Katie Davis at Catalyst

Q: You're 18, and this whole journey gets started when you go to volunteer for 3 weeks. I want you tshare what God did in your heart.

A: I completely fell in love with the Ugandan people, their joy, their heart. I had never experienced poverty like that. As soon as I got back to the US, I said to myself, "I've got to do something."

Q: So you go back for a year and big things start to happen. Take us through that journey.

A: Over the course of this year God has presented me with so many different needs. My kids (she's a teacher) quit coming to school. They can't afford school fees. Parents tried to drop their kids off at an orphanage to give them a better life.

So I said to myself, what can I do to help these kids stay in their family? So I started to e-mail my friends and family. So 10 kids turned into 40, which turned into 100, and today Amazima sponsors over 450 children.

So that year was slowly turning into a bigger committment.

Half way through that year a house fell down. There were three kids there. Their dad had died, and they were living alone. Then their house fell down. The 9 year old was crushed, so her 7 and 5 year old sisters came and stayed with me.

I didn't think of it as adoption. I was looking for their family, but God confirmed it in my heart that I was their family.

So the year turned into a lifetime.

Q: Can you imagine? You're 19 and you're a mommy. I was reading your book in preparation for this. The theme is Be Present. I'm amazed at how you stepped into that moment, so what I want you to encourage us with is, what's going through your mind and spirit as God's encouraging you to do this.

A: Sure, it's terrifying. In that moment you have to choose to say yes. Over and over again I've seen this redemption in my life and my daughters lives. As we step out in faith, He's always right there to meet us with his grace.

Q: Now take us from that first decision to adopt and how you get to number 13.

A: Well, I mean, children keep showing up at the door, and always the first option is, Is there a biological family? Then, is there a Ugandan foster family? So we do foster care too. I've had kids come through that I thought I would adopt, but they're not. And ones that I thought I wouldn't, but then end up being my kids. It feels like a smaller number when you realize that out of 2500 kids in my program 13 ended up with me.

Q: You talked about this in the book a bit; you realized you can't adopt every kid. You talk about a boy who you knew couldn't stay with you and might not have food, but you had a peace about it.

A: Michael is a great example of a kid who had parents who after counseling were willing and able to care for him. I can look over the past 4 years and say none of this was planned. God has confirmed over and over again that while we are faithful in the little, He is faithful in the big.

Q: ?

A: I know in my heart that I love my children as if they were mine biologically, and I think about how God loves us as adopted children. It's a reminder to me that adoption is this redemptive response to tragedy.

God sees the tragedy of our sin and wants to enter in and redeem that. He enters into the lives of my daughters and says, I see you and know your tragedy. So many new facets of the Father are revealed in this.

Q: If you're considering adoption, what should you do?

A: Pray and seek God. I doubt he'll say know. It may look different for all of us.

Q: I want to read a passage from the book: I don't always know where this life is going. I can't see the end of the road. Courage is not about knowing the path. It is about taking the first step. It is about Peter stepping out onto the water with the complete faith Jesus will not let him drown. I do not know my five year plan. I don't even really know tomorrow. I call it faith. Some choose to get out of the boat.

Posted at 4:52 PM on October 6th, 2011
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