A Change of Heart
In April 2016 God was at work changing the hearts of Brian and Megan Henderson. They welcomed a family into their home that needed temporary housing and quickly realized how deeply they could love a child who wasn’t their own. Simultaneously, He was preparing a child for them across the ocean in China who was born that very month.
Spending more time in prayer, devotionals, and scripture confirmed their longing to adopt a child to join their family of four along with their daughter Clara (6) and son Miles (4). Megan says, “God adopted us as His children so He sets that example and model for us to follow. He commands us in the scriptures to care for the orphan and widow. Whatever we do for the least of these, we do for Him.”
The process of adoption took over a year and required a lot of prayer, patience, and active waiting on God to close doors and open others. “The experience brought me closer to the Lord than anything else,” says Megan. “It was completely out of our control. Every step of the way you are waiting for others’ actions. For governments to move, for immigration services to take action, and even being matched with your child.”
“God adopted us as His children so He sets that example and model for us to follow.”
The moment they met their new daughter Emory (2), they immediately knew that all of the trials, tribulations, and waiting was worth it. Brian shares his first emotional encounter, “We showed up in a Chinese government building and she immediately came to me. She got fussy when I picked her up so I began singing the one Mandarin song I learned, and she immediately got a peace to her.” Megan adds, “I was surprised by how at peace we were when we met her; knowing this long journey was over and complete. I really felt like God was speaking in my heart saying ‘well done good and faithful servant.’ ”
Being in an orphanage environment has caused developmental delays and challenges for Emory, but God is working in her life every day. As the Henderson’s assimilate Emory to their home and community, their hope is that she loves Christ and doesn’t feel any different from their biological children. Brian shares, “I pray that she grows up feeling wanted and loved.”
Ways You Can Help
Another hope they have is to see more families at Salem open their hearts to adoption. Here are some ways you can help:
- Welcome mixed families with open arms: Help families like theirs feel welcome in the church. One of the reasons the Henderson’s decided to join Salem was because of the diversity and growing Mandarin community.
- Pray: Pray for the foster care system, for the orphans, for families in the process, and for the families who gave up their children.
- Give financially: It’s a huge financial burden to adopt for many people, so giving to organizations such as Lifesong can help remove that roadblock.
- Give your time and talents: The Henderson’s told a story of a man who was too old to adopt and didn’t have the means to give financially so he would make his famous BBQ for fundraisers. Other examples include helping with AWANA to share Christ with kids or providing babysitting services.
- Welcome an orphan into your home: At the time of this article, there are more than 160 children ready for adoption in NC1 and over 150 million orphans worldwide.2 If you think foster care and/or adoption may be God’s will for your family, there are many resources available to help you explore this option, including: Bethany Christian Services and foster care through Lutheran Services Carolinas.
This story first appeared in Salem’s February 2019 Update. Tap here to get the February Update!