When Dale and I seriously considered adoption, we wanted to be paperwork ready should someone at the clinic take us up on our offer to adopt their child. We were advised to meet with someone from the local agency that was involved in helping with adoption within the pro-life movement, so we did.
“Mr. & Mrs. Demary, if you want my advice, go international. In domestic adoption most times the birth mother has a say in which parents adopt the child. You two are both too politically active and I doubt a birth Mom would select you.” This was good advice; she was right. I was the director of Citizens for Decency Through Law, working on the front lines fighting the ever-encroaching porn industry in our city. This action was too visible — way “out there,” too radical. Dale was also attracting a lot of media attention. With the Planned Parenthood lawsuit and other activities, it would not appear as though he would be the ideal candidate for a young woman selecting an adoptive father for her child.
After investigating International adoption and discovering the high fees involved, this seemed out of reach for us. We decided we would pray and ask God to show us what to do and that if He wanted us to adopt children, He would make the way for that to happen.
We had been married 15 years by this time and remained childless. At various times in the ’90s, we spoke to my gynecologist about testing to see why we were unable to conceive. She suggested limited testing and by that, we discovered that between each of our situations we were not likely to conceive; I had developed severe endometriosis. My doctor performed an exploratory laparoscopy to determine the possibility of conception and to deal with the side effects of this painful disease. She determined that I had stage-four endo and there was little chance of pregnancy. So we thought very seriously about adoption.
Dale and I both have always had a heart for world missions and much of our visionary travels internationally up to this point had been through missions magazines, listening to guest missionaries in church and in prayer. After our adoption discussion with the social worker, we felt that making ourselves available to whatever kind of adoption God had in store for us was a good idea.
Around this time Dale had an opportunity to accompany another pastor to Armenia. The trip’s purpose was to equip and encourage the Iranian pastors who traveled across the border to attend the conference this pastor was conducting. The attendees were living under severe persecution from their governments and were thankful for Brother Clendennen’s teaching and encouragement. While there, Dale met the wife of a martyred Iranian pastor. He also heard the testimony of a young pastor who was imprisoned for preaching salvation through Jesus Christ in Iran. The consequences of his preaching were imprisonment and execution. He shared how distraught he had become thinking of his family and how young he was and all the possibilities before him. Time was running out, they had shaved his head and preparations were made for him to die a martyr’s death. But as he continued to ponder his death the Holy Spirit reminded him of his life with Christ!; that he was a faithful servant ready to be counted worthy to die for the Lord. He became excited and began praising God that he was counted faithful. He recalled the many scriptures reminding believers that to give your life willingly for love — for Christ, was a demonstration of a faithful testimony. “… I saw under the altar the souls of all who had been martyred for the Word of God and for being faithful in their testimony.” Rev. 6:9 NLT. As he recalled the scriptures he began to praise and worship God. Soon he was rejoicing and dancing in his cell, thanking God for counting him worthy and giving him the strength and courage to endure to the end. The guards noticed the behavior and reported it to their commander. This became upsetting to them; to think that he was now happy to die! They became enraged, disgusted and would not allow him to have his way. They released him instead!
After meeting such victorious Christians, Dale had the faith to do almost anything! While he was there he inquired about adopting children in Armenia; but he was told by someone, “Absolutely not, we will not allow the adoption of our children to foreigners.” The young lady interpreting went on to explain Armenian history and why it is that adoption was out of the question there. During a period of time in their history, many of their people were slaughtered by the Turks, and this was one reason they refused to allow “strangers” to adopt them. Upon Dale’s return to the U.S., he shared with me his desire to adopt children internationally, wherever God would open a door.
In November of 1998, I had attended the School of Christ International being held in Florida. This was an intensive Bible school training ministry created by Pastor Clendennen, designed for Christians, especially in persecuted countries of the world. The School provided training in evangelism and teaching in an intensive short period of time. He placed great emphasis on the power of the Holy Spirit to lead and direct believers to accomplish God’s work. His firm belief was that living a Spirit-filled life was a required and essential part to being useful in God’s work. I loved the School and consider it a highlight of my Christian life. In prayer one evening, I shared my husbands and my desire for children, with Brother Clendennen. He prayed with me to become a mother prior to my departure from the school.
As we neared the end of 1998, we were excited about our upcoming trip to Romania. We wondered if this was where we might meet our future children. We had made plans earlier that year to accompany our friend to Romania on his next trip. Our church was involved in supporting an orphanage there and we wanted to go and visit the place we had heard and read so much about. We also realized that adoption was big in Romania during the ’90s and thought we should look into possibilities while we were there. We had learned that stateside to adopt a foreign child, the costs would run approximately $20,000 per child. We didn’t have that kind of money, and we wanted two children, so we prayed and asked God to make a way for us and the children we were to adopt.
To continue to the next chapter