The Block Family

Todd and Amy were just new Christians sitting in church one Sunday- Missions Sunday to be exact. Being a newer Christian, Amy didn't really didn’t know a lot about missions- and it intrigued her. During one of their short video clips they told of a missionary couple in China- and vaguely mentioned the couple was taking care of an abandoned little girl in their home... then on they went telling of their missions work. End of story.

Or rather, the beginning of their story.

Whatever or why ever it may have been, Amy said that in that very minute God spoke to her heart- not one of those neon sign kind of moments like one would expect- but rather a soft, gentle nudge. On the way home from church that day with their 4 little ones in the back of the van with them, she asked Todd how he felt about us adopting one day. He responded with a "Well, we can look into it." And so, their journey began.

In the worlds view it didn’t make sense for a family with four biological children and not a lot of money to be adopting a child. "Why did we need another they asked? You can’t save the world after all. What if this hurt our ‘own’ children? What if this child, you know, causes problems?" It was through these questions and comments Todd and Amy would begin to search and grow and learn the truth about who God is and what He cares about. What they discovered was that adopting had nothing to do with our needs, our abilities or our safety- and everything to do with our God.

A God, who along this journey, would change them in more ways than we could ever imagine.

God grew their hearts for the least of these- in reflection of His. Adoption is giving a child all you have and all you are. It’s the perfect picture of God’s love for us. God allowed them to experience His heart- through an orphan. Their journey eventually led them to their first adoption.

On her blog Amy shared, "The day they placed that brown - eyed baby girl into my arms something inside of me broke. And through that brokenness - God was able to work. I was reading in my bible the other morning and I once again came across one of my favorite verses. "If you cling to your life, you will lose it, and if you let your life go, you will save it." Luke 17:33.

Just take a look at the study notes from that verse: "Those clinging to this life are those seeking to escape physical persecution. Those who live for themselves display these common attitudes: (1) Materialism - I want it and work hard to get it. All that I see is real. Unseen things are merely ideas and dreams. (2) Individualism - I work hard for me and you work hard for you. I may make it; you may not. That’s your problem, not mine. (3) Skepticism - anything I am not convinced about cannot be important. Everything important I know I can figure out. Those who have these attitudes may protect themselves, but they will lose the spiritual dimension to their lives. Keep your commitment to Christ at full strength. Then you’ll be ready when he returns."

Through our adoption journey - I lost who I was. I lost the goals I had set for MY life. I left behind MY dreams and MY personal plans and I took on His. I believe God used our adoption experience to accomplish this.

Our purpose in life had been self serving but God opened our eyes through an orphan. Suddenly climbing the corporate ladder, building a larger house, name brand clothing, savings accounts, striving for the newest, the biggest, the best- as we had been doing- seemed ridiculous, repulsive, and wrong. Especially now that we knew what was at stake- the life of one of God’s children."

And that adoption journey, that started with one little girl from Guatemala, grew their family to nine - 4 the regular old way, 2 adopted from Guatemala, 2 adopted through the foster system, and one adopted from Ethiopia - and started a work in their heart for orphan care. In 2008 Guatemalan adoption to the states was closed. A short time later Todd and Amy traveled to Guatemala for some short term mission work and saw the negative impact of institutionalized orphan care after which they began to feel God's calling to provide family to orphans in a new way. In 2011, they (and seven of their children) moved to Guatemala to start and serve at Village of Hope.