Almost three years ago, Heather and I began praying again about the possibility of adoption. We had adopted our first son, Caleb, from Kazakhstan, and nine months later our second son, Joshua, had come into our family. Overwhelmed by God’s grace, we knew that the Lord was leading us to adopt again, and so we began the process of praying through all the questions.

How should we adopt? Domestically or internationallly? If internationally, which country should we adopt from? Which adoption agency should we work with? How will we finance everything? We were in the middle of downsizing our home, so we wondered: How will we work out the details of the home study? Amidst the various questions in our minds (questions that every family who adopts inevitably wrestles with), we sensed the Lord clearly leading us to adopt internationally, and specifically from Nepal.

The infant mortality rate in Nepal is alarming, the prevalence of poverty is overwhelming, and the number of young girls who are trafficked for sex is devastating. After years of being closed to adoption, Nepal was re-opening with some unique regulations. For example, in order to adopt from Nepal, a family either had to have no children, or their children must have all been of the same gender, in which case a family could adopt a Nepali child of the opposite gender. So, because we had two boys, we were thus eligible to adopt a little girl from Nepal. We were told that the process (in total) would take about a year, and so we began immediately.

After a year of paperwork, fingerprints, physicals, home studies, moving homes, and more paperwork, we had finally completed everything that was necessary on our end to adopt a little girl from Nepal. Meanwhile, things on the Nepali end were slowing down, and due to a variety of different factors associated with a relatively unstable and constantly shifting government, soon Nepal was shut down for adoptions. I was preaching at an adoption conference about a year and a half after our process had begun, and I met an official from the U.S. State Department who, when he found out that we were adopting from Nepal, immediately told us to get out of that process. In his words, “There is no hope for adopting from Nepal right now.”

Our hearts were crushed. I remember Heather and I praying in tears at that conference, wondering what to do next. We had prayed with our boys almost nightly over the last 18 months for “their little sister in Nepal.” We knew (and still know now) that there are innumerable Nepali children without a mother or father to care for them, so why was God, the Father to the fatherless, seemingly closing this door?

We wrestled with these questions over the coming months as the prospects for adoption from Nepal only dimmed. We didn’t want to give up hope, and we knew that the Lord was leading us to adopt. We trusted that our quest to adopt from Nepal was not in vain, yet we wondered if the Lord was now leading us in another direction. And as we prayed, God opened up an avenue for us to keep our paperwork in Nepal (just in case it opened back up) while starting a parallel process of adoption through a special needs program in China.

Consequently, just over a year ago, we began the process again. More paperwork, more fingerprints, more physicals, more home studies, and more waiting. And now, we were praying nightly with our boys for their little sister in Nepal as well as their little brother or sister in China.

We will fill you in on more of the details as the days ahead progress, but suffice to say at this point…this morning, our family (including our boys) is boarding a plane to go to China to adopt the newest member of the Platts. Our travel dates were only confirmed last week, so yesterday we feverishly rushed around trying to get everything ready to go. Yet amidst running way too many last-minute errands and packing way too many fully-loaded suitcases, every once in a while, we found ourselves pausing in awe of a plan that we never would have devised but God most certainly has designed. For next Monday, after three years of praying, longing, preparing, and waiting, as the Lord wills, we will meet our daughter, our boys will meet their sister, and she will meet her family for the very first time.