My parents didn't use an adoption agency when they went to Romania to adopt me and my brother.
On the surface that sounds like a fun fact.
But when you think about it...that's actually CRAZY!
I didn't realize that until we started our own adoption process.
Then it hit me.
Like Mom and Dad literally got all their complex paperwork together and then jumped on a plane to a foreign country with no idea what child(ren) if any they would be adopting.
And they were like: "yep, that seems like a good option. That seems doable. Let's go with that!"
All without the internet. All without speaking the language.
How does that even work?
It blows my mind.
Their story gives a whole new meaning to the phrase: "I know a guy."
And thank God they did.
Well, a few guys actually.
Let me introduce you to Vick and Bogdan.
When my parents decided to adopt from Romania, they told their family. One family member knew someone who had just completed their adoption from Romania the year prior and put my parents in contact with that friend.
She told my parents valuable information about what documents they needed to have before leaving and what to bring with them. She also told them about Vick and Bogdan.
Vick and Bogdan were two Romanian guys who were working to help save children born under the Ceausescu regime and had no chance of life because of the abject poverty and utterly inhumane conditions of the orphanages.
They were only maybe 30 years old. But they had all the connections. They knew the system and what government offices to go to in order to complete the adoption.
Vick and Bogdan connected adoptive parents to orphans.
They were the ones who helped navigate the Romanian legal system, helping get home studies and court dates set. They had connections to doctors and orphanages and apartment owners.
They played a critical role in advocating and saving children who couldn't advocate for or save themselves.
I can't help but think about them.
They were young, but they were life changers.
Without them, my parents would have been like so many who went over and were not able to complete their adoption.
Without them, how in the world would my parents have learned about me?
How would they have had the confidence to go over there on their own?
Knowing they didn't speak the language.
Knowing they didn't have any connections.
Knowing they were walking into a hopeless, broken, and extremely unstable situation.
The fact is, I'm alive and I have the family I do because someone was able to say:
"I know a guy."
As I grew up, I heard their names a lot in my adoption stories.
My parents spoke very fondly of Vick and Bogdan.
I came to the understanding that without them, I wouldn't be here.
But the truth is, I didn't really understand what they meant to my parents until we went to Hungary to adopt our son, and we met Adam.
Adam was our facilitator in country.
But he was so much more.
He was a kind and compassionate soul who changed our lives.
On days when we were mentally and emotionally drained, he made us laugh.
On days when we were nervous, he took on our burden and gave us peace.
On days when we were excited, he shared in our joy.
We shared meals and conversations together.
Before we could even think of asking, he captured precious moments for us on camera so we could have the memories while we stayed present in the moment.
He advocated for us, for our son.
The fact is, without Adam, our son would not be where he is today.
We talk about Adam fondly with others.
But the truth is, there's no way to describe what Adam meant to us during this process.
I tend to think that must be how my parents feel about Vick and Bogdan.
It's hard to explain to someone who hasn't experienced it.
My whole life I heard about these guys, but I never really understood.
And I didn't even know it.
Until I met Adam, and I experienced the impact myself.
The same is true about Jesus.
You can hear all about Him. Over and over.
From loved ones. From other people.
You can appreciate what others feel about Him and what they have to say.
But the truth is...
You gotta know Him to know.
There's no way to describe...
The comfort and peace He gives in the midst of the unknown.
The feeling of knowing you don't have to know everything because you know Him.
The joy in fellowship with Him.
The life changing impact He has on you.
There's no way to truly understand unless you experience Him yourself.
You gotta know Him to know.
And once you do, you'll never be the same.