We were led to adoption for several years in the usual way; after struggling with infertility and miscarriage. Early in 1999 we began exploring domestic adoption opportunities, and participated in a seminar sponsored by our local Social Services. We did not actively pursue an adoption until we had relocated to Marshall, VA and were settled in the new house, though we had continued to read and research. Once settled, we began to develop a plan for adopting. As we learned more, and as the Lord carried us through trials and losses, we began to feel a burden for overseas adoption versus domestic, as the demand for domestic children far exceeds those available – and the children available overseas far exceed families willing/able to adopt them. The Lord laid it on our hearts to provide a loving home for children that would likely never have one, as opposed to competing with other fine families to provide a home for a child assured of one. In the summer of 2000 we began exploring Bulgarian adoption, but came to the realization that the expense was just too far beyond our reach. During this time we also developed a burden for “older” children, primarily those between 2 and 5 years old. We felt that infants were in such high demand, even overseas, that these beautiful children were being left behind. Another advantage of adopting older children is the opportunity to fully/better evaluate the development and personalities of the kids.
It’s difficult to adequately explain, (the picture on this page may give you an idea), but the Lord has blessed us beyond what we ever imagined. It’s so clear that He led us to seek these children that wouldn’t otherwise have been adopted. In turn He has blessed our obedience, working in and through our family to reach out and touch the hearts and lives of others. What a privilege to be part of our Creator’s work! The loss of miscarriage hurt deeply, but was not authored by Him. Likewise the loss we felt when an unsolicited domestic adoption opportunity fell through, hurt in ways even more. God used that pain to reveal truth. We asked ourselves why does this circumstance hurt so? The painful truth was that we desired parenthood more than we desired to love and serve our Lord. Please understand that we’re not saying the desire to be parents is sinful. We allowed it to become a selfish desire, and it got in the way of our fellowship with Him. Coming to grips with our own misdirected desires, allowed Him to replace it with His love, and healing. But there’s so much more! By replacing our selfish desires with the will to surrender, and the desire to serve Him, He has blessed the original desire tenfold, and has given us an opportunity to minister through our obedience and blessings!
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4
We know this path has been given to us as an opportunity to serve our Lord. That doesn’t mean it’s the right path for every family however. Our prayer is that everyone would be as open to building families through adoption, as by birth. This may or may not be God’s will for every family. For those that are led to adoption however, we pray the process would be centered on the children…who are all wonderfully made by Him, and are all precious in His sight.
May you be blessed,
Chris, Coleen, Brandon Dmytro, Benjamin Victor, and Christianna Bethany-Lee
A gem cannot be polished without friction; the child of God cannot be perfected without adversity.
Filling our home with children certainly took a longer and more painful path than we expected, but we can accept the the Lord’s promise to bring good (vs. only allowing good) from any circumstance, for those who love Him. I guess you could say we’ve been “polished by the pursuit of parenthood”! Any parent will attest: it doesn’t stop there. What an opportunity to learn patience – and reliance on our Lord!