Extend Your Tent’s story began in the summer of 2015 when Melissa and Stephen started their journey of wanting to grow their family. They were faced with infertility issues that the doctors had categorized as “unexplained” but that didn't stand in their way of longing to become parents. Conceiving a child was something that they could not control so they leaned on God, who knows all and has good plans for all His children. (Jeremiah 29:11)
With Melissa being an educator for many years and having taught several students that had been in the foster care system, adoption was always on her heart. However, she thought she would have her "own" children first and then adopt later in life. Then, one night Stephen woke up with Isaiah 54 on his mind. He is nowhere close to memorizing the Bible, and hadn’t been studying Isaiah recently, so he opened up his Bible to see what it said:
“Sing O barren woman, you who never bore a child; burst into song, shout for joy, you who were never in labor; because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband,” says the Lord. “Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch (extend) your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes.”
During this unknown season of their lives, these verses provided hope and clarity.
While attending church two weeks later, God did it again; this time providing more direction and clarity than ever, when their pastor started off his sermon saying, “I want to discuss Isaiah 54 today.” At that moment, Stephen and Melissa knew that adoption was the path the Lord had chosen for them.
Almost 3 years later God has taken them on an unbelievable journey. They said “yes” to adopting a beautiful baby girl, and “yes” to His calling on their lives to start an adoption ministry. Through the adoption process Stephen and Melissa learned the ebbs and flows of the adoption journey and stayed faithful to what God had put on their heart. They knew the Lord would somehow provide….He always did. And still is!
Stephen and Melissa have a heart to help families say “yes” to adoption and support them through the process. They cannot wait to glorify God through Extend Your Tent and witness His work in placing orphans in their forever families!
The more stories of God’s goodness we share, and the more families we can encourage to adopt, the more we can do for children needing forever homes. If you have questions or need additional resources, please let us know how we can help