are now Magees.