This is the journey of the Hansen family and the long road that God has taken them on to find Joshua. This adorable 2-year-old is about to be united with his forever family, and after many twists and turns, the 35Kcampaign is partnering with the Hansens to help give them a final wrap up to their fundraising efforts. Enjoy their story below.
Shortly after the birth of our third child, we began to notice the many adoptions taking place around us. We weren’t sure if there were more of them happening, or if we were simply more aware. We hadn’t experienced any fertility problems, and were under the impression that was the main reason a couple would choose to adopt. Some of the adoption stories we heard were from many years prior and some were recent. We felt that adoption was standing out in a new way, and tugging on our hearts. Previously, we had not considered adoption as something we would pursue at any point in our lives.
Yet, more and more God seemed to draw our attention to the topic frequently, and grow a new compassion and understanding in our hearts. We eventually decided to pray that God would make it clear what He would have us do, and that we would really open ourselves up to receive an answer. We began to feel a tug toward becoming licensed foster parents. We also felt very strongly that God was speaking to us about the plight of orphans around the world. We started out by becoming licensed for foster care in May of 2011, and entered the Ethiopia Adoption Program through Lifeline Children’s Services in February 2012.
From 2011 to 2014, we were licensed foster parents and were able to provide a home for two separate long-term placements. Additionally, we provided respite for several other children needing short-term placements. During this time, our fourth biological child was born in June of 2012. We were open to adopting through foster care, but that option never became available for our placements. God continually confirmed throughout this process that our long-term goal was to be the international adoption of an orphan.
We remained a “Lifeline” family through the entire process of fostering and waiting in the Ethiopia program. However, after four years in the Ethiopia Program, and with news from the State Department of pending policies in Ethiopia in regard to adoption that would possibly prevent us from completing our adoption – we saw God opening doors in the China Program.
Our dossier was in Ethiopia from 2013 to 2016 and we were never matched with a child. God seemed to be nudging us to switch from Lifeline’s Ethiopia Program to their China Program. We entered the China Program in April of 2016, and we welcomed another biological child to our family shortly thereafter. Our dossier was sent to China at the end of February, 2017 and we were Logged-In as of early March 2017.
It has been a very long and very difficult wait. Most of our five biological children can’t even remember a time when orphan care and the devotion to adoption were not a daily fixture and ongoing conversation in our home. We have many adoptive families around us in our community. We are so passionately eager to provide a loving, stable, Godly home to a child who needs all of that so much.
On March 28, our Agency presented us with a file for review of a young boy. He is two-years old, and living in a large orphanage in Chongqing. With prayerful consideration, we were given a week to decide if this was to be our son. On April 5, 2017 – exactly one year from entering the China Program – we submitted the Letter of Intent to Adopt for our son Joshua. We received Pre-Approval on April 7, two days later. China sent us the official Letter of Acceptance on April 27. We have been working hard on even more fundraising and preparing for travel since then, and expect to meet our son around the first week of July. We’re so excited to bring him into our family.
This entire process, the story, and the timing were God’s plan from the beginning. We have had to fully submit to Him in so many ways. He has shown us that the growth of our family, through birth children and through adoption, is entirely in His hands and we need to pray that His will be done, listen to His leading, and obey. We are already so thankful He opened our eyes and hearts to adoption. We eagerly look forward to the joy and great challenge ahead.