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Personal Testimony - Adopted Daughters Wedding

Mike Connell

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When Josephine found out that her mother had received a letter from the social welfare that her biological parents have six more children, questions started reeling in her mind: who were they? What do they looked like? Do they look like me? “It’s insane, when you don’t have information, you just fill in with your imagination.”

Eventually, Josephine flew up to meet the Connells after her exams that year. She arrived in town on Connell’s birthday.

“The week before she came, we openly told the church our story and everything came to light. After that, many of those who had problems sharing their past brought their secrets into the light as well,” said Joy.

As Connell came clean with his family’s past, God brought a lesson to his mind. “This was what the Lord asked me after we told the church, ‘You know what would happen if you had not shared with your church?’ I said, ‘No, I haven’t thought about that,’ to which God said, ‘If you had kept this in secret, it would have been a betrayal of trust for all under your leadership once they found out the truth.’”

Humility and Giving Honor

Over the years, the Connell family maintained contact with Josephine. She did not grow up in a Christian family but whenever she visited them, she would go to church with them.

While she felt moved by the presence of God at church, becoming a Christian was a struggle with the issue of loyalty for Josephine. “I grew up always wanting to please my parents, and I didn’t want the decision (to believe in God) to please other people; I wanted it to be for myself. So it took a long time to come to that point of not worrying about what my parents thought as well as what Mike and Joy thought.”

The change came when Josephine met her future husband Steve Brown, who shared his testimony with her about being healed at a church service. “I thought to myself, this is a guy who can help me grow spiritually. It was so important to me because if I got together with the wrong guy, it would be harder (to become a Christian).”

Their wedding in October 2008 was the first time Josephine’s biological and adopted family met. “I wanted my dad to walk me down the aisle and Mike to take the service.”

But things did not turn out as well as everyone hoped. Connell could still remember the tension he felt in the air at the initial meeting. “I said to God, ‘Help! You have to help me solve this!’ And I didn’t actually get an answer until the morning of the wedding day itself. The Lord showed me how to approach it with the principle of honor.

“There was the uncertainty of her siblings and her parents, and everyone was thinking: what’s he going to say, and I’m thinking: what am I going to say?

So the Lord showed me to start by placing honor on Josephine and her parents, because when you humble yourself and honor people, their hearts will be softened. I spoke words of value to her parents, her brothers, and to Josephine and Steve. The presence of God came and I felt the tension just lift. Hearts were softened and you could feel the love in the place. It was what I asked God for: all the walls were broke down and people just cried. It was so good.

At the reception, her mother stood up to speak and people just started to weep. She had faced her own conflicts because of her mother’s objection to her adopting Josephine, but deep down in her heart, she knew that this baby would be ok.”

Josephine and Steve were baptized by Connell at their home on Easter Sunday last year. “We are now putting down our roots and learning how to pray and walk with God,” Josephine said with a smile.

It is inevitable that people make mistakes, but as this story has shown, God is always there to turn mourning into dancing and sorrows into joy.