An adoption across the equator
Bloggers Note: This writing piece was written for a class last semester, and I am sharing it with you now. The piece was originally written in November. This is a more in depth telling of the Sovereignty of God in adoption from across the globe.
Juan Carlos Espada, renamed Taylor Juan Cain, was born in Santa Cruz, Bolivia in the summer of 1991. He was given birth by Ana Maria Espada and had two sisters. He was adopted in the fall of 1991 to an American family. His birth mother couldn’t afford to take care of all three since either his birth mother or the city of Santa Cruz knew about his father. In 1993 he became a citizen of the United States in the city of Raleigh, North Carolina where his adoptive parents William and Rhonda Cain lived with him. In 1994 they moved to Pottsville, Arkansas because of work and his mothers family farm. In 2009 he graduated from high school and in December of 2013 he will graduate from college. He attends church at First Baptist of Pottsville where he has been a member for seven years. He plans on going to seminary in the fall of 2014. This is his story of grace and God sent two of his own over 3,000 miles out of love.
November is the month for Adoption Awareness and every year I try to write a post on my blog or type up a status bringing the importance of adoption to people through social media. I have received good feedback and positive reaction. I find this story of my adoption unique. I know there are other kids who have been adopted, but this is a story I am able to tell. I want the whole world to know the good news and hope adoption has to offer. My parents pursued me, raised me, and cared for me for a purpose bigger than myself. I am in debt to everyone to share this testimony of a two people who traveled over four thousand miles for love.
I have always been asked the question, “When did you figure out you were adopted, you know because you and your parents don’t look anything alike” I was seven years old when my mom and dad sat down with me and brought out a scrapbook my mom had kept up with from the time her and my father went to Bolivia. She flipped through photos of her and my father walking around the city. She would point to certain people that surrounded me in the photo telling me who they were. I remember her smiling when she got to the picture of her; my father, and I were coming off the plane in a Miami, FL airport. Dad pulled out the camcorder that he took to record their time in Bolivia. I got to see Bolivia for the first time then. Pictures and fuzzy, VHS footage of the Santa Cruz was the first time I saw what my birthplace looked like.
My parents adopted me because they couldn’t have children due to medical reasons. I remember them telling me that it wasn’t until three years of trying to adopt that an adoption agency out of Texas called Los Niño’s called them and asked them if they wanted a three month old Hispanic baby from South America. They took the first flight out of the Raleigh-Durham Airport within the week.
This is not the first trip my dad has been outside the United States. My grandfather, the late Reece Cain, was in the army and he would get stationed around the world. My mother had always lived in Pottsville. Grandpa George, her father, had a small farm he bought after coming back from the Vietnam War. He used every bit of the money he had left to buy a house and several acres of land. Him and grandma still live there today.
When we came back to the U.S in September of 1991 my parents settled down in Raleigh, N.C. until 1994. In June of 1994 we moved to Pottsville A.R. to move close to my mother’s grandparents, and there was some land for my father to purchase to start his own cattle farm. When we moved back the newspaper wrote up a piece that I remember my grandmother laminating for me. Pottsville is a country town where farmers would run the roads more than the students at the public high school. This is home.
During the summers I would help my father and my grandfather on the farm. I remember checking cows, and mending fences. I use to sit on my fathers lap when it came time to put out hay in the winter. That is the wonderful thing about adoption. If my dad and I were together you couldn’t tell us apart if you just listened to us talk. When a child is adopted they are made become apart of the husband and wife who adopted them. But once they are adopted they are no longer considered an adopted son or daughter, but they become a son or a daughter. My dad and grandpa taught me the ways of working hard on the farm as well as being devoted men to their church. My grandfather and father both served in the local churches. My father was the elder and my mother taught Sunday school at the Reformed Presbyterian Church in Pottsville, and my grandfather was the caretaker and grandma played the piano at the Free Will Baptist church on Pine Ridge. I was apart of something that other some would say “risky”. There are people that I have been around that believe kids who are adopted don’t turn out to be any good. They would say it is “unhealthy parenting” or a “bad-parenting decision”. When my parents adopted me their family adopted me. I am not just the son of my father and mother, but I am a grandson, a nephew, and a great nephew. My family raised me to believe a vital biblical principle, “that we are in debtor to all people, no one owes us anything”. This came from the pen of Paul in Romans.
Arkansas is the buckle on the Bible belt. The church life was all I knew from the time I was five to this very day. Vacation bible schools, singing Christmas carols to shut-ins, and taking communion every fourth Sunday, I remember it all. My mother read to me bible stores before bed every night, and dad taught me to pray before I knew who this Jesus guy was. My parents never forced their faith on me, but they encouraged me to seek this faith out for myself. I was ten years old when God drew me near to Him. I knew I was a sinner, and I believed that Jesus could save me. It wasn’t until high school that I started studying adoption in the Bible. Romans 8 and Galatians 4 were passages that I hold dear to my heart even to this day. It was through this Word that I realized adoption saved my life.
My parents loved me out of the love that they had received from God. When they both found out they couldn’t have children they could have given up. They had faith that God would provide. I remember my parents telling me that after every adoption agency had turned them down due to dad moving around so much for work, that it just increased their trust in God. My parents never gave up and that is why I am able to tell this story of grace. The love of God cannot be fathomed. The love that leaves one area to find something they treasure across an equator is a pursuing love. A love only made known to us by God. A love that left the glory of heavens, a love that knew us before. My parents knew this love, and they loved me before adopting me. That is a Christ like love.
Today my plan is to go to seminary. I want to explore more into this subject of Gods love in the adopting of His children. I am still learning of this attribute of God. The story that He has given me is a testimony of this love. With the help of men who have the same passion and desire to know God like I do will help me in finding through the guidance of the Bible His passion to adopt people into His family. My hope is to one day go back and proclaim this Gospel to the nation I came from. I told my parents when I was five, before I knew this Gospel truth, that when I turned twenty-three years old I would go back and visit my birthplace. My desire is to bring good news to people all over the world. God’s adoption is something spectacular and bigger than the universe. He has allowed me to experience both earthly and spiritual adoption. With His help and the encouragement of other believers I will make it my life’s work to bring this hope to all the nations.
My parents told me that wherever God would lead me they would support me in prayer, and like Paul who mentions Epaphras in Colossians the fourth chapter they struggle in prayer for me. My mother who I would see at the fireplace early in the mornings praying reminds me of a certain story in 1 Samuel. Hannah went to the temple to pray to God asking him for a son. After Eli saw her praying he then blessed her. Later on she gave birth to a son and named him Samuel. Soon after he was weaned he gave her to God as she had promised him. I see the same parallel in my parent’s life. They prayed for a child, and God gave them one. Now they trust that wherever God calls me they will trust in His calling. Adoption is bigger than the universe in that God shows us Himself in the work of adoption here on earth. He brings orphans into His family and gives them an inheritance and a life they do not deserve. I don’t deserve the love my parents have for me before adoption, but in adoption love is shown.