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Isaiah and Nico — Meet ABBA Assisted Family #750

The Count to 1,000 Families Assisted: Celebrating 10 Years of Providing Adoption Assistance for Christian Families

No strangers to the orphan crisis, Joel and Claire Davis served some of the world’s neediest street orphans both in Haiti and Peru. They demonstrated compassion to the abandoned children by playing soccer, teaching them Bible stories, and swimming in rivers with them. Quality time spent together communicated to the orphans they were loved, seen by God, not forgotten, and heirs to an eternal kingdom.

Joel and Claire’s adoption journey took them into two challenging African countries for adoption — Uganda and the Congo. Of the 368 families whose adoptions were halted in September 2013 because of the DRC’s suspension of exit letters for adopted children, the Davis family was one of the fortunate 15 American families whose adoptions were allowed to proceed in May/June 2014.

In 2009, Joel and Claire Davis felt called to adopt their first son, Isaiah, from East Africa’s tropical Uganda. Claire works as a social worker for Lifeline Children Services in Birmingham and had long desired to adopt. In their search for which country to choose, the Davises wanted to impact one of the poorest nations in the world. Kampala, Uganda’s bustling capital, was originally named by the British when they first visited the hilly Wetlands – using the term “the hill of the impala,” which the native Baganda adopted. Uganda is tragically known for political corruption, violence, and the devastating toll that the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) has taken on the land and its people.

Davis, Joel & Claire - Congo 650 pixIsaiah was 2-years-old when the Davises received him into their arms as their son. Before leaving Uganda, they ventured out by car to a safari where they had several close encounters with elephants, hyenas, and a lion. Isaiah is now 6, very athletic, and runs cross country.

A few years later, God begin to speak to the Davises about adoption again. Nico was born amidst harsh conditions in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The city of over 9 million was once site to fishing villages. Nico was left as an infant in an orphanage and matched to the Davises at just 3-months-old. While living in the Congo, he suffered from severe malnutrition and was very sick several times.

In September of 2013, Joel travelled to bring their now 3-year-old son home. However, the government announced the exit visa freeze, forcing the Davises to inevitably wait almost an entire year. What was meant to be a 2-week trip, unexpectedly turned into 9 weeks.

During Joel’s stay in the DRC, he bonded with several other adopting couples at St. Ann’s Catholic home. They held their own church services together and encouraged one another during the grueling Congolese process.

Joel took Nico to the Congo River, and they ate grubs like the locals. They also picked out freshly caught fish from a street seller. However, Joel’s time there sadly came to an end, and he had to say goodbye to Nico. Several months later, the Davises received an unexpected call explaining that DRC officials were allowing 15 adopted children to their American families – there were 368 American families “stuck” in the exit letter suspension. The Davises had to act fast.

In June, Joel contacted ABBA Fund for the remaining travel funds needed to bring Nico home. Costs were nearly $7,000 due to the immediacy of purchasing plane tickets, and to further complicate things, Nico’s paperwork expired and had to be renewed. Closely tracking the situation in the Congo, ABBA Fund moved quickly to get the Davis family the funds they needed to get to the Congo and complete their adoption of Nico.

By the grace of God, Nico entered the U.S. June 30, 2014. He joyfully adapted into the Davis family as a part of them, joining Isaiah and biological son, Beni. Nico asks about Isaiah when he is at school, and he adores putting out imaginary fires with his fire trucks.

Join us in celebrating 10 years of providing adoption assistance for Christian families – 972 orphans from 35 countries are now sons and daughters in loving, nurturing Christ-centered families thanks to $5.4 million in assistance to 827 Christian families through ABBA Fund. Please support our work to help us surpass assisting 1,000 families in our 10th anniversary year.

Would You Consider Adoption?

33% of Americans consider adoption. 79% of those are concerned about the costs, the biggest deterrent. Less than 2% adopt.