When I was a young boy I placed my trust in Christ. I remember that night as if it were yesterday. Right away I wanted to go to the other missionary families in our village to let them know that I was saved! My parents were missionaries among Yanomamo Indians, and later worked in town. I was able to attend boarding school where Jenny’s parents worked and thoroughly enjoyed my time there. Jenny and I feel so blessed to share so many of the same memories. My first memory of what I wanted to be when I grew up was an Astronaut. I saw a picture in the Encyclopedia of an Astronaut in outer space, but from early in my life I wanted to be a missionary. I graduated from high school and attended New Tribes Bible Institute. It was a true blessing to spend 2 years studying and learning from God’s word. After Bible School I volunteered on the mission field for 8 months helping to load and refuel planes. I returned to the United States intending to save up money and become a missionary pilot. What does His word say in Proverbs 16:9? “The mind of man plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps,”. I attended WCTC to study computers. During my time there the Lord brought Jenny and I back together!
As a very young girl, I placed my trust in Christ as the One who redeemed me. And as a young adult, I learned to place my trust in Christ as the One who sanctifies and transforms me. God graciously placed me in the family He chose: missionaries in South America–boarding school teachers to be specific. God showed me Himself through my parents and the ministry God had through their lives: the students who were welcomed, the lives that were touched and changed. God drew me to Himself when my dad died suddenly after an accident. God shared with me His heart for the nations of the earth by allowing me to see those peoples and their need daily. God guided me to further study of His Word at New Tribes Bible Institute. Joyously God made the two to be one when He brought Jonathan and I together.
The Two Are One
After dating a little in boarding school and dating a little through letters and not dating for a little and then dating a little more after Bible School, the knot was officially tied July 17, 1999!! God began teaching us right away about sacrifice, unity and communication. As we were both students (Jonathan studying computers and I studying some elementary education), we had to learn to be flexible, forgiving and frugal, and to carve out time for each other! What a blessing to be involved with a young married couples group through our church! Those in that group, who are now our dear friends, held us and our marriage up before the Lord. At that time God also led us to share an apartment building with a family who is now among our closest friends!
And Then There Were More
After a few years of marriage and a bit of schooling for both Jonathan and I, we decided we were ready (yeah, right!) to start a family with kiddos! We thought God would bless us with kids the old fashioned way, but He had bigger plans. So we decided we would use our “waiting” time to give a home to a few foster kids–“just while we wait” to get pregnant! Oh the blessings God brought our way–21 blessings actually (maybe a few more if we consider the moms, grandmas and aunts we were blessed to know). Through the course of the next four years, God brought 21 children (under age 3) to our home to be loved and cared for. He blessed us with four children to stay. (And at the same time He was molding and shaping us as parents–what a big job He had!!)
Our sweet Emmanuel came to our home for a short while at 8 months, then he returned to stay when he was a year old, in September of 2003. Our dear enthusiastic boy with a heart for God is such a blessing to our family! We are also blessed to keep in touch with some of Emmanuel’s family. On November 18, 2005, after being part of our family for two years, Emmanuel officially became a Roundy!
A bouncing baby girl, Elena came home to us from the hospital 3 days after her birth. She has shown from an early age compassion, determination and a gentle spirit! Little over a year after being welcomed to our family, Elena also became an official Roundy on March 8, 2005! We are so thrilled that we can spend time with her brother and sister and other family members!
James and Jada
Our double blessings! As soon as Emmanuel’s adoption was final we asked to be placed on a “special list” of families available to adopt children from foster care who are free, or close to free, for adoption. Just as soon as our paperwork was updated, God brought not one, but two, growing babies into our lives. When James and Jada were 2 ½ months old they moved home with us. Then on their first birthday, April 6, 2007, we also celebrated their official adoption! James brings such sunshine to our household with his bright smiles. Jada touches our hearts with her loving affection!
Proverbs 13:12 “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but desire fulfilled is a tree of life,” and Proverbs 16:9 “The mind of man plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps,” became personal and relevant to our lives. We could see that God truly does direct and fulfill! God had different plans for our family than the ones we had laid. We learned that His plans and direction are best and they bring life, desire fulfilled, and blessing upon blessing. God is good!
After almost 11 years of wrestling with infertility, God blessed us while we were in West Africa! We returned to the US where Hayden was born. We are so blessed by his joyful presence!
Ian is a super fun little toddler right now. He is almost 2 years old. He loves books, and unfortunately he rips them sometimes too. 🙂 “Book” is one of the very few words that he can say right now.