Mark 11:24 – “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours…” JESUS Heather and I have been faithful disciples for around 20 years. She was baptized in 1997. I was baptized in 1999. We met in 1999 and were friends for 3 years. We began dating in 2001 and were happily married in August of 2003. We had dreams of having our own children, and possibly adopting internationally. Fast forward to 2012, we finally discovered that we could not get pregnant. We had tried for almost 10 years. I think deep down we were discouraged, but overall we were faithful to our God. All we could do was pray. We kept busy serving in our church as Youth & Family leaders, fulltime staff in Hartford, CT. So, in essence we had many “children” (or teenagers) to take care of. We were satisfied with that, but we also still wanted to fulfill our dream of adopting children. So we began the process in 2012. We attempted to adopt internationally, but that didn’t work out. Then we attempted to adopt locally, and that just didn’t pan out either. So we finally just surrendered everything to God and prayed fervently that if it was God’s will for us to have children, He would provide them in his timing. In February 2013, my wife and I got the opportunity to serve on the Medical Service Brigade in Guatemala. It changed our lives forever. We got to serve the poor and also spend time with some orphans. Their stories were heart-breaking. I could see that my wife immediately loved the children. She was in her element. She loved them as if they were her own, even though she only interacted with them for only a few hours. I, myself, really enjoyed being with the children, too. My heart softened and I knew adoption was something we could definitely do. Six weeks later after that trip we got a Facebook message from a brother we had met on the Medical Brigade. While we were there, we shared our story with him and our desire to adopt. He had also adopted a beautiful little girl from Guatemala years back, so he empathized and understood our desires. It was a great connection and we appreciated serving alongside him. He sent us that Facebook message asking us if we’d be interested in coming down to York, Pennsylvania and meeting with a Hungarian couple who were pregnant and were looking for someone to adopt their little girl, still in the womb. We were a bit apprehensive at first because we didn’t know if this was a legitimate situation. It was only a story to us, so we were essentially taking a “leap of faith”. We prayed and said, “Sure!” and drove down to meet this couple. We had come to find out that this couple was an older couple who had journeyed to the United States from Budapest, Hungary in search of work to make money and save up for their college-age “sons” to help pay for their University schooling. They had gotten pregnant during their first several months of their stay here in the United States. In addition, they did not speak any English, so we had to locate some disciples who spoke Hungarian, and boy did God provide that one easily in an amazing couple we had found in New Jersey. Over dinner and through translation, this Hungarian couple communicated to us that they would like to give their daughter to us… we were floored! Just like that, God answered our many prayers as well as many who prayed for us to have children. I remember being anointed with oil by the elders of the Hartford church years prior just so that God would hear our prayers to have children. People believed we would have a child, and it was finally coming true. Immediately thereafter, we moved the couple to Connecticut where they were housed by another amazing married couple. The church family rallied behind us and took care of their living situation. It was amazing to witness! Six weeks later, they gave birth to our daughter at Hartford Hospital. There were several hours in the hospital after her birth where the birthparents wrestled in a tremendous way with the decision. This was understandable, as the little baby girl was just absolutely precious to hold in their sight. But after some deliberation, they realized they could not provide for her or take care of her in the best possible way they could. As a result, our daughter came home with us two days later and we were overjoyed! God heard our prayers, so we named her “Ava” after her birthmother (whose name was “Eva”). Fast forward to March 2015, our daughter was now almost 2-years old. We began praying for her to have a sibling. We believed it would be a boy. So we put in more adoption paperwork that Spring and waited. We were busy living our lives with our 2-year old when we got the phone call in December 2015 from our adoption counselor saying in these exact words, “You were chosen, you have a son!” We were shocked! So we went to visit him at the foster parent’s home here in Columbia, Connecticut, and were able to take him home the next day. He was only 6 days old. In just 8 months, God heard our prayers again, and gave us a son. His birth mother named him Aiden. We decided to keep the name but change the spelling to “Aidan”. His story is pretty amazing as well. Apparently, the birth mother made the decision to give “Aiden” up for adoption after he was born. She did not tell anyone prior to the birth. So the hospital personnel called our adoption agency requesting photo books of “potential adoptive parents” to give to this mother. Our adoption book (a book that “highlights” different adoptive families) was one of 5 books that were given to her that day. After looking through all of them, she decided on one family who was not us. But after looking through our book again, she changed her mind and decided that she wanted “Aiden” to be with our family. She made this decision based on one specific thing: our daughter’s name, “Ava”. Why did she do this? Her 3 older children’s names all begin with the letter “A”. So because Ava’s name began with the letter “A”, she felt in her heart Aidan belonged with us. Again, we were flabbergasted! We were not her first choice, but when she did choose us, she chose us because of a small detail that had tremendous meaning to her (and for us as well!). Remember, we changed the spelling of our daughter’s name to “Ava” instead of keeping it the same as her birthmother’s name, “Eva”. We strongly believe God’s mighty hand was behind all of these experiences, hidden in the details but working so powerfully. So now we have two adopted children who are our very own, Ava and Aidan. We share their story wherever we go. It’s like they’ve always been with us. We can’t imagine life without them anymore. They are a part of our lives now because God gave them to us as beautiful gifts. We prayed fervently for them and believed in our hearts that God would provide. He heard those prayers and the prayers of many friends and family. We are so grateful for the blessings, and we give him the glory. When we look back at the last 5 years, we can’t help but see the faithfulness and power of our God working in our lives. We are so excited to see what God has in store for them in the future.