Andy and I met through a Christian club at ASU in 1996. When we started dating, I shared that God had given me a passion for adoption when I was very young, and that I needed him to pray about whether he would be open to adopting also. I was overjoyed when he shared that he was definitely open to that!
After we married, we began researching adoption. We learned about open adoption, where the adoptive family has the opportunity to meet their child's birth family. This sounded perfect for us. It would allow us to honor our child's connections to extended family, and possibly share God's love with their birth family during a difficult time. We just wondered what that looks like in real life, and if it could really work.
When Lucas was one year old, we began the adoption process through a local Christian agency. Exactly nine months after we started our paperwork, Destany Nichole came to us. Does God have a sense of humor, or what? :) She was three days old, and bringing her home was a complete whirlwind. It was definitely one of the most exciting days in our lives! It was just 5 hours from the time we heard about D. Nichole until she was in our home, becoming more a part of our family by the minute. We have an open adoption, with occasional contact with Nichole's birthmother and three biological siblings. We love them dearly, and feel very blessed to know them. (It has now been three years since our last visit, but we hope they come back to us soon!)
A little over two years later, we matched with Keandre's birth mother and he joined our family just three weeks later, when he was just a few hours old. We have some contact with his birth family, also, although most of them live in Nevada and we do not hear from them regularly. Keandre also has two biological siblings who lived with us for a while and were adopted by friends of ours, and a younger sister who was adopted by a family in Nevada. We enjoy occasional playdates and birthday parties with them. Their family is very special to us, and we love seeing them as often as possible.
Preparing to adopt again...
It has been an incredible journey, growing our family through birth and adoption. We have always known we would like to have four or five children, and we began praying even before our youngest, Brooklyn, was born, asking God to show us when our family will be complete. All along, we wondered if He may have one more sweetie in mind who would someday join our family.
Why do we wonder about this? God continually lays before us the need for adoptive families. He has given us a passion for adoption and for the privilege of providing a permanent, loving home for little ones who need one. We may not have much in this world by some people's standards, but we have all that we need, and more. We feel it is an incredible privilege to raise our children in the knowledge of our gracious Lord and Savior.
Knowing how God has graciously adopted us into His family and given us His inheritance -- a new name, a new identity, and a new beginning as His child -- compels us to share that with another precious little one and his or her birth family. And as our children learn more about how we have been adopted into God's family and how much that has changed our lives, they are learning that it is natural to want to share that love and grace with others. Nichole and Keandre are not the only ones in our family who have been adopted. Adoption is a part of every Christ-follower's story. If we truly believe this, it should change how we live our lives in every way.
It does require sacrifice to have a big family, but we wouldn't have it any other way. Every child He blesses us with is a gift. We have chosen to trust our Father that He is the one who grows families, He provides for His own, and He will guide us in the intricate details of our lives. We look forward to seeing what God has in store for our family over the next year. :)
Update -- Precious Amira has joined our family! We have no idea if this means our family is complete or not. We shall wait and see. LOL