Our adoption story began, unbeknownst to us, in November of 2009. It was “Orphan Sunday” at Gardendale First Baptist Church. My wife, Kim, and I were walking to our Sunday school class making small talk about all of the organizations that had their massive displays set up. We had been talking about sponsoring a child overseas, but had never done it. What better day to start than Orphan Sunday, right? We then started to look at which organization we should choose. There was World Vision, Compassion International, and several others, but we noticed a small table with some pictures of babies and information about that particular orphanage. We walked over and were introduced to Sonrise Baby Home in Jinja, Uganda, and in that moment our lives would be changed forever.
We talked with the ladies working the table about sponsorships and decided because it was a small organization and every bit of our donation went overseas (instead of to overhead and admin costs), we would sponsor from there. After church, we went and got our three daughters and let them pick which child they wanted to sponsor. The unanimously chose a beautiful baby boy name Steven. We were given a photo printout of Steven and some information about this incredible little guy. When we got home, our daughters started writing Steven "letters”. The first one (and it still hangs on our refrigerator today) said “Dear God, we love Steven”.
My wife continued to stay in contact with the young woman who helped Sonrise raise funds stateside and in July of 2010, she was given the opportunity to travel to Uganda to serve at Sonrise for a week. This week literally changed her life. In only a way that He can, God burdened her heart for the babies of Uganda and particularly Sonrise. She came back a mess. For a couple of weeks, she wasn’t the same. She would cry herself to sleep at night thinking about these beautiful kids who didn’t have a momma or daddy to kiss them goodnight. The workers at Sonrise cared for these children immensely but it still wasn’t mom and dad.
One night the question came as we were getting ready to go to bed: “Josh, would you consider praying about adoption?” To be honest, I had never really considered adoption. In my mind (don’t judge me), adoption was a good thing, but it was for people that couldn’t have children. We had three beautiful daughters, why would we need to adopt? But to humor her, I agreed, never really thinking it would lead to much. But I love my wife. If I tell her I’m going to do something, I will do it to the best of my ability. So I began to pray earnestly. And in what God can only get credit for, within weeks my heart began to change. In addition to praying, I got into God’s Word and began to see how HE viewed adoption and caring for the fatherless. I began to see orphan care and adoption as a running theme through scripture......but why? Why was God so passionate about the orphan in particular? Then He showed me why: THE GOSPEL IS A GIGANTIC ADOPTION STORY! Just as a child who has no family and no one to fend for them is hopeless and desperate and as good as dead, so are we as fallen human beings! Apart from Christ, we are hopeless and spiritually dead. But through his work on the cross, we are adopted as sons and daughters (Romans 8:15-17). Adoption is not about giving a child a better life and forever parents (although that is certainly a bi-product). Adoption is about painting a picture of the Gospel and in turn, glorifying God!
When that truth was made clear to me, God completely changed my heart and we were both 100% committed to pursuing international adoption. Also, with much prayer it became evident that we were to adopt in Uganda. People ask “Why Uganda when there are plenty of children in the United States that need good homes?” That’s a totally legitimate question. Our answer is: we have no idea, but God made it abundantly clear in various ways that He was calling us to Uganda, and we weren’t going to argue.
So we pursued it with everything we had. International adoption is expensive so we put our house up for sale and were going to downsize and every penny saved would go into the adoption fund. I honestly thought it would be a few years before we were able to. Again, God had other plans. One Sunday after church, a family walked up to my wife and with no strings attached literally handed her an envelope containing two checks for every penny needed for the adoption!!!! God had funded it all!
The following week we called Lifeline Children’s Services to get the ball rolling and went full steam ahead. We were adopting through Sonrise Baby Home, and to save many details, God opened door after door, and we received our referral. Remember that baby boy that we sponsored on Orphan Sunday in 2009??? That baby was going to be my son!
We continued on through the tedious task that is international adoption and in January 2011, we began to discuss and pray about the possibility of adopting a second son. Very quickly God gave us our answer, and now we were going to be a family of 7!!!!
We finally received a court date and travelled to Uganda in June of 2011. On July 13th we were granted legal guardianship of these two beautiful Ugandan boys. They returned to the United States with my wife and to a very eager forever family on July 27th, and on November 2nd, we finalized in a court of law what God had ordained from the beginning of eternity.
That’s our adoption story in a not so brief nutshell (all SOOO many miracles were not mentioned here)! Over the last few years we have seen God move in ways we never could have imagined. We have seen Him prove Himself faithful over and over again. We hope that a dark world has seen and will continue to see the light of the Gospel through our family and through the picture of adoption. And above all we pray that God be glorified through all of this!
from Deidre: this story isn't finished! The Moodys (all seven of them) are traveling to Uganda on May 15th. Get updates here.
from Deidre: Kim brought a chalkboard along with her to our session. We asked each girl to use one word to describe her family. Then Kim chose the word for the boys. Here are the responses...
from Deidre: at the very end, the twins wanted to write one last statement on the chalkboard. It is one of my favs from the session. Please pray for this family as they travel to Uganda in two weeks.