During National Adoption Month you’ll get to hear from some amazing people. Today’s guest post is from John Vogt. I love hearing from adoptive dads!
Our adoption story began back in 1949. I was an orphan with no hope and no future. But the Lord promises to be a Father to the fatherless and care for the orphan. In His great mercy and love God cared for me and gave me the best Dad and Mom that any kid could have.
Sara and I were united in marriage August 21, 1971. Sara’s doctors told that she would never be able to have children. We both love kids and dreamed of having a son and a daughter. I reassured Sara that God could help us build a family through the blessings of adoption.
Then one summer night in June of 1973 I was lying on the floor of our living room in Arlington, VA in great pain. I had ruptured two disc in my back and I could hardly move. I could not sleep in a bed. That night as we embraced we realized that we had very little going for us… no home, just a small one bedroom apartment, no money, employment threatened because of my ruptured discs and no children with Sara’s womb closed. It was in this darkness and total frustration that I spoke these words… “If God wants us to have a baby we will have a baby”. The docs had said, “no way… that would be physically impossible.” But on March 28, 1974 the God of the impossible gave us a son. We named him John Regis Vogt. We call him Regis after my Dad the man who took me in his arms and loved me to life when I was an orphan.
The Lord blessed us with a son but where was our little girl? As the years went by our hopes for a daughter began to fade. We had moved to Washington, DC and life was very busy. We poured ourselves into loving our son and working hard in our broadcasting careers. We came to the place in our older age where we were no longer thinking about more children.
Then one morning while doing an interview with America World Adoption I heard about these little orphan girls in China. As AWAA’s founder Brian Luwis shared with our listeners my heart burned within me. Later that night I asked Sara, “Do you think that the Lord may be calling us to go to China and rescue one of these little orphan girls and bring her home as our daughter?”
We had to wonder if this was why God allowed Sara’s womb to be closed? And so, after much prayer and lots of encouragement from family and friends we began a great adventure in love.
On May 21, 2002 they placed Johanna Renee in our arms and life has never been the same. What would we do without her? She is the most loving, kind and talented child that any parent could have. Johanna loves God and loves people.
But God was not finished with our adoption story. The process of bringing Johanna home only made us more aware of the millions of children around the world that desperately need a Mom and Dad.
We began our paper pregnancy for daughter number two in 2005. Five years later we got the call from Living Hope Adoption Agency that our referral had arrived. But things were much different for us now. With the economic downturn the Vogt family was out of money and had little time before we were scheduled to leave for China. When we adopted Johanna we had plenty of resources to cover our adoption expenses. With Julianna it would turn out to be one of the most humbling and encouraging experiences that we have ever been through.
Like many other families who adopt we needed to raise our support. For most of our 40 years together Sara and I were able to reach out to others who were in need. Now the situation was reversed. Our total expenses to bring Julianna home was around $33,000.00 and we were about $15,000.00 short. We will be forever grateful to Vineyard Church of Wellsboro and all of our family and friends who helped us bring Julianna home. It’s never easy to have to depend on others for help but looking back now I see God’s hand in this chapter of our adoption story in ways that I could not see at the time. Our church has embraced Julianna in a very unique and special way. I think that one of the reasons for this is that the Lord had orchestrated the financial side of her adoption so that others could participate in the process. Even today when members of our church family see Julianna in the context of church life I sense that many of them are thinking… there she is… that’s our girl… we helped to bring that little one home.
On July 26, 2010 in Nanchang, China Julianna Elizabeth was rescued, saved and redeemed. She was chosen by us and received a new name and family. She was no longer an orphan without hope or a future. She was now a joint heir with her big brother Regis and older sister Johanna. She would now be bathed in love. Old things had passed away and all things had become new. She was given a new life through the blessings of adoption. Sound familiar?
This is what Papa God does for each of us who put their hope in Him. We don’t deserve it. We can not earn it. By Him and through Him we receive the Spirit of Adoption and cry out Abba Father… Papa God… Daddy. Oh, how He loves you and me.
John and Sara Vogt