When Jamie and I started talking about marriage, we agreed that we felt God calling us to adopt. For us, it was never a question of “if” but “when.” We waited a “respectable” (according to the trends of our circle of friends at the time) two years after getting married before we started trying to have a family; but five years into our marriage, our arms were still empty. We sought counsel from our pastor and our parents about just how far to proceed with fertility treatments before pursuing adoption, and we decided that the time to adopt was now.
We had very little money saved, but we decided to proceed and see how the Lord provided. We did our research, talked to other adoptive families, and prayed about which direction we should take for our family. Did we want to go international? Could we handle a sibling group? Should we do a private adoption or work with the state agency? We finally settled on an adoption attorney, who had been hired by a couple of other families we knew to help with their adoptions.
Within just three months of hiring our attorney, we received a call that a birth mom wanted to meet with us. As we drove with our attorney’s representative to meet the birth mom, I became very anxious about meeting this woman. Never before have I wanted anyone to like me so much! Suddenly, I was realizing that I’m not an easy person to like! What if she didn’t like how I looked or how I dressed or the things that I said or. . . To say that I was having a bit of a panic attack would be an understatement! Added to the panic was the realization that my husband had the wrong directions and had driven us about an hour out of our way! But God was working. He had a perfect plan because when we finally arrived, the birth mom was able to give us more time than we initially had planned. And before we left that first meeting, she had already chosen us and given us an ultrasound of our daughter!
Within just four months of that first meeting, our beautiful baby girl was born. No, we weren’t able to talk to her or sing to her throughout the pregnancy as some moms do to their unborn child. We weren’t even able to be there for the delivery, although we wanted to see our daughter as soon as her eyes opened! But we were there just 24 hours later, loving her, cuddling her, naming her – and we’ve been there ever since. Our attorney said that our adoption was obviously directed by God because he didn’t usually have couples find a match so quickly!
The way that the money came in for our first adoption was simply a miracle. We received gifts for our little girl, had two baby showers in our honor by loving family and friends, and obtained anonymous donations to help with our adoption costs. By the time we finalized our daughter’s adoption, we had completely paid off all of her adoption expenses!
But our story doesn’t end there. We honored the birth mom’s wishes and kept in touch with her by letters and pictures. We heard from her a few times in the beginning, but then there was no word from her for over two years. Still, we continued to send letters and pictures because we were determined to keep our end of the bargain! After all, didn’t she deserve a little respect for the wonderful gift she had given us? Some of our family and friends weren’t sure.
But then, we received another call from our attorney. The birth mom had contacted him again after two years and was pregnant. She wanted to know if we wanted the baby! Amazingly, we had just started talking about adoption again and discussed ways that we could save for the next one. We had no money for this adoption, but we decided to pursue it anyway and let God close the doors. Every time we were on the verge of telling our attorney that we couldn’t proceed, someone would give us some money or help us by donating items for her apartment (which we were having to furnish).
And when we thought we had no way to buy furniture for our baby, our church family jumped into action and threw us a huge, amazing baby shower that met all of our personal needs! Everything went so smoothly with our son’s adoption – down to having a free place to stay while we waited in another state to return home with him – that we just knew God was “knitting our family together” (as one of my friends put so nicely). And while we are still paying for his adoption a year later, we were able to secure two interest-free adoption loans that work with our budget.
Because it is National Adoption Month, I was encouraged to share our story again. It’s a story of God’s working, obviously, but adoption is more than that. It’s a reminder of what we are because of Christ. We have been adopted into God’s family, and a price was paid for us in His Son’s death on the cross. Adoption is not just another “cause” or “good work” done by celebrities. It is a calling for every Christian! If you have been adopted by God, then why aren’t you taking adoption personally? Why aren’t you promoting it from the church steps or telling others your own story of adoption?
I have been accused of being excited about adoption because it affects me personally. But I have always been excited about adoption – excited to hear of loving homes accepting more children to love, excited to see families grow because of the gift of adoption, excited to know that there is one less orphan in the world searching for loving arms. Not everyone is called to adopt – I’ve said this much before. Just like we are not all called to be missionaries in foreign countries or lawyers in a courtroom or doctors in an operating room, we are not all called to be adoptive parents.
But we are all called to support adoption. You can pray. You can help raise money. You can sponsor an orphan. You can volunteer time at a children’s home. You can talk about adoption. You can preach adoption. The point is to do something!
The holidays are quickly approaching, so this is a great time to consider some ways that your family can help. We are not currently adopting, but our children are filling a box for Operation Christmas Child to help children who may not have parents to provide Christmas for them. I know others who are collecting clothes for the orphans. Now is the time! How can you help?