Called to Adoption: How Two Half-Sisters Were Adopted Into the Same Family

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Adoption is something that I have been interested in for a while. Taylor and I both agree that it is very biblical for Christians to consider adopting, and we both hope that we will be able to do so in the future. We also see a lot of Christians striving to have "their own children", with no thought of adoption. Obviously, not everyone is called to adopt, but I do believe that more people are called to adoption than are willing to consider it. And while biological children are fantastic blessings from the Lord, and we hope to be able to have biological of our own one day, I have had it on my heart for a while now to challenge Christians to take a look at all the children in the world who are longing for parents- who feel rejected and alone.

However, seeing as how I have never adopted a child, and financially won't be able to for a while, I am not an authority on this issue, and I would never pretend to be.

Instead, I decided to devote this week on The Peculiar Treasure to displaying how adoption has blessed the lives of others, and how adoption can positively affect those who choose to take part in it.

To start off this short series, I've asked my sweet friend, Bethany, to share her and her husband's story about how they ended up adopting two beautiful half-sisters, and how it blessed their lives. This is a longer post than you are used to seeing around here, but it's worth the read. So join me in welcoming Bethany as she shares her story:


For those of us who call ourselves Christians, God makes clear in scripture our responsibility to care for the fatherless, the weak, and the vulnerable.  For some, this means supporting adoptive families.  Many financially support families who are called to adopt children.  Others give of their time to provide respite for adoptive parents.  Many come along side adoptive families as prayer warriors in a challenging and tenuous process.  We have been overwhelmingly blessed by all of these.

For our family, this scriptural call has meant adopting two sparkly, sweet biological half-sisters into our family.  While biologically they may share half of their genetic makeup, as adopted into our family, they are no longer known as half-sisters but as whole, full sisters, just as we who are adopted into God’s family are known not as adopted children, but as His children, “heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:16-17).

God’s goodness, sovereignty, and glory are written all over our family’s story.

God laid adoption on my heart as a child, and the calling of adoption was something I discussed with my husband, Marcus, very early in our relationship.  As a young Infantry Officer, his dreams were much different than mine at first. But over time, as he ran through the woods practicing his shooting, God began working on his heart in such an unmistakable way that by the time we were engaged, we were both confident that adoption was part of God’s plan for our family.

A year and a half into our marriage, we felt God leading us to begin the adoption process.  For some, it seemed inconvenient timing as we were living overseas with the Army at the time.  In retrospect, we had to begin the process when we did to enable us to become the parents of Selah Grace just seven months later.  When the agency called us the day after we had officially completed all of our application and home study, I assumed they were calling to request more required information.  Instead, the social worker informed me that in just 3.5 months, we would become the parents of a little girl!  She would be born by scheduled c-section (which answered our prayers regarding planning for transatlantic travelto be present for her birth) at a hospital just 15 minutes from oneof my dearest childhood friend’s homes!  God’s goodness and graciousness were written all over this from the beginning!  This girl entered the world full of life and energy!  We soon discovered, however, that she had a significant “feeding aversion” which caused her to refuse any attempt at feeding.  The doctors in Germany were baffled by her condition and grew increasingly concerned about her weight loss.  For three months, she and I rarely left our home in our Bavarian village, as every 90 minutes around the clock, I attempted to bottle-feed/spoon-feed/cup-feed/straw-feed/medicine-drop enough fortified liquid into her belly to sustain her.  While I may look back on this stretch as one of the most trying of my life, it was so evident that God made me to be the mama of this baby girl.  The persistence and patience He put in me when He created me was exactly what Selah needed.  In a strange way, we bonded over this shared hardship – her bawling up at me, and my sobbing down at her – with a bottle between us.

In November of 2016, after much prayer, we agreed that it was time to begin the process of a second adoption.  With Selah’s adoption, we felt like we could prepare and control many of the variables; this time around would be very different.  Marcus was separating from the Army to attend seminary, and our family was moving eight time zones west to a new city where we had no connections.  Our monthly budgeting was very tight, and we would have no way of spending thousands on an adoption.  If this was really God’s plan and His timing for our family, He would have to make it happen because we could not!

In January 2017, we arrived in our new apartment and before all of our furniture had arrived from overseas, we had our first visit with a social worker to begin a home study.  On March 15, we were notified that our home study was complete.  Out of the blue, two days later, on March 17, we received an email from Selah’s birth mom.  She shared that she was expecting a baby in August and asked if we would consider adopting Selah’s sister!  God’s timing became so clear to us!  Just as He began stirring in our hearts in November to move forward in faith and take on the cause of the fatherless for another one of His precious children, this baby girl was being conceived.  After intense prayer, we responded that we would do whatever was necessary to adopt Selah’s sister.  God moved mountains in the following days, and within three weeks, generous friends and family – even people we didn’t know –  contributed tens of thousands of dollars to cover all expenses, including transportation and lodging!

There was risk involved in this pregnancy that caused us to have great concern for the health of this little one.  Every night for the next four months, after Selah was asleep, I knelt on the floor of the bedroom this baby girl would share with her sister and prayed first for her health, that the Lord would form all of her inmost parts in a way that would be whole and healthy.  Then, I prayed that if that was not His will, that we would be given the grace to handle whatever she brought.  In what I can only describe as the “peace that passes understanding,” God lifted my fears regarding her health and allowed me to anticipate with excitement Selah’s little sister despite the unknown.

As with the details surrounding Selah’s arrival into this world, God orchestrated each one in such a way that His hand in her sister’s adoption was undeniable.  Selah’s sister would be born in the same hospital where Selah was delivered almost exactly two years earlier (and were even both bathed by the same sweet nurse).

Amayah Rae entered the world on her Aunt (Rae) and Uncle’s 10th wedding anniversary.  She was small, but perfectly healthy.  Her miraculously healthy little body is a testament to God’s great power.  Her name, Amayah, means “close to God” and gave us great peace as we prayed for her for months before her arrival.  While there was nothing I could do to care for her or protect her during those months, we knew the God who was knitting her together never left her.

Amayah is five months old now, and we can already see how dramatically different these two girls are.  Selah is in constant motion, full of exuberance, energy, and spark.  Mayah is laid back, calm, and peaceful.  They absolutely adore each other.  Selah’s first request every morning is to “see Mayah” and delights in making her giggle and smile better than anyone else! It is the greatest blessing to us to have these sisters grow up together under our roof as we continue to rely on the grace, guidance, and provision of the One who created our family in the first place.

Bethany is a stay at home mom and lives with her husband and two girls in North Carolina.

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