The Gift That Keeps Giving

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The Gift That Keeps Giving

Adhi and Mr. Covey

Adhi and Mr. Covey

Adhi and Mr. Covey

Adhi and Mr. Covey

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Gifts come in different shapes and sizes, prices, and values. There is one gift however that is priceless, never expires, or becomes obsolete, the gift of family and a home. Recently, Mr. Covey and his family were able to give that gift to a child from India. The Covey’s weren’t expecting anything in return, yet that will always be cherished from here on out.

Their new son’s journey wasn’t always determined, at least not in the mind of the Covey family. They had once discussed adoption when he and his wife, Carrey, were newly married. “Life happened” and three kids later, the prospect of adopting had been placed on the back burner. Years into their marriage, and already having a son in high school, Jobe Covey, the couple’s life seemed settled in until a persistent message wouldn’t seem to leave their minds.

“We really felt, very strongly that God was saying, ‘you’re going to do this'”. Lead by their faith, the Covey’s prayed for the answers to what God had set them out to do- to adopt a child and give them a home where they were loved. Question of where the adoption should be from or when it should take place. Looking for guidance in what would be for many people a scary step, especially in a family so established, these answers came in “circumstances that couldn’t be explained.”  It became obvious to the two that adopting from India was what they were called to do.

Starting Out

The journey began fairly rocky as they started pursuing India but found that the adoption was closed. Frustrated, they realized that what God was telling them to do wasn’t an option. This difficulty was not only exasperating for the family, but Carrie got what Mr. Covey described as “cold feet”. However, he felt that God didn’t stop his pursuit in prompting them to continue to try to adopt from India, confirming yet again what they were meant to do while the family was on vacation in Florida.

“She (Carrie) was watching the kids body surf, and she was getting frustrated because she kept telling them ‘Just look at the big red tent’, where we were, ‘the big red tent'”, Covey started. “‘So if you’re out there, every time you come back make sure that you’re with the big red tent’. So they kept drifting with the current and were getting farther and farther away. She was getting so frustrated with them. She said, ‘If they would just listen to what I told them to do'”.

These words sparked a realization within her, feeling that God was saying “yeah why don’t you do what I’m telling you to do.” Mr. Covey, not aware of his wife’s epiphany, was distraught when he saw her crying. He exclaimed, “What did I do wrong? I got the kids!”, but he soon understood what had happened when his wife explained.

The next step started after their vacation, when they miraculously found India to be open in their re-pursuit. During this process, the Covey’s found that many things continued to occur that added confirmation that they were meant to adopt and that it must be from India.

Not everything about this was easy, especially the adoption process. When asked, Covey said that it was easier to get his master’s than to adopt. That there was “less paperwork, it was quicker, and cheaper”.

Yet, once his wife saw their referral child at dinner, she immediately made up in her mind that he was her son. Mr. Covey had to bring her back in, and remind her of why she can’t decide that he is the one without praying about it first. He told her, “Look, God has someone for us and you don’t have the say in who you get. So we have to ask, ‘is this our son’. Because if we take him home and he’s not ours, then we are raising someone else’s son. Which made her mad at me for about two weeks”

Carrie wasn’t the only one affected so strongly by this referral. Covey’s middle child, Faith, was struck with emotions when she first saw his photo and left the room bawling.

Luckily, in the praying process, they found that this boy was indeed the child meant to be a part of their family. This helped later when it would get difficult, as the Covey’s reminded themselves that this is who God gave them and not who they picked.

Actually going to India to get their new son  was surely an extraordinary experience. “Besides being in a country that hates country that hates Christians, and not being able to drink the water, or eat the fruit, or breathe the air….. It wasn’t that bad”, he joked. He also was reluctant to leave their three kids behind, “Just hugging them goodbye was hard. Scripture of how Jesus left the 99 to go after the 1, hit.”

When they arrived at the Orphanage in India and signed in the many hours of paperwork and formalities began. They were supposed to be focusing on getting all of his birth records and medical information, but that was slightly interrupted. After they had all of his information, the orphanage planned a formal meeting with a ceremony and lunch before he could leave.

However, being a curious and strong willed child, “[Adhi] heard talking in the background and wanted to know who it is, so he opened the door and walked in. So the lady is like, ‘well there he is’.” Covey laughed as he looked back on that first meeting with their soon to be son, Adhi.

They were undecided on what to name him at first, overwhelmed by all of the paperwork and questions and prayer. His Indian name, Adhiyamaan, meaning king, was shortened to Adhi. Eventually, they decided to just keep his Indian name, but made his middle name Christopher in case he wanted to go by Chris later on in life. Mr. Covey explained that he doesn’t want his son to be ashamed of being Indian and that if he wanted an American name, then it will be up to him.

All About Adhi

Naturally, I wanted to know about Adhi, who is now 20 months old. “He’s a power toddler”, Covey said. He’s into everything, running and jumping around like a typical young boy. Although, he’s less interested in toys. “He wants what you have, he wants a real hammer , he wants a real pot, he doesn’t want stuffed animals, he wants real animals. So he plays with the cat.”

He’s funny, like many toddlers can be. But what was surprising was how much he likes to share.

Mr. Covey talked about how Adhi will often take a bite of food then attempt to give the next bite to you, which he found surprising from coming out of an orphanage. There, of course, are hardships that come along with this adoption. Covey explained that disciplining is a difficult trial they’ve had to face. “We are learning him at the same time that he is learning us.” Unlike his own children, they don’t know his complete background. All they know is that Adhi was left at the orphanage with a cleft palate at 5 weeks old and the Covey’s weren’t a part of his earlier life. “We knew when they (the Covey kids) were being spoiled toddler verses really needing something.”

Adhi tends to smack people because he is not very verbal yet and he tends to do it to get the attention of the person because he doesn’t know their name. Covey explained that this could be interpreted as being violent, even though he’s just trying to get someone’s attention. “We have to constantly try to decipher what’s really spoiled toddler that needs discipline or an orphan toddler that needs nurtured. Like any child, he has moments of fits and it can be hard to tell the difference sometimes.”

Even in moments of uncertainty, Covey feels that it’s the same as if he was raising his biological child. “He does the same things that our other to kids did. He gets into the same things, he tries to pull the same tricks, and he has the same quirkiness.” It without a doubt is like he’s always been in the family.

Covey knows that not all adoptions end up feeling this way, which makes him feel blessed. Covey explained that God has plans for this little guy, just like the plan for them to originally adopt Adhi. He is just enjoying being a part of the journey to what he becomes.

In the End

The whole experience has opened up things that they wouldn’t have experienced before. Their trip to India was one of the first relizations of this. Covey talked about how they were stopped by militia at the airport and were accused of Adhi not being their son because of the difference in the color of their skin. It was something that he had never encountered before, being that most likely any of their three kids wouldn’t have anyone batting an eye over whether they were truly his. Even though the family will have to live with questions like this and possibly curious glances from strangers, these questions are able to open up the door for Mr. Covey to speak of their experience as a testimony to God. “God is as real as this kid here, because without him he wouldn’t be next to me now”, Covey spoke to a passenger on the plane about their story to Adhi and how God brought them to him. Just as he told the story to me, they can continue to share this journey with any curious ears. “It’s a story that people can’t deny.”

Mr. Covey’s advice for anyone considering adoption is that it’s isn’t for everyone, and that isn’t to say that he finds himself more suited for the task. He does, however, encourage everyone to participate in adoption. “Adoption is really expensive, you can help someone financially, you can help someone by buying meals or clothes.” You can also sponsor children, even ones who have a family but are still poor. The Covey’s sponsor two kids in Ethiopia and encourage others to look into donating money monthly as well.

Covey wanted to leave me with a quote. “This is for your Joy.”

When they went through this process, they had to pray a lot with things you normally wouldn’t think about. The day before going to the orphanage they prayed for God to help them love this child. They didn’t raise him from the beginning and hadn’t known him all this time. With a change as serious as adoption, they had fears of the worst coming true. That all vanished once they saw him, but even so these words are what truly put him at ease.

This entire time he felt that God was saying these words to him, “This is for your joy.” So once they returned to the States on November 9th, they bought a plaque and had that exact phrase inscribed on it. It will always remind them of their story and why it was so important.

A new home for Adhiyamaan and the hidden joy for the Covey’s are precious gifts that are priceless in comparison to everything under our Christmas trees. This story really moved me because they didn’t adopt to get anything out of it or because they simply wanted another kid. The Covey’s were led by their faith to a child that feels like he’s always been their son, and I’m sure that Adhi feels the same way about his new family.

They listened and followed, receiving the gift that truly keeps on giving.

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