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.