When God called us specifically to adoption and Africa, there was a temptation to ignore and in disobedience, walk away. Our family was victim of the dark economic times. We were in the middle of unemployment and losing our home. Our children had been openly praying for more siblings, but Paul and I just weren’t sure. We considered the weight of the financial responsibilities that come hand-in-hand with growing and raising a family. More children? Adoption hadn’t even occurred to us prior to that, but as we surrendered in prayer to God’s voice, we realized that thoughts of mission trips to North Africa and our heart for orphans and widows were one in the same. We heard clearly that God was calling us to adopt. When we said “Yes” to God’s will, we watched Him move faithfully on His behalf – and on our family’s behalf. Paul was shown favor with an excellent company after nearly two years of unemployment and temporary side jobs. We also felt God’s leading and sovereignty as we held garage sales, candle sales, bracelet sales, babysat for friends, organized a spaghetti dinner and silent auction, sold handmade crafts and baked goods, and so much more to fund our adoption. We were placed on a wait list for siblings from Ethiopia with no gender or age requests; just whomever God had already planned to be Gregersens. On December 1, 2012 a dear friend sent us a picture of two beautiful little boys who needed a forever family. They had been placed in waiting, but the youngest of the two was HIV+ and families just weren’t scrambling at the door to take on that responsibility. There is no way I can explain the feeling I had when I saw that picture. The label of “HIV” brought absolutely no fear or doubt. It was as if God showed me that the only special needs both of these boys had were for parents and a family who would love them just for who they are. We moved forward in accepting the referral but that meant changing agencies, which meant starting over with agency fees, etc. We needed to raise another $22,000 in two weeks! I had already applied for several grants with only one small, local foundation coming through with support. I heard about Rollstone through another adoptive family, so once again, I prayed and sent our application in. When Mr. Dawidziak contacted me and told me we had been selected to receive a grant, I nearly fell to my knees in praise. I know God knew all along who would partner with us in our journey to bring our boys home. He planned that Rollstone would have part in saving my son’s lives and truly bringing proper medical treatment and health to our baby! We are honored to be acknowledged and supported by Rollstone. Their heart for orphans and adoptive families is intense and real. We will forever be grateful to them and their willingness to “join our family” as we brought our boys home. Grants for adoption, specifically for special needs children, aren’t just “a bonus”. The additional costs involved in healthcare, medications, treatments and testing, travel and resources add up to so much more than anyone can imagine. The grant we received from Rollstone helped lift some of that additional stress as we brought the boys home and allowed us to focus on the emotional energy and time invested in getting our little guy healthy. We have a lifetime of additional costs now, but the cost that would’ve been paid by our Eli had he not been able to come home may have ended up being his life. I thank the Lord everyday that He provided the means to bring Elijah and his brother, Simon, home to our family.
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