I want to tell you the rest of the story of Sarah's adoption from Jon's point of view. This is his testimony.
The Lord called me when I was 18 years old. I started to church and was really happy. Several months later, I came down with appendicitis. I ended up having to have two surgeries and stayed in the hospital for a good while. Not knowing if I was going to live or die, one night I found the room empty. I decided to pray.
I said, "Lord, if I'm going to die, I'm ready to go. I've got a better home waiting on me anyway. But, if it's your will to spare me, may I have these things. Would you send me a wife that would love me and I love her back? Lord, would you give us a good home to raise a family (I had a picture in my mind of the style I'd like). Lord, would you let my first born child be a son and second be a girl?"
I got better after several months and got my strength back. I was released with good reports from the doctors. Over time, I forgot about the prayer .
Right after I was saved, the Lord told me that I would marry a ministers daughter but I didn't know when or where. I also knew she would play the piano for the church. A couple of years later, after I fully recovered, I had decided to visit my brother at his church. I was standing at the pulpit and a girl walked in. The Lord told me that she would be my wife. I didn't know who she was but I knew I was going to marry her. Less than two years later, I married they piano - playing preacher's daughter.
About 4 years later, we were expecting our first child and had just bought a house. We were on our way to find out the gender of the baby. Holly asked me what I thought the baby would be. At first, I thought it had to be a girl because she was just too moody. She asked me again a few minutes later and I replied with the same thing. I wasn't two miles from the house when the Lord asked me if I remembered what I'd prayed that night in the hospital. I said that I did and he said to expect it. I told Holly it was going to be a boy. A few months later, we welcomed Dakota Paul into our lives.
When Dakota was born, Holly had some severe issues and I thought I was going to lose my wife and possibly my son. The Lord sent a brother to anoint her with oil and everything started getting better. Some time later, we were starting to talk about another child. In my mind, I was debating on whether to put Holly through that again or not. Little did I know, Holly had a fear about having another child biologically. We both felt like we got a sign that we should adopt.
We debated on whether to adopt internationally or domestically and I felt like we needed to adopt domestically. We started looking at agencies and found one in Birmingham that interested us. We met with the agency and a few months (and lot of work) later were on a waiting list.
By that time, I was trying to put this in the Lord's hands and trust that He would take care of it. The struggle for me was seeing the turmoil that the wait was putting on Holly. Secretly, I struggled as well, but didn't say anything so I could stay strong for her.
After a while of seeing my wife so distressed, I began praying. I'd pray when I was alone. One day, I was mowing the yard, making my rounds back and fourth in front of the house. The Lord spoke to me and told me to look at my house. I looked and just kept mowing. Again, a little stronger, I heard, "Look at your house." I looked again and said," Lord, I see it." I kept mowing. On the third time, I heard, "Stop and look at your house." At this point, I thought something was wrong with the house. I got off the mower and started looking at the house and questioning what God was trying to show me. He said, "Do you remember what you asked me laying in the hospital?" I said, "Yes, Lord, I do." He said, "Did you ask for a wife and didn't I give it? Did you ask for a house and didn't I give it? Did you ask for your firstborn to be a son? All these things have I not given you?" The only question I had was why because I didn't feel worthy. His words were, "My word is true. It says in my word, 'Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and anything that ye shall have need of shall be added unto you.' Does my word stand true?" That was the Lord's way of getting my attention to say to seek Him first and he'd finish it.
This past spring, we put a garden behind our house. When everyone had left and I was alone, I said, "Lord, I'm trying to do the best I know. Am I not doing enough? If I'm not, please show me." I asked Him once again to help us with this. We were trying to be strong but it was saddening me to see Holly suffer. Just a few days later, we were parents again to our beautiful daughter, Sarah.
If our story has taught me anything, it's that faith can move anything. And it doesn't have to be a lot of faith. At times, we had no more than a mustard seed.