Be a Blessing: Justin and Alana Carroll’s Adoption Journey
(For an updated version of this story from 12/30/13 please read here. This family still needs our help.)
I (Kari) woke this morning to a freezing floor and breeze blowing in through our drafty windows. Winter has swept in full force to the DC area and the weather is frigid and icy. I did complain to RJ about just how much I detest the cold weather and how much I hope we can move someday, preferably SOON! Then I started thinking about how much I’m really blessed with. Yes, my house is drafty and cannot get warm when it’s cold, but at least I have somewhere to live. It may not be pretty, it may not even be as serviceable as it could be, but it’s a big blessing. I’m grateful, even if I forget to show it sometimes. I am blessed with so much, perhaps not by all standards of wealth, but compared to many in the world I’m so blessed. We only have one car and it’s a few years old, but we have a car! I’m experiencing a lot of health and infertility problems and we periodically have to stop testing to wait for funds, but I’m still alive and not as ill as I could be! Because we are blessed with so much we wanted to start devoting time to sharing causes that we believe in and how we can all give more. It may seem like prayers or a donation of five dollars won’t help much, but anything we give can be used to bless others.
This month we want to share with you about some wonderful friends of ours, Justin and Alana Carroll, and how they need help to bring home their two precious boys from the Congo, Africa.
I’ve known Alana since we were both children in homeschool group together. She’s always been beautiful on the inside and on the outside. We reconnected a few years ago via Facebook and I’ve so enjoyed hearing about her work as a teacher. I’ve also been very touched by reading about the work that she and her husband have done with the youth at their church. After seeing the pictures of their journey to Zimbabwe and the pictures of them cradling the beautiful children I knew they would adopt. I didn’t know at the time that they had always wanted to adopt. But, when I saw them holding these children, I knew that they were meant to have a child from Africa.
Adoption is a cause that is very close to my heart because I love children so dearly. It breaks my heart to think that there are little ones in this world without someone to hold them, love them and care for them. There are over a hundred million orphans in the world, several million in the Congo, alone. That breaks my heart! We should be eager to reach out to help these children and the families who are led to care for them. International adoption is a huge financial undertaking costing between 25,000 and 40,000, sometimes more. Justin and Alana are not wealthy, but I know they will be amazing parents because the love of Jesus shines through them. My own longings to be a mother are so strong and I know Alana longs for her sons. Her faith has been such a huge encouragement to me and I’ve learned a lot about trust from her example. I want to help her be able to get her sons, Canaan and Neema, as soon as possible!
How can you help? Well there are a few ways.
You can pray for Alana and Justin. You can pray for safety and good health for Cannan and Neema until they are able to come home. You can pray that God will provide the financial resources to bring them home. You can also pray that God uses their story as a means to touch other’s hearts about adoption and the Congo. Follow her blog, Carroll’s Journey of Adoption to learn about other prayer needs and see updates.
That’s four things you can do right now!
Also if you can give anything to their adoption fund, please do! Even 5 dollars counts, every single dollar counts!
I’ve been so blessed by reading about Alana and Justin’s journey. I truly feel honored both by God and by the Alana that they’ve allowed me to share their story. On of God’s most amazing gifts is the gift of sharing. We all have something to share, no matter how small it may seem. Remember what Jesus did with the loaves and fishes. He took a simple lunch and fed thousands with food to spare. It’s amazing what God can do with whatever we freely give Him! I’m honored to serve a wonderful God!
Sometimes I get confused with how to live out my faith and busy with stuff that I think is so important. But I need to remember what God’s Word says about religion.
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. – James 1:27
How awesome is it that we can play a part in helping care for these orphans by donating and praying for them? I know that my friend’s financial needs are great. But, I know we serve a mighty and amazing God. I can’t wait to see how he provides for Justin, Alana, Canaan and Neema!