Colton and I have decided to adopt a child and we pray and hope that you read our story and join hands with us on this journey.
Back in October, Colton and I attended a leadership conference in Georgia with the youth ministry staff at First Presbyterian Church, where Colton is a youth associate. The overarching theme of the conference was this idea of ‘uncommon fellowship.’ Essentially, this idea of uncommon fellowship suggests that as Christians, we are called to a jaw-dropping, head-turning, never would’ve imagined association with other people.
While Colton and I both walked away with countless things to consider and ways to apply what we learned at the conference, one thing was visibly clear: God was calling us to adopt. He was calling us to step out in faith, trusting that His ways are Sovereign.
Colton and I got married almost two years ago now. To spare you the details, we cannot have our own biological children (at least at this point in life). There are potential opportunities that we will one day have, or we may never have the opportunity. We simply do not know. While I am not going to go into detail about it here, we would love to share our story with you if you ask us about it!
As we have navigated through this over the past two years, we have had multiple conversations about adoption. Most conversations have been brief, slightly emotional, and pushed to the side. Yet, after the conference we attended in October, the issue was not pushed to the side at all. Instead, we both walked away with the same call before we ever discussed it with one another.
This time we knew
This time we didn’t have any excuses.
This time we were confident in the direction God was leading us. He was calling us to adopt. And He wasn’t just calling us to adopt a newborn infant, He was calling us to surrender ourselves to the possibility of a six year old, a four year old, a child that has been removed from there home--wherever the road may take us.
The thing about God is that He doesn’t call us to be comfortable. He often calls us to step out in faith and put ourselves in situations where we will be in trouble if He doesn’t come through. That’s what faith is.
When Jesus called his disciples they didn’t say: “Oh, hey Jesus! Yes, I’ll go with you. Just come back in 5 years when I’m ready.” No, they dropped everything, went, and followed Him.
It’s interesting to look back and see how the pieces of the puzzle start fitting together.
Maybe God called me to work for a non-profit in college for 4 years where my heart for the broken began and my passion for children became fierce because he knew the call he would one day stir in our hearts.
Maybe God called Colton into a leadership role with an organization in college called Treadaway Kids where we witnessed first hand the need for God’s love and healing.
Maybe God guided me to change my major to the field of social services because he knew the path he would one day call us to.
Maybe God placed Colton at a church in Abilene that would be passionate about adoption and thus place an intense call on Colton’s heart years ago.
Maybe I was led to work at the Children Shelter and to teach at a Title 1 school in downtown San Antonio because God knew the direction He would one day take us.
God led Colton and I together for many reasons, but one of them is this. We have a shared passion and dream to adopt a child who comes from hurt and brokenness and desperately and lovingly show them the beautiful grace and love of Christ Jesus.
We cannot have children of our own right now, but we trust that God’s plans are higher than ours. We trust that God has led us here for His purpose, not ours.
God is always for us. He is never against us. And so we choose to walk in faith and obedience to this call.
So, we are asking that you join hands with us and walk.
Walk with us down this road.
Join us on this journey.
Pray for us and for our future child.
When I find myself praying about this, I don’t even have the slightest idea of what to pray for.
There will be challenges.
There will be risks.
There will be criticism from others.
The child will more than likely have some sort of physical or mental delay.
Oh, we know the road will be difficult.
The picture of adoption is awfully inviting. It’s beautiful. It’s the gospel picture brought to life. Redeeming a child from brokenness, pain, harm, and suffering is extremely life giving. To play just a small role in bringing hope and life to a child is a calling of Jesus Christ himself. It truly is beautiful.
However, adoption is God’s second best plan. Without tragedy and pain, there would be no need for adoption. Without abuse, poor choices, and sin, we would not be in this position. If something were not broken, there would be no need to fix it. If it were not for the fact that something went terribly wrong, adoption would not be necessary at all.
So with the joy of choosing to say yes to this call, our hearts are also heavy. Because this is not what God intended. Whether it be death, abuse, abandonment, whether intentional or not, there is an absolutely horrifying and tragic reason why this child that we will one day call our own needs a different family than the one that shares his same blood. Out of any adoption comes a broken past, a place of darkness, and a place where Satan has chosen to reign.
You see, this isn’t what it should look like. It should be his biological mother that will tuck our future child into bed at night. It should be his biological father that teaches him how to play sports and the importance of teamwork. It should be his real parents that drive him to school, make his lunch, and love him unconditionally. He should be taught the value of discipline and consequences, not by us—but by them.
Yet we live in this awfully fallen world where parents leave their own to roam the streets because they were never taught anything otherwise. So, for the sake of offering healing to just one, we know the road will often feel like an uphill battle. For the sake of redeeming this one child, whom God loves more than any of us can ever describe, may we be willing to have our well-put-together life turned inside out and flipped upside down.
We have no idea what we are getting ourselves into. And I think if we did, we wouldn’t be choosing to get into it. I believe that God often allows us to run into His call without having all the pieces put together because he knows us too well. He knows that if we really knew the true cost of what He is asking us to do, we would run away in fear. We would slam the door shut and run the opposite direction before we even got to see how His refining power works. I firmly believe that God may be keeping us blinded to the trials we will face in order to grow our faith. This doesn’t mean we are naïve (although we definitely are to some degree), it simply means that we have heard all the horror stories and we are choosing to still say yes.
While there is beauty in the redeeming, we know adoption can be ugly. It takes a long time for broken things to mend. It takes quite a while for wounds to heal and pain to cease, if it ever ceases at all.
Yes, the gospel picture of adoption is beautiful. God adopted us as His own children. But the gospel story includes an intense amount of suffering.
Without death, there would be no resurrection.
Without suffering, there would be no restoration.
Without fear, there would be no redemption.
Without tragedy, there would be no reconciliation.
Without pain, there is no joy in victory.
Through this process may we look Satan in the face and tell him to get out. May we shine the light of Christ in his face and tell him to leave.
We understand that this is going to be very difficult.
We are going to fail countless times I am sure.
We will cry out to God asking him, “why?’
We will be overwhelmed.
We may even struggle to love this child. But on our own, we can’t love anyway. It’s impossible. But the incredibly good news of Jesus Christ is that he can teach us to love unconditionally without expecting anything back in return. It may take years for this child to love us back, if they even do at all. We know that. But with God fighting for us, we can overcome the darkness. With the power of the one who raised Himself from the grave living inside of us, our hearts can be resurrected.
Thank goodness that his mercies are new every morning and His grace is sufficient and His power is made perfect in weakness.
So once again, we ask that you join in this journey with us.
That you be there to hold our hands and assure us that God’s got this.
That you come to our future child’s extra curricular events, showing them that there is power in the body of Christ.
We ask that you cry with us, sit with us, and remind us why we are doing this when the road seems unclear.
We ask that you rally around us in love and prayer for the sake of just one child.
And most importantly we ask that you pray. Pray. Pray Pray.
Pray for God to prepare our hearts in ways that we do not even realize we need to be prepared.
Pray that we have faith and endurance.
Pray that we have peace and hope.
And pray for our future child, whoever they may be. Pray that whether they are an infant or an eight year old when they come to us, that they can experience the redeeming love of Jesus Christ the minute they walk into our home.
Pray they feel safe, valued, trusted, wanted. Pray that our future child, above all else, will find their identity in Christ alone. Pray that they can shake the brokenness and darkness that has certainly overwhelmed their life and run into the beautiful, live giving, resurrecting grace of Christ Jesus.
This journey won’t be easy.
But we know our God trades beauty for ashes.