Do you have a “Gotcha Day?”

Wednesday was Micah’s “Gotcha Day” – the anniversary of the day we adopted him as our son. It was May 15, 2017, when Micah went from being an orphan to being a son and a brother.

We praise God for bringing Micah into our lives! His sonship, both lovingly and legally, is completely legitimate, as if he was our biological son. We love him the same as our other children, and he has the same legal standing as our other children. Zoe, our adopted daughter, is no different.

Micah and Zoe’s “Gotcha Days” are special in our hearts and minds because they mark the official beginning of their entrance into our family.

Gotcha Day for Christians

If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, you also have a “Gotcha Day.” You may or not remember a specific day, depending on your age, how long ago it was, how your journey began and continues, etc., but every single Christ-follower has a day when he or she passed from being a spiritual orphan to becoming a child of God.

God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons” (Galatians 4:4-5).

Our adoption as children of God is part of the amazing news of the gospel. Like Zoe and Micah did nothing to earn their adoption as children into our family, we do nothing to earn our adoption as children into God’s family. Rather, because of His unfathomable love for us, He sent His Only Son to die on the cross for our sins and earn our salvation and adoption in and through His resurrection from the dead.

Now, everyone who repents of sin and trusts in Jesus Christ is adopted as a child of God.

And this is the promise that He Himself made to us: eternal life” (1 John 2:25). Who else can make that promise? No one. Who else can give us a “Gotcha Day” that literally impacts our eternity? No one.

Gotcha Day Proof

Sunday morning, Lord willing, I will continue my sermon series Prove It and talk about the “Proof of Truth” (1 John 2:18-27). What is the proof of Truth in your life? What is the proof of adoption?

If someone wanted, I could give them sufficient, documented proof that Zoe is our daughter, and Micah is our son, just as I could give them proof that our three biological sons are indeed our sons. In fact, we have much more documentation proving our adopted children belong to us than we do for our biological children. All five are our children, though, and that fact would not be difficult to prove.

If you have a genuine relationship with God, there is also proof. The “Gotcha Day” itself is not the proof, though. Sure, we might celebrate the “Gotcha Day” and enjoy talking about the “Gotcha Day,” but the proof of adoption is not in a day.

For Zoe and Micah, the proof is found in various legal documents, as well as in their daily lives. They live with us. We are raising them. We are providing for them. We love them because they are our children.

For Christians, the proof is also in your daily life. Christ lives in you. You remain in Him. You belong to Him and walk with Him according to His Word. You are faithful to His church, loving Him and loving His body.

Is there daily proof that you are adopted?

Zoe’s “Gotcha Day” is September 13, the day she became our daughter in 2012. If you know Zoe at all, you can probably imagine that she loves to celebrate her “Gotcha Day.” We do, too.

What is your dream?

Is the American Dream your goal and your hope? What happens if you don’t attain it?

This morning, I (Nick) preached through Ecclesiastes 2 and 4:4-16 on the “Futility of the American Dream.”

America?! America didn’t even exist over 2,900 years ago when Solomon wrote this book! True, but if you read Ecclesiastes, you will notice how applicable it is to us today, particularly when considering what we tend to long for and place our hope in.

If you are interested, you can listen to this message and others by going HERE. Regardless of whether or not you listen to the message, though, we want to encourage you to put aside the American Dream for eternal reality. You will never find lasting satisfaction and contentment by pursuing what the world has to offer. God made us for so much more, so don’t settle for less. Look to Him!

Our youngest son Micah turned three last Tuesday. If he had remained an orphan in China rather than being adopted, would he have been able to pursue the American Dream? Probably not. But, does that mean that God somehow loves him more than all the other orphans who will never get adopted and/or never get to come to a country like America? Of course not.

The American Dream in and of itself is not bad. Placing your hope in the American Dream and loving the American Dream are bad. Don’t settle for futility. Find your hope in the Lord.

 

Then there were seven!

While we posted regular updates via social media while in China and have shared quite a few pictures, we have greatly neglected DrakeCity. Thus, this post is long overdue – we’re home and officially a family of seven!

After arriving in the states late on Friday, May 26th, it took us a few days to get over our jet-lag fog and feel like we were functioning humans again.Well, here we are: fully functioning (for the most part) and adapting to life with five children.

Of course, Micah has the biggest change to overcome, being only two years old and having lost everything he knew up to this point. Not to mention, he can’t truly express himself and explain the grief and confusion he must be experiencing.

That being the case, we praise God for His faithfulness in answering our (and many others’) prayers, and for how He has blessed us in and through Micah. While Micah certainly has a long road of adapting ahead of him, we believe he is doing very well and quickly bonding with our family. Please do continue to pray for him (and for us), though. May the Lord be honored in our family!

To see many pictures from our trip to China, you can check out an online album by clicking HERE. If you have any questions about our adoption and/or if there is anyway we can encourage you to adopt, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Almost There

Wuhan – Where Micah Nicholas is from, and where we will complete our adoption of him.

Three weeks from today we leave for China! It’s almost hard to believe that in less than one month we will be a family of seven.

Thank you for your continued prayers for our family throughout this process! We would certainly appreciate if you would continue to pray over the next six weeks as we travel and bring our little boy home. Micah just turned two a couple weeks ago, and he has been with a foster family since he was only a few days old. Thus, this is likely going to be a very difficult transition for him.

Thankfully, we serve a God who knows all things and controls all things. Transitions are not outside of His wisdom and providence, so please ask Him to be at work in our family. We want to honor him in all that we do, and this adoption is certainly no exception.

While we likely won’t be updating DrakeCity while in China, we’ll do our best to post pictures and updates on social media. So, if you are not connected with us but want to keep up, please follow us on Facebook (Nick or Marsha), Instagram or Twitter. Lord willing, we’ll find a way to get updates out via these mediums.

Meet Micah Nicholas

Micah Nicholas… Micah means “one who is like God” and Nicholas means “victory for the people”

We received more good news yesterday that we are another step closer to bringing our little boy home from China. Meet Micah Nicholas Drake. Well, that’s not technically his name yet, as he isn’t officially our son until we go to China and bring him back to the U.S. for the completion of the adoption process. But, if all goes according to plan and the most recent expectations, we should be travelling, Lord willing, to China in May! Praise the Lord!

We want to thank all of you who have prayed for and supported us throughout this process. Your continued prayers are coveted, as we still have a lot to do before bringing our son home. Our hope and plan is to all travel together as a family, along with Marsha’s parents and Nick’s mom, when we go to get Micah. Yes, that will be 10 people travelling on an airplane together when we come back! At least we’ll have a one-to-one adult-to-child ratio, which is always nice for international travel.

Praise God for His faithfulness to us throughout this adoption process and always!

One Less Orphan

one-less-orphanGreat news! The world is one step closer to having ONE LESS ORPHAN in China, as we have been matched with a little boy! If all goes as planned over the next several months, he will be our son! He is 20 months old, and we’ll share pictures and his name when we are closer to finding out if this is going to be official. Will you please continue to pray for our adoption process? Lord willing, we’ll be going to pick him up sometime this coming summer. Praise God!

Exciting Family News!

Great Wall of ChinaWe’re excited to announce that our family is soon to be a family of SEVEN! No, Marsha is not pregnant, but we are expecting our next child. We are in the process of adopting from China.

 

Why now?

We believe children are an incredible blessing from the Lord, and we are beyond grateful that we are ready and able to adopt another. Having three biological sons (Noah, Levi and Silas) and one adopted daughter (Zoe), we believe God has given us these gifts and enabled us to have another. Yes, raising children can be difficult, overwhelming, expensive and stressful, but oh, how they’re worth it!

When we brought Zoe home from Ethiopia 3.5 years ago, we knew it would be a tough adjustment for our family. Now, though, we can’t imagine life without her. It’s as if she’s always been a part of our family.

 

Why adoption?

Adoption is such a beautiful picture of the gospel of Jesus Christ. When we put our faith in Jesus and in what He did for us in His death for our sins and His resurrection for our eternal life, we become God’s adopted children. There is nothing we can do to earn this adoption, but rather He chooses us. He saves us. He adopts us.

When we adopted Zoe, she did absolutely nothing to earn her adoption. We chose her, adopted her and brought her home to be a part of our family. Now, she is just as much a Drake child as our biological children. This is a picture of the gospel.

Furthermore, even though Marsha and I are still physically able to have biological children, we recognize the tremendous need for adoption in the world. There are hundreds of millions of orphans and so few people (in comparison) willing to adopt these children. We consider it an honor and a privilege to be family to a little boy or girl who might otherwise grow up without a mom, dad, sister and brothers.

Our hope is to raise our children to love and follow Jesus, to be a gospel example to those around us, and to be used of God to spur in other Christian families a longing to adopt.

 

Why China?

Because we adopted Zoe from Ethiopia, we wanted to adopt from Ethiopia again. Unfortunately, though, for various reasons, this isn’t possible. Thus, we had to pick another country.

While we didn’t necessarily feel a pull to one country over another, everything has fallen into place nicely for China to be the country. We were open to domestic adoption and also to just about any country where we could adopt an orphan needing a family. There are several factors that make China the best fit for us, and we won’t bore you with all the details. Thankfully, though, we will be able to keep our birth order the same (by adopting a baby or toddler) and are adopting from a country that has a clear, reputable process without the corruption that many other countries have.

 

Will we get a boy or a girl?

As with our first adoption, we are open to either gender. We want an orphan child who needs a family. When we were adopting from Ethiopia, we were told that our willingness to adopt either gender meant that we would get a boy, since most people specifically choose to adopt girls. We were fine with that likelihood, but surprise – we got a girl! Although it was nearly impossible for us to get matched with a girl in Ethiopia, God obviously decided that’s just what the Drake family needed next. So, Zoe is now our little girl.

Likewise, we have been told by the China program with Holt International (our adoption agency) that our willingness to adopt either gender means we will very likely get a boy. Again, we are very content with that likelihood. Even though Zoe would like to have a little sister, we as a family are open to whomever the Lord has for us.

 

When will we be bringing our child home?

While it’s still a little early in the process to know for sure, our hope, prayer and expectation is to bring our child home within the next year. We’ll be keeping people posted with updates on DrakeCity and on social media.

 

How can you pray?

Adoption can be a very overwhelming and difficult process, so we greatly covet your prayers for our family right now. We just finished the home study portion of the process and are beginning to gather our China dossier – a very large file with lots of paperwork. Here are some ways you can be praying for us…

  1. Please pray that we will rely on the Lord, and that He will be our source of hope, strength, wisdom and joy.
  2. Please pray that things will go well logistically as we continue to move forward in the process.
  3. Please pray for our child. He/she may or may not have already been born. Please pray for his/her health, development, protection and salvation.
  4. Please pray for Noah, Levi, Silas and Zoe. They are very excited about getting a new brother or sister, so please pray that excitement will continue, and that they will be drawn closer to the Lord and closer to one another throughout this process.
  5. Please pray for financial provision. Adoption is very expensive, as we know very well from our last adoption, but we serve a faithful God who provides for our needs. We trust He will continue to do so.
  6. Please pray for God’s name to be glorified throughout this process, and in and through our lives.

 

If you have any questions or want more information, please contact us. For those who wish to donate to our adoption, please click HERE. To support our adoption and get a really cool shirt, click on the shirt below.

ONE less ORPHAN shirt