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Yours. Mine. His.

"Yours. Mine. His." Continued...

“Here’s 50 bucks,” he told Robin, handing her cash. “God told me to do it.”

As she tried to refuse, the man added, “it all comes back to me anyway.”

Although touched, Robin wasn’t surprised by the generosity. In the last year, she’d become quite familiar with the concept. It’s the same attitude she saw in the teenager who handed her his allowance.

She saw it in the couple who slipped her $20 at El Cerro Grande.

And there was the lady who spotted Victor buying shorts at J.C. Penney and handed him cash.

Someone even mailed them an unsigned card with a $100 bill inside.

There were also the dozens of others who had purchased barbecue plates, chicken bog tickets, T-shirts, pizzas and car washes. Their gifts ranged from a single bill to hundreds of dollars.

Yes, some folks had money to give. But others didn’t. Robin is certain some of the donors skipped lunches so her family could have a few more dollars for the adoption. The donation total recently surpassed $16,000.

Along with giving money, friends have offered to help in other ways.

Shane Robertson, a pastor friend of Victor’s, plans to take his 14-year-old son Ayano by the Crawfords so he can teach the boys English.

The Robertsons adopted Ayano from Ethiopia three years ago. He speaks English as well as two common Ethiopian languages.

When Ayano first moved to the Robertson house in North Myrtle Beach, he couldn’t understand English. To ease the transition, the family turned to the owner of a local Ethiopian restaurant.

“It was tough at first, but she really made a big difference,” Robertson said. “Ayano remembers that, how much it helped, so he’s offered to help the Crawfords’ boys.”

Realizing the purpose

Unbeknownst to Robin, Josiah started making a poster.

Using white posterboard for a background, he attached photos of him smiling with Robin and Victor, and of him laughing with Miles. At the top of the poster, he wrote “adoption.” In orange marker, he wrote “I was adopted from Guatemala.” In green marker, he wrote I John 4:19 (“We love him because he first loved us”). In various hues, he wrote “adoption is partnering with Jesus to see lives transformed.”

There’s a blank space on the poster, too, a place for the picture of the brothers he’ll soon meet.

This is encouraging to the Crawfords. Josiah seems like the typical all-American boy. He plays the electric guitar. He roots for the New York Yankees and the Chicago Bulls. He plays baseball and soccer. His report card shows all A’s.

But the Crawfords don’t want him to see sports, music and material Americana as his life, the reason he’s here.

That’s why they worry when he makes his Christmas list in July.

“We’re not bringing [orphans] to America because America is salvation,” Victor said. “Your salvation is not in the American dream. It’s not in the American culture. It’s not in any of that stuff. Your salvation is knowing Christ. It is the gospel.”

Surrender

The call about the little girl came during Robin’s lunch break.

She spent the afternoon talking with the girl’s grandmother, Victor, her sister-in-law and God.

“Explain this to me,” she prayed as she drove down the road.

When she got home, she and Victor discussed converting their garage into an extra room. They talked about setting up bunk beds.

“What do you think?” Robin asked Victor, referring to the girl.

“If the opportunity presents itself,” he said, “we’ll adopt her.”

She asked at what point they’d have enough kids.

“Will it be 20 children?”

They decided to give the grandmother options. If she could pay for the lawyer fees, they’d adopt the girl. If she turned the child back over to the state — which wouldn’t guarantee she’d go to the Crawfords—they’d try to adopt her that way.

The conversations and the questions continued until late that evening.

Sitting on their living room couch, Robin worried about time. If she had five children, would she be able to go to their ballgames, help them finish homework, read them the Bible?

At 10:10 p.m., Miles toddled over to her. He wanted to watch a movie.

“Mommy can we snuggle?” he asked.

At this moment, she needed sleep. She needed to plan. She needed to find answers.

But the little blonde boy, he needed his mother.

So she relaxed, accepted not knowing and made some popcorn.

Charles D. Perry
Charles D. Perry

Charles, a South Carolina native and graduate of Winthrop University, is editor of The Myrtle Beach Herald. He and his wife Jennifer live in Conway, S.C., with their three sons, Charlie, Chris and William. They are members of Bethany Bible Chapel.

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