I guess the journey really began several years ago when Jess shared the desire and calling to adopt. For Ryan, it took a little more searching and prayer to know that this is how God intended for us to expand our family, but after persistent seeking, God provided the assurance that this was the calling He was giving to us both. Having previously only casually discussed it at different times, we knew others that had gone through the process with China, and it seemed it would be a long time before we met the age requirements and processing times continued to lengthen as much as 36 months before placement. So we placed our plans on hold waiting for the right time.
It became very clear and evident that His plans and timing were well beyond anything we imagined. We began to see sign after sign and had encounters with other people who had been through similar processes that opened our eyes to the possibilities that Korea had to offer and that we literally could begin the process immediately. Of course, Jess, with her ability to research and gather information, soon had a wealth of information, facts and first hand experiences and recommendations from others that continued to verify the direction we were being led. We have been amazed at how God has shown us individually and together His plan and purpose for this phase of our family's life. As we shared together our excitement, we couldn't wait to get the process started and ultimately hold the little girl that will be ours to care for. We chose a Christian adoption agency to assist us in the process. They've already proved to be helpful and supportive with the many questions Jess has asked!
Naturally, the next step was to tell Chase. After buying a "Big Brother" shirt, we took him to the park to tell him about his future sister. His initial response was: "I want a brother." Of course now he is excited and planning all of the ways he is going to take care of "Sara-Beth Ann Johnson" (Chase's suggestion of a name for her).
We decided to tell Ryan's family over dinner. Gran is excited that she is finally getting that girl as much as she loves her 3 grandsons! I'm sure Pap is disappointed that the UK basketball team isn't getting a future player but will love her just the same!!! Aunt Kim can't wait to buy girl clothes for once! Uncle Zak was slightly disappointed that Jess wasn't pregnant and wouldn't have that to harass her about for the next 9 months. Dax was surprised and Max was preoccupied with the french fries!!
We are amazed at how God has blessed us with the desire and ability to adopt. We know the journey will be trying and the paperwork daunting, but with the support of family and friends, we will find our way to our little girl. We're excited that she will have a family to love forever!