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Steve & Sandi Cobb

Adoption was not a part of Steve and Sandi Cobb’s future plans when they married in August of 1991. In fact, when the Cobbs initially began to seek online information regarding adoption, it was more out of curiosity than any real desire to introduce a new member to their family. Yet they would soon discover, as Christians so often do, that God’s plan, though different from their own, would result in fulfillment otherwise impossible.

The church which Steve, Sandi, and their five children attended provided the catalyst for their investigation into adoption. The Cobbs observed numerous blended families within their local body of believers, families in which there was no distinction made between biological and adopted children. These fellow believers provided a beautiful picture of the family as God intended it to be – a loving cohesive unit, regardless of age, gender, or even heritage. The Cobbs eventually moved out of state, but their curiosity had been piqued. Steve and Sandi found themselves drawn to internet web sites in an effort to become more educated regarding adoption, particularly international adoption. During these internet sessions, the faces of twin five-year-old brothers living in a Russian orphanage had an unexpected impact on their hearts. God was beginning to work.

Certain that God was speaking, Steve and Sandi contacted an adoption agency and began to pursue their desire to bring these boys home. There was much to do, and the Cobbs plunged into paperwork, homestudy requirements, and financial arrangements. It was during this period that Steve and Sandi first became acquainted with The ABBA Fund while searching online for funding opportunities. Because God was presently meeting financial needs, they saved a link to the website on their browser for future reference, and focused on other plans.

Their time of preparation passed slowly, so two years elapsed between the time Steve and Sandi initially laid eyes on those two young faces and May of 2004 when they made the first of two trips to Russia. They had viewed those photos often, and their anticipation at seeing their future sons face to face was simply indescribable.

The Cobbs arrived at the orphanage in Siberia, ready to embrace their boys, yet something seemed amiss. Steve and Sandi listened in horror as their interpreter informed them that the brothers to whom their hearts were latched could not be their sons. Apparently one of the boys had begun exhibiting anti-social and aggressive behavior and had been institutionalized. Fearing for the safety of the Cobb children, officials at the orphanage refused to place the boys with Steve and Sandi.

Although another set of siblings had been identified for them, the Cobbs reeled at the news. Devastated and unsure of their next step, they chose to believe that God had a reason for sending them to the other side of the globe. As they sought the Lord’s wisdom, they determined to meet the boys, and spent the next three days visiting with these newly identified brothers. Before returning to the States, Steve and Sandi arranged to meet the twins whose faces had launched their odyssey. However difficult, their meeting proved to be essential as their hearts began to heal and turn toward these others who desperately needed their love.

God had chosen once again to take Steve and Sandi Cobb in a direction that differed from their initial plans, and although the pain lingered, the Cobbs were committed to God’s adoption plan for them. Their next trip to Russia was scheduled for January, and money was again becoming a concern. Steve and Sandi chose to let God work in the hearts of family, friends, and acquaintances to provide financially, and God continued to prove His ability to meet their needs by funding their travel expenses. As their travel date approached, however, it became clear that they lacked the in-country funds needed to realize their dream. After contemplating the cancellation of their trip, the Cobbs recalled the link on their web browser to The ABBA Fund and applied for a loan out of sheer desperation. Steve and Sandi had their faith strengthened as God clarified His will to them through an ABBA Fund loan. The Lord was compelling them to adopt! The Cobbs returned to 1 Thessalonians 5:24, a sustaining verse which reads, “Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.”

On February 3, 2005, during their second trip to Russia, Steve and Sandi experienced great joy and relief as they finally took custody of Nicholas, age 8, and brother Alexander, age 5. Through trial and struggle, God had rewarded their faith by orchestrating this joyful union between loving parents and siblings in need of a forever family. The four Cobbs traveled back to Moscow to resolve final immigration issues before heading home. After arriving in Moscow, Steve and Sandi discovered that further legalities would require another week’s stay. Since Sandi had recently become ill, and only one parent had to remain to fulfill the legal requirements, Sandi flew home, leaving Steve in Moscow for a week with the boys. Continuing to rejoice, yet unable to communicate verbally, dad and sons came face to face with their language barrier, a formidable obstacle which would take months to overcome.

Steve and the boys made a jubilant homecoming and the family began a concerted effort to address their communication problem. The Cobbs knew that a difficult task loomed, but they also knew that the task was not theirs alone as God remained alongside. Someone had once told Steve that “anything that’s worth doing is difficult,” and they embraced that philosophy. Communication for the first two months consisted almost exclusively of pantomime and pointing, with even common tasks such as brushing teeth becoming uncommonly complicated. Yet Nicholas and Alexander were daily learning new words and phrases and verbal communication was quickly becoming more and more feasible. The turning point came after four months of immersion in the English language. Steve remembers being struck with the realization that the boys were speaking English exclusively. Those difficult months had definitely been worth the struggle.

Nicholas and Alex have begun to experience a stable, Christ-centered family structure previously unimaginable to them. The novelty of new faces and places has been replaced by a normal routine and the concept of a forever family. Steve and Sandi have introduced the boys to God through a biblical emphasis at home and church, and have watched the Holy Spirit develop a spiritual interest in them. Through their willingness to submit to God’s will, the faith of Steve and Sandi has borne fruit both physically and spiritually. Nicholas and Alexander Cobb have become part of a forever earthly family and have been introduced to the hope of an eternal spiritual family. “Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.”

 

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