Leon and Ashley

I met Ashley a couple weeks ago when she volunteered at CURE for the day. Ashley has been to Niger multiple times, but I hadn’t met her until this trip. As I do with most people I meet, I managed to show her a picture of Leon and told her how we are in the process of adopting him from a nearby orphanage. She said she had visited that orphanage, which was already a nice little connection.

Then a week later we bumped into each other at a restaurant. Ashley saw Leon and said, “Is this your son?” Before I could answer, she burst into tears. She asked, “Was his name Job when he lived at the orphanage?” I said yes and then she told me that she met him when she went to the orphanage, and held him when he was only 2 weeks old. The tears welled up in my eyes – I was stunned. She said that ever since she met him she prayed that God would give him a family. Leon left a definite impression on her, since he was the only baby at that orphanage. She prayed that he would have a home and that he wouldn’t have to grow up in the orphanage.

The process of adopting Leon has been so scary and we’ve never felt more vulnerable in my life, but all along the way we have had little signs from God letting us know that he is watching out for little Leon. It seems like it always happens that when we start to fear things won’t work out and when we get discouraged and feel hopeless, a new miracle and beautiful surprise unfolds before our eyes. Ashley was our most recent miracle. She met baby Leon and has been praying for him even before we knew he existed. Meeting her and hearing her talk about Leon made me realize that God is in control of the process, and that even the things I think I can control are in God’s control. It helped me realize that even though I worry about Leon, about the adoption and about his future, he is in God’s care, and has been all along. No matter how concerned I am for Leon, God is even more concerned. No matter what obstacles we encounter, God can overcome them. No matter what surprises us along the way, God is not surprised.

Meeting Ashley and talking to her about Leon was a treasure, but she was also able to give us a few tangible treasures: photos of Leon at 2 weeks old. When we met him he was already 2 months old, so we didn’t have any idea what he was like during his first two months of life. We didn’t even have a single picture of him from that period of his life. Now we have 5! These are truly invaluable treasures that we will cherish forever, and they confirm what we always suspected – that he has always been a cutie!


Ashley with Leon at 2 weeks.


Ashley with Leon: present day.

Ashley with Leon: present day.

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10 Responses to Leon and Ashley

  1. Beth B. says:

    What a precious gift and so neat to see the covering of prayer over Leon’s life right from the start!

  2. How fantastic of Ashley to have taken those photos! And how awesome for her that she got to find the direction his future is taking!

  3. Chris says:

    Amazing!!! I am stunned too. Yet another part of his amazing story……keep at it, he is God’s precious gift to you!

  4. Kay says:

    What a great story and blessing. The pictures are great!

  5. Rebecca Wood says:

    that is so awesome. My sisters are adopted and we only have a few images of them as babies- none of my one sister. I know how precious having photos of them in early life is. YAY!

  6. Eva says:

    I love love love the third photo of him! His cheeks just are bulging even at 2 weeks!

  7. Mira Chen says:

    Wow, this post brought tears to my eyes. Thanks for sharing, Julie. How precious Leon is and how much more precious is our Lord!!

  8. Janetta says:

    An incredible account of how God works in mysterious ways His wonders to perform………..and that’s just what this is ………….a wonder how all the pieces are coming together!! So happy for your little family and now you have Ashley in your life ❤

  9. Linda Watt says:

    That’s exactly how God works! We had a lot of those little surprises with Alicia! We saw her when she was two weeks old! Her uncle helped us with the adoption but we had no idea he was her uncle until she was about 7 years old and we went back to Benin to visit her birth family! Even in the midst of the adoption there were these little God moments–just how God worked it all out. There is absolutely no doubt in our minds that God is at work in each of these adoptions. We just have to have our eyes open to see them. Be sure to write them all down so he will know when he gets bigger, just how God watched over every detail of his life! There is no doubt in my mind that the details won’t work out. It’s all in God’s timing. I’m here cheering you on! You guys aren’t alone! Thanks for sharing!

  10. Ben Martin says:

    How beautiful! What an incredible blessing for all of you!

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