Monday, August 13, 2012

Orphans No More

An excerpt from Orphans No More
Adopted as Sons and Daughters

By Rachel Elwood, Support Staff
July-September 2012

The relationship between parents and children is one of the strongest bonds of human love we can fathom. For these missionary families, that bond has been forged with children they have joyfully adopted into their families.

Bill, Oksana, and Dennis Brower,UkraineOksana had already fallen in love with the then–5-year-old child and went home that night to talk to Bill. His response: “Oh, don’t worry, he’ll be ours. God’s already told me it’ll happen.”

In Ukraine, it usually takes 12 to 15 months to complete the adoption process, but Bill and Oksana were able to get all the paperwork done and finalized in just three months. Dennis immediately fit into his new family, calling his cousins “brothers.” Even Bill’s wary German Shepherd dog loved him from the start.

Wycliff, Staci, Gifton, Solomon, and Ellie Keter, Kenya
Eight months after Staci and Wycliff were married, they decided together to adopt Gifton and Solomon, two brothers who had been brought to the AGC Baby Center. Their family enlarged two years later with the birth of their daughter, Ellie.

One day, Gifton and Solomon asked Staci, “Mom, are we really a part of this family?” (A neighbor had tried to tell them that they weren’t.) She asked them, “Am I your mom? Is Wycliff your dad? Are you brothers? Is Ellie your sister?” They easily understood that the answer was “Yes!”

Nathan, Cydil, Ellie, and Reni Waggoner, Albania (Special Assignment)
Nathan and Cydil adopted their first child, Ellie, from Albania in 2005. “Our hearts became even more passionate and broken for the plight of the orphan as we had a former orphan living in our home,” Cydil shared. Now 7 years old, Ellie loves her role as big sister to 3-year-old Reni, who was also adopted from Albania.

Due to early-touch deprivation and severe crib confinement during her time at the orphanage, Ellie has some learning needs. Reni is a congenital, bilateral above-the-knee amputee. Still, he hasn’t let that slow him down as he walks and navigates stairs. Eventually, he will learn to use prosthetics.

“Sure, we encountered significant fear and we could have walked away and said, ‘No, this is too hard,’” Cydil said. “But we would have missed out on some of God’s greatest treasures and opportunities to see Him work in some pretty miraculous ways.

Chuck, Amy, Abigail, David, Lydia, Hannah, Shadrach, Elizabeth, and Esther Bemm, Kenya

In Chuck’s role as pediatrician at Tenwek Hospital and Amy’s ministry at local orphanages, the Bemm family was exposed early on to the plight of “unwanted” children. They adopted Hannah in 2006 and have since added Shadrach, Elizabeth, and Esther. They were all adopted from the Africa Gospel Church Baby Center, a home for orphaned and abandoned babies.
“We know that the Lord has placed them in our family at just the right time,” Amy said of their three most recent additions to the family. “While our house is a little crazy and loud, we are enjoying every minute of it!”

MORE: Use a concordance or resource like, and search for the word “orphan.” Prepare to be amazed at how clearly the Bible shows God’s heart toward these precious children.

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