Growing in Number, Growing in Love

IMG_0903Recently our home has undergone BIG, BIG change! We have grown from just two to a family of five! WOW, a shocking statement I know, but this is a story which began just weeks after our arrival in Egbe in 2014. One morning Duro, the lady we had just hired to work in our home, came through our front door weeping hysterically. Through tears she explained she could not work that day because her niece had just passed away. After hugs and praying together we of course sent her home, telling her to take all the time she needed.

The next week Duro returned to work. Life went back to its normal fast pace, and we soon began to not think much more about the incident. However, about a month later Duro asked to speak with us. The same niece who had passed away had three children, and their father had already passed a few years ago. They were now all living with their grandmother (Duro’s sister) and she was really struggling to make ends meet. Sick with chronic heart disease and unable to work, she was trying her best. She really desired to send the children back to school, but school fees seemed impossible. Duro asked if the kids could apply for CARE Africa (follow the link to learn more about this ministry) and my response was, “YES! These are the exact kids this ministry was designed to help!”

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Blessing with her Grandmother

Now, with the kids enrolled in CARE Africa, they were going to school. The family had also decided to split the three up amongst different relatives as to not put the entire burden on Grandma. We were also getting the wonderful privilege of getting to know these three during weekly tutoring and discipleship time. They were very smart, kind, and something about them was so endearing from the start. Nevertheless, once again all seemed well and we went back to life as normal.

However, soon we started to notice an extreme difference in the demeanor of the eldest daughter. For lack of better words she had lost her “spunk”! During weekly homecare visits, further conversation with her, wise council from her Aunt Duro, and discussion with the family we decided it was best to remove her from her current living place. Although, where would she go? The CARE Africa team began to search and pray for options. We almost felt like Mary and Joseph looking for an inn. Everywhere we knocked, “There was no room for her.”

Nick and I began to pray personally as well, praying for a way we could best help this somewhat hopeless situation. We had room in our inn right? Why couldn’t we take her? However, we stepped lightly. CARE Africa is founded on the concept of family preservation and we didn’t want to compromise the value of family. We also didn’t want our desires to be selfish, nor driven by pride to quickly save the day. We instead wanted our decision to be right and blameless. A choice that would exemplify Gods love and honor their late parents.

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Move In Day!

After consulting the family, and several other trusted friends in the Egbe community we decided to take the oldest daughter into our home last August. What an experience! She was amazed by our shower and sink, how it automatically gave you water; we were amazed by how much rice one small girl could eat! Her siblings visited once a week for dinner, and this quickly became the highlight of our week! We loved getting to know the three together watching as their faces lit up when sharing stories and pictures of their Mom and Dad. Clearly these parents were wonderful people!  Our hearts began to ask, why are these kids not together permanently? However, it was now almost December, time for us to travel back to the states for our already planned vacation. We would have to pray this one through, but I remember my stomach being in knots the night we said goodbye. I hated the feeling as they told us, “We will be marking

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Celebrating T-Money’s Birthday!

down the days Nick and Katie!”

Our time at home really allowed us to spend time talking and listening to God. Then through a series of unfortunate events and phone calls, while stateside, God began to make it very clear. These children needed to be together as siblings, and in a place they could be loved. Our house was in fact becoming the best way to preserve family.

With the family’s consent and blessing, a week after our return from the U.S. they moved in! Since, our home has never been so happy, more full of life, and our hearts have never sung with such joy! They add so much color to our home, literally and figuratively! Ibukun (Blessing), age 16, brings vivacity and sass, Iyanu (Miracle), age 10, brings cleverness and mischief, and Eri (Testimony), age 8, brings laughter and snuggles! Over the past month we have discovered a love we have never thought possible.

kidsAlthough this story began almost two years ago, it is far from over. We ask all of you to come alongside us in prayer. We don’t know what the future holds, but we lean solely on Him. We gladly lay down all our selfish desires to allow God to use us in whatever capacity it may be. With excitement we will watch how God uses their tragedy, and uses their story! These kids have been through more in the past few years then many experience in a lifetime. However, not many kids can say they have been a Blessing, a Miracle, and a Testimony to two moms and two dads!  

 

19 thoughts on “Growing in Number, Growing in Love

  1. Wow! God’s ways are not our ways! Our prayers are with you, Nick & Katie, in this joyous and heavy responsibility He has given to you! Praying for much wisdom, patience and energy from on high!

  2. All things are possible…this story is so inspiring…thank you for sharing and giving hope in all situations.
    Kathy Walker

    1. Katie and Nick, We are leading parallel lives in many ways! We adopted our sweet little Kate 2 1/2 years ago and now Janiya, her cousin, has joined our family for the foreseeable future. They are incredible blessings. I wish you much joy in your journey. Keep us posted! And any hair tips from your girls would be most welcome!!!

      1. Awesome Suzanne!! Did you adopt them from Kenya or in the states?? I think God mixed our prayers up a little 2 1/2 seems like a more comfortable age for me then 16 😂ha Oh my girls are all about some hair!!! I can’t seem to convince them that the short hair is super hip and beautiful!? We will def have to stay in touch better sharing our struggles and joys!

  3. What a beautiful time in your lives and the lives of the children!!! What a blessing you are to all who know you!!! I know that the Lord is smiling on you and all you touch. Love you bunches!!!

  4. A beautiful gesture to open up your heart and home for these children. God has blessed you and will continue to bless your family…

  5. Nick and Katie,
    What an awesome story…joy, hope, courage, faith….May the Lord continue to fill your tanks with his love and grace and bless you guys and Blessing, Miracle and Testimony… for His glory!!

  6. You guys are awesome!!! What a powerful way to live your faith. I pray for continued blessings on you and the lovely children who God has entrusted to you care.

  7. Hi Katie, I am a little late in seeing this post and wanted to say congratulations to you and Nick. What a wonderful gift you are to these three special children! I am so glad we were able to briefly able to get to know each other at Union Cross. I still believe that particular school’s name and heart unites many of us in spirit. God gives us unexpected gifts along the way and what a wonderful blessing, miracle and testimony the Lord has so richly bestowed upon you. I, too, have been recently entrusted to care for a “blessing” and share your joy in the depth of my soul. May God continue to bless you and keep you all safe and happy in your journey serving Him!

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