What’s in your hands?

 “What’s in your hands?”   

God beckoned Trent and Aprille Allen to answer this question several years ago. It stopped them in their tracks, while simultaneously spurring them on to surrender. They handed their family and home to God.   

In time, God began to move. Their hearts opened to adding a family member to their home through adoption.    

“At first, we were looking to adopt a baby or toddler, but our ages (54 and 48 when we began) required that we pursue older children.”   The Allen’s were confident that their ages were no mistake to God. “There is a time to be born” (Eccles. 3:2). The Lord put it on their hearts to adopt older children who already knew the language and culture of their home country, knowing that God could possibly use them to share the gospel there one day. “Go you into all the world and preach the gospel, making disciples in every nation” (Matt. 28:19).  

Problems as blessings  

A few years ago, before applying to adopt, they were disappointed to find out they couldn’t afford the puppy they wanted for the children. The breeder wouldn’t compromise on a lower price. Weeks later, they received an unexpected call from the breeder explaining that the puppy had a problem with her kneecap, and she was available for a much lower price. As the Allen’s brought their puppy home, God spoke to their hearts. They realized that the puppy’s kneecap issue was the very reason they were able to have her.   

That same day, while praying about who they would adopt, God told Aprille that the puppy was a lesson for them. “God was preparing us for children who had issues of some kind when pursuing adoption.” They began to look at any potential problems during their process as blessings since those could be the very reasons that they could adopt the children God led them to. At first, they thought they would adopt only one child. But God revealed to them a group of three sisters, and He made it clear that they were meant to be their daughters. They were older and a larger sibling set, which shifted them to the category “special needs.”  “We came to realize that their issues were actually blessings – their special needs were the very reasons these girls had not yet been adopted and could be ours,” Trent said.   

God did extraordinary things through ordinary people  

“When we first began to pray seriously about adoption, a friend gave us this advice,” Aprille said, “’Decide what is right before you decide what is possible.’ In other words, hear from God first. If He is in this, it doesn’t matter if things seem impossible. He’s the one who makes a way where there isn’t a way.”  

That’s exactly what God did for the Allen family. Continually, God spoke the verse from Isaiah to the Allen’s, “This is the way, walk in it” (Isaiah. 30:21).   

The Allen’s adoption process was relatively fast since they were adopting a sibling set and the oldest girl was about to age out. We received mail from Joni and Friends Ministries with Luke 14:21 written on the envelope, “Go out quickly. Bring in the blind, lame, crippled, poor, so that my house may be full.”  

God provided everything they needed when they needed it.  The same day they sent their first payment, they received a bonus for almost the exact same amount. This happened twice during the process. God provided scholarships, grants, and donations during the final steps of the process. The outpouring of love from family and friends expanded their assurance that this was God’s will for them.   

“We knew that the one who called us would be faithful to equip us with everything we needed for the adoption and the life together thereafter, as well,” they said. “Knowing that we are walking out God’s calling for our lives is an anchor. We know God will carry us through and give us wisdom for hard seasons because He has shown that He is faithful to provide all that we need.”