If anyone knows Wade & Megan Burns, regulars here at Praise and overseers of our Baby Burrow classroom, you've probably noticed the joy, genuineness, affection, and honor that these two emanate in conversation or in passing. And, of course, they profess Jesus in word and action like few people I know do. This particular running testimony has to do with adoption - something that the Burnses are very passionate about. I'll do my very best to sum up their awesome journey over the past few months.
The heart behind this blog is simply to tell the story, to not let it go untold, lest we lose an opportunity to celebrate what God has done and is still doing.
Wade & Megan Burns, & Blake, their adopted son who is four years old, had felt led and equipped by God to start the adoption process again, seeking an addition to their family and a boy or girl to love with reckless abandon. So they started the trek anew, in fact, the adoption lawyer that helped secure the case and their eventual adoption came by referral from our own Erica Bower. So the roots of this story are very original to Praise, you could say.
The Burnses had felt called to adopt again for some time, so getting the ball rolling a second time was no difficult process, at least in terms of their direction and their "why?" Scripture is peppered with commands to care for orphans, directives to defend the fatherless, and references to Jesus adopting us into sonship, daughtership and right standing with God. The "why" for the Burns family is quite simple: they are an extension of Jesus, and Jesus endorsed adoption.
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. - JAMES 1:27
In coordination with their adoption lawyer, Wade & Megan began praying about who they'd adopt. They were selective, waiting on God to direct them. Doubt occasionally would creep in, whispering lies about not being selected or not being qualified. They remembered a word that Wade had received before Blake was born, and after they had weathered the heartbreaking news that they weren't chosen as parents to a child locally. It was simply "you will never lose a baby again." They clung to that promise. Then they received clear word from heaven on a particular case near Jacksonville, Florida. They believed this was it.
All signs and promptings from the Lord were in alignment, yet a couple things stood in their way...
- Math - dozens of qualified applicants had put their names in the ring for this particular baby, and to minimize the Burnses even more, (on paper at least) they were late to the game, so the mother would possibly not even see their information before choosing parents. Further, Hurricane Irma was bearing down on Florida, Vivian's home, so time was tight because she wanted to choose a family without any extra delay.
- Fear - Of course, whenever Christians move in accordance with God's will and plan, fear can creep in. Megan's fear of flying (to Florida) and the sheer unpleasantness of stuffy law offices, paperwork, & thousands of dollars in fees, did stand in the way of the process.
Then God spoke - "This is why you've waited four years," He said. Their faith rose a notch or two as they waited for word from the birth mother.
Then Vivian spoke - Vivian, without much hesitation, read Wade & Megan's information, and selected them to parent her soon-to-be born baby boy.
Then God spoke again - Not only were they to love and raise this child, but it was to be a door for Wade & Megan to minister to Vivian. This is what Megan heard from the Lord, and they were overjoyed not just to have Clay (the name they would give this boy) but meet Vivian, and encourage, edify, and even equip her to love God and love others.
The above narrative is a testimony in itself but there is, indeed, more.
There for the delivery - In a very uncommon twist to this tale, Vivian asked Wade & Megan, and Wade & Megan only, to be in the delivery room as she gave birth. So they obliged and were there in the room as the miracle of birth took place for their future son. Through this experience, too, they were able to meet and build a rapport with Clay's birth father, Ken, and his birth grandmother. Thanks to God, things weren't "weird," but rather a relationship was being built.
Incredible favor with the airline - It's not exactly protocol for airlines to constantly change flights for customers free of charge. But such was the case with the Burnses, as they, out of necessity, needed to regularly postpone their flight back to BWI for various reasons and the airline complied.
A Chance to Pray for the Sick - En route back to BWI, amazingly, the Burnses were still outward thinking and ministry-minded enough to feel compelled to pray for a cancer patient headed to Cleveland's Mayo Clinic. They did so and the patient left feeling loved and encouraged.
Paid expenses - The entire hotel stay was covered in full on their trip to Florida, by way of travel points racked up by Megan's boss and generously given for their journey. In addition, our Praise family raised about $9,000 toward the total bill, which is about 20% worth of the fees that the Burnses have accrued. Our culture of generosity at Praise never ceases to amaze me, and that sentiment is shared with thankfulness by Wade & Megan.
An uncommon relationship with Vivian - True to God's impression on Megan, a unique relationship has been forged between she and Vivian. As you could imagine, this type of situation can be awkward, embarrassing, or even shameful for a birth mom putting their baby up for adoption. Nothing could be further from the truth for how things have gone with Vivian and Megan, particularly.
Wade and Megan were certainly not averse to explaining their relationship with God and praying with Vivian, and that clearly had an effect on her. She's currently plugged into a local church in Florida and in regular contact with Megan.
Entering PA (legally) - After all the paperwork, dotted I's and cross T's had been checked and double-checked, the Burnses were set to go legally. The lone caveat was that they could legally go anywhere in the U.S. now with their new family member, except the state of Pennsylvania. A little bit of anxiety swept in and as they finally boarded the plane to Baltimore, this huge part of the story was still pending. The final "yeigh" from the Keystone state had not yet been issued, making it unlawful, technically, to return home.
Wade shirked the brewing anxiety and traded it for faith in a God that he knew was on their side.
This move eventually paid off. Upon landing and loading up into their car, it was Wade's suggestion to start for home, trusting that God would deliver. That's when the call came, as they maneuvered through the parking lot, they were free, and legally, permitted to enter PA!
Because this is only a blog, and I'm only a messenger, I encourage you all to hear even more details about this exeptional testimony from Wade & Megan themselves. It's our plan on a Sunday coming up to allow the Burnses to give a front-and-center recap of their adoption journey. Until then, bless you guys and thanks for reading!