DeVries family adoption

John and I are considered "young" in the international adoption (IA) world.  In fact, when we first started researching international adoption, we discovered that many countries are not open to applicants under thirty years of age.  It was discouraging.  I'm twenty six and one of the youngest international adoptive mothers our case worker had ever worked with, but I'll be honest- I don't feel too young at all.  I always pictured myself with a baby at least by the time I was twenty four, if not earlier.   In any case, our experience in the adoption world has been that many adoptive parents are in their  early 30's with no kids at home yet. 

We serve a God who likes to break the mold, though, don't we?  

John and I aren't really breaking the mold that much, but I'd like to introduce you to an incredible family who is.  A family who might be considered to be "running the last leg" of their parenting journey (at least the young kids-at-home part).  With four sons already in their clan- ages 12 through 20- Dave & Sue DeVries, along with their family, have received a calling toward adoption.

Sue & Dave

Sue with the boys! I saw the smiling mom and straight faced
boys and all I could do was laugh and think, "Typical." :-)

When the DeVries family first shared their calling with us, they had that excited/nervous/awe-struck glow about them that we remember experiencing so well only a few short months ago.  They knew they were called.  They thought they were crazy.  They were certain.  They were unsure.  

Ah, yes.  Us too.  I think this is all part of the calling. Another adoptive mother told me that when she and her husband took their first trip to meet their son overseas, they met him, got back to the hotel room, and she just thought, "What have we done!?"  Of course, the panic subsides, but it can be scary!

Yet another adoptive mama friend hears theses stories of panic and always says the same thing, "Totally normal."  

It's a crazy ride and absolutely worth it.  

Here's the DeVries family story: 

Hi Sue!  Will you introduce your family to us? 
We are Dave and Susan DeVries, Matthew(age 20), Jacob(age 18), Kyle(age 15), and Jesse (age 12). Dave works for a local food business and I work part-time for the counseling center at our church. 

So when (and why) did you start thinking about adoption? 
Adoption has been "on our radar" for several years. We've always said that "if we could afford it, we'd always have a house full of children." Parenting is something Dave and I both cherish, and our boys have wanted us to adopt for quite some time. The financial piece of adoption has always been the hurdle that just seemed too high to get over.

What was the "turning point" that brought your family from thinking about adoption to taking the plunge? 
God is persistent! He's been nudging us gently for awhile, and those nudges became too much to ignore! We feel very strongly that this is exactly what God is calling us to do. The encouragement of other adoptive couples who have seen God provide both through fundraisers and grants has been a blessing. We firmly believe that God "funds what He favors" and that this is where He has led us.

 Do you know from which country you're adopting or who you're hoping to adopt? 
Our plan is to adopt a boy (yes, a boy!) from China. We are hoping to adopt a boy between the ages of 3-7, possibly with mild special needs.*

*editor's note: before we started down the road of international adoption I thought the term "special needs" referred only to cognitive delays or impairments.  Actually in the IA world "special needs" can mean anything from a diagnosis like Down Syndrome to a cleft palate to correctable heart problems to hearing loss.  If you are looking into adoption, consider what special needs God may have equipped your family for!

What do your kids think about all of this?
Our boys are THRILLED! They have talked about adopting a child for several years, and are excited at the thought of having a little brother. They have several very young cousins and are great with younger children! I am excited to know that our new son will not only get a Mom and Dad, but also four amazing big brothers! One of our boys will graduate from high school next spring, and we had been saving for a spring break Florida trip. As we began talking about adoption, it came up that Florida may have to take a back seat to adoption costs. Our son said to us, "Can you really compare a week in Florida to giving a child a mom and a dad and Jesus? Florida can wait!"

Seriously. What boy wouldn't want to get in on this??
 Amen!  On that note, what's the best or most encouraging thing that's happened since you decided to adopt? 
I think the most encouraging thing thus far is to recognize how God continues to show up in little and big ways through this process. God has used the words of friends to encourage, especially on days when doubt and discouragement set in. One friend who has adopted a daughter wrote to me on facebook saying, "Be ready to truly experience the meaning of 'my cup runneth over." What a blessing!

What are the biggest fears or challenges you face in your journey to adoption? 
Our biggest challenge thus far is to trust completely that God will provide the financial resources to make our adoption possible. It is no secret that the cost of adoption is steep, and the devil likes to plant seeds of doubt that it is not possible. But, we have seen God's faithfulness in so many situations in the past, and are confident that He will continue to provide.

Is there a bible verse or story that's been an encouragement to you in this whole process so far?
Two verses that have been important to us so far are Isaiah 26:3, "You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you because he trusts in You." and Proverbs 24:12, "Once our eyes are opened, we can't pretend that we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows that we know and holds us responsible to act."

Finally, how can we best pray for your family?  
Pray for God's continued leading and guiding through this process. Pray for peace on the days that are frustrating. Pray for the little boy whom God has already chosen to be our son (I love knowing that God already knows who he is!), and pray that God will place a hedge of protection around our family through all of this.

Thank you Sue and family for sharing your journey! God bless you as your follow his lead. 

One of the DeVries family's obstacles is, of course, the money.  Oh how I wish adoption weren't so expensive! But like we have seen: God provides.  In an effort to help the family in their fundraising efforts, 20% of the proceeds from my etsy shop for the month of June will go toward their adoption.  And if you purchase something and leave me a note in the "notes to seller" section saying something like "I support the DeVries family adoption!" (or something more creative to make me smile) I'll double the donation and 40% of your purchase will bring their little one home. 

Visit my shop "Embody Jewelry Designs" to make your purchase!



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  2. My husband and I are both 25 and have just embarked on our international adoption journey. It is overwhelming, but I stumbled upon your blog while I was looking for adoption jewelry on pintrest. I felt the need for something tangible to have while walking this journey. I have both blessed and encouraged by your words. I will be praying for you and your family!

    1. First- congratulations on starting your journey! I hope it goes smoothly and brings you great joy.

      Thank you so much for checking out my blog and for your prayers. I cherish them deep in my heart. Do you have a blog so I can follow your journey too?

  3. Yes, here is the link to my blog:


    I will warn you in advance that I am not nearly as poetic and eloquent as you are. Thank you for your encouragement. I know you know how invaluable well meaning words are during this journey.

  4. Kind of off topic, but you are not too young! I was 22 when we started the process the first time, 23 when we brought them home. 23 when we started the second time and I will be 24 when we bring A home! :)

    1. So great to know another younger couple! Thanks for the encouragement :-)


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