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Eric & Elaine Olson

Eric and Elaine Olson were united in marriage in 1989 after completing their education at Indiana University. Committed to God and a culture of life, they soon followed God’s direction by engaging full time in pro-life ministry. Distraught over abortion’s sacrifice of innocent life, Eric and Elaine began to sense that God would eventually call them to adopt a child, allowing them to share their love with a child whose life could easily have been terminated prior to birth.

As time progressed, Eric followed the call of God into the pastorate, and the family moved to Nebraska to accept a church ministry calling. God’s blessing was evident in the Olsons’ ministry, as well as in their home, as seven children were born into the family between 1991 and 2003 (Rachel, Tabitha, Nathan, Samuel, Josiah, Jacob, and Micah). Although Eric and Elaine continued to believe that God would lead them to adopt, they were content in their situation, and willing to wait for the Lord’s perfect timing. The Olson family had no idea that God’s adoption timetable for them would not be realized until after He had brought them through a period of unimaginable trial.

On May 2, 2003, the world of the Olson family seemed to implode when, in His sovereignty, God allowed two-month-old Micah to succumb to SIDS. The family was crushed with grief, and the laughter that once rang through their home seemed to disappear. Overwhelmed, Eric and Elaine were forced into a deeper dependence on their Lord while seeking His comfort.

After months of working through the grieving process, God once again began to speak to Eric and Elaine about adoption. As their thoughts returned to their dream of adoption, they moved forward cautiously, wanting assurance that they were indeed seeking God’s direction rather than simply responding to their grief. God began to specifically identify His path for the Olsons late in 2004 when Eric received a call from a pastor friend in Florida who knew of a birthmom seeking to place her biracial child with an out of state family. The Olson family saw this opportunity as providential and determined to follow God as He opened the doors.

Eric and Elaine would face many potential hurdles as they traveled down their adoption path. Since the child was due to be born in late December, they were faced with a scant two and a half month window in which to make all their preparations. Anyone familiar with the voluminous paperwork requirements which accompany the adoption process must agree with the Olsons that their ability to complete all the necessary preparations in such a short period of time was nothing short of miraculous! In addition to the paperwork requirements, Eric and Elaine were unsure of their ability to meet the financial obligations of adoption. It became clear that they would need financial assistance and they began to search the internet for funding agencies. One organization to which they applied was unable to provide assistance, but suggested they contact the ABBA Fund. Eric and Elaine visited the website, downloaded an application, and requested a loan. Again, the Lord miraculously worked by providing money through the ABBA Fund, financing which was essential in order for the Olsons to move forward. Time and time again, Eric and Elaine observed elements of God’s sovereign plan unfold before them, and they continued to step through open doors.

With the whirlwind of planning and paperwork behind them, the Olson family settled in for what they hoped would be a very short wait. On Christmas day, after sitting down to dinner, they received the call they had been anticipating – their birthmom was in labor! Dinner was forgotten and chaos seemed to briefly reign as Eric and Elaine booked flights to Florida and made arrangements for the children to stay with family in Indiana.

With great excitement, Eric and Elaine headed to Florida on December 26, hoping to arrive before their new child was born. By the time they touched down, however, the birthmom’s labor had temporarily stopped and she was expressing the hope that she would give birth to the first baby of the New Year in Florida (a desire not shared by the Olson couple!). Although they were eager to get home with their new son, the time of waiting gave Eric and Elaine a chance to becoming acquainted with the birthmom, meeting her at a local mall to help pick out an outfit for the baby to wear home from the hospital.

Not knowing the length of their upcoming wait, the Olsons decided to simply settle in and enjoy their time in Florida. It was not until December 31, during a lunch date, that Eric and Elaine received a call informing them that birthmom’s labor had once more commenced. They eagerly made their way to the hospital where, at 12:20 a.m., their son was the first child born in that hospital in 2005. They were able to hold their child within minutes of his birth and, in what Eric describes as a “surreal experience,” he was even given the privilege of cutting the cord.

On January 2, 2005, elated parents Eric and Elaine Olson took custody of Isaac Eric Olson, the newest member of the family. The name Isaac is a reminder that, as God spared the life of Isaac upon the altar built by Abraham (Genesis 22:1-19), even so God had identified and spared their son for them within a culture which often promotes the taking of life before birth. A family name, Eric, was chosen as a middle name to underscore his complete acceptance as a full member of the Olson family.

After several more days, Eric, Elaine, and Isaac Olson boarded a plane to return home to Nebraska. Isaac was enthusiastically embraced by their new siblings, and, although continuing to grieve over Micah’s death, laughter began to resound once more through their home. Family, church, and community have also affectionately received Isaac, dispelling any lingering doubts resulting from Isaac’s biracial heritage. Simply put, this cute little addition to the Olson family has won over everyone’s heart.

Eric and Elaine have been humbled by the knowledge that God, in His sovereign plan, ordained Isaac specifically for them. They have also become even more aware of the parallel between Isaac’s physical adoption and their own spiritual adoption as children of God. Throughout their journey of trial and rejoicing, the Olsons have been repeatedly drawn to Ephesians chapter 1 and Romans chapter 8 and the reminder that God’s plan for them is, and will continue to be, perfect.

 

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