Two Children, Two Lives, One Love
In February 2010, we began the process of adopting two children from Ethiopia. Those of you who know us are probably wondering why we aren’t starting our family the typical way, with children born to us. After all, we have barely been married three years.
Let me explain. When we were dating Scott and I talked about adopting. It’s one of the things we connected over -- adoption just made sense. The most recent estimate is that there are approximately 145 million orphans in the world (UNICEF 2008). Made in the image of God, each of these lives is precious. So many children need a home, and we want to be parents. For us, adoption fits. And since that conversation, we believe God has been guiding us to help orphans by growing our family through adoption.
God has drawn our hearts to Africa, specifically Ethiopia. In 2004 I spent time in West Africa. I saw poverty, but I also grew to love the beautiful culture. Scott and I see adoption as an opportunity to bring hope to children who would otherwise grow up in desolate circumstances. We're adopting through the fabulous Gladney Center for Adoption agency of Fort Worth, Texas. And we already know many families who have adopted from Ethiopia, and we feel privileged that we may get to join them and welcome Ethiopian children into our family, home and community. We're thrilled!
This fall, we had close friends and strangers drive into New Braunfels, Texas from Brooklyn, St Louis, Ohio, Houston, San Antonio and Austin to run with Scott and I on the Team Holder in our little town's first marathon aptly named "The Chosen Marathon for Adoption" October 23, 2010. 100% of Team Holder's registration fees went towards helping fund our adoption. Besides the runners, we had many friends come cheer us on.
All these supporters along the long 26.2 mile run visually reminded me that Scott and I are not the ones making this adoption happen. It is a labor of love sitting on the shoulders of so many friends and family who are already and will continue to love our Ethiopian children and whose prayers are helping bring them home, and who will continue to love them as they grow up.
I hear from others that have adopted and read in books that the hardest part of the adoption journey is when the children finally come home. Because these children are coming from a hard place, a place of loss, that when they arrive is when they will begin to need the support and love that will carry them into adulthood not just from us their parents, but from a community. I am really encouraged to see my friend's affections already getting wrapped up into the lives of our children. Their love and influence will outlast our children's homecoming, and I hope help guide their lives. So much love, we are truly humbled.
It is truly one love that so many continue to offer up that will bring these two children home. One love that is guiding them here, and will help them grow into adults. One love from so many different loved ones, friends and even strangers that is changing two lives. In the end, I think it has very little to do with Scott and I. Saturday was a great race, and is a metaphor for what I hope will be the life of our children. That it will be a long journey, not a sprint. Sometimes hard, but I believe God and our friends will run alongside them, and cheer them on. I felt the love guys. Thank you.
Scott & Courtney Holder (New Braunfels, Texas)
I'm in red, and Scott's in blue running the 26.2 mile Chosen Marathon. It was a blessed day.
Dawn along the Chosen Marathon course Oct. 23, 2010
To join us on our journey to Ethiopia, please continue to read our adoption blog: http://www.holderjournals.blogspot.com/