Our First Trip {The Eichers}

My job changed on August 6, 2011. Saturday morning, our alarm clock went off at 7:30 a.m and we laid there with one thing on our minds…Are we going to Bulgaria today? For the past few months I had been in communication with an old acquaintance (who is now a forever friend), about possibly documenting their family's adoption process. In April of 2011 I photographed their daughter, Audrey, and I knew God was telling me there was a greater reason that I was there, not just to capture this beautiful girl. The session was ending and I began praying, ‘God, what is it?’ The conversation turned when I asked the simple and very common question, “Do you guys want more children?”. Lisa got a little quiet and then answered very slowly, “well, we’re actually in the process of adopting.” BOOM! That’s it! This is why God had us meet up today! We began to talk more and more about adoption, something my heart is so passionate for. Lisa told me that if 7% of Christians in America would adopt orphans in America, that there wouldn’t be anymore orphans in the US. What?!?! Where has the church been? Didn’t Jesus encourage His people to take care of widows and orphans? God has been showing me very heavily over the past few years that the things He holds sooo dear to His heart are the things that are most corrupt in this age.

Moving forward…

My husband is an airline pilot. There are many wonderful benefits that we receive for his hard work but there are also things we must sacrifice. Anyways, one benefit is traveling cheap. So when Lisa told me that they were adopting I instantly knew I wanted to go with them a document the process. Not only to bless the Eicher family but to show and encourage the world about adoption. However, we were uncertain if Nick, my husband, would receive the days off he needed to in order for us to go. Well, as of Friday the 5th of August, he had not. So I made the dreadful call to Lisa, telling her we would not be coming with them.

Nick walks in the door from work Friday night. We have a beer, eat some pizza, cuddle on the couch. And then Nick says “well, I guess we should start figuring out a way to get to Bulgaria tomorrow.” WHAT?!? My selfish and tired state of mind began to panic, “but we can’t go, I’ve already told them we’re not going. We don’t have enough time, I’m afraid of flying and haven’t mentally began processing a 10 1/2 hour flight” (something I must do in order to fly), so my flesh got the better part of me and I angrily said, “no, we’re not going. You should have told me the moment you walked in the door, not at 11:00 p.m!” We talked and talked and talked and decided it was too late to make logical decision so we went to sleep. Which brings me back to my first paragraph…Are we going to Bulgaria today?

We talked and prayed and felt the freedom to GO! Jesus had taken my fear and turned it to excitement. We called the Eichers, hopped in the car and headed for Houston.

We arrive in Houston around 1:45 p.m. Jumped from our car to the Eicher’s car and made a mad dash for Bush Intercontinental. Joey (and hopefully our) flight was to leave at 4:00 pm. Just after 3:30 we were cleared for the flight, made it past security and boarded the Lufthansa 747 for Frankfurt.

Praise Jesus for His perfect timing!

Praise Jesus for His willing servants, Joey and Lisa, for heeding the call to adopt the most beautiful little boy with Down Syndrome.

My job has changed forever because I have now seen the perfect Gospel played out through my lens. A father, by no merit of his son, chose his child. He has chosen to love, to live and work, provide, and if it calls for it, even die for his child. His child is unaware of his father. Unaware of the endless hours of paper work, house studies and court dates. But one day, the child sees his father. His father gets down on his knees, opens his arms, and the child runs in. Protected forever by his father. Just because.

This was 5 months ago. God has continued to move in so many big ways and open so many doors that we cannot not do this! Thus The Archibald Project is born.