Matt and I are a Christian couple residing in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. We’ve been married for over 10 wonderful years and have always had a heart for adoption. We’ve grown up together as friends in a same small town from Kindergarten, began dating our senior year of high school, and ended up getting married a year after graduating. We truly believe we are soul mates, and God has blessed our life together as we have sought His will and plans for us.
The Best Thing About Matt –
He’s the sweetest, manly man on the planet! Not only is he kind and caring to everyone he meets, but he can fix, build, and do pretty much everything! Most of all, I love that he is REAL with others and isn’t afriad to share God’s love.
The Best Thing About Ashley –
One thing? I think not! She is a huge blessing to my family and my life. She is also patient, understanding, forgiving, genuine, creative, and most of all she loves me just the way God made me.
Matt was adopted by his parents as an infant through private adoption, and he always knew he was chosen, loved, and blessed by an amazing family. Out of curiosity the age of 18, Matt spent a few hours researching his birth mom’s unique last name at a local public library. He found a man’s name and phone number matching the last name and thought he would give the guy a call. Matt discovered the man was his birth mom’s stepdad. Through conversation, Matt discovered his birth mom had a difficult history and some issues that would have traumatically impacted his life forever. What we both applaud his birth mom for is her strength to make the difficult choice to give her baby up for adoption. She had other choices that might have been easier, but she made the choice to honor God’s gift of life. If it wasn’t for her decision, Matt wouldn’t be part of my life, we would never be married, I wouldn’t have the opportunity to be blessed by his amazing extended family, and we wouldn’t be pursuing adoption today. God has blessed her choice, and we will never take that choice for granted.
My adoption story is a little different. I grew up with my biological parents, but I always had a heart for orphans and children who didn’t have families. Although my childhood wasn’t perfect, I had two parents that loved me and worked hard to provide for me. So – what is my adoption story? My adoption story may be similar to many of yours. I was adopted into God’s family. At a summer camp in Colorado, I gave my heart to the Lord and was ultimately adopted as God’s daughter – chosen, loved, and blessed. Through Christ’s death on the cross, we can all become children of God. By accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior, we are grafted into God’s family, which comes with a rich inheritance and blessings we can experience here on earth. So, yes – I’m adopted, too.
Our Adoption Story
Our adoption journey began years ago as newlyweds when we started discussing how we would want to start a family someday. We have always considered adoption our first choice and God’s best for us. Most couples (and maybe women more) think about having their “own” babies first and maybe consider adoption later on, but we always wanted to adopt first. We knew we wanted to give a great life to a child or children that may not otherwise have the love and care they needed as well as allow God to use us in helping turning a child’s unfortunate start in life to an incredible testimony of God’s grace. We saw adoption as a way to build our family like God built his own family – through a covenant, a choice, and a promise.
For most of our married life, we’ve studied the different types of adoption – private, open, domestic, and international. There is a great appeal to adopt internationally. To see those sweet faces of children in poverty stricken situations around the world certainly breaks anyone’s heart and calls many to action. I particularly love seeing and hearing the stories of multi-racial families who have adopted from different countries. For us though, international adoption never seemed like a viable option. We’ve worked hard (thank you, Dave Ramsey!!) to become debt free of more than $60,000 of student loans and other debt, and it would take us a great deal of time to save up and fund-raise on our current incomes to build a family through international adoption.
Reach Out Here
Mostly, we have considered adoption through foster care. The thought of helping a sibling group stay together really touches our hearts. It seems many families are willing to adopt infants and toddlers but aren’t as open to sibling groups. While international missions and adoptions are very important to us, we also have to consider the needs here at home, sometimes in our own neighborhoods. Although we would NEVER choose to adopt based on financial benefits, it is much more cost effective to adopt domestically through foster care. Here in Texas, sibling groups that are adopted are given insurance, potential for a monthly subsidy, legal feeds paid, and paid college tuition to any state school. There are some difficulties to adoption through foster care such as the myth that older children come with “too much” baggage and the truth that the paperwork is daunting. Thankfully, I’m pretty good at paperwork, and we’ve prayerfully felt peace that God will equip us with all of the love and parenting strategies we need to connect and love our children despite their challenges. Isn’t this the same that Christ does for us? I don’t know about you, but I’m MORE than thankful God didn’t decide to throw in the towel on me! This seemed to be the best plan for us. We still had things to accomplish before staring our family, but we agreed to continue praying and seeking God’s plan for adoption.
Is This It?
In the fall of 2013, we thought God may have been opening a door for us to adopt an infant privately. Even though we thought we weren’t quite ready for adoption just yet, we took the step to learn more. Through a “friend of a friend” we were connected with a lawyer of a young lady desiring to give her unborn child up for adoption at birth. She had unique logistical circumstances and requirements, which we were uniquely and seemingly easily able to meet. However, after a long wait from submitting our “Profile Book”, the birth mom ended up selecting another family for her child. This was difficult and we weren’t quite sure why God would bring us through something like this that seemed like the perfect situation, but we knew to trust Him, even when we didn’t understand. We were reminded of the wonderful line from the movie, Facing the Giants, that we live by, “And if we win, we praise Him. And if we lose, we praise Him.” God has never failed us, and He wasn’t going to start now. So, for whatever reason, we grew, we better established our understanding of adoption, and we knew God was ultimately in control.
Now – it’s time.
In January of 2014, we started seriously discussing when and how we would finally start our family. We worked hard to finish college, start careers, become debt free, build some savings, and buy a home – surely now, it was finally time. And – why haven’t we started the process already?! It seems there was always something, one more reason to wait a little longer. While we appreciate our OCD and the need to have all of our ducks in a row at times, we learned we really needed to let GO and let GOD take care of the little things that held us back. Through some round about ways, God helped us go ahead and jump into taking our pre-service training classes to pursue sibling adoption through foster care. We were excited and nervous – but mostly excited!
In the early Fall of 2014, we submitted our profile and home study for an older sibling group of two we fell in love with from the TARE website. By God’s grace we were chosen to adopt them. It’s been an incredible adventure being adoptive parents of older kids. We’ve seen such a change and know God has had his and in all of this all along. We’ve laughed and cried and doubted and hoped. We have felt deep emotions of every kind, but as we reflect on where we’ve been and how far we’ve come as a family, we praise God each day – for the opportunity to be their parents! Through this blog, we share our story of life, love, and adoption.
Adoption for all?
If you would like to know more about what it means to be adopted by God or how you can go about becoming a child of God, we encourage you to check out these resources: