Chosen for Life Ministries has the joy of working with many families who have unique stories that speak of the love of our Good Father. Through these families, we get to see people walk in obedience to the Lord's call to care for the orphan. And we see it in such unique ways!
We hope that hearing the Murray Family's story of how the gospel of adoption called them to care for orphaned and vulnerable children will encourage you to find your own role in orphan care. Whether that be through adoption, through foster care, or by supporting other adoptive and foster families.
My husband and I were high school sweethearts that married young. After 3 years of marriage he was diagnosed with lymphoma and went through aggressive treatment that left him cured but unable to have biological children. We were devastated as we had just begun trying to conceive before he was diagnosed. I spent several years angry at God and bitter about how my plan wasn’t working out the way I wanted it to. After 5 years, God began to soften my heart towards adoption. He did this by breaking my heart for the orphan. My eyes were opened to how my life as a child of God is a perfect image of adoption and how we are adopted into His family as His children. We have all been called to care for the orphan and it became clear that God’s plan all along was for our family to grow by adopting a child who desperately needed a family.
The finances involved with adoption are staggering and we began praying for provision and we began fundraising. Chosen for Life’s grant program was suggested to me by a fellow adoptive momma and we applied. We were beyond thrilled when we were told that we had received a grant! But we were blown away when we went to the annual Chosen for Life conference to receive the grant and instead of just being given a check, we were given a community of support. We were circled around and championed on. We were given resources and avenues of advice and counseling. The financial help was very much needed, but the non-tangible offerings were priceless.
Those funds went towards helping to bring home our son, Eli James, from Uganda in 2015. Our expected two month stay turned into a four month stay and money was tight. But because of our grant from Chosen for Life and other provisions from God we were able to stay and fight for our son to be a part of our family! As we settled into life as a family of three, God began pressing on my heart that I was still called to orphan care. Adopting Eli into our family was no longer orphan care as soon as the judge granted guardianship, but instead it became just parenting. Yet, our commandment to care for the orphan, to protect the fatherless, had not gone away.
At this same time, I had stepped into the role of Director of Missions at Life Church of Athens and I began to look for ways for, not only myself, but for the entire church to become engaged in orphan care. I immediately thought of Chosen for Life and the work they do and I was thrilled to discover the Foster Care Initiative that had recently begun as a part of their ministry. With their support and guidance, I became an Advocate for Foster Care and our church was able to launch foster family care teams as a part of our "A Child’s Hope Adoption and Foster Care Ministry". Chosen for Life has been such a blessing to both our family in the role they played in walking alongside us during our adoption and by equipping our church to be Christ’s hands and feet as we care for and support local foster families!