After debuting my song "Make You Mine" last year on Great Day Houston, I was referred to Randy as an artist that might would be interested in playing at a fundraiser event in The Woodlands to benefit the ministry of The Orphan Care Network. I was honored to be apart and it was at that event, almost exactly a year ago, that I had the honor of meeting Randy & Becca Doleman. They are a really great couple with a really great heart for spurring on communities of believers on the journey and involvement of orphan care. And like SO many other stories shared this month, they had no idea this is what God had in store for them! I always love that part. God has got plans people and they don't always match ours!!!
Here is "How We Got Here" from The Dolemans:
Even while we were dating, Becca and I would talk about adoption. It was something that started in Becca's heart as a little girl, and we easily agreed on an ideal version of adoption for our future family.
We knew it was a good thing to do and we assumed we would end up bringing home a little girl one day and adding to our picturesque family. We thought for sure the process would be easier, cheaper, and more convenient than we ever could have imagined. It was basically one of those things on our “marriage bucket list” that we knew we would get around to one day.
Becca and I attended a conference in Austin about 5 years ago and that dream was crushed. We knew we would still adopt a child but, for the first time, we were open (albeit unsettlingly) to it not being on our preconceived terms. We learned about the enormous need for foster families and left that conference determined, knowing that our path to growing our family would involve an element of giving of our family that we hadn’t initially expected. We knew that God had gone through great lengths to allow us to be his sons and daughters and we were open to whatever that meant we would need to do to obey in this calling to do the same for others.
We chose our agency, somewhat blindly, and surrounded ourselves with great friends and families who were sharing in this calling with us. We quickly realized the deep need that this community was filling through encouragement, support, and day-to-day friendships that we needed to sustain us through the applications, background checks, placements, questions, behaviors, fears, and joys. Our conditions were simple: any child, any race, any gender, under 3, for as long as he or she needed to stay. We were open to the unknown and knew God was planning our family just as he intended it to be. We welcomed two children into our home through two separate placements. Both of them brought about a litany of uncertainties and very unique dynamics.
Through these two placements, we saw very different aspects of foster care. We learned that we weren’t just housing a child but ministering to their family as well. This was hard, costly, and beautiful. Our life has been radically reorganized. This chaos became our new normal and we have learned to love it.
We still face new challenges and continue to see ways that God provides and leads our family as we navigate this story of adoption.
We never could have written this story with our own imaginations, but we are so thankful for the story that God has chosen us to be a part of.
Randy and Becca's calling has also led them to a full time orphan care ministry through an organization called "The OrphanCare Network". Based out of The Woodlands the heart of TOCN is in serving, supporting, & equipping churches and communities with a "we're in this together" mindset.
Be sure to check out practical ways you can be apart of orphan care at www.orphancarenetwork.org