It seems surreal to type those words: we’re adopting! It’s a desire that my husband, Joseph, and I have had for so long, and we know that this is just the beginning of a long journey. Even as I type this post, I am completely humbled and amazed at the working of God to bring us to this place, and it is His past faithfulness that sustains us as we patiently wait for the moment we get to hold our baby in our arms.
But I know that many of you reading our announcement have lots of questions. Why are you adopting? What does the process look like? How can we help? And so many more. To give you a few of the pertinent details: we are adopting domestically (within the United States) through Lifeline Children’s Services based here in Birmingham, Alabama. We are in the middle of the home study process, and we are told we will have to wait 2-4 years before we will be matched with a mother who wants to make an adoption plan. The adoption will cost around $32,000, and we are fundraising and hoping to apply for adoption grants as well.
But today, I also want to explain the why question by telling the story of how God called Joseph and me to make adoption a part of our family story.
Every faith family Joseph and I have been a part of has displayed the beauty of adoption for us. The church where I grew up was actively engaged with orphanages in Ukraine; there was even a girl in my class who had been adopted from there. The church I attended while in college had many families who had adopted from Asia and Africa, including many of our pastors. In the first church we attended as a married couple, we helped a family fundraise to bring home two special needs daughters from China. Over and over again, we saw God bringing hope to a broken situation by means of adoption, but specifically international adoption. We were not as aware of domestic adoption until a family crisis rocked our world in 2015.
We received the call early one February morning, a little over a year after being married. Joseph’s teenage sister who was three-months pregnant had been told by her boyfriend that if she wanted their relationship to work, she had to get an abortion. She chose her baby’s life and left that same day. She was stranded with no car and nowhere to go, so we immediately jumped in our car and headed to pick her up. We weren’t sure what we were going to do when we got there, but we knew God would give the three of us wisdom.
After much prayer and discussion, we invited Joseph’s sister to live with us. Those four months were some of the hardest of our lives, but they also taught us so much about God and His love for the most vulnerable.
Over the next two months, I took his sister to her medical appointments and to job interviews. There was a wonderful Christian pregnancy resource center in our area that helped us walk through the process of her becoming a parent. They provided free parenting classes, information about adoption, baby clothes and supplies, and guidance on paperwork such as WIC and Medicaid. It was then that my eyes were opened to the hardship these mothers face when they have an unexpected pregnancy, but my eyes were also opened to their courage.
I had always been pro-life, but walking through this process with his sister made me realize that we must value all lives in this process. As one Lifeline article puts it, “We must strive to be consistent in living like Christ and be more than pro-birth only. We must be truly pro-LIFE.” I realized that the church must be there not only for the child, but also for the mother. We must not only fight for the pregnancy and the birth, but for adoption plans or familial support.
Our hearts were burdened as we walked through the process with his sister, loving her the best we could and thankful for the ways our church family loved her. And our hearts broke when she lost her baby at twenty weeks. We sat by her hospital bed, wept with her, cared for her, and we were still amazed at the incredible courage and faith she displayed as she held her daughter for those few minutes.
Those moments with Alice Noelle impacted our journey forever.
After seeing what these mothers go through, we know that it takes more than a persuasive argument for them to choose to parent or to make an adoption plan. They need to know that we are pro-baby and pro-mother. They need to know that just like their baby is valuable because he or she is made in God’s image, she is valuable because she, too, is an image bearer. It was then we knew we wanted to serve this vulnerable population—one that is often told that their value will decrease if they choose to keep their baby. A population who feels like there is no hope—one that feels shame from their family, culture, and sometimes even from the church.
That is why we are choosing to adopt domestically through Lifeline. Their birth mother ministry is incredible. The entire process is mother-centered; they want her to feel loved, valued, and prepared whether they choose to parent or make an adoption plan. They provide transportation to medical appointments, counseling, and so much more; but most importantly, they provide the love of Christ.
And that is our ultimate motivation for adopting. We have received the love of God through adoption! Romans 8:15 says, “For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’” We are adopting because God has adopted us. We were a people hopeless, afraid, and vulnerable, but God became our Father! We can cry out to the God of the universe knowing He will answer because we are His sons and daughters!
We are adopting domestically so that a mother can choose life not only for her child, but also eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.
We’ll be sharing more details and updates throughout this journey, but right now, we would ask you first to pray as we continue through the home study process. Pray that God would provide the finances as we fundraise for the next large payment. Pray that he would be preparing the heart of the mother who will choose us to parent her child.
If you would like to support us financially, you can participate in our first fundraiser by buying a t-shirt! T-shirts cost $20 (XS-XL) and $22 (2X-3X) (they are soft shirts, so they run small). We will be placing the order later this month and will get the t-shirts in early August. To place an order, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have other ideas of how you can help us fundraise, let us know! Also, if you would like to give a donation to our adoption fund, email me at email@example.com.