Mark's Post

Dear readers~ my favorite person on this earth (my husband!) wrote today's post. (I just added the photos.)

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This blogging thing is hard. What words do I have to add? My wonderful wife has already so eloquently written of our adoption journey in numerous posts. She's the writer. Through her journals and blog posts she chronicles the struggles, hopes and joys of our lives. She loves our children infinitely and selflessly with service and compassion. And if she could, she would start an orphanage to care for as many hurting children as we could stuff inside the four walls.

I'm guest-posting on her blog because I share this conviction to care for orphans. I'm usually a fairly quiet guy, but I have something to say about caring for orphans and adoption.

There are two verses that were most motivating to me in our decision to adopt. Stacy has already referred to Luke 12:48. The other is Psalm 68:5-6: "A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families."

I love that phrase, "father to the fatherless." That's what I have become: a father to the fatherless. And I love it. It's one of the hardest yet most wonderful things I've ever done. I wouldn't trade it for anything. I love my son and my daughter fiercely and completely. From the first time I held them and fed them their bottles, they captured my heart. I'm their daddy, the one they call for in the night, the one they want to wrestle with, the one they wrap their little arms around when they need to be held.

I hope many of you have been encouraged to pursue adoption or foster care. And for those of you who are already walking this road of orphan care, I pray that God has used my dear wife's posts to encourage you and remind you of why you are doing it.

Because to be honest -- adoption and foster care are heartwarming, but both can also be really hard. And those of us doing it need encouragement. I like the way a speaker at our church put it this morning when he said that the things God calls us to are "not safe." I know there are questions and fears that keep many from adoption: How can we afford it? What if it brings upheaval to our family? What if we don't bond with the child? How do I love a child that doesn't show love back? Good questions, all of them. And I say in response: It could be terrible on many levels. Adoption and fostering can bring anguish, tears and brokenness that were never expected. But God is good and He is faithful.

And it's still the right thing to do. I've read that there are 143 million orphans in the world. And because of what we've allowed God to do (He is the one who sets the lonely in families), there are two who now get to work out their brokenness right here in our house. And I'll bear whatever upheaval and hurt that causes here, because we get to love them with the love of Jesus. The love, shelter and care we give them are nice. But what really makes it all worthwhile is that we get to point them to Jesus, who alone can restore them. And it is our prayer, our goal and our purpose with them that they will find where they truly belong: in His family.

Finally, I ask you to pray for God's work to be done in your family. God may say "No" to your stepping into adoption and/or fostering, but if He hasn't, assume He's saying "Yes," because that's what His Word says. If the door is open to you and your family, walk through it in faith. As husbands and wives, work together on this, sharing your convictions, hesitations and fears each step of the way.

(And, I'll add one final word for any husbands out there that happen to read this. (This is the man-to-man talk part of my post): It seems so simple to me. Love God. Love your wife. If God is speaking to your wife's heart about setting an orphan in your family, join her, support her, love her, encourage her, lead her. Be a father to the fatherless.)

- Mark


  1. Thank you for posting, honey!

    My favorite thing you wrote is this:

    "Because of what we've allowed God to do...there are two who now get to work out their brokenness right here in our house. And I'll bear whatever upheaval and hurt that causes here, because we get to love them with the love of Jesus."

    This is just one of the *many* reasons I love you so much, Mark. Thank you for caring so much (and loving God so much!) that you're willing to bear *whatever* it takes so that we can love these children into the kingdom of God!

    I am so grateful that God blessed me with YOU.

    (Oh. And thank you for your kind words about me at the start. You make me look good, when you and I both know I'm a miserable wreck *much* of the time. ;))

  2. Beautiful post.

    I love this post and you guys!

    I am going to pass it on to my husband :o)

  3. nice job Mark:) proud of what you said!

  4. Shelley said the above comment, don't know why it's posting me as anonymous, but i'm fine with people knowing i'm proud of you:)

  5. Well written Mark. I Love hearing your heart in your own words.
    You both are doing a wonderful job walking the path that the Lord has laid before you. Well done.

  6. Wow, beautifully written post, Mark and Stacy! So thought provoking. I agree with you, Stacy, my favorite quote was the one you quoted above. Good stuff. I'm sending a friend who is beginning to consider adopting by fostering to this series!

  7. wonderful post. great idea having Mark share his side. i have loved your series Stacy!

  8. Wow! I just have to say that I love the Rensinks! You touch my heart and show me more of Jesus every time I read what you have to say. Blessings to you guys xoxo

  9. Great words Mark. We too love the "father to the fatherless" passage. We a job we've been given and what a privilege! You are an amazing husband to my dear cousin and what a great dad! ~ Cousin Sandi

  10. Loved this sentence

    "But what really makes it all worthwhile is that we get to point them to Jesus, who alone can restore them."

    Thank you for your wonderful and convicting words!


  11. Mark and Stacy,
    I was referred to your blog a couple weeks ago, as we were pretty into the adoption process. I just checked again today (Dec 4th), and then immediately had my husband read it. My husband was the one you discussed in a previous post (not as sure as I was about this). The day before Thanksgiving, we received a referral for a boy in a horrible orphanage in Congo, and it was urgent. On the 28th (the day Mark posted), we committed to adopting him. I wish we would have read this that day! This was such an encouragement, and my husband thanked me for showing this to him. I tried to get him to actually post, but he wasn't sure about "blogging"..I'll keep checking back, and hope Mark posts more. Guys need support too!
    God bless you guys!

  12. (Is it kind of weird that I'm going to reply to all of your comments even though Mark wrote this post? I can't help myself.. it's just what I DO! And I know Mark won't be commenting back. :))

    Thank you, sweet friend. I love you, too!

    !!!! FUN that you posted a comment (two!) Mark loved that.

    Thank you for your kind words.

    Didn't he do great?! Thank you, Andrea... for your kindness.

    Lucy Sherwood~
    Hi cute Lucy! Thank you for your sweet words! Love to you!

    Cousin Sandi~
    Thank you. :) Mark appreciated your comment. Love you!

    Thank you for commenting, Anna. Blessings to you and yours...

    Regans Family~
    Hooray about you guys accepting the referral! Oh, I want to hear all about it!

    I am so thankful you have found encouragement here-- that is such an answer to my prayers!-- Thanks for telling me so.

    Mark read your kind words and I elbowed him at the "hope Mark posts more" part. :) I wish he would, too! :)


  13. Been away from the blog world for awhile! So glad to read the rest of your adoption series and this amazing post from your husband! So nice to read from a husband's perspective! I will be sharing this with my husband as we pursure the foster/adoption road! Thank you for your special hearts and willingness to share! God Bless you both!


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