Two summers ago I floated in a lake, pregnant belly up, with two dear girlfriends. One of them was talking about beginning the process of foster-to-adopt. Her heart was just opening up to serving in that way. The other had a glimmer of the possibility of adding to their family. We talked about all the ifs and buts. All the fears we shared about life with bigger families and the uncertainties ahead. We all stepped out in faith. Jamie and Kyle are patiently waiting to bring two kids home from Ethiopia, there is a chubby toddler running down our halls, and I’m happy to say that the Magnuson family just officially adopted their sweet daughter, Nevaeh after parenting her for the last couple years.

I got to document their celebratory day in court as well as the fabulous party that followed. It has been a joy to watch them as a family enfold her and welcome her as one of their own. It hasn’t been without challenge (what is?) but I know they have been and will continue to be richly rewarded for their love and sacrifice. Adoption is a beautiful picture of rescue and redemption. Of something lost and discarded being found and cherished. We all need it. We all have a Father who is good and who invites us into his family. I am honored that I get to tell the story of Nevaeh becoming a part of her forever family.

Here’s a little of what Lissa had to say about the experience in her own beautiful words. (From an email to her case manager):

There are so many thoughts that I have been sorting through as I have been reflecting on the past 18 months that she has been in our home. These have been the most difficult, emotional, spiritual, and at times physical 18 months that I have experienced so far in my life, but I can honestly say they have been the most strangely comforting too. The Lord sees, hears and comforts. I was reminded of this verse last night:

John 14:18  ” No, I will will not abandon you as orphans, I will come to you.” As soon as I heard those words my thoughts went to Nevaeh as a vulnerable toddler being abandoned by her Bio mom for days with out food, protection, someone to clean her, or comfort her tears and fears. Jesus didn’t leave us vulnerable or alone, He sent his spirit who comforts us and indwells and so much more. I’m so thankful for His presence in our family’s life. I have personally been keenly aware of His presence in remarkable and miraculous ways time and time again over these past 18 months. I have been comforted, and through Him I have been empowered to comfort, care and fall in love with MY daughter Nevaeh Suzanne Magnuson.

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No party would be complete without square-dancing!

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I highly recommend containing children in a trailer when feeding them large amounts of cotton candy.

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Gimme some sugar, Sugar!

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