Sunday, September 25, 2011

TESTIMONY: The Upside-Down World of Terry Stockman

Terry was a "reluctant husband" of sorts.  God gave him a heart for orphans, but not yet a heart to count the cost of actually bringing one into his home.  That is, until he met, in his words, his "son." 

Read how a needy orphan thousands of miles away, an orphan who doesn't even know that Terry exists, can turn a grown man's world upside.  And that's a good thing, when it's done for our Father's kingdom!

~ ~ ~

Where to begin? Well, I can tell you that on January 1, 2011, when I was thinking of all of the New Year’s resolutions that I was not going to keep, adoption was not on my mind.

This year was supposed to go so much different.  My wife Desiree and I had planned on getting our house cleaned out and fixed up a little to put it on the market.  After all, we have three girls and a dog.  What we need is more room and a bigger house.  But God had other plans for us.

My wife had mentioned adoption about a year or two ago, but it was one of those things (at least to me) that was probably a long way off, if ever at all. Right now was really not a good time. In addition to upgrading our housing situation, I was in the middle of studying for a very difficult technical certification that would advance me at work.  And besides, wasn’t adoption really expensive?!

For some reason my wife started looking into adoption websites around mid-February and started showing me pictures of “waiting children.”  At first I didn’t really pay that much attention to it—she would show me pictures of children from all over the world; kids with cleft lips, heart issues, or who had no health issues but simply had started to grow up and now were four to ten years old.

To my surprise, God really started to work on my heart. He started to break my heart for these children who do not have parents, who have been abandoned, who have next to nothing...but no one child really “grabbed” me.  Sure, my heart was broken for them, but was I willing to turn my life upside down and drop 20 to 30 grand on a kid that wasn’t “mine”?  Nah, not yet.  I hadn’t fully caught what Christ was trying to tell me.  I didn’t really “get it” yet—not until I saw my son.

Jesus used a seven-year-old boy named Shen NanSheng who lives in Southeast China to show me in an instant just how big He is. He showed me that life is about Him and His glory.  He showed me that I could love someone with all that I am even though I have never met them.  Jesus has showed, and is currently showing my wife and me, just how powerful and awesome He really is.

Will you JUST look at that face!  This little guy is ready for the Stockmans and Jesus!  Meet Shen NanSheng.

We have experienced a roller coaster of emotions through this process so far—from fear to happiness—but He has been there through all of it. I can honestly say that my wife and I have never grown in our faith as much as we have over these past seven months. We have been forced to rely on Him. He is my everything!

I am excited to be about the business of my King and to be passionate about what He is passionate about. I cannot wait until February 2012 when my wife and I can fly across the world to go pick up our son. My prayer is that glory would be given to Christ from this adoption.  I have been reminded so much of how I am adopted into His family, and I did not deserve this.

Please encourage the Stockmans by going to their blog to follow their journey and to drop them an encouraging word.  Go to God bless you, Stockmans!  We're praying for you and cheering you on!


  1. HOORAH - that's pretty much how it happens eh? But dude - y'all have a 'little emperor' on your hands!! ;)

    welcome to the "club"!!

    aus and co.

  2. It's amazing how God can change your heart and make you love someone who you have never even met! He has taught us so much through this process. Thank you for the prayers. I'm so excited to see how He is going to use this!
    God is good! All the time!!

  3. @ Aus -- thanks. I saw a documentary on what a "little emperor" is, and I hope not, lol.

  4. Amen! God is always faithful, and He sure has proven that over the past 7 months! I can't wait until you bring him home :)

  5. Terry-Question. What happened that God changed your heart? Was it one thing or over time? My husband and I have been clearly called to an adoption and his heart is not there yet. He is currantly in the "irritated" stage with me. No matter what he says I respond in a loving and positive manner. Killing him with kindness is driving him nuts:)

  6. @ Anonymous -- It was a bunch of things: through just looking at the pictures and reading the profiles that my wife would show me, God started to soften me up a bit, but I think the number one thing would be just staying in His word and realizing that its not one of those things thats really an option. God doesn't say "if you want to help the orphans...", or "if you feel like being nice to the fatherless..." He actually says "BE a father to the fatherless", care for the orphans..., etc. So it became (after a while) one of those things where I just really wanted to be passionate about the things that my King is passionate about, I mean I say I follow Him and I want to be like Him, right?! I thought to myself here is a good opportunity to "man up". Besides, God wouldn't leave me alone about it. Does this answer your question? If not, let me know, I love talking about what He is doing.

  7. Thanks Terry for your response. Please keep my husband in your prayers till God softens his heart!


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