While serving as missionaries in Central Mexico my wife, Ana and I had been praying about adopting a baby. We had unsuccessfully attempted to have a child of our own for several years.
A well known speaker asked me to serve on his ministry team and we made a missionary trip to Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas.
It was during the trip I was offered a baby from the leader of an orphanage.
One of the other missionaries had recently taken home a child from the Churches orphanage where we were ministering.
The leader of the orphanage asked how the other missionaries child was and then said,
“we have another little girl who needs a home”.
She explained that the little girl had been abandoned on the streets in a small town near by named Arriaga. No one knew who her parents were.
All the other team members immediately looked at me because they knew my wife and I wanted a child.
I asked what the child’s name was.
“We don’t know but we call her Ana.”
I immediately replied, My wife’s name is Ana, I’ll take that little baby home with me.
To everyone’s’ surprise I committed to take the child as my daughter right then and there without even laying eyes on her.
“Aren’t you going to ask your wife first?”
No, I sad, I’ve always told my wife that God would provide us with the perfect baby and this is His timing.
I went to the orphanage to see little Ana and immediately fell in love with her.
Since I’m a wise man, I did consult with my wife and 3 days later she arrived in the airport in Tuxtla Gutierrez.
Upon disembarking from the plane, My wife and I received little Ana into our arms to care for as our daughter. She was only 2 or 3 months old and was mal-nutritioned.
We were also given one spare set of clothing and a small stuffed animal. What she didn’t come with was a legal birth certificate.
It was the year 2000 and we had a great love for the little girl. We were proud parents but we didn’t have were any legal paternity or adoption papers.
After 6 years of unsuccessfully going through adoption procedures God used this process to move us from Central Mexico to Chiapas Mexico in 2006.Although living in Chiapas was still a time of adversity, God opened many doors for ministry and gave us great favor in this new mission field.
It wasn’t until July 1oth 2007, Seven years after we began a legal adoption process in Mexico that we were finally awarded the adoption.
We were given recognition by the Governor of Chiapas ‘wife because we did things the right way and were an example to others.
But the battle wasn’t over.
We still didn’t have a birth certificate stating that we were Ana Cristina’s parents.
Upon taking the adoption decree to the court house in Arriaga, Chiapas, we were told that both of us had to produce Mexican credentials to get the birth certificate.
Although my wife had Mexican credentials, I was only a US citizen. For a year and a half, I had to go through the process of getting my Mexican citizenship.
On April 8th, 2010 we received our child’s legal birth certificate stating that we are her legal parents. Her name was officially Ana Cristina Nemer Trejo.
Now we were able to apply for a Visa to travel to the USA as a family.
At that time the drug cartels were causing chaos along the US/ Mexican borders. We were shocked to learn that the USA actually made us go to the most dangerous city in Mexico, Ciudad Juarez, to get it.
Finally, 6 months after applying for the visa, we crossed the US border as a family. The major part of our adversity was over.
The long trial wasn’t easy because we also were not able to legally return to the USA for 10 years because our child had no visa. The inconveniences, financial struggles and legal battles were difficult. But the emotional battles were even harder.
Was it worth it?
What do you think?
As we were processing Cristi’s birth certificate the worker looked at us and stated,
“What a lucky child to have parents like you”.
I quickly replied, “We are the ones who have been blessed to have a child like Cristi”.
Although we faced adversity for so many years after we received our daughter, we wouldn’t trade those hard times in for the world.
Continue reading about how the lessons we learned have proven to be very valuable:
How To Overcome in the Face of Adversity
God used this adversity to give us success. Our Ministry is flourishing and we are fulfilled as a family.