It’s true! The Agnews are expecting baby #2! We have been trying to keep things quiet for a while now, but we had to inform some people, and I think some got a little overambitious with who they told and it seems that the word is getting out. This week, we have a had a few people ask us if we were expecting, and it seems that one person only told one person who only told one person and so on and so on. So, this is a little earlier then we wanted to make the big announcment, but we are still thrilled to share this blessed news!
The reason we wanted to wait is because we still have approximately 12 months to go.
We are expecting a precious baby. But we are expecting that baby from Ethiopia.
As of right now, our child is growing in a tummy over in Ethiopia. While we don’t know exactly how this story will play out, this baby will be orphaned in the months to come. The child’s mother may die or may abandon the child for different reasons. All we know of the story right now is that God has set it up from the beginning of time for us to raise this child and now has called us to rescue that baby, and we have said yes.
God put many different things in our path to lead us to this decision. We always knew we wanted to adopt in the States and out of the States, and we had a particular passion for children overseas due to some of the unfortunate spiritual and physical environments. We always knew we would do it one day, but the dilemma arose back in February when I was at Southern Seminary for a doctoral seminar and three visiting professors that week had all recently adopted internationally. I began to talk to them about their experiences and God started progressing my heart quicker than I anticipated. As I asked for their advice, they directed me towards Ethiopia (for reasons I’ll explain later).
I called Amanda that night from my hotel room in Louisville. As we both looked at pictures and the information concerning the state of children in Ethiopia, we wept over the phone together due to the dismal state of the millions of orphans in this world. We prayed that God would give us direction, and we began to pray that if God willed it, he would provide all the resources needed.
That night, we didn’t know how close we were to actually going through with this, but Amanda said something over the phone that sealed the deal for me. “Travis, I keep thinking about these precious orphans without a mom or a dad, and all I can think of is we have an extra bed. Right now, we have an extra bed.”
The extra bed. That’s all I needed. Did I have concerns? Sure, my mind was flooded with thoughts of what people in the South would think about us calling a black child our own. I have heard stately “gentlemen” and Southern belles demean precious children of God belonging to another race. I was well aware of the huge financial commitment. We did not have trouble conceiving a child, so I knew some people wouldn’t understand why we were doing this and not just keep making babies who we were knowledgeable concerning the DNA. I knew that we would deal with long nights of trying to convince a hysterical child that he or she is no longer alone.
But we had an extra bed.
Many people will probably question the timing of this (among many other things that I hope to address in the weeks to come). Why wouldn’t we have all of our “real” children and do something like this later? Why wouldn’t we wait until we had a greater amount of money stockpiled in savings? I have talked with people who wonder if this is the “perfect” time to do this.
Is this the perfect time for us? Probably not, but it is the perfect time for one orphan.
And while we can’t do something about all the orphans of the world, we can do something about that one. We have an extra bed.
I plan on sharing more in the days to come about our journey, where we are, what God is teaching us, and our answers to some of the questions we have received. But today, I’m overjoyed. I can finally shout it from the mountaintops: We have a baby on the way. That baby might still be 12 months away, maybe more, maybe less. But that’s our baby. That precious baby will be ours as much as Obadiah is ours. I can’t wait to get on a plane and rescue that child and say, “It’s all over. You’re finally home. You are loved. You are safe in your father’s arms.”
That sounds like my story of how God rescued me. I can’t wait for this journey, and I appreciate you praying for the health of our baby and the quick processing of our paperwork so we can get that child in our arms.
I am so thankful today that we have an extra bed.
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Distinctive Discipleship. He is married to Amanda and the father of two sons and one daughter. Travis graduated from North Greenville University with a B.A. in Christian Studies and earned his M.Div. and D.Min. from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, with his doctoral focus on family discipleship.