One Less Child

As we journey through each day of the Advent season, we’ve gathered special stories from Lifeline families, staff, and friends to share with you, testifying to how the hand of the Lord and the Character of Christ have been magnified through their children and in their families…

The below was written by adoptive dad, Kevin Harrelson, while he and his wife were in Bulgaria on their first trip to meet their son.

Just out of curiosity today, I asked Iliyan if he had ever asked God to give him a family. My reason for this was because, several months ago, I wondered if our adoption process was really what God wanted us to do. I wondered what relationship this child had with The Lord… or did he have one at all. I wondered if he, at times, prayed or just asked why no one wanted him.

As our days passed, I asked the director of the orphanage if the children were taught about God, and she said “no, not officially”. But, to my surprise, Iliyan wanted to take us all to a church on one of our outings. The church we went to was a very traditional Greek Orthodox Church that was incredibly beautiful . I started taking a few pictures, and Iliyan humbly approached me and said, “This is God’s house, and He might not want us to take pictures”. I was in awe of the reverence this child had for a God that he knew so little about. He held my hand and told me God was here. I was frozen in awe. I felt the Lord’s presence and watched my little boy walk to the front of the church and pray . Iliyan told me today that he had been praying for God to send him a family. For the first time, he cried while telling me this. I grabbed my little man and told him I was his daddy!!

I only share this because God has shown Himself to me through a little boy, thousands of miles away, that seemed to be wanted by no one. If I accomplish nothing else in this short life, I will be content knowing that one less child will have to lay down at night wondering if anyone loves him.

Kevin Harrelson, Lifeline Adoptive Dad