South Charlotte

In a week, family adopts 3 African boys

Brian and Chris Davidson, 51-year-old parents of four adult children, recently adopted three African boys just one week after learning of their urgent situation.

Joshua, 12, Caleb, 8, and Gideon, 5, were born in north Ghana. Their father died about four years ago and their mother was left to care for seven children. Joshua and Caleb were forced to work to support the family, despite being only 8 and 4 years old at the time.

The boys family home and possessions were washed away by a flood. Their mother eventually asked a representative from Beacon House, a group home in Ghana, to take the three boys in order to give them a better life.

The boys then became part of a disrupted adoption, living with a family in Raleigh that had intended to adopt them but were unable to finalize the process.

Had the Davidson's not adopted the three boys as a sibling group, they may have been separated.

Chris saw a friend's Facebook post Nov. 4 about three young brothers the friend had heard of who were in need of a home. Chris contacted her friend and learned the boys' story.

The Davidsons spoke with family members, adoptive parents, attorneys and people associated with Beacon House.

One week later, on Nov. 11, Brian and Chris drove to Raleigh to have dinner with the boys and bring them back with them to live in their home in the Promenade area of south Charlotte.

Brian's mother died when he was 6 and he went to live with his older sister when he was 8, so he understands what it is like to lose parents.

Brian is a pioneer in sports ministry. He and Chris have been missionaries for 29 years.

"I have a passion for training people to live out their faith in sports competition," said Brian.

He started the professional soccer team, the Charlotte Eagles, in 1991 from the ground up and worked with the franchise until 2001.

The Davidsons then started Sports Friends, a sports ministry in Ethiopia, in 2002 with another couple. The Davidsons and their four children lived there for three years until 2005. Brian grew the organization in 10 years to include more than 60,000 children, 2,600 sports projects, 146 churches and 70 Ethiopian leaders.

Brian has now moved on to work with Serving In Mission on the Righteousness Challenge, encouraging Christians to memorize scripture. Chris is a kindergarten teacher at Arborbrook Christian Academy in Matthews.

"God brought Africa back to us," said Chris, who has a heart for the African people, especially the children.

"If it's God's vision, he brings the people and the finances," said Brian. "What we always call it is 'the glory of the impossible,' things that happen beyond measure of anything you can think of, so you can't take any credit for it."

The Charlotte Eagles, the YMCA of Greater Charlotte, Elevation Church, Arborbrook Christian Academy and friends donated their time, materials and services to give the boys' new bedroom a makeover and provide resources for the family.

The Davidsons' daughter Johanna, 18, painted 'Welcome to your forever family' on the wall in the boys' room.

The boys are now full of laughter and smiles, they are attending school at Arborbrook and are adjusting to their new life in Charlotte.

The bravest thing he ever had to do was watch people bury his father, said Joshua, and his new favorite word is nevertheless. He has had a lot of hardships, nevertheless God has brought him a new life with a forever family.