Josh and Sarah Perry are friends of ours. Gina (my wife) and Sarah go way back. (Gina interviewed Sarah here: Parts 1, 2, 3.) They are adopting an Ethiopian boy named Sam. Since I think every family should have a half-African, half-West Virginian Sam, I wanted to ask Josh a few questions and at the end ask you (readers) to consider giving them a thousand dollars, or a hundred dollars, or twenty dollars, or a hug or something. Thanks for reading! I love this story. –Sam (Afrolachian)
1. Tell us briefly about your family as it is…what you do, what you love.
I’ll answer the last part of the question first. I love Jesus, Sarah, my kids, and my church. In that order. When that order gets off I repent.
God saved me at 19 and has been the great joy of my life ever since.
I’ve been passionately in love with the woman of my dreams for almost 12 years. We’re in a great time of our marriage and are connecting spiritually, emotionally, and physically better than we ever have.
God has been good to us in giving us four kiddoes. Daniel (9), Jack (7), Alli Kate (6), and now Sam (5 mo). My boys love playing baseball, reading, and snuggling. Alli Kate is a daddy’s girl, but dreams of being a mother and wife that loves Jesus and builds a home for ministry. So she is at her mom’s side all day.
2. What first planted in your mind a desire to adopt?
Sarah and I have always felt like it “would be nice” to adopt one day, but no intentional plans were made. As I preached through Ephesians 1 and went deep into God’s adopting me as his child and the glory and joy that resulted was life changing. Around the same time we began a close relationship with a couple (see below) who have adopted all 4 of their children. This got us dreaming, researching, praying, and planning.
3. Why are you working so hard to adopt a child? (And why an African child?)
To demonstrate the value of Jesus through our lives, our investments, our family, and our relationships with the world. Everything flows from our own adoption by God. Do we want to provide a home for an orphan? Absolutely. Do we want to share our love with one who is alone? Yes. But the primary motivation is to enjoy, live, and share the good news of God at great cost to himself purchasing us from sin and calling us sons and daughters.
We chose an African child because of the color of their skin quite frankly. The cross of Christ eliminates racial division (Eph. 2:11-22). We want to cultivate racial reconciliation in our lives and demonstrate it in our church and city. Especially in WV. We wanted to bring into our family a person who couldn’t be more different than ourselves on the outside in order to show that our untiy is found in the love of God to us in Christ. We focused further on Ethiopia due to the volume of orphans.
4. How have you included/engaged your children in this journey?
Our kids have been a part of every aspect of the process. We prayed and talked with them in deciding to adopt, where to adopt from, and thanking God for providing for the adoption. They’ve participated in all of our fundraisers by serving. We eat Ethiopian meals, watch documentaries on Ethiopia and adoption. They helped pick out Sam’s name and talk about having him with us all the time.
5. Have you had models for this? What resources would you point to that are valuable for people thinking about, or beginning this journey?
The first and best model for adoption is God adopting us. Our horizontal model is primarily the Lucas family http://sheepdogger.blogspot.com/. Greg and Kim have adopted all four of their kids. Of the four 2 are brothers coming from an abusive home, another son with Autism, and a daughter from China. Their family is a beautiful model of grace, love, and community. They are inspiring and great teachers to us.
Want to support these folks as they move on in faith to adopt Sam? If you send them some money, send me an e-mail, or comment here, and just for fun I’ll send you an autographed Eric Peters CD (with EP’s autograph, not mine). While supplies last. (I have several.)
Some specific ways you can help: Like their Facebook page, participate in their fundraisers, buy a t-shirt, or donate US Air flyer miles. Thanks, blogfriends. –Sam