The title Our Story, doesn’t really fit. This is God’s story and we are incredibly blessed to be a part of serving and growing His kingdom.
Early on in our marriage, we agreed that we wanted to put God first. First in everything. First in our relationship; first in how we raised our children. First in our priorities. It sounded really easy, but honestly learning how to put God first was a challenge.
We sought the Lord. We prayed together, we studied the Word. We sought counsel from various Godly people. We attended conferences, we were involved in a bible study group and we were active in our local church. We were doing everything we knew to grow in God. And yet we knew there was more.
Learning to Listen to God
A few years ago, God spoke to Nick’s heart about going on a mission trip. He was asked to travel with our church to Kenya, Africa, and he saw this as an opportunity to see what doors God might open in missions. He came back changed; but as we look back, it was only the beginning. We then decided to take a joint adventure with our church to Haiti. The molding process had definitely begun in our lives.
In the meantime, we had never felt like our family of four was complete. We knew we had room in our hearts for more children, and we began to look into the adoption process, both domestically and internationally. Each time we felt Him saying, “Wait.” Knowing that we had to trust God and follow His lead, we were patient. Brittany had a nurturing spirit to love others; and Nick had an adventurous spirit. How would God ever find a way to use us as a family with such different passions?
In the Summer of 2012, Nick traveled with some very close family and friends to Honduras.
While there he met Allison, the founder of Eternal Family Project. He was intrigued by her ministry and the forever family that was provided to 17+ abandoned girls. The personal changes that came from the trips to Kenya and Haiti paled in comparison to the brokenness he felt as he traveled back to the States. He knew we would go back as a family; it was just a matter of when.
Together, we decided to travel back down over Christmas 2012. We could not have imagined the impact of this trip. Our visit to Honduras started out as a very simple, casual, fun trip to build relationships with Allison and her daughters. We enjoyed large holiday meals, good conversations, numerous games, and of course dance parties. With a house full of 18 girls, including our own, dance parties were a must!
Before heading to the airport on the last day of our trip, we traveled to the public orphanage in San Pedro and that is where we met her. She was in the preschool room that was full of children ages 3-5 years old. She sat solemnly as she waited for her apple that our friends had brought to pass out. She wore a little plaid dress, and her hair was pulled up to the side in a ponytail. Nick noticed her first and sat down next to her immediately asking her name. She quietly answered, “Nahomy.” He called for me to come meet her. I immediately sat down and pulled her to my lap, and my heart sank. I remember thinking, “She feels like my own kid.” It seemed like a blink of an eye and our group was ready to go. I kissed her sweet cheek and sat her back onto the floor. As we walked out the door, I couldn’t hold in the tears. Broken. I was broken.
We went out to the playground where the older kids were waiting for their apples. Nick had Mya on his shoulders as the children gathered around for their treat. A sweet young girl sat down in a desk and held her arms out wanting to hold Mya. Nick handed Mya to her and she was so happy to sit with her. She just kept smiling. Nick tried to get her name but didn’t understand what she was trying to say. This was the only child that held Mya that day out of hundreds. Once all of the apples were passed out, we all gathered and headed to the van. Our trip to the orphanage had ended. As we drove away, silence filled the air and tears came even faster and harder than before.
On the plane, Nick and I discussed our feelings about Nahomy. We were absolutely devastated that we had to leave her there. I wrote in my journal, “Why God? Why did we have to go there? Why did we have to see these things? Why do we feel so strongly about a young girl that we had to leave behind? What does this brokenness mean?”
Coming home did not stop our desire for a relationship with Nahomy. We continued to think about her and prayed fervently for God to open a door to help her. We knew Honduras had a difficult adoption policy with the United States. It was a potentially lengthy, and sometimes impossible, process to adopt a Honduran child and bring her back to live with us in the US. So, we just continued to pray. Meanwhile, we asked to get more information about Nahomy. Our contact in Honduras, Allison, was able to find out that she had two sisters, but that their mom was going to come back and take them home. We were thankful that her mom would hopefully return to take her children back home. We continued to pray for these three sweet girls and for God to open a door if He wanted us to help them.
The Call That Changed Everything
The week had been crazy and busy, as weeks tend to get, and I was still at the school for parent teacher conferences. Nick sent me a text that stated he had spoken with Allison and that I needed to call him quickly. I called him only to find out that I would have to wait and talk to Allison later in the evening. So after what felt like eternity, I finally made it home at 8:00 pm. Allison called at 8:30 and what I was about to hear would forever change our lives. She said that the director of IHNFA (an organization similar to the Division of Family Services in the US) had come to have tea with her on Sunday afternoon and began sharing about a case that was weighing heavily on her heart. She felt personally responsible for finding three girls a home; their ages were 12, 8, and 4 and they were currently at the state orphanage.
When Allison heard the ages, she asked if the youngest girl’s name was Nahomy, to which the director answered, “Yes, but how did you know that?” Allison proceded to tell her about our family’s visit and our trip to the orphanage. Then she said the words, “They are adoptable.” WHAT!? WAIT!? The tears stung as they poured down my face. She told us to pray and seek God’s will for this. Once we were off of the phone, Nick and I quickly felt that they were our kids, but continued to pray.
As had been planned for some time, I left town early the next morning to go visit a dear friend that had recently had a baby. With minds full of thoughts and emotions pouring out all over the place, Nick and I continued to pray and talk on the phone for the next two days. On Friday, February 1st we made our decision to walk in faith through the door that God had so clearly opened. We called Allison to tell her that we wanted to adopt the girls. Much to our surprise, she was at the orphanage when we called. We told her our answer (expecting to have until Tuesday before she would go back to the orphanage), only to be met with another decision to make. “I can take them home with me today, if you want me to.” Our heads were really spinning by this point. We asked her to find the answer to two more questions that we had; and we also wanted to contact the chairman of the EFP (Eternal Family Project) board of directors, to let him know all of this was transpiring. Within 10 minutes, all three of those pieces fell together. Allison had good answers for our questions, and the chairman gave us his support with no hesitation.
Our lives were changed…forever! The lives of three sweet girls were changed…forever!
We will be moving to Honduras in May/June 2013, to do the following:
- adopt 3 amazing young girls – Flor (age 13), Stephanie (age 9), and Nahomy (age 4)
- start a school for all girls in Eternal Family Project
- be the hands and feet of Jesus as we follow God’s will for our lives
A Path Redirected
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. ~Isaiah 55:8
When plans change, is He still good? When things don’t line up quite like you had planned, is He still good? When you don’t get the answers that you want, is He still good?
God has redirected our path and it doesn’t look like it did when we first moved to Honduras. Shortly after our move, we had the pleasure to meet our girls’ birth mom. We quickly saw the genuine love and care between her and the girls. We began to ask questions about resettlement into their family and were told that was not an option at the time. Their mom continued to come for visits about once every few weeks or so. The more and more we watched the girls interact with their mom, the more we felt God leading our hearts to somehow help her. We began to pray for God to show us how to help and asked that He make it clear if we were to advocate for her to have the girls back in her care full time.
About a week ago, our social worker came to the house for a visit and had some big news to share. She had decided to place the girls back with their mom. At first, our hearts sank but God quickly gave Nick and I a peace that only He can give. There are many mixed emotions, but we are confident that God is in this.
We are going to be working with our Social Worker and their mom to create a plan that allows us to help them for a certain period of time while she gets on her feet soundly and then can care for the girls 100%. The transition time, at this point, looks like about a month. The girls will continue to live with us and we will be foster parents until the Social Worker is ready to resettle them with their mom.
We feel that God has opened our eyes to the realization that not all kids need to be taken from their biological families, but instead some families desperately need the right support group to come alongside them.
Where does that leave us? We are still working to love on the girls while they are in our home. Flor wants to be baptized in the next week or two – Praise God! We are still working with the EFP school & loving on the girls in the ministry. We are still certain God called us to serve the people of Honduras. We still believe that He is good!
Here’s a photo we took of the girls with their brother and mother.
Please pray for their family that God would heal what is broken & make this resettlement successful. Please pray for wisdom for us to know how to best help during this time.
God doesn’t ask us to have it all figured out, He just asks us to trust Him, and that is exactly what we will continue to do!
Choosing to Walk by Grace
God is never surprised by the things that catch us off guard and we are learning each day to trust!
The girls are 100% back with their mom. She is living with a friend of theirs from church. We don’t get very many updates but the ministry in Honduras still has frequent contact with the girls and we are able to see pictures of them. We continue to pray for healing in their lives and their family. We trust that God has a plan, far bigger and greater than we could ever imagine.
We refocused our blog a bit, you can read more about why here, and are excitedly anticipating the next chapter God has planned for us in Texas. That’s right, the Krueger family is moving to east Texas, Lord willing, Summer 2015. Nick has accepted a full time IT position with a ministry called Mercy Ships and Brittany will be doing some volunteer work with the organization as well. We are thrilled for this new opportunity!