OUR STORY | Why We Want(ed) to Adopt

Telling an expectant mama the story of why couples long to adopt is one of my favorite parts of creating a custom profile. It’s rich and beautiful and so, so different every time.

I really believe there is something invaluable in encouraging hopeful parents to remember why they’re here and allowing expectant mamas to see their vulnerable hearts. It’s the beginning of our two stories intertwining.

What sets people on this journey is unique and far-reaching, but with all my heart I believe it’s good because it’s yours.

We need to own our stories, challenge our ideas, and grow our perspectives. It all becomes part of the stitching that brings your family together.

And so as I share others, I thought I would also share ours.

Because it’s fair, of course, but also because I love to tell the story. I love to remember. I love to cherish the perfect and imperfect steps that brought us to where we are.

And because I’m thankful. Thankful for the road that led us to our daughters and their first moms. Thankful I get to remember and recall. Thankful I get to tell my side of the story to my kids, over and over again, so that they might always know how fought for they were – by their first families, by us, and by a loving Father, millions / billions/ trillions of years before they were born.

How God led us to adopt. This is the question I get most excited to talk about, and the same question I have insufficient words to explain.

I can’t always pinpoint a beginning, and I think this in itself is what makes this story the most difficult and most beautiful tapestry in my heart. It’s always been there – the desire – even before I knew what it was. It’s a truth inside of me that has grown more real with every day of my life.

As oversimplified as might sound, I have just always known it was Him…

The Lord has written and wired me for this. Written my life, my marriage, my family for adoption. Wired my heart, my desires, my longings to share motherhood and fiercely love the children He has chosen to bring into our home.

For as long as I can remember, I knew I would adopt. I dreamt about it before anything else – before traveling the world, before having biological children, even before getting married. They were my great anticipation – “my babies”, the ones with beautiful dark skin and curly hair, from many cultures and many nations, gathered up in my arms – and it is my deepest heart’s desire that they always know how longed for they were.

I didn’t know in my young heart the many dimensions all of this would carry, but the seed of a dream was planted in my heart, and while so many other things in my life have been shaken and shattered, this never has.

His dream in me has been the most steady and sure thing I’ve ever known, and like mama Mary sitting next to her baby Jesus, I’ve known not what else to do than to simple “treasure up all of these things and ponder them in my heart” (Luke 2:19).

When I moved to Guatemala for a year in my 2011, the desire deepened. I learned what it looked like, really for the first time, not to “carry” people, but to walk with them.

There was in me a distorted savior-mentality I needed so badly to shed, and as the Lord walked me through a journey of peeling back the layers, I found a richness I never would have imagined. A richness I otherwise would have lost.

It was also in Guatemala that I had a dream. In the dream, I was standing in front of a large white house with many windows. In each window frame, I saw a sea of faces, and I knew in my heart that they were ‘mine’. As my eyes scanned across the many window frames, I heard the Lord say, “I  will call you Mother of Nations…”

In the day that followed, a dear friend approached me, saying that she felt the Lord had given her a word for me: “Mother of Nations”. The same happened a few weeks later, and a couple years after that, and almost every time I have received a prophetic word since. He’s been so faithful in reminding me of His promises.

Over and over again throughout that year, the Lord confirmed that cultures other than my own would be a part of my everyday life, and I longed to watch that vision unfold.

When my husband and I met, adoption was among the first of our conversations. I remember sitting on the front steps of my home on our second night together telling him, “My heart is for the nations and for adoption. It’s okay, but if you don’t see yourself there, we should protect our hearts and say goodbye now…”

Every time I doubted that I might marry this man, the Lord showed up. Again and again, He confirmed and cultivated our hearts – both separately and together – for the cause of the fatherless. They are too numerous to recount here, but they have been some of my favorite memories to cling to.

We had no idea in those early years how hard it would be, but the Lord has always fixed our gaze on this one united vision.

We began the adoption process in the spring of 2015. As we pressed in and asked the Lord how He wanted us to start our family, we felt like He told us to “throw our nets wide”. I persisted in asking Him, “But what is Your FIRST choice?” only to hear Him say, over and over again, “It’s all my first choice.” So we opened ourselves up to biological children, signed up for foster care classes, and began the homestudy process for a domestic adoption.

We met our daughter, Diamond, through foster care in February of 2016. We didn’t expect to adopt out of foster care, but knew from the first moment we saw her that she would be ours forever. “No Longer Slaves” became our anthem; He really did “split the sea so we could walk right through it, drowning our fear in perfect love. He rescued me so I could stand and sing, I am a child of God…”

When we started thinking about a second adoption, I felt like I was waiting for a sign.

The proof never came, but His voice did. He reminded me what He made so obvious years before – we were written for this.

I heard the Lord say, “Adoption is not something you will do. It is who you are. You don’t have to wait for my ‘go’ because I gave it to you years ago. All you need to do is say ‘yes’ again and continue walking in the identity I have rescued you and your family for. This is the the road I have chosen for you.”

That yes led us to our second baby girl and her beautiful first mom.

We’re still learning what it looks like to do life together with our babies’ first families – I think we always will be – but the journey through the uncharted territory has been more abundant {and more trying} than I ever could have imagined.

So much of what I thought would be “easy” has been incredibly hard, and that which I was often most afraid of has somehow become the most natural.

I’m still learning that it is about more than just the babies I dreamed of decades ago. I was young and naive when I first began to dream. I had no idea the layers of complexity and trauma nor the balance of celebration and grief I would walk into. But I will forever be thankful for those first seeds planted…however small they were.

As I wrap up, I keep coming back to this: “The enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy, but I come so that you might have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).

In a world that is broken, that diminishes the value of life and beats down women in hard places, adoption offers a different story. A story I want to be written into.

I want to love deeply, live wholly and ethically pro-life, and speak His truth where the enemy is trying to steal all hope.

I am marked with those who have been gloriously ruined and forever changed by adoption.