Our Adoption Story
In 2013, our family started doing mission work in Mokanji, Sierra Leone, West Africa. We were working with an organization that was doing many things to help this deeply under-resourced village. One area of focus was starting a children’s home for orphans. That is where we first met Mariama Sesay when she was five years old. We continued to get to know Mariama during return trips in 2014 and 2015. We struggled for a while with the decision to adopt because we did not know how we would only adopt one of the precious kids in the children’s home as we cared for all of them. One day as we were processing this dilemma, we heard a sermon that talked about the concept of “do for one what you wish you could do for all.” This was just what we needed to hear to move forward with our hearts desire to adopt Marima. In 2016, God opened doors that only He could open and we started the process of an independent adoption. Sierra Leone is a difficult country to adopt from and ebola was raging, but God provided over and over again. On May 22, 2017, ten-year-old, Mariama Sesay Hopkins, finally got to join our family in America forever. It was one of the best days of our lives.
What has been a joy related to adoption?
It is such a privilege to be Mari’s parents. She is the coolest Hopkins by far! She brings so much joy, spice and sparkle to our lives. We learn so much from her! She is very brave and hardworking. She inspires us as she has overcome so much! She has not had an easy life, but she has persevered. We can not imagine our family without her. Even though she has only been in our home for five and a half years, it feels like she’s always been part of our family.
What has been a challenge related to adoption?
When we were in the adoptive process and it felt like Mari would never come home, we had another adoptive Mom tell us, “Adoption is war. Satan does not want Mari to join your Jesus-loving family.” She was right. It was a war. The process was long and hard and so rewarding.
What is one piece of advice you would give families who are considering adoption?
Do it! Pray. Trust. Obey. Watch… God will do beautiful, beautiful things.