by Michele Willis, Builder, Alabama
I started Premier part-time to pay for adoption expenses. Little did I know how it would change my life.
My husband, Ernie, is a pastor and we had been on many mission trips to Matamoros, Mexico, working in several different orphanages. God used those experiences to open our eyes to adoption.
In 2010, after we had been blessed with two boys, Jackson and Carson, we felt it was God’s timing to adopt a little girl. We wanted to adopt from Mexico because the Lord had given us the desire while working there. Immigration issues here and political changes in Mexico combined to put an end to those adoption plans. We were devastated. Mexico was the only country we had ever considered.
Close friends, who had just returned from adopting in China, discussed their experience with us. We prayed and felt as if God was leading us to adopt from China, an expensive proposition.
We knew we needed an extra income on top of my full-time corporate job and my husband’s ministry to cover adoption expenses. Having recently hosted a Premier Jewelry Show with a former co-worker, I talked to her about the earning opportunity and knew God was calling me to it. I joined Premier in February 9, 2010, and we began the process of adopting from China.
In 2011, I earned an opportunity to go to Haven of Hope with my Premier family. I was hesitant to go; we were waiting on our Letter of Approval from China, one of the last steps before Travel Approval. But I believed that the Lord was calling me to go so that I could learn more about this company which was helping fund our adoption.
While at Haven, we went on a tour of the Home Office. In a hallway lined with photos of missionaries whom Premier supports, I turned around and was face to face with people I recognized—Dr. and Mrs. Camacho of the Matamoros Children’s Home. It was there we first felt called to adopt!! Only God!! I was amazed.
Misti Bartlett asked me to share my story that night at Haven, and that night I received a call from our social worker. We had received our Letter of Approval!!
In January of 2012 we traveled to China to pick up our beautiful Madison Jade Willis. I quit my corporate job to do Premier full-time. I didn’t feel right about taking my baby out of an orphanage only to put her into a day care. Madison (or MJ) has been such a blessing! Adoption has shown us a real life example of the Gospel, but there’s more…
The first day of National Rally 2012, as I was walking around the exhibit hall looking at the missionaries, I discovered Matamoros Children’s Home was there! I ran to Dr. Camacho’s booth with tears in my eyes to tell him the story of how God used his ministry to call us to adoption and how adoption led us to Premier. We didn’t even know there was a connection…it was not by chance, but by design!!
In 2013 I earned the Disney trip and fulfilled my dream of my “Asian princess” riding the Dumbo ride just like on the commercials!! On that trip I also had the honor of meeting Andy, Tim and Peggy Horner, telling our story and introducing them to one of their legacies…our daughter, Madison!
I realize that mine is just one of many miraculous stories of how God has used Premier to change lives. I’m so grateful that the Lord chose this path for us—by design!