Harder Family

Harder Family

Friday, July 29, 2016

A Crazy, New Adventure

James 1:27 "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."

Adoption is such a beautiful picture of the gospel. I came across this amazing article written by John Piper. It is worth your time (about five minutes) to read the beautiful similarities between adoption and the gospel. Here is one excerpt from his article that spoke to me - it was a letter to his wife about adopting at the age of 50:

"I realize more than ever that “the mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” This decision is not merely a tabulation of pros and cons. I would be deceiving myself to think that. Yet I am persuaded that this decision to adopt honors God more than not adopting. To my perspective, it seems to be the path that will “spread a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples.”... And therefore I have confidence that God is pleased with it...What matters is not that we do all we might have done or all we dreamed of doing, but that, while we live, we live by faith in future grace and walk in the path of love. The times are in God’s hands, not ours."

This particular passage spoke deeply to me because God does direct our steps. Wayne and I started pursuing foster care back in 2009. We thought that maybe we should serve God through foster care and possibly grow our family that way. After praying about it, Wayne felt led to have another child. About a year later, Micaela was born. Soon after that, Joella joined our family. A few months later,  after much prayer, we once again sat in a social worker's office and talked about foster care and possible domestic adoption through foster care. We were told that we had too large of a family (limit of 6 kids in the home). We had asked God for clear leading, He slammed that door shut. 

We still had a deep passion and love for orphans, both domestically and international. We loved seeing friends adopt and I always enjoyed reading about someone's journey to get their child. We found other ways to stay involved, since God seemed to have shut that door for us. Then Wayne got cancer last year and I decided that any dream or hope of adoption was dashed. As I surrendered my hopes and dreams to God, I was at peace. God continued to draw me closer through the trials of the year. My faith grew and I can honestly say that I am not worried about the future. I know who holds the stars in His hands and who has numbered my days, and Wayne's days. 

In February of this year, Wayne woke me up and told me that he had been up praying and that he felt God leading us to adopt two boys from China. We had recently read that China had a lot of boys in need of homes. Since it was 5 in the morning, I thought he was crazy and asked him to repeat himself. We started praying about adoption. A week later, God opened the door for us to host Piano Man. We knew going into hosting that if God opened the door, we would step forward and pursue adopting him. 

During the hosting paperwork, we also came across another sweet boy named DJ, who is 10 and has a special hand. His laughter and smile in the video caught our attention. We couldn't host him because he was supposed to be hosted during Summer #1 (during our mission trip to Canada). So, we figured that door was shut. Before we left on our trip, I chatted with DJ's host mom, who is an amazing, godly woman. While we were in California, I found out that DJ ended up sick in the hospital and missed his plane to the United States. Thankfully, Great Wall worked hard and was able to bring him over during hosting Summer #2. We have been chatting with the family and have been following their blog about DJ. We even got to Skype with the family the other night! DJ and Piano Man enjoyed talking to each other.

I have shared all of this to give some background on the news that I am going to share. When our dream of adoption seemed to have been dead and we surrendered it to God, God decided it was time for that dream to be fulfilled. When the dream, which doesn't make human sense, God says it makes sense. When we feel ill-equipped, God reminds us that He will equip those He calls. When we were faced with this leap of faith...we decided to say YES!!! There is no better place then to be in God's will, trusting and depending fully on Him!

Our family is thrilled to announce that we are in the process of pursuing Piano Man & DJ in adoption!! We are all so excited to see what God has in store. We are still taking a step at a time and trusting God to lead us. So far, God keeps opening the doors and we are stepping forward to answer His call!!

         DJ - age 10

                 Piano Man - age 9       

To give you an understanding of where we are in the process, here is where we are at:

* Our home study is completed and done
* Our immigration application is in TX and we hope to get our fingerprint appointment soon.
* Our dossier (a huge pile of paperwork we have to put together for China) is almost done.
* Our LOI (Letter of Intent to adopt) is being sent to our agency who is then sending it on to China for approval. We sent a special pre-application to China to make sure that we would meet their requirements because of Wayne's health history. Thankfully, we were approved. We had to get a letter from Wayne's doctor regarding his current health status.
* Next steps: get fingerprinted and wait for our i800a approval (immigration), get that approval certified & authenticated, mail our dossier to China, wait for them to approve it, and then move on to more paperwork. 

Please be praying for us as we take all of these steps. 
1. Pray that we allow God's timing to prevail (especially me, since I like to plan). My dream would be to travel to China in December to get Piano Man before he turns 10. I would love him to spend his 10th birthday with his family! 
2. Please also pray for the financial undertaking. We are trusting God to move some mighty mountains. I know that He is faithful to finish the work that He has begun. Just as He miraculously allowed the widows flour and oil to last, we know that He will provide everything we need to get through this journey. God is faithful!! 
3. Please pray that God protects DJ & Piano Man's hearts as they go back to China in a few weeks. Also pray for us as it is going to be hard to say good-bye and have part of our hearts in China.
4. If anyone feels lead by God to give toward the adoption costs, we have set up an adoption fund through Pure Charity.

Maybe God is calling you to answer the call to adopt. If so, here are some amazing kids being hosted right now in the United States through Great Wall.


  1. I'm so excited for you. This will be a big change but I know you guys are up for the challenge. I'll be praying that God's perfect will will be done.

  2. Hello!
    I would like to donate some items for your rummage. I live in Tinley Park. Are you able to pick these things up?

    1. Yes!! Just let me know where and when, and we can pick them up.