We have officially started the process of adopting a child from Ethiopia. Tori and I both knew that this is something that was in God's plan for our lives. I knew it was in her heart since the day I met her and I know she prayed that it would be in mine. It is truly amazing to think that in a few months I will be a father. We've been talking about our "Zoe" for a year now. We haven't met her, we don't know anything about her. All we know is that Zoe means life and we feel called to bring life to this child who has no hope of life under her current circumstances. We have prayerfully considered this huge undertaking and believe that there is no way we CAN'T do it. With great joy and anticipation we are moving forward with the adoption of a young Ethiopian girl.
It is amazing to watch Tori shine throughout this process as her heart breaks over every waiting child we see. Even though it is overwhelming, she gathers the paperwork and organizes it over and over, knowing it is leading us to our Zoe. She has read hundreds of pages telling us how to properly submit every document. We're looking for our passports, ordering copies of our birth certificates, getting reference letters and having EVERYTHING notarized. A friend of ours called this time in the adoption the "paper pregnancy" because we are into months of paperwork. It is already difficult and emotional at times. We are, however, extremely fortunate and blessed to have families who support us 100%. I know that we have more than enough love to give little Zoe when she arrives and we can't wait for that exciting day. I know that the transition from an African orphanage to a white American household will not be easy. I am just trusting the Lord to guide us as we raise this sweet little girl. There will be so many days that she will feel different and I am sure there will be days where she will be discriminated against. It already breaks my heart, but I pray that in spite of this, she will be a confident leader, not one who lives as a victim. It will be a huge job, as her father, for me to instill this confidence in her from the moment I see her. I pray that she will learn more of the love of Jesus everyday and as a result of her adoption she will more clearly understand what it means to be adopted into God's family.
We are gearing up for a long, emotional, expensive, tiring journey but I know that the Lord has prepared us for this throughout our lives and He is continuing to do so. We are starting our family with adoption so that all of our kids know that this is what Joneses do. We care for those who can't care for themselves, however this may present itself throughout our lives. We want them to know that this is important to God and it is important to us. I also pray that those around us who see how we are starting our family and living our lives, will learn about what we are doing and say, "if they can do it, we can."
I don't know what our future holds or how we are going to parent an Ethiopian girl in America. All I know is that God has directed both of our lives in such an amazing way so far that I trust He has an amazing plan for us and especially for Zoe. I can't wait to see how He uses her life to change the world.
If you are reading this, I invite you to take this journey with us. We covet your prayers throughout the entire process and as we bring Zoe home. Like I said, we don't know what our future holds, but we know Who holds it. We are placing our trust, hope, fears, joy, pain and lives into His hands as He brings our family together from opposite ends of the world.


  1. Brandon on August 14, 2010 at 6:40 PM

    We are so excited for the both of you! We are here if you need anything, we are praying. Love, Brandon, Cortney, and Baby Braylin

  2. Carrie on August 14, 2010 at 10:02 PM

    Soph already tells people that her cousin is named Zoe! We love her already, and we can't wait to see her sweet face! You have our support, love and prayers!

  3. patti White on August 14, 2010 at 10:17 PM

    Trust in the Lord with all your heart. In everything acknowledge Him and He will/does direct your path. Forgiveness is a choice and Zoe will have to forgive many things throughout life. It is amazing and wonderful that God continually allows us to feel pain so that we may know the importance of forgiveness and share that with her and others. Love all three of you PattiGrams

  4. Dana on August 23, 2010 at 8:25 PM

    Sweet sweet friends, oh how my heart was filled with joy as I read the heart of a father here. God is so good, isn't He? I do love your precious Zoe already, as I love you both. Your baby girl is already KNOWN by our Maker...even before we know her. Amazing. His ways are SO, SO big! We are praying...and we will be at the airport with BELLS on when that little Ethiopian princess finally gets HOME. All my love...

  5. jenny on September 2, 2010 at 5:10 AM

    Derek, I had no idea you had a blog! What a sweet time in your lives; I am praying for you and your child!

  6. Anna Clare on September 10, 2010 at 1:27 PM

    This is so exciting!! I hope we can get together soon!


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