Adoption: A Picture of Restoration

How infertility became our neon flashing arrow to grow our family through adoption

by Bailey 
My husband, Clayton, and I struggled several years with infertility before we felt the call to adopt. We had both grown up attending short-term mission trips caring for vulnerable children and thought we might adopt one day, but we did not seriously consider it until we encountered our infertility. During that season, we spent many nights in tears on our knees praying that God would allow us to start a family. In 2019 God did begin to answer our prayer in a way more beautiful than we could have ever planned.

November is national Adoption Awareness month, and it is a great reminder of our responsibility to share our story with others.

When we first encountered our struggle with infertility, we did our best to keep our brokenness hidden. We felt guilty and ashamed over our lack of control. We were given wisdom by our closest friends and family to share our story. With each person we told about our infertility, we felt exponentially less alone. We absolutely know the devil was trying to keep us isolated so that God would not be able to use our story to encourage others. 1 Peter 5:9 says this, “Resist him [Satan], standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” Once we were no longer under the assumption that we had to walk through our infertility journey alone, Satan’s power in our isolation vanished. If you would have asked me 5 years ago if I would be comfortable with sharing intimate details about my life and health with people I do not know, the answer would have been a resounding, “no way.” Now I can say with confidence that sharing our brokenness and God’s process of restoration in us is one of my favorite topics to discuss.

Once we established that we were being called to adopt, we began waiting for “the sign” that would confirm our calling, making it obvious that we were indeed supposed to adopt. After waiting several months, we had not received the sign we had been waiting for, so we began to doubt our calling. One Sunday during this waiting period, we went to church and the pastor was preaching on Luke 17:14. Jesus was travelling by 10 men who had leprosy. They called out to Him, “have pity on us.” In response, Jesus told them “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” Lepers would have not been allowed anywhere near the priests, so this directive presumably would have cast doubt in the leper’s minds whether they should obey Him. Luke then tells us that “as they [the lepers] went, they were healed.” Jesus required the lepers to step out in obedience as a step of faith before He allowed them to be healed. When this church gathering was over, Clayton and I just sat in our seats, and looked at each other (normally our growling stomachs encourage us to leap out of our seats and get to lunch!). We both knew that God was asking us to take a step of faith knowing that He had already called us to care for the orphans (James 1:27). That week we filled out the paperwork for a local adoption attorney, and decided to allow God to guide our journey. To answer the obvious questions: no, we did not have enough money to pay for an adoption; no, we did not know what race of a child to pursue; no, we did not know that we were adopting through the right attorney (although we had done plenty of research). Once our paperwork was received, our attorney asked us for $2,000 to start the adoption process. On the exact same day that we received that email from our attorney, we received a check in the mail from our mortgage company saying that we had overpaid on our mortgage the year before. I’m assuming you can guess how much the check was for… just over $2,000. We were flabbergasted! That is truly the only word I can think of that described how we were feeling.

That was the first time, but definitely not the last, that God blatantly showed up in our adoption journey.

The average cost of an infant domestic adoption in America is $40,000. We had absolutely nowhere near that amount of money to spend on our adoption. I am proud to say that through our own savings, grants and generous gifts from family and friends, God provided all of the costs associated with our son’s adoption. I am incredibly grateful for God graciously allowing us to hear the sermon about the lepers and the faith Jesus required of them to heal them. I will also note that God chooses to heal us in the ways that are according to His will, and not necessarily in the ways we think He should. Clayton and I still struggle with infertility to this day. God has not chosen to heal that part of our brokenness. God HAS chosen to heal our hearts by allowing us to grow our family in the exact way, and with the exact children He wanted us to parent. Sometimes a calling from God can be as quiet as Him placing on our hearts what is already on His. Our beautiful, colorful family of four has become our greatest mission field and ministry. When we were in the depths  of sorrow with our infertility we cried out to God, “why us God?,” and after we adopted our children we are able to experience a small glimpse into God’s eternal plan for our family and why He built it through adoption.

I cannot write about our story without acknowledging our wonderful birthmothers. Without them, our family would not be what it is today. In a perfect world, there would be no need for adoption. No one would experience infertility, and no mother would become pregnant with a child they are not able to care for. Adoption is a picture of restoration that God allows to all of us who are in the adoption triad (adoptee, adoptive parent and birth parent). When talking about adoption, you must hold joy in one hand, and grief in the other. Both are always present, in every adoption. We all have brokenness, adoptive parents and birth parents alike. I am grateful that God has allowed us, through adoption, to experience an iota of restoration that we will experience when we are reunited with Him.
As Adoption Awareness month comes to a close, join us in praying for adoptive and foster families. Pray that we can bring support and community to wrap around them. Pray for wisdom to love and serve them well, providing the resources they need to demonstrate God's love.

If you are fostering, if you have adopted, or you’re interested in taking the next steps in reaching orphans, we want to hear from you.
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