The Helpers

Adoption Day was the culmination of a lot of hard work, and one of the best days in our family life.  It all started by the help of Brandon and Miranda Andree, a couple just living one day at a time in faith.  Kristi and I would not have our two youngest sons without them.  We owe them a great deal.  This post is the second in the series of “Why I Love”.  A series dedicated on finding what there is to love about people.

For as long as I have known Brandon and Miranda Andree, they have had a remarkable ability to help children.  The have displayed a deep commitment of fulfilling the needs of those children brought into their sphere of influence.  Over the years, the Andrees have had 13 foster children come into their household.  They have accepted both emergency and longterm placements, and foster adopted three children.  Additionally, many couples have sought their advice on navigating the foster care system.  We were just one such family 5 years ago.

We happened to attend our friend’s family birthday party and were introduced our future middle child,  He was the foster son of our friend’s parents (another story in itself).  He was about six months old and just adorable.  I looked into his eyes and at his smiling face and was hooked.

braxton

We had been trying to private adopt a second child without success for almost two years. I was surprised that foster adopting a baby was even an option.  I was thrilled.  During that week, Kristi and I started figuring out how to proceed with the 10 week training to get certified.

What seemed like a simple action to Miranda and Brandon was life changing not only to our son, but to us.  We would never be the same.  This ability to simply be in the moment to help others is one of the most admirable gifts of our friends.  They just present themselves to the Lord for service and get involved.  This gift has developed into a life of helping both foster children and parents like us.  The Apostle Paul wrote the Colossians that they are to work heartily for Christ in whatever they do.  Brandon and Miranda have taken that to heart!

Colossians 3:23-24 “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.”

Gifts Are Often A Passion

Gifts from the Lord are often a passion that His people feel great joy and purpose when fulfilling.  The Andree’s gift, to be in the moment and help those children and parents in need, is a passion that I have seen in their lives since I have known them.

1 Peter 4:10 “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.”

Gifts are Often Above the Normal

When you see people use their gifts, it often feels like they are able to handle more than the average person or more than yourself.  I haven been fascinated over the years watching the Andrees raise children, take on additional foster children, and help other parents at the same time.  It definitely seems more than I can handle.  God’s gifts empowers them to do what they are called to do.  Brandon and Miranda have a God given ability to live in faith and in the moment.

Gifts are Others Focused

Gifts from the Lord are other focused in order to build them up to maturity and love.  The Andrees just living life while continually using their gifts is a true expression of being other focused one day at a time.

Ephesians 4:11-13  “And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,…”

Ephesians 4:15-16 “Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.”

abdoptionday

Gifts are Life Changing

When serving the Lord, the use of your gifts changes lives!  They are used by God to help people in their time of need to help them love and grow.  The Andrees have changed dozens of lives for eternity by just being in the moment and trusting the Lord that their actions would help. A simple birthday party and Braxton’s smile changed the course of our lives.  Brandon and Miranda’s assistant through the whole process was invaluable.  Their gift was our gain.  Our family and lives will never be the same.

  • How can you use your gifts to help others?
  • Recall how someone else has used their gift to help you?
  • How can you inspire those around you to use their gifts at church?

Bible References:

The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. 2016 (Col 3:22–24), (Eph 4:11–13), (Eph 4:15–16) Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

The Holy Bible: New International Version. 1984 (1 Pe 4:10). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.