"I will not leave you as orphans..." - John 14:18

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

An Unexpected Twist

The Coombs family adoption has taken a bit of a twist.

It's been a while since we posted on here. Both Travis and I couldn't get ourselves to write about what was happening with our adoption. We were disheartened and confused, to be quite honest. Bringing our questions to God and not to the world was just about all we could do. I'm sure most of you already know that we lost our referral for our Ethiopian kids. It was very much bitter sweet when we learned they had been returned to their biological father, which of course, meant they would not be coming to us. We've spent the summer and early fall wrestling with this loss, praying for answers.

Just under a month ago, my husband Travis said, “If God wants us to adopt, He’s gonna have to drop something in our lap.” Famous last words, it seems. Not more than a few days later, it happened. A wonderful little bundle of joy was dropped in our lap. A baby girl, only a few weeks old, in Uganda. As most of you know, we’ve been pursuing an adoption in Ethiopia for the past five years, not Uganda. Hence, the twist of this incredibly wonderful, yet immensely difficult, faith-testing journey.

The last several weeks have been ones marked by wrestling and seeking Jesus with all we have. At the beginning of September, both Travis and I had the distinct impression that God was saying, "Wait on Me." But for what? We wondered. The door in Ethiopia had shut altogether after having lost the two children we were once given. And we found ourselves at a crossroads, not knowing what to do, praying and fasting and wondering if we were to pursue another country or give up or simply wait.

The Uganda door opened a few weeks later. And despite our fears, we prayerfully walked through it. We’re pursuing this baby girl and hope to have her home in the coming months!!! (We’d love to share pictures and other details, but we can’t yet! Rules, you know wink emoticon).

Our story is not yet over. Far from it, in fact. Only God knows how it will end, but regardless of what happens, we know Jesus is faithful and good.

We have an adoption fundraiser scheduled for December 4th from 6-9pm at Reno Provisions!! Stay tuned for more information!

Thank you to all of you who have prayed and given us support along this long crazy messy joy-filled path!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Would You Consider Helping Us Bring Our Children Home?

Dear friends and family,
In September 2010, Laurie and I set our hearts on completing our family through adoption. God made it abundantly clear to us that He had one or maybe two children for us half a world away in Ethiopia. We set off on this journey that we thought would take no more than two years with full hearts. Nothing could hamper our spirits or get in our way.
Shortly after we committed to our adoption agency (www.allgodschildren.org), however, governmental procedures in Ethiopia were revamped in an effort to curb corruption that was evident in the international adoption community. Tragically, child trafficking was and still is a serious problem in Ethiopia. Children who were not legitimate orphans were being plucked off the streets and pawned off as orphaned children. The new procedures were intended to provide additional oversight and validation of the legitimate orphan status of the children. Our family understood the positive intentions of this delay, and we did our best to settle in and wait for God's perfect timing.
Four and a half years after we started our journey, our hearts were running on empty, our spirits were hampered, and we wondered if our adoption journey was destined for a desolate dead end. We wondered if we had misunderstood God's call for us.
Somewhere toward the end of January, I (Travis) was on the verge of writing our adoption off as a failure. I was ready to quit and be content with the wonderful family God has blessed me with in my wife and two beautiful daughters. But then God started speaking to Laurie. He impressed upon her the incredible truth that there is absolutely nothing that is too difficult for Him. "All it takes is one word from God, and it is so," she said. We prayed and fasted every Monday for three weeks. And then God did the IMPOSSIBLE!
On Monday, February 16th, we received the call we had been waiting YEARS for. We had received a referral for TWO BEAUTIFUL CHILDREN! Big sister Abeng turned 5 on March 28th and little brother Judiber who is 3!
Colossians 1:11-12 says, "May you be strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light."
Just when our endurance and patience diminished, God once again proved to us that He was and is with us. Our faith tank was immediately filled to the brim, overflowing with evidence of His glory, grace, and power. We were reaffirmed that we did indeed hear God calling us to this adoption, and we are moving full steam ahead!
We are now on the home stretch of our journey of bringing these children into their forever home, and we're asking for help. Laurie and I need to raise over $25,000 for expenses including costs for our agency to care for our children before we bring them home, agency fee's, immigration fee's, travel expenses, etc. Our pastor recently told me, "$25,000 isn't a lot of money to God." We know without a shadow of a doubt that God will  provide for his children, and we are seeking every possible source for that provision. With much prayer and consideration, we feel led to reach out to our friends and family. If you have a heart for orphans and feel called to donate to our adoption fund, we would be truly and forever grateful. Any contribution, large or small will go a long way.
Thank you in advance from my family and me for your thoughtful consideration. We wouldn't be here without the incredible support of our friends and family, a blessing we are humbled by and immensely thankfuul for.
With love and thanks,
The Coombs Family

All donations are made via Ordinary Hero which is a 501c3 (click here to view fundraising site). This makes the donations tax deductible to you. Funds donated will be sent directly to our agency to cover adoption expenses only and you can donate anonymously if you would like.
In addition, contributions can be made via check to "Coombs Family Adoption" that will be routed through our church (www.lifechurchreno.com) as a tax deductible donation.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

All It Took Was One Word!

One WordThis post is going to be extremely informal. Quite honestly, my plate this week and next is incredibly full (for good reason!), but I just had to get on here briefly to share some amazing news––news I hope will strengthen you in your faith as it has me in mine. If you have yet to read last week's post, Fully Convinced, I'd encourage you to do so. God's timing of that post is just beyond words. In that post, I wrote briefly of the challenges my family and I have faced in our Ethiopian adoption. Our adoption had gotten to the point where it did not just seem impossible, but by all accounts, it was.

But once again, we have seen God do the impossible!

I received a call Monday, a call we have been waiting for for four and a half years, telling us of two amazing little people who live half a world away. Two little ones who will be ours. A little girl, four years old. And a little boy, three. It's almost too wonderful to believe, and quite honestly, I think my husband and girls and I are all still a bit shell shocked by what the Lord has done.

I mean, He did it! All it took was one word. And He has spoken that word, and fulfilled the promise.

When we set out on this journey to adopt, we fully expected to have our child(ren) home in one to two years. That was back in 2010. Roadblock after roadblock was placed in our way, which converted this one to two year journey into a four and a half year journey of faith. It seemed, many times along the way, that it wasn't going to happen, but each time, I prayed and distinctly heard God tell me, "Do not give up!" Over and over again, "Do not give up!" And so we didn't. We chose to believe.

Last week, I wrote about Abraham's faith. That He believed God would fulfill His promise despite what He saw––despite the impossible challenges before him. Scripture says His faith was counted to Him as righteousness. Now, I wish I could say that I had great faith all along, but I can't. Doubt crept in about one year ago, and I began to wonder whether or not God was going to pull through. I wondered if I had heard right. I wondered if we were on the right path. But each time, I felt deep in my heart that we needed to press on. We needed to believe despite what we saw. I mean after all, that's the definition of faith. Faith is the assurance of things not seen, before they happen. Faith is not an "I'll believe it when I see it" ideology. It's an "I'll believe it despite what I see" kind of thing.

I'll be writing more about this in the coming weeks, and I can't wait to share it with you, but I'm going to have to take next week off to complete a ridiculous amount of paperwork! Until then, I'll leave you with these thoughts:
  • We must always seek godly wisdom to assure we're pursing God's will and are not chasing after our own desires.
  • The path God sets before us will have obstacles.
  • If you believe (after prayer and counsel) that you are on God's chosen path, do not give up. Far too many people quite before they see God's promise come to fruition.
  • Always remain teachable, humble, and open to the Spirit's leading. He may direct you in ways you do not anticipate.
  • And always, always REMEMBER that we serve a God who does the impossible. Do not base your belief on your circumstances, but rather, base your belief on who God is.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Fully Convinced

Fully ConvincedI held my Bible as I sat with one of my girls on each side of me in bed. "Do you see a pattern?" I asked.

They looked at the passage and said, "What pattern?"

"Look at what I've circled and highlighted."

Almost in unison, they read, "'And God said...'" Pause. "'And it was so.'"

Fingers ran down the page, "'And God said,'" they read. "'And it was so.'"

Over and over, their little fingers stopped on each of my markings. "'And God said... And it was so.'"

"Do you see it?"

"I think so," Avery said.

"What do you think it means?"

"It's like God says something, and then it happens."

"Yes!" I said, with perhaps a bit too much enthusiasm. "Nothing is too difficult for our God. He speaks, and it is so! Just like He did in the beginning here in Genesis. Isn't that amazing?"

Both girls nodded.

"The book of Romans tells us that God calls into existence things that do not exist," I continued. "He creates out of nothing, simply by speaking it forth. All it takes is a word from God, and it is so."

My family and I have been on a long journey together, a journey we believe God set us on. We have been waiting four and a half years for God to say the word, for Him to bring us our child(ren) from Ethiopia, and at this point, it'll take a miracle. But in Isaiah 55:11, we read, "so shall My word be that goes out from My mouth; it shall not return to Me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it." God does what He says. He is just as active today as ever. His Word does not return void, but does what it is purposed to do.

What an incredible truth that is!!!

Like many of you, I have some things I believe God has promised to me. Some things that I cannot yet see. In the natural, these things do not look possible, but we press on in faith. Hebrews 11:1 says "faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." The rest of the chapter goes on to chronicalize the faith of those who have gone before us. The faith of Abel, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Moses, and many more.

Romans 4:18-21 tells us that Abraham believed God's promise despite what he saw with his eyes. It says, " In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told... He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah's womb. No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised."

This is faith––great faith. The kind of faith that I want. The kind of faith that tells us to believe despite what we see. Faith that tells us to trust despite what we're told. Faith in a loving all knowing, doting Father despite our temptation to doubt.

We serve a God who knows. A God who loves. A God who takes delight in every one of us. A Father who wants to give.

But we must believe.

We must believe in who God is and our position before Him. We must believe that He is in fact the God who calls all things into existence to the extent that we come before Him, praise His name, and whisper, "Only say a word..."

All it takes is a word. And it is so.

When God speaks, things happen.

That hope that seems dead will come alive the moment He speaks.

That promise will be fulfilled.

And we will give glory when, yet again, we see the impossible materialize before our eyes.