Eric and Leslie Ludy have been my role models as couple and family for about three years now. Their commitment to God and their ideal of changing the world for Christ has impacted me tremendously.
The story below is about the adoption of their daughter Harper. I've always questioned why they would adopt a child with deformities knowing they would love her and then suffer for her when others would treat her differently, maybe even make fun of her because of her hands and feet.
It's one thing when you have a child who is born with deformities, but it's a total different thing when you adopt a child with deformities, because the latter gives you a choice.
Why would you choose the uncommon? Why would you choose facing a difficulty you could avoid? LOVE. And it's just not any love, but something really special, purposely placed in our hearts by God. In such a way that it makes you see, what others may think is a tragedy, as a way for God to show who He really is, for His power shows up best in weakness.
In October of 2006, Eric and I experienced the tragic loss of our second baby through a miscarriage. It was a life-altering experience, awakening us at a whole new level to amazing value God places on little lives that the rest of the world doesn’t value. It gave us new passion not only for the unborn, but also for orphans around the world. And it re-directed our ministry focus toward these precious little ones that so desperately need advocates. During our research on the orphan crisis, we met with a local adoption agency that specialized in Korea and China adoptions. Not thinking that we’d be personally adopting anytime soon, we were just there to collect information and become more aware of the needs of these children overseas. But then we heard about a newborn baby girl in Korea who was missing her fingers and had deformities on her feet.
When we saw a photo of her tiny, misshapen baby hands, our hearts were gripped. We learned that she had been born to a poverty-stricken mother who gave her up at birth because of her deformities – because deformities are a great shame in the Korean culture, and because she did not have money to care for her. We left the agency with the images of those deformed hands and feet impressed upon our hearts and minds. On the drive home, Eric began to weep for this little girl. (And crying is not something that comes easily to him!). We asked God to give us His heart for this little child. Eric attempted to pray, but the only words that would come out of his mouth were, “God, you are a Father to the fatherless, and you set the solitary in families.” (From Psalm 68:5) As we continued to drive, we felt a clear sense of God’s presence with us in the car. When we arrived home, an email from a friend was waiting for us in our inbox. She had no idea that we were even checking in to adoption, but in her prayer time that morning she felt that God had given her a scripture for us:
A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation. God setteth the solitary in families: he bringeth out those which are bound with chains: but the rebellious dwell in a dry land. (Psalm 68:5-6)