Tiffany Bluhm was abandoned as an infant on the streets India and later adopted by a family in the United States. She never forgot the feeling of abandonment or of being a little different than her peers. These things might have been good enough reasons to compel her to never consider adopting a child of her own. Nonetheless, the God who adopts followers of His Son, Fathering them from into His Heavenly Kingdom, stirred Tiffany and her husband Derek’s hearts towards adopting a child of their own.
One day, while gazing at a small baby with dark skin, Tiffany heard the Lord whisper to her, “Your baby’s going to have real dark skin.” Since Tiffany is Indian, this wasn’t a surprise, but she felt the Lord was speaking of even darker skin. The couple eventually settled on adopting from Uganda.
The couple went forward knowing their process would be arduous. They would soon find out they had no idea how difficult it would be.
Initially only thinking of adopting one child, the Bluhm’s were challenged by an adoption representative to adopt two. They prayerfully accepted the challenge and eventually made their way to Uganda.
After arriving, the couple were able to meet their new boys, who they named Lucius and Jericho, and they were given accommodations to live in while they waited out the legal process necessary to bring their children home.
The initial adjustment period for the kids was trying. The kids, being toddlers who had rarely, if ever, seen a male adult, presented unique challenges for Derek as he sought to fill the role of a father. Even more heart-wrenching was watching little Jericho bang his head against the wall for 8-10 hours a day while he processed the trauma of this new situation. His previous life’s circumstances were very difficult, but they were all he knew. Now he found himself with people he didn’t know in a situation he didn’t recognize.
Yet, over the weeks and months, the foursome settled into the reality of being a family and true, deep bonds formed in this short time. It seemed the rhythm of what life was going to look like for this family had begun to reveal itself.
Then the unthinkable happened. The Bluhm’s were told that they were not going to be able to keep Lucius. It turns out he had a relative in the Ugandan government who didn’t like the idea of foreigners adopting someone from his family.
This was devastating news to the little Bluhm squad. Derek and Lucius had formed a deep bond. In fact, where it had taken much longer for Jericho to call Derek “Daddy,” it was a relatively short process for Lucius. He had truly begun to flourish for the first time in his short life, and since the relative didn’t actually want to adopt Lucius himself, he would have to return to orphanage life.
While the family was still processing this grief, it began to look like they might lose Jericho as well. As their stay extended well beyond their original plans and began to near the four-month mark, Tiffany says she found herself reaching the limits of her faith. Despair looked like it might overcome her.
But God, Who is never exhausted and never surprised, supported Tiffany when she was at her lowest by rousing a sister in Christ on the other side of the world to begin to pray non-stop until there was breakthrough in Tiffany’s situation. It was the middle of the night where this woman lived, but the Spirit stirred her to message Tiffany and let her know that she felt Tiffany was struggling and that this sister was praying. After much prayer, the Holy Spirit gave the woman confidence that something had changed in Tiffany’s situation.
Indeed, something significant had happened, because at the very hour the woman felt stirred to begin to pray, the Bluhm’s legal representation was meeting with a Ugandan judge regarding Jericho’s status with the family. The case was moved forward and not long after the family was able to come home to the United States together. Today Jericho is a school-aged boy and big brother to little brother, Kingston.
Listen to this week’s episode to hear all of the Bluhm’s incredible story and to be encouraged by Justin’s conversation with Tiffany!
- Tiffany mentions at the beginning of the episode that she was waiting to hear back about a book deal. She has since written multiple books! (This episode was recorded over three years ago but just released in 2020!)
- The Bluhm's name for Jericho was based on one of the first promises for the people of Israel being tied to the city of the same name. Lucius means "light."
- Derek was initially only going to come for the first few weeks but he ended up needing to stay for the entire four months.