The Covilles' Story
God didn't call me to adopt a child like He did the Nuzums or the Wrights, but He did place a burden on my heart to love underprivileged children. I spent time in Cotui in the Dominican Republic, inner city Philadelphia and then in Linden at the Grace Clinic. Through these different experiences God kept drawing me to the children in these areas and their need to be loved, and their need to know how much He loves them. I started praying for an opportunity to develop deeper relationships with children and families in these underprivileged areas. Well, when you pray a prayer like that God will answer!
Lance and Janora Hickman moved their Neighborhood Bible Club from their Powell neighborhood to Linden. We had an average of 50 children attend the NBC in the clinic yard. The last night of the NBC one of the girls asked us when we would be back. How could we say we would be back the next year to tell them more about Jesus? We said we would come back on Saturday to do a Bible study with them and wondered if they would actually come. They came and continue to come each Saturday. We have been doing the Saturday morning study in the clinic basement for over 2 years. The children call it their "church". Mary, one of our students, asked Jesus to be her Lord and Savior last year. I see the Holy Spirit working in her heart and life. How sweet that God uses me in her life! Anthony is another one of our students. When we first began our study he was the student who was the loud, disruptive one. The one you thought was not listening and was preventing others from listening. Wow, have I had the opportunity to see Anthony change! I am confident Anthony knows who Jesus is, that Jesus loves him, and that Jesus has a special plan just for him! One recent Saturday morning Anthony said he wanted to lead our prayer. We had just finished a time where I had asked the children to share about their fears and assured them that Jesus is always there for us during these times. This big 5th grade boy thanked Jesus that he could come to Bible study, sit on the floor, and talk about his feelings. How sweet that I got to hear that prayer!
One of the challenges of doing this or any type of volunteer work is that you don't always feel like you are making a difference. There have been those times when I have let Satan allow me to doubt that God is working. I do know that during these times I always hear God saying 'just love them, I will take care of the rest'. I get to love them by showing up each Saturday and teaching them about Jesus. -Kelly Coville
The Nuzums' Story
Seth and I had been married for 9 years when the opportunity for adoption came up. We had been trying to start a family for 4 years, and had been unsuccessful. During those years adoption and foster care became a fairly regular conversation topic for us, and after many discussions we came to the conclusion that if we were going to go down either of those paths, we felt that adoption was where we were being led.
How Nathan came to be a part of our family was clearly a “God thing”. Through a children’s ministry that our church held in downtown Columbus called Columbus Hope, we met and served alongside a woman named Marlene. Seth told her of our interest in adoption, and about a month later he received a phone call from her saying that we were never going to believe it, but that she had a birth mom she wanted us to meet. Nathan was born two months later, and has been with us ever since. We call him our “angel baby” because he is the sweetest, easiest, most loving little boy that God could have ever blessed us with.
Of course our story doesn’t stop there. The day before Nathan was born, we found out we were pregnant. God in His unimaginable grace was pouring out blessings on our family, and today we have not one, but two, amazing children.
"Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think... to Him be the glory..." Ephesians 3:20-21 (NKJV)
With love, Seth, Rachel, Nathan and Eva Nuzum
The Wrights' Story
Like many adoptive parents, our journey began after many years of trying to have children biologically. After we had exhausted our efforts with infertility treatments, we found ourselves in a “holding pattern” where we just stopped obsessing and waited for God’s guidance. We were well aware of the many risks that can make adoption seem intimidating:
* “What if the child has a severe medical condition?”
* “Did we care about race? What if our child(ren) looked different than us?”
* “How do we know if the child has had adequate prenatal care, or if they would come with any chemical dependencies?”
* “What are the chances of a biological relative thwarting the adoptive process after bonding has already occurred?”
In August of 2002 there was a news report about a newborn baby’s body being discovered in Hoover Reservoir. We each heard the story individually, but we both had the same response; “I don’t care what that baby was (gender/race). We would have taken that baby.” When we did get a chance to discuss the story later and realized that God had touched each of our hearts with the exact same message, we realized that He used that tragic event to move and open our hearts to the adoption of any child, regardless of race. When we called the adoption agency they asked if we wanted to participate in their African American/Biracial program, explaining that since we were open to any race, the wait would be much shorter. Again, we felt this was God telling us what we were meant to do. We didn’t realize it until much later, but we were actually picked up almost immediately by a young mother who was working diligently with her pastor looking to place her unborn daughter in a Christian home.
We had originally planned to have closed adoptions, but we developed a relationship with our first daughter’s birth mom that proved to be pivotal not only in the success of our first adoption but later on in the construct of the rest of our family. That reset our expectations going forward, and now our daughters all know their birth moms and know exactly where they came from. Providing ongoing access to them and maintaining appropriate boundaries has proven to be both a great victory and also one of our continued challenges. We have more insight into our daughters’ “natures” than many adoptive parents. -The Wrights