Julie & Trey Reynolds are Lubbock friends adopting from South Africa! The very first time I went to Africa, I was on a team with Trey! Now, here we are, 6 years later, sharing in the joys and obstacles of international adoption. I am so excited that they are willing to share their story here! Waiting in uncertainty for a child you've already met is excruciating!! Please take some time to read their story and consider ways you can support!
This week only 20% of Love is Waiting sales will go to support their adoption!
You can also give a tax deductible donation to the Reynolds family here.
"Trey and I’s first date was over coffee, discussing our mutual love for Africa and passion for missions. By the time we married, we knew God was calling us to international missions and we were actively praying and researching options. In October 2011 we had the opportunity to move to South Africa and serve at an orphanage. I had a previously relationship with this orphanage from leading short-term group trips.. We knew that next year was going to change the course of our marriage and lives, but honestly didn't expect how that would take shape. Shortly before we moved, we had a very lengthy discussion about the fact that we felt 100% called to adopt one day, but we were convinced it would be domestically. All the official information about international South African adoption stated that it was not possible from the US, and honestly we took comfort in that. If it isn't possible, then we don’t have to worry about it! To be honest, we also didn't want people to think we went to serve internationally to find a baby.
A few weeks into our time in South Africa, God began to impress on me that “she is yours” about our girl. It was clear, and my heart just shifted as I recognized God's certainty in what He was revealing to me. I was terrified at first, then discouraged, because I didn't think it was possible to adopt her. But at the same time, I “just knew.” When I shared this with Trey, he was very guarded because he didn't want me to be hurt. He’s sweet like that, which frustrates me :). I began to pray that God would give Trey the same confidence she was our daughter and that He would “work it out!” The Lord did change Trey’s heart, but he still remained the voice of reason for us and cautioned me to trust, be faithful, but also not count on this happening. We still weren't sure it was possible without a longer term move to South Africa, and at that point we were headed back to Texas expecting our first baby in a few months. One of the first obstacles was that we needed to get the director of the orphanage's blessing. We knew, without her on board with this idea, nothing would happen. We had disagreements before because we feel strongly that kids need family, and she feels strongly that it is more important that they be raised in their culture. We prayed for months that God would bless this conversation. When we approached her, she said God spoke to her and gave her peace that this was His plan!
Next up was finding an agency who would work with us in a pre-identified adoption that would be above board and legal. It is a miracle that our agency is working with us. It is literally ONLY by His favor. Turns out there is only one agency in the US to do South African adoptions, and they only had a pilot program at this point. We had to go through several avenues, and several months, to get the initial nod of approval. We were ecstatic! But a few weeks before Clementine was born, we found out that they weren’t going to work with us after all because we live in Texas. Recently, they had contracted home studies out to Texas agencies, but their policy had changed. We were devastated, but again prayed that God would “work it out!” and kept persisting in our contact with the agency. The day I went into labor with Clementine, we received word that they would make special arrangements to work with us! Praise Him and what a roller coaster. Since then, we met a friend in Lubbock who traveled to South Africa to finalize her adoption with her daughter two months ago. Her daughter is close to the same age as ours, and it is a huge comfort that they will have each other as friends. To have someone who has recently walked this path AND a friend with some familiar experiences for our girl is amazing. Lubbock is not that big, and there are only a handful of these adoptions each year!
One thing is clear to me, from the first moments I started praying about my first short term, group trip in 2005 God led me to one specific corner of the world. At the same time, God was moving in Trey’s life in huge way- shaping passions and gifts with experiences pointing toward Africa and missions which would eventually bring us together as a couple. There is more our story during these early years when adoption wasn't even on our radar, but it is mostly her story. It is both heartbreaking and such Grace from above to think about God so diligently loving all of us through that time, protecting our girl, and without our even knowing it bringing us together. Thank you for being a part of that Grace!
Trey, Julie, and Clementine"