Several years before John and I were called to adopt, I followed Christian author and speaker, Renee Swopes’ adoption story. She adopted a precious baby girl from Ethiopia. I remember being so touched by her story. I even sent her a Facebook message when John and I felt like we were being called to adopt from Ethiopia.
Another SheSpeaks highlight was getting the opportunity to hear Renee Swope share her adoption story and getting to see her beautiful Ethiopian daughter. I knew Renee was going to be the keynote speaker on Saturday morning, but I had no idea what was in store (but God did!).
Renee not only shared her story of adoption, but played a Compassion International video that I bawled my eyes out the entire way through. On each table was a child who needed to be sponsored through Compassion International and we prayed over them. My tears continued. The big, ugly, tears. I cried every bit of my mascara off and had to reapply my makeup before my publisher appointments. Through those tears, the video and Renee’s story, God reminded me that orphan care and adoption were my heart. He ignited my passion even more for those who needed Forever Families and also affirmed that my heart’s desire is to adopt African American children.
The following lyrics were playing during the video/prayer time and they took on a whole new meaning.
“I will live to carry your compassion, to love a world that’s broken, to be your hands and feet. And I will give with the life that I’ve been given and go beyond religion to see the world be changed by the power of your name”
I scribbled on my notes….
LORD – BRING MY CHILDREN FROM THE EAST AND THE WEST
PRAY ABOUT OUR FUTURE FAMILY
I wrote, “speak up for those who can’t speak for themselves. Use your position for a greater vision.”
After the session, I told God I would really love the opportunity to share with Renee how much her story had impacted me. I had just left my first publisher appointment and was chattering away on the phone with John when I saw her standing in a room without anyone around her. I think I pretty much hung up on John and took the opportunity to thank her for sharing her story. Later that day I had the chance to have my picture taken with Renee and she signed a copy of her book “A Confident Heart” for me. (I’ll be giving a way a copy of her book over on my Facebook page. Find the Bringing Home the Missing Linck Facebook page and “like” it for your chance to win!)
God used Renee to remind me that I’m supposed to share our story.
“If you look through the lens of insecurity, doubt or fear, you’ll see your inadequacies and wonder why you’re even doing what God has called you to….God wants to use your pain and past to help others going through the same things….God is more interested in your full obedience than your total understanding.” (Renee Swope)
“Look through the lens of COMPASSION” (Renee Swope)