Adoption has always been God’s “Plan A.” Ephesians 1:5 says “He (The Father) predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will.” These stories are from those who have chosen adoption as “Plan A.”
Today Kristen shares her story…..
Adoption has been a part of my life plan since the ripe old age of 7, I remember sitting in a crawl space blanket fort with my best friend planning our futures. I was going to be the next spice girl, have a wedding dress that rivaled Princess Diana’s and I was going to adopt a bunch of kids. My mom raised me very aware of peoples needs locally and globally, from my parents fostering, sponsoring children overseas and watching Chinese adoption homecoming specials on TLC. I was very attentive to the fact that children all over the world were in need of loving families. After high school I volunteered and worked with adults with special needs, specifically individuals with down syndrome. During that time God was really doing work on my heart. I started having these overwhelming feelings that I was going to have a child with down syndrome one day. Being a teenager I didn’t put a whole lot of thought into the logistics of how that was going to happen, but I knew it would.
Fast forward a few years to a saturday afternoon shopping trip with my mom, we walked passed a child with down syndrome and I casually mention to my mom (like I had a thousand times before) “You know i’m gonna have a child with down syndrome one day.” She usually would just smile and say “I know” but this day she responded differently “I know you are but have you ever thought about how your going to make that happen? You can’t exactly guarantee it naturally.” To be honest I had never really thought of the logistics, but the answer came clearly and quickly; adoption of course. This simple exchange with my mom lead to weeks of googling and reading about domestic and international adoption. My heart broke into a million pieces learning that thousands of children with down syndrome live in orphanages around the world, these precious children are not seen as worthy, they are cast away never given the opportunities of a family, love, or a meaningful life. I knew in that moment that international adoption was in my future. As badly as I wanted to start the process then and there, it wasn’t the right time; I had a bit more growing up to do first.
Over the next few years while maturing and building my career I continued researching and praying about adoption, more specifically praying for a husband, so we could adopt, this girl did not wanna be no single mama.
December 2013 I seen the picture that changed everything. On Reece’s rainbow, a website that raises funds and advocates for children with special needs who are available for adoption, I seen the profile of the sweetest 3 year old girl named Vera. She had blonde hair and blue eyes and the cutest chubby cheeks, she had down syndrome and was from Bulgaria. I went for dinner with my mom and told her that I had this overwhelming feeling that this little girl was my daughter, that I was meant to be her mom.
Over the next couple months, even after another family had committed to adopting Vera, the overwhelming feeling that I was meant to adopt right now would not go away. I wish I could say I was excited about it right away but I wasn’t, I was terrified. I prayed constantly to God for this feeling to go away. I wasn’t ready yet, I was single, I didn’t own my own home, I didn’t have enough money, I wanted to travel more, every excuse I could come up with I threw at God but the feeling never subsided. One morning in early May 2014 I woke up and like everyday for the past 6 months, adoption was heavy on my heart. I cried out to God telling him I wanted to trust him and follow his calling but I couldn’t get past the things I thought I needed first. This was one of the most life altering conversations with God I have ever had in my life. As I listed out all the reasons I couldn’t adopt right now, God audibly answered “it doesn’t matter.” I want to buy a house, “it doesn’t matter” , what about travel? “It doesn’t matter” I’m single “it doesn’t matter.” A sense of peace washed over me and excitement grew in my chest, in this moment I knew without a doubt that now was the time, I was going to adopt.
I started the paperwork the very next day, I knew God was calling me to eastern europe and through prayer and research I knew Bulgaria was the country. After a very long year of paperwork, fundraising, home study, local Government approval etc my file was submitted to the Bulgarian Government in May 2015, this started the wait for a referral.
On July 14, 2015 the moment I had been hoping, praying and dreaming of happened, my phone rang with news that I had received a referral for a beautiful 11 month old girl. I traveled to Bulgaria a month later to meet my daughter. She had a head full of blonde hair and breathtaking blue eyes, just like the little girl Vera God used to call me to adopt. I spent an exciting and emotional week getting to know her, love on her and celebrate her first birthday; before having to say goodbye for a few month while her adoption was finalized. The hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life was laying her down in her crib and walking out of her orphanage doors. My heart no longer inside my chest but with my precious daughter, not knowing when I would be made whole again.
God’s grace was the only thing that helped me through the 4 months between meeting my daughter and traveling back to Bulgaria to pick her up. On December 7, 2015 In Sofia Bulgaria I picked up my daughter Emmy from her Orphanage and we started our amazing life together as a family.
Emmy was the missing puzzle piece in my life, I am so lucky and blessed to be her mom. She is strong and resilient, has the biggest smile and laugh that just lights up the room. She loves dance parties, splashing in the tub, loud and busy places and most of all she loves her mama.
I am always amazed at how big and all encompassing Gods plans are. Although God intended Emmy’s bio parents to raise her, he knows we live in a broken world and I was his backup plan. The same month Emmy was conceived God used little Vera to place the call to adopt on my heart. My first fundraiser that gave me the confidence I could financially do this, was the same week Emmy was born. The day of my first home study meeting with the social worker to officially officially start the adoption process, was the same day Emmy’s bio parents signed the paperwork to place her for adoption. These signs from God are all throughout our adoption process. God’s timing was perfect and precise.
Many people choose adoption after infertility or having bio children but if you are feeling God calling you to adopt before that, LISTEN!! Adoption is a pretty amazing plan A, your life will be blessed abundantly.
“God sets the lonely in families” Psalms 68:6 If you would like to read more about our adoption story you can find us at www.heartofgraceadoption.com
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