Monday, August 4, 2008

The Johnson Family

Over a year ago, after we had decided to stop trying for our own children, and before we knew that Gwyneth was on her way, we asked Juan and Pam Johnson if we could hang out with them one afternoon and pick their brains about the idea of adoption.

Juan and Pam had moved into our area a few months before and had just joined our church. I was actually the first to meet the Johnson family (or, at least, Pam) when they stopped by our church one weekday, literally as they were still moving, to find out what our church was all about. All I really remember about my short conversation with Pam that day, as Juan and their kids sat outside in the car, was that this was a very unique family...I managed to gather that she and Juan had only been married for a few years, both had kids of their own, grown and out of the house, and they had recently adopted four kids.

Unique doesn't begin to describe it.

As the Johnson's began to attend our church, and Tricia and I got to know them, we realized that they have an incredible story of faith and love and compassion. Dylan is from China, adopted as a young boy a few years ago. Leah, Analyse and Jaden are a sibling group from Ethiopia. adopted just two years ago. Tricia taught the two boys in our Kid's Church, and both she and I were able to get to know the two girls through our youth group.


As the idea of adopting seemed to be more of a reality for us a year ago, we asked if we could spend a few hours with Juan and Pam and find out more about their story and ask if they had any advice. You'll have to check out Their Blog to learn more of the details (as it is truly an amazing story) of how they grew from a family of two to six. Those few hours we spent that afternoon gave me an even greater awe for adoptive families, and a huge appreciation for the Johnsons and their compassion for children.

And now, they are preparing to open their home to another sibling threesome from Ethiopia, hopefully near the end of this year. They showed me a picture of the three orphaned kids, and shared a little more with me and the church last night about what they hope the next few months might look like for them.

From my human perspective, I would say that Juan and Pam are crazy...they're making life incredibly difficult on themselves by growing from six to nine. But, if I've learned anything in this past year, it is that God will bless any situation that brings about sacrifice in the name of love and compassion. As Pam explained to me last night, it's not that they feel they can give their kids every expense the world has to offer...but they can provide a family full of love and make life easier for these few children.

I know that many who read my blog have been involved in the miracle of adoption in one way or another. Tricia and I have experienced this miracle ourselves on many different levels. I hope that you'll take the time to visit the Johnson's Blog and leave them a note of encouragement, and maybe even consider helping them bring their children home.

Thanks!

Nate

25 comments:

Krystal said...

Beautiful family - thanks for sharing!

Dori's Mommy (Diana) said...

Wonderful family! I'll have to go check out their blog!! I'd love to adopt more children, but...

Blessings From Above said...

I just checked out their blog. Wow, what an amazing family!!!

Dori's Mommy (Diana) said...

I just went over and read their blog. They have such ADORABLE handmade dolls for sale to help fund their adoption! I bought a Chinese doll!

Check them out everyone!

Carol D said...

Sometimes it is really hard for people to understand adoption as not only our personal mission, but also as the gift God has given us....our heart and desire for special children, and our ability to love kids who where not born to us, and who come with a whole boatload of cargo. I do not know what else God will require of us. I would like to grow old now and maybe sit down for five minutes, and I'd really like to clean a room and have it stay clean for a day. And yes, eventually I would like to take a leaf out of the table, but I have never gotten the message from God that He wants us to live life considering only the practical and reasonable by earthly standards. My prayer and heart's desire has always been that only the children that God has planned for our family, come into our family. And even on days I would like to trade in a few, I have the peace that I am in the middle of God's Will for our family. To me, that is all that matters.

Carol D said...

Sometimes it is really hard for people to understand adoption as not only our personal mission, but also as the gift God has given us....our heart and desire for special children, and our ability to love kids who where not born to us, and who come with a whole boatload of cargo. I do not know what else God will require of us. I would like to grow old now and maybe sit down for five minutes, and I'd really like to clean a room and have it stay clean for a day. And yes, eventually I would like to take a leaf out of the table, but I have never gotten the message from God that He wants us to live life considering only the practical and reasonable by earthly standards. My prayer and heart's desire has always been that only the children that God has planned for our family, come into our family. And even on days I would like to trade in a few, I have the peace that I am in the middle of God's Will for our family. To me, that is all that matters.

Polka Dot said...

As someone who has gone through many years of infertility treatment and chosen adoption as our next step (we're about to start our home study), it's always interesting to read about the journey of others.

Thanks for sharing.

Angela R. said...

Just ready the Johnson's blog. What an amazing story and beautiful family. Thank you for sharing.

Brad, Carmen, Braylen and Alea Fleck said...

Adoption made us a family. I love reading other's stories. Thanks for sharing this. Once you adopt, your life is changed forever, your heart grows bigger and somehow you try to find more room in your home for just "one more"!!! Adoption is the most tangible evidence of God's love for me, his chosen one!!

Jan Scholl said...

What a stunningly beautiful family. I am adding their blog to my Reader. I wanted to adopt but my hub didn't. All my kids were grown and gone by my age 43-I am lost for the past 12 years as I had family young and most people we know are still with teens at home. Grandkids are teens and far away. My other kids are not interested in kidlets at this time. So I "gramma" all the friends of my kids' babies. Have Toys r Us card will travel. :) I am now a "gramma" to 9! None related but all loved.

rockamom said...

Nate,
We read this blog because we love your family. It seems lately it is turning into a fundraising marathon. Every post seems to ask for money for something. Can we get back to the good old days of just blogging about your life and family and not asking for money all the time.

Cindy said...

On my way to their blog!! I have been blessed by the miracle of adoption. I have two beautiful children from India to call my own and I can't be happier!!

Thanks for being PRO adoption!!

Much love & many prayers to you and your family.

MilePost13 said...

Rockamom...

This IS my life (fundraising and all). If you don't like it, you more than welcome to stop reading! I can't make everyone happy, and I don't try! If it seems to you that I ask for money "all the time", then you may want to re-read my blog from start to finish.

I spend a lot of time during my week doing things to raise money for CFF and now for LLS, so if you're wanting me to blog about my life, that's exactly what you're getting.

I've never once demanded or even expected that anyone so much as even read my blog, much less give money to these causes, and I'm very picky and who and what I choose to support, and about how often I invite my readers to come along with me.

BTW, why is that the ONLY comment you've ever left me (at least, with this handle) has been to tell me what I'm doing wrong? Interesting...

:)

Nate

amy smith said...

praise God for their family! they are amazing, and DOING what we have been called to do! the least of these, our neighbors in this small world.

M :-) said...

What a wonderful story, and an amazing family! We got home on Christmas Eve with our daughter from South Korea. Adoption is an amazing journey!

Jill said...

Nate,

Thanks for sharing their blog!

I will be checking in with them often.

I'm not sure if you have read our story or not yet - but we too have grown from a family of four - now 9 and soon to be 10. All through the incredible blessing and journey of adoption. Our story I would say is what others call crazy and we call obedience and JOY!

Gosh, God sure has had me on a tear jerker day today with all that He has shown me! Thanks for being a part of that without even knowing it.

I love how He showed me I am not alone in this journey and how no matter what the world says about our choice to listen to His calling - He is blessing us in ways others can not understand. Ok by me.

You are such an amazing man, your heart blows me away many times over and I pray for you and Tricia and sweet Gwyneth daily!

Hugs and blessings!
Jill
PS To all those who wish to adopt, pray about it, ask God to show you the way, trust in Him and His plan and don't let $ or others stop you from listening to His call. Where He leads He will provide. I have seen things that looked impossible to families and everyone watching become miracles through adoption time and time again!

tammy said...

I am blessed to be involved in the adoption field on many levels. I get to see first hand, the amazing gift adoption is to couples longing to become parents after many years of trying.

I also have the amazing honor to share in the experience with the birth mom as they go through the process of choosing adoption for their baby. It is impossible to describe the unconditional love they have for the baby they place for adoption.

I will say that one of the difficult aspects of my job is that it is often very difficult to find homes for a baby who is not Caucasian.

I hope that by sharing stories such as The Johnson's, it will encourage more couples to consider adopting bi-racial or African American infants here in the US. Just today I received two emails of bi-racial newborns needing homes through private adoption.

I pray the biological parents of the Johnson's children have some peace knowing what an incredible life these children now have.

Thanks for sharing their story with us.

Blessings,
Tammy

JoAnna said...

THANK YOU for bringing these stories/ families to light. We are told to "share one another's burdens". I understand that to be not only helping someone with the hard spots in life, but litterally sharing with each other what our passions are and what we are carrying - intercession wise. In this self gratifying society, I greatly appreciate that you use your public spot to help us see an area of God's compassion that we may not have otherwise seen.

Thank you. My heart has always been very heavily burdened concerning adoption, and becoming more so as the days go on.

Mrs. Wilson said...

Oh wow. I think adoption is so wonderful. It's a huge sacrifice, especially when you grow in such huge numbers. I'm going to check out their blog right away. Thanks!!

Irma said...

Thank you for letting us know about this wonderful family. I have added them to my "favourites" list and will follow their story with interest and prayers.

Shari said...

Beautiful! My husband and I are considering and praying about adoption! The Lord disabled my body from having any more babies! I believe the Lord would have us to adopt to give these kids a loving, Godly home. Something they will never get living in an orphanage! Thank you for posting this! :)

The Gang's All Here! said...

Thanks for the link - I'm becoming a true adoption blog junkie! Between writing about our own journey (which by the way is getting really exciting!!!) and reading up on the families I've found along the way, I'm overwhelmed by joy and excitement. It's been so incredible to connect with others who share our passion to see the orphans of the world be cared for by God's people!

The Beaver Bunch said...

Thank you. My husband and I have 4 kids. Our oldest just turned 4 this weekend and we have 2 yr old twins. Our youngest is our first foster child. Everyone tells us we're crazy for having such young children and still wanting to foster. It's refreshing to see that others are "crazy" too. Guess that means God's a little crazy and the sound of that makes me smile.

I think of you guys often and I am still praying for you all.

Honea Household said...

That is awesome. Our church pastor and his wife are in the process of adopting a sibling group of 3 from Liberia. Just a signed paper from a judge and they will be able to go pick them up. What an awsome story!

jojo said...

I am an adoptive mom of two sweet boys. Infertility was difficult, but God knew who my children were and how we would get them. I am incredibly blessed. I love reading others adoption stories. Thanks for sharing.