Welcome to the KingZoo and Funny Farm, where we learn to live, laugh, and love together. Here you'll find snippets of life in our zoo, parenting tips we've learned along the way, reflections on shining God's light in this world, passions in the realm of orphan care, and our journey as parents of a visually impaired child with sensory processing disorder. Have fun!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

We stepped out of the boat

Dear Friends and Family,

We are writing this note to let you know that we said yes!  As you know, we’ve been in the midst of our third adoption journey.  It was January 2012 when we both felt God’s call to pursue another adoption.  By July we had started talking with an adoption consultant and found a local home study agency.  We were home study ready at the end of Nov. and the first weekend of Dec. we prayed over and sent out our first round of applications to agencies.

Almost immediately possible situations started coming.  It was heartbreaking to choose which birth mothers we wanted to be presented to, to turn some down, to say yes to others, only to find that we had not been chosen.  It was a definite emotional roller coaster, not for the faint of heart.

A little over a month ago, while we were in the midst of Mark Batterson’s 40 Day Prayer Challenge, Eden came to me and said that she felt like we were to pray more specifically for a baby.  She decided to choose a date and to ask God to either give us a child or a match by that date.  April 20th was chosen and a few days later she told me that she had added 5PM to her prayers.  So, as I physically circled the block praying for birth mothers and our future child, she would join me, sometimes simply repeating, “Baby.  April 20.  5PM.”  I had a feeling God was going to honor the prayers of that child.

We waited expectantly for Saturday, April 20.  That day we had a concert in the afternoon and arrived home at 4:00.  I immediately checked my inbox and found three potential situations from an agency in Utah.  Two were more typical scenarios with expectant mothers due in a month or two.  The third situation was a baby boy who had been born April 13 at 25 weeks gestation, nicknamed The Little Fighter by the nurses.  Noah, as his birth mother had named him, had been matched with a family, but when he arrived early, the family changed their minds.  His birth mother was waiting in Utah, feeling hopeless for a family for this little boy.  We presented our profiles to the other two situations but we just couldn’t close the door on the third.  We continued to receive updates.  We asked questions.  We prayed.  Oh, how we prayed.  Several of our prayer warrior friends stormed Heaven’s gates with us, asking for clarity and direction.  And the answers came, one after the other.

But it wasn’t without battle.  The spiritual attack has been so strong, particularly to me (Cindy), physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  When we could no longer lift our hands in the battle, our friends surrounded us, holding us up as Aaron and Hur lifted Moses’ hands.  We can’t thank them enough.  In the same day, two friends had the same idea, sending messages that said, “Noah must be a world changer.  The fight to get him to you has been a big one!” and “He will amaze and God will use him in significant ways.”  Redeeming a life never comes without battle and pain.  Jesus suffered for me, I am willing to do the same for this little fighter.

Noah’s fight is far from over.  Starting life at 1 lb. 13 oz., he’s currently around 1 lb. 10 oz. but tolerating small amounts of food and receiving some oxygen support.  We’ve spoken to one of his NICU nurses who gave us every possible life-threatening situation common to premature infants.  We’ve never walked this path before but we know those who have.  We know the risk is great.  We know that his future health is not secure.  We know that we could come home with empty arms.  But after a week of wrestling, we can’t say no.

We know this is crazy.  We know that it makes no earthly sense. Like Noah building a boat on dry land, like David offering to slay a giant, like Peter stepping out onto the water, we're trusting the hand that's leading us onto the red carpet with a tiny, barely 2 pound baby boy on the other end..  Through the years we’ve been learning to put action to our faith and this is just another step of obedience, albeit a large step. 

So many signs pointed us to saying yes.  Those will be subjects of blog posts for months to come.  In the meantime, we have the task of trying to organize life for 7 children, with a major upheaval on the horizon.  We will both need to be in Utah for 2 – 3 days signing paperwork.  John will then return home while I stay in Utah.  My stay is indefinite.  The case worker mentioned the possibility of transferring him to a PA hospital once all adoption paperwork has cleared and he is stable but we know this is an expensive longshot.  We are prepared for me to be away for several months.  I will definitely fly home for Andrew’s graduation in June (but Eden has already begun to pray that her little brother is home by May 28 so that I can be home as well).

We can’t do this alone.  Many people have told us that they don’t feel led to adopt but they want to help.  You’ve already been in prayer for us, you’ve bought cookies, and supported other fundraisers.  So, if you’re wondering how you can help now, here’s our initial list:

Prayers.  Please pray!  Pray like you’ve never prayed before.  Pray for the spiritual warfare that’s going on around the King house and in my body and mind right now.  Pray for Noah and his birth mother, who we hope to meet when we get there.  Pray that he defies the odds, and displays miracle upon miracle to his doctors. Pray for this life that is to be redeemed.  Pray for the finances that need to be collected.  Pray for strength for Cindy who will be alone in Utah (with our good friend, Katrina, not too far away), fielding medical reports from doctors and bringing the love of 8 family members far away in PA.  Pray for the timing of us going to Utah.  John’s graduation is the first weekend in May so we could potentially wait until after that to fly out to Utah but that also means an extra week of this little boy being without his family.  It may also mean we don’t get to meet his birth mother.

This weekend (or whenever the two of us are gone).  Our flight plans are still up in the air but will be sometime this weekend.  We will need help with childcare (in your home or ours) and transportation while we are both gone.  We may need transportation to and from the airport.

Flexibility.  If we’ve made plans with you in the next few months, these may need to be changed or postponed.  If our children take lessons from you, their practice may not be as regular or as structured with Cindy gone.  We may have a week where we just can’t find someone to transport to two places at once.  Please be patient with us.  We will try to work out our schedule a week at a time and notify you of any pending changes.

Ongoing Childcare.  John will continue to need help with childcare during the day and possibly some evenings when he has meetings and the older children aren’t home.  They know how to do much by themselves but we’d like someone to supervise (crowd control).

Ongoing Transportation.  With seven children, it sometimes takes three drivers to get everyone where they need to go.  He will need people to take a shift driving a child or two.

Financially.  Adoption is not without cost.  It can be argued that if you can’t afford it, why are you doing it?  Unlike having a biological child, adoption comes with steep upfront costs (agency fees, birth mother expenses, medical bills, lawyer’s fees, etc.) and then will come the typical expenses of raising a child.  There are very few people who could afford all of the upfront fees without help and there are too many children waiting to expect the extravagantly wealthy to raise them all.  Thanks to our fundraising efforts to this point we have paid for the home study, application fees, and have a small portion of the initial adoption fees saved up.  But we’ve only just begun.  We hope to set up an adopttogether account through which donations can be tax deductible.  We will let you know when that happens.

We thank you in advance, knowing that words cannot adequately thank you.

Oh, and one more thing, since we already have a nephew named Noah, we’ve decided to use that as his middle name.  From here on out he is Victor Noah King.  God has promised that he will be victorious!  He will have a story to tell to the nations.


  1. Feeling joy in my heart for you all with prayers ascending for you as you embark on this amazing journey. We will pray daily for Victor, for the doctors and nurses who will help him be strong. We will pray for you as parents to discern even more this call that God has brought to your lives, we will pray for his amazing siblings who have so much love to give and I think most of all, we will pray for Eden and her God given insight to bring this full circle for you all. Blessings to all of the King Zoo, even their tiny new member.

  2. Please add The Snyder family to your list of helpers!! We can help with carpooling, homework, laundry, dinners, babysitting.... Anything and everything. We will continue to lift your family, and now Victor, in prayer!! Many special blessings as you embark on this adventure!

  3. The Thomases would love to be on your list of helpers! We don't always have a lot of time but anything we can do, we will! We are so excited for little Victor and will send all of our thoughts and prayers your way <3

  4. Hey guys! It's been far too long since we've communicated/talked/seen each other. I wish Kristin and I lived close enough so we could help out with transportation or childcare. We can pray, though, and will be lifting your family and Victor up in prayer over the coming days and weeks.

    Your family looks like they would be a joy to be around. I hope someday we can meet them.

    1. Thank you so much for the encouragement, Gary! Keep checking this blog for updates, including the adopttogether account. We started the process tonight and it could take a few days. We think we're a joy to be around :) and the kids are great. The older ones are so wonderful with the younger ones. Of course we're all human and have good and bad moments but it's a great journey to be on together, even if it's a crazy one.

  5. Oh, and let us know when/if you get an adopttogether account set up. Kristin and I would take great joy in helping out however we can.

  6. This is amazing and wonderful!!! But I will pray. I met you at the Bethany Christmas Party and at the cafe at Christmas. (I have the 3 young adopted little ones :) ). We live down the street from where you take violin lessons, so if you need a place for children to be while they wait for rides, etc, please let me know. We are more often home than not. You can find me on facebook: Andrea Bean. Many blessings and much love!