Tuesday, November 12, 2013

An Adoption Story | Hymns for Selena

Though DJ and I do not know Josh and Angela Walker well, we have many mutual friends and attended church together for several years. Throughout our entire acquaintance with them, we knew about their pursuit of bringing Selena into their family. Though it has been a long journey and is still not over, it is not one that is without hope. The Lord is faithful and His heart for the fatherless shines through their story. Their journey is one that shows perseverance and a determination to continue pursuing this little girl even when the adoption process has lingered for more than five years. Their journey is one of partnering with believers a continent away to care for a little girl until they can bring her home. Their journey is one of trust in the Lord, even when it's hard. And, it is one of singing and rejoicing... even in the waiting. Please watch this video and read their story below and consider partnering with them in their efforts to bless Selena and the Echeverria family. Your donation, no matter how big or small, will be such a sweet gift for them. Thank you for your consideration!


We, the Walkers, are truly honored to be able to share our story with this whole "beard" community. We actually love beards. I would have one if my company wasn’t so strict about facial hair. But we are not here to talk about beards, but to tell you our story. It's actually very close to the heart of what this beard blog is about: adoption. We love it that Courtney and DJ are adopting and that they have put together this grassroots effort, through this blog, to raise support and to bring together a community around such a beautiful thing as adoption.

Our story is a story of adoption too, and like the Hofmanns, international adoption. Ours begins five years ago when we went to Guatemala on a mission trip with our church, The Village. Angela and I were two years into our marriage, had just purchased our first home and had no kids at the time (only our first dog, Molly). Many people say that mission trips do more for the attendees than the people you serve, and I think this is often the case. For us it really was. We served most of the week in Huehuetenango, Guatemala at a local orphanage. It was a great week and all the kids were super cute and loveable but there was this one child that stood out to us. Angela met her in the baby room, and just like a magnet was attracted to her. Her name was Selena. We thought she was a baby because of how little she was, but she was two years old. Angela and I loved on her and made her smile as much as we could that week. By the end of that week we felt like God was doing something more with us and Selena. It's hard to explain to others, but when you know God says, in his Word, that he has a heart for the orphan and then you connect with one in a particular way, something special happens and you want to be obedient to what God is doing. That's how we felt. We didn't know anything about international adoption (or parenting at all!) but we knew that God had called us to pursue Selena. We looked into the adoption process and found out that Guatemala had recently closed their international adoption doors. There are different reasons for that, but we were unable to apply and start the process. We were saddened, but we knew God had called us to pursue Selena and we said we were going to do everything we could think of for this child while we wait for adoption to reopen.

Angela & Selena
That was over five years ago. In those five years we have only fallen deeper in love with Selena. I didn't tell you yet, but Selena has special needs. She has cerebral palsy, and a huge orphanage is no place for a child with special needs. She needs devoted time and attention, and she had become very ill at the orphanage. It’s a very long story, but we were able to, early on, move Selena out of the orphanage where she lived for 3 weeks prior to our first visit and into a foster family: the Echeverrias. Mimi, Nufito and their son, Junior. This family also fell in love with Selena through God ordained circumstances bringing them into Selena’s life shortly after us. They have cared for her these past five years and love her as their own. They have agreed to care for Selena for as long as it takes for adoptions to reopen, and boy did God pick one amazing family to do so. Mimi has been a mother to Selena. Because of her, Selena knows what it’s like to be loved like only a mother can. She has devoted every waking minute to Selena and has worked tirelessly to get Selena all the help she needs to thrive. We cannot say enough amazing things about this family. They are our family and we love them so very much. We visit Selena as often as we can and we are always amazed at how much progress she has made over the years. There is so much life in her now that wasn’t there before. We, the Walkers, have in essence partnered with the Echeverrias to provide them with whatever Selena needs, however we feel that this family deserves more. They deserve to be blessed in a very special way…

The Walkers with Selena and the Echeverrias

Fast forward five years and Selena is now seven. That’s wild to me, and the Echeverria family is still loving her like crazy, and Selena is getting so big. We have two kids of our own now and Molly (our dog) is still hanging in there. We moved to the Houston area now and last Spring I had the idea of putting together a music record that would be for a specific purpose. I have been a Christian since I was young and have played bass in church for a very long time. During that time I’ve met a lot of worship leaders and traveled around and met some very talented people. So my idea for this album was to use 10 hymns that I had rewritten and ask ten of my friends to guest feature on each hymn. We would put together the best album we could and give it away for free on NOISETRADE and connect people to Selena’s story. If people were blessed and encouraged by her story and the music and moved to leave a tip then we would give all of it to Selena and the Echeverria family. It was an idea that I would have never imagined had turned out so beautifully. We are really proud of it. The hymns have such a powerful message and have been very encouraging to our family throughout this process. I’ve just seen God’s hand in all of this and we are excited to invite all of you into the joy of this story.

Selena and the Echeverrias

We’ve created more content over on our website, www.hymnsforselena.com, and you can follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date on our progress. Thank you for hearing our story and go download the album and consider giving something to bless this amazing little girl, Selena and the Echeverria family. We love her and are still waiting. But we will sing… even in our waiting.

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