Clousing '85 - Following God's Plan
With five adopted children,
the Clousings are, by their own admission, living a life of faith. It has
been almost 12 years since Joel, a 1985 Trinity alumnus, and his wife,
Patti, adopted their first child, Kori. Had it not been for a pastor whom
Patti heard speak at a Christian Schools International Convention a few
years earlier, they never would have been ready for this addition to their
"The speaker," Patti said,
"reminded us that children are blessings from God, and asked 'why not have
as many as God plans for you to have?'" Patti and Joel took this message
to heart, hoping to begin their family immediately. After two years of
infertility, the couple realized that God's plan for them would take them
in a different direction.
And so the adoption process
began. "We agreed that we would let God work," Patti said. "What will happen,
will happen." After Kori came Kole, from Russia, then Keenan, Keisha, and
finally, Kade. The youngest three children are all bi-racial. The Clousings
opened their eyes to this adoption possibility because of their admiration
for Devon Finn, an African-American student of Patti's. Devon, now a professional
football player with the Houston Texans, remains in contact with the family.
Clousings have also witnessed the benefits of the open adoption process.
Keenan's birth mother handed him over to his new parents during a church
service, while Kori was able to share her 11th birthday with her birth
mother. Those were acts of faith, Patti said, similar to Moses being placed
in the river as a baby.
"I don't think children belong
to anyone," Patti said. "They're gifts from God-we just have the opportunity
to watch them grow." That seed was planted in her life during her own childhood,
when she grew up next door to four adopted children from Korea.
"Watching these children
find a way into our hearts and our home did as much for my faith as anything
else could have," Joel said. "We can see God weaving His fingers through
our lives. I can also look back and see how God has prepared me through
my family and my Christian education."
They look behind and ahead
with both eyes on God.
"We are here because of God's
leading, not because of a random series of events," Joel said. "We live
in faith that God will give us the strength to get through what we need
to do." And that may mean adopting more children.
"If there are more children
out there for us," Patti said, "we're ready."
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