Archives for January 2004

Adoption Testimony

The Testimony of
Patrick & Mary Ann Mulvehill
Regarding Our Decision to Adopt

Since the moment that I was saved, there has been one over riding desire in my heart, to please my Lord. Even at the age of fifteen, I was so grateful for what Jesus had done for me that I wanted to give Him all that I had in return. The older that I grow as a Christian the more I realize just how impossible it is to pay back the debt that Jesus paid for me. So instead of being motivated by the insurmountable debt I owed, I find myself motivated by the ensuing love for the One who paid that debt. It was this motivation that has caused me to want every area of my life to glorify the Lord and magnify His Name.

One of the most important areas that this motivation effected was my desire to marry and have a family. I knew that God had someone perfect for me, but would I trust Him to bring about His perfect plan? Society told me to strike out on my own, to date around until the right one came along. Besides, “How could I know the right one unless I had dated the wrong one.” But deep inside, I knew that wasn’t the way. Somehow I knew that God’s ways weren’t my ways and that He had the power to bring the right women into my life, at the right time, in the right way, if I would only trust Him. And you know what, He did.

There was another door in my life that the Lord knocked on about that same time. I knew that once I was married, the natural course of events to follow was that of children. I knew that the Bible taught that, “…children are an heritage of the Lord…,” so I knew the Lord wanted me to have children, but how many? Society said, “2.5” was a good size family. How you came across the .5 was a bit of a mystery, but it sounded good. Then the Lord lead me to scriptures like Psalm 127:3-5 which says, “Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord:…,” but it went on, “…and the fruit of the womb is his reward. [4] As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. [5] Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.”

The Hebrew word “Happy” or “Blessed” appears 46 times in the Old Testament. It appears in conjunction with promises like…

“Behold, blessed is the man whom God correcteth therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty” (Job 5:17)

“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly” (Psalm 1:1)

“Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered” (Psalm 32:1-2)

“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord” (Psalm 33:12)

“O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him” (Psalm 34:8)

“Blessed is that man that maketh the Lord his trust” (Psalm 40:4)

“Blessed is he that considereth the poor” (Psalm 41:1)

“Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee” (Psalm 84:4-5)

“Blessed is the man that trusteth in thee” (Psalm 84:12)

“Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound:they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of thy countenance” (Psalm 89:15)

“Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O Lord, and teachest him out of thy law;” (Psalm 94:12)

“Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord, that delighteth greatly in his commandments” (Psalm 112:1)

“Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord. Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.” (Psalm 119:1-2)

“Blessed is every one that feareth the Lord; that walketh in his ways.” (Psalm 128:1)

“Blessed is that people, whose God is the Lord” (Psalm 144:15)

“Blessed is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help” (Psalm 146:5)

“Blessed is the man that findeth wisdom” (Proverbs 3:13)

“Blessed are they that keep my ways.” (Proverbs 8:32)

And then this promise, “Blessed is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.” It seemed that God viewed children much differently than society did. To be grouped with such significant promises seemed to give added importance to the thought of children. God said, “Blessed is the man that hath his quiver full of them.” A “quiver full,” what did that mean? Upon further study I learned that warriors in Bible times didn’t go into battle without at least 24 arrows in their quivers. Boy, did that shed a new light on things. Was I willing to trust God with this area of my life too? Was the price that He paid worth it? It didn’t take long to answer that question. Yes! I would trust God with this area as well!

Naturally, I prepared myself for a dozen or so, not remembering that God’s ways are not always mine. Now, after almost eight years of marriage, Mary Ann and I have no children. We were both prepared for God to begin our family right away, but were not prepared for Him to with hold that blessing. In fact, it took us both several years to come to the place where we could truly accept that God was still in control. We just had to trust His heart and wait.

About 10 months ago our waiting came to an end. A little girl came bouncing into our lives and along with her came the tremendous testimony that Tonya has shared with you, and the direction that we had been seeking. Mary Ann and I had considered adoption in the past, but it wasn’t until we met Kaleigh that God calmed our fears and confirmed His will for us. Now we know that God wants to begin our family in the same way that He began His. By reaching out to a foreign land, by sacrificing our resources, and opening our hearts to children who have no hope of a family. We know that God has asked us to become a “forever family” to some special children that He has chosen for us.

It is our desire today, to share with you, our church family, the calling that God has laid on our lives, to open our home and our hearts to those children that He has already chosen for us. We know that God’s timing is perfect and that He does not order what He does not provide for. This calling will be a tremendous challenge for us. It will require a great deal of faith. It will be an emotional time for us. It will require a great deal of financial commitment. But we believe that it is the will of God for us, and will continue to seek His face as He guides us through.

Please pray for us. Pray for the children of Kazakhstan. Pray for the children around the world that are longing to be apart of a forever family. We promise to keep you updated as the process goes along, and we know that God will get the Glory for what happens.

What Led Us to Adoption

Our Testimony
What Lead Us to Adoption

Greetings from the Southeast! We hope that this letter finds you well. We wanted to communicate the things that are taking place in our lives to everyone in our families, and this seemed like the best way. There are some of you that we have talked to more recently, and others that we have not seen for some time. It is our hope that we can stay in better touch with you in the future to let you know how the Lord continues to bless the union that He has given us. This website is an effort to put all of our family on the same page regarding the events of the past several years.

The past three years have been a blur for us. I, Patrick, was working with the Institute in Basic Life Principles part time and part time with a church in Savannah, Georgia, called Burkhalter Baptist Church, as their music and youth minister. On September 11, 2001 there were several cut backs at IBLP and I was asked to resign my position with the ministry. I then began working at the Lifeway Christian Store in Savannah. In January of 2002 I was promoted to Assistant Manager where I worked for a year while continuing my ministry at the church. In February of 2003 Burkhalter Baptist Church decided to bring me on full time. The past seven months have been very busy, but have been some of the most fulfilling of my life.

Mary Ann works at the church one day a week as my secretary and teaches piano lessons several days a week. She has been spending a lot of her time working to establish a women’s ministry at the church and has seen the Lord do some wonderful things in that area. There have been a lot of things to keep us busy. But, there is one area of our lives where there continues to be a void. We still do not have any children.

For the past seven years we have enjoyed the many blessings that the Lord has provided for us, but the blessing of children have not been one of those. This has been very hard on both of us. As many of you know, Mary Ann and I have always felt that the Lord is the one that opens and closes the womb. From the very beginning of our lives together we decided to leave the decision about children with the Lord. Little did we know that seven years later we would still be childless. We have often found ourselves questioning the Lord’s will in this area. However, we know that God has a divine purpose in everything He does.

About two years ago we began wondering if we needed to do something more to understand the reasons that we weren’t having children. After much prayer and searching we determined that God just wasn’t ready for us to have children. We began to wonder about the other possibilities that the Lord might have for us. We began considering the idea of adoption, but there were several fears that we had regarding the adoption process and the growing “come back” rate of birth parents in our country. Then something happened. A little girl entered into our lives. Her name is Kaleigh. She and her family joined our church about 8 months ago. Kaleigh is from Kazakhstan and was adopted by her new family a few years ago. Mary Ann and I began talking with Kaleigh’s mom and dad about the process that they went through to adopt Kaleigh. It was an amazing story, and we began to see a door opening that we had never before considered.

Kaleigh’s mom told us about the children in Kazakhstan, how there were hundreds of children in the “Baby Houses” that need good homes. Kazakhstan is one of the largest republics to come out of the breakup of the former Soviet Union. The northern borders touch Russia and the eastern borders touch China. This beautiful nation is rich with history, mountains, and beautiful people. Kazakhstan is known for its agriculture, mining, and space missions to the Russian space station MIR. Ethnic groups in Kazakhstan are Kazakh 46%, Russian 34.7%, Ukrainian 4.9%, German 3.1%, Uzbek 2.3%, Tatar 1.9%, other 7.1% (1996). The Religions are Muslim 47%, Russian Orthodox 44%, Protestant 2%, other 7%.

After much prayer and consideration, Mary Ann and I feel that God may be asking us to provide a home for two children from Kazakhstan. However, this is a God sized request that only God can make happen.

There are two main things that we need in order for this burden that the Lord has given us to become reality. First, we need your prayers. There are going to be numerous obstacles ahead of us in this process. Mountains of paper work have already arrived at our doorstep and there is a long evaluation process that we will need to go through in order to be qualified for adoption. Second, we have got to raise and incredible amount of money. Our desire is to bring home two children from Kazakhstan. The first child will cost us $30,000.00. This includes all of the adoption fees both in the United States and in Kazakhstan, as well as all travel expenses for our 21 day stay in the country. The second child will cost $6,000.00 which covers the adoption fees. Since we will be getting both children at the same time, the cost is less for the second child.

Please understand that this expense is not paid to one agency. The total cost includes all of the fees for filing applications with both governments, lawyer and court fees, airline tickets, lodging and food while we are in Kazakhstan, etc. It is an enormous process and very costly, but if it is God’s direction, we know He will provide, maybe even through you.

We hope that each of you will begin to pray for us. Ask God to give us wisdom in the decisions that we make in regard to the adopted and that the approval process will go well. We know that many of you are like us, we live from one pay check to another. Church ministry is not the best paying work in the world, but it does offer a lot of blessings along the way. However, if God lays it on your heart to help us financial, that would be a tremendous blessing to us and to the children we hope to bring home. This is an incredible opportunity for you to make a difference in two lives that may otherwise never have a chance to grow up in a Christian home with parents that will love and care for them.

Our most pressing need in order to get the qualification and selection process started is about $7,000.00 dollars. This amount will help us get the paperwork filed, our home study started, and the adoption agency fee covered. Once we are qualified, through the home study process, the agency will begin sending information about waiting children for us to consider. During this time we are planning to raise the remaining funds needed to complete the adoption through several different events that are already in the works. Several of our closest friends at church know a little bit about our desire and have already started making plans for fund raising efforts. We sense that the Lord is going to do great things and we wanted you to be the first to know officially about our decision.

We are very excited about what the Lord’s direction is for this season of our lives. We promise to keep in touch as the process unfolds. Thank you for all that you have done for us. We look forward to what God has in store for us in the days to come. God Bless!