Have you ever had one of those times when you knew without any doubt that God had a specific plan for you? When you had absolute clarity that there was a ministry He was calling you to, or a task He wanted you to complete? -- and where, like so many other Believers, you felt so ‘small’ for the task and God was requiring more than you imagined possible of you? Our story with Jing and Nai (called Isaac during the hosting) was like that!
Allen and I met Jing in the summer of 2015 at First Baptist Church in Chappell Hill, TX when he was being hosted by another family in our church. Jing was eight years old at the time. When they introduced us to Jing, he grabbed me around the neck and hugged me – as he did with others, I might add.
I walked away feeling blessed, I can tell you! I was drawn to Jing and wanted to hear more of his story. Love began that day in my heart for him. The family said that Jing was being hosted for adoption, and that he’d be with their family for a few weeks that summer. We later heard that a family was in the process of adopting him, and we were very glad.
It’s funny to think about now, but over the course of several months, he would come to mind frequently, and when he did, I’d always say a quick prayer for him and his adoption.
I didn’t hear anything else about Jing until I received a Christmas letter from the host family from our church. In the letter, she mentioned that Jing was still looking for a forever home, and asked for prayer because time was running out for him. I admit that adoption might have crossed my mind for a moment, but my thoughts were along the lines of ‘We’re too old’; ‘He’d be bored out here in the country’; ‘He wouldn’t have any friends nearby’; ‘He needs a younger family’. I didn’t really, consciously seriously consider adoption, in other words. My assumption was that we wouldn’t qualify because of our age, but now looking back, I see the Holy Spirit at work preparing my heart for something amazing from God.
We saw the host family at church in early January, and as we spoke after the service, I asked her about Jing. I mentioned that I thought he was being adopted. She said that the adoption fell through – that the people didn’t qualify although they loved him very much. She told me about the deadline for adoption at the end of January, after which his file would be returned to the general pool of adoptees and he would likely be considered unadoptable. After we talked a bit about Jing’s situation, she happened to mention that the same thing had happened to his best friend, Nai, who was hosted in Florida during the summer of 2015. Nai was 9 years old at the time. She indicated that he’d had someone interested in adopting him, but they adopted another child. We talked about Nai some and she told us what she knew about him. We never discussed adoption at all, BUT it was then that the Holy Spirit really took hold of me.
My husband and I didn’t speak of the conversation as we got in the car to go home, but my mind just wouldn’t be still. Every argument that my mind had conceived was overcome with love and with the desire to make these boys part of our family. Yes, both boys. These orphanage brothers could be forever brothers in our family. My heart was so overwhelmed that I knew I needed to talk to Allen. As we drove in silence, I said to him, “You know…” – and before I ever got to the rest of my sentence, he said “We need to adopt those boys!” We were both impressed with exactly the same thoughts at the same time! Now THAT is a God-moment! We shared with the host family what God was impressing upon both of our hearts, and they put us in touch with the family who hosted Nai. Through conversations, photos, and videos, we also fell in love with him.
We weren’t sure we’d qualify to adopt the boys because of our ages, but God was already working. When God calls, He equips! Because my birthday was at the end of the year and not at the beginning, we just barely qualified -- but we DID qualify. That qualification began our amazing (and I’ll admit sometimes frustrating) journey down the adoption path. Our ‘gotcha’ date was November 7th, 2016. God has entrusted these two lives to us, and we are excited about bringing glory to God by raising them with His love and kindness.
And isn’t this just like our God?! A year ago, we weren’t even considering adoption. Then God spoke to our hearts about His plan. Today, we can’t imagine our lives without Jing and Nai! It’s truly a God-thing, and we are so grateful for the hope and future we have with these boys!
- Allen and Karen Ginnard