KANSAS CITY – After almost a year of prayer and seeking God’s will and promises through Scripture, Amber Rust was ready to proceed with the next steps of the adoption. But her husband, Tyler, still wasn’t sure.
Tyler’s reasoning and God’s calling weren’t in alignment, and he couldn’t find the peace that he desperately desired.
They had identified the two children they believed the Lord wanted them to adopt. Massah, a 6-year-old girl, and Ibrahim, a 2-year-old boy, are around the same age as the couple’s four biological children: Nolan, 6; Lillian, 5; Kason, 3; and their new baby, Annabelle.
“Adoption guidance books and logic says it’s a good idea to adopt children younger than your firstborn,” Tyler said. “We started to Skype with the children weekly and made plans to visit them yearly until we could take them home.”
But then they found out Massah and Ibrahim had an older sister. Katimu is 12.
“It was a tough thought to imagine breaking the birth order and to imagine our scenario with an older child,” Tyler said. “I want to protect our biological children, and there are so many unknowns about how Katimu would handle that kind of change at an older age.”
Amber was unsure, too. But her daily prayer for Katimu allowed God to develop an overwhelming love for her that reassured her that adoption was what they were supposed to do.
“From there I asked God to create a unity in our marriage and to lead Tyler to a confidence in this decision,” Amber said.
Then last September Tyler had an opportunity to go on a mission trip to The Raining Season, the orphanage in Sierra Leone, Africa, and spend time with the sibling group. While there, God revealed more of his plan through the relationship Tyler was able to form with Katimu.
One instance stands out, Tyler said. While everyone was sitting outside during Sunday church, Katimu asked if she could write her name in Tyler’s Bible.
“The gesture spoke directly to my heart and mind,” he said. “God helped them get on the same page and, finally, I had peace. God opened our hearts to the thought of living outside of our own idea or logic, but instead in accordance with His plan.”
And now, as the couple waits on the agency to review their case, they are relying on God to work it all out so that the legal side of the process is complete by this summer.
“While there are no guarantees of timelines, the agency is hoping to bring children home in 2014,” Amber said. “The total estimated cost of our process is $30,000, with significant amounts going toward the health and care of children now and until they come home.”
Though they are excited to start the next chapter and bring their children home, Amber said she still has trouble believing in her ability to mother seven children.
“I’ve spent many, many nights praying and seeking God, asking him for confidence, and he showed me the Israelites’ story of them exploring the Promised Land,” she said. “They didn’t trust that God was big enough to fight for them. He’s saying, ‘Trust me. This is what I have planned for you.’”
In the meantime, God has placed people in the Rusts’ life to encourage them and support them during this difficult waiting period.
They attend Northland Baptist Church in Kansas City.
“Early on in the process we shared with our small group all the things God was doing and how he was working,” Amber said. “It’s such a blessing to be able to share the situations and struggles and know that they are praying for us. They’ve also helped us with fundraisers and have truly been invested in God’s call to bring our children home.”
She said all believers have a responsibility to care for those who are vulnerable and there are many different ways to get involved. Tyler said that no matter what you’re called to do, the key is to be obedient.
“I am very logical and sometimes the things God wants us to do aren’t logical according to man,” he said. “Walk out in faith and let Him lead in the right time and in the right situation. Follow Him rather than your own logic and you will be in the center of wherever He wants you to be.” ν