Article by Leah Riffle
October 16, 2018
“When I was first asked to write something about our adoption, I thought it would be easy to summarize everything and explain adoption, but I can’t do that. You see, when you enter into something like adoption, the first step is one of obedience to what God has called us to and when that happens it is not a book that starts and ends. It is a lifetime commitment that simply starts and then God uses it to continually change, challenge and shape us. So it is hard to say in a few words or paragraphs the meaningful ness of adoption to us as it continues to change and we continue to learn from it.
My husband and I started looking at adoption to grow our family starting in 2015. I was finishing up my schooling and we had been married quite awhile at that point and it seemed like the time to look at starting a family. We knew already, though, that infertility was a part of the picture and starting a family meant more steps and hardship than the average family. We looked at various options and just couldn’t settle on what was best for us.
That summer, we went to Kenya with the youth group and had the opportunity to see an orphanage there. What a heartbreaking place. These children were looked after as best as possible and yet they were in a place without true family and belonging. We came back from that trip feeling unsettled and like God was asking us to do something, we just weren’t sure what. That fall it became clear that adoption was the next step.
Adoption gets tricky and complicated quickly so to shorten a long story a little we decided to pursue private domestic adoption (which means adoption somewhere in the USA using a private adoption agency). We started with a consultant company who was an intermediary between us and multiple agencies and adoption lawyers that they have vetted to ensure quality and legal services. We got our homestudy and profile book together and began applying to agencies. We thought once we got through all the paperwork, we would have a baby within the next few months. Aren’t there so many that need homes?
God had a different story in mind. So we waited. And waited. And waited. And waited. This is the hardest thing to do. You feel helpless, alone and restless or even stuck. But we learned that in the waiting is where God meets us. He changed our hearts, and our relationship with him (and each other). He taught us to rely on his promises and we had to answer the tough questions like do I believe what God says? Is Jesus truly enough? And the resounding answer is yes!
I know that God put the desire to be parents in our hearts long ago, so I knew that God also had to deliver. It also taught me that truly I don’t get to dictate God’s timing. I know that sounds obvious, but to truly rest in sitting at the feet of Jesus and not be looking for the next thing to happen, or mad that we missed something, it was so freeing. I could finally let go of when I thought our adoption should happen which led to letting go of other strongholds I had and didn’t even realize. God truly uses the struggle to refine and purify.
Finally, in October of 2017, we got THE call. An agency called with the question I will never forget: “she is wondering if you would be willing to adopt her child?” Since then, things have gone smoothly and we welcomed our son on January 12, 2018. We are still learning and God is using parenting to show us a whole new set of areas that need refining. We are still figuring out what an open adoption looks like for us and what life looks like with a child in tow. We cherish every moment that we get though and strive to be parents that share the foundation of our faith with our child. I can’t wait to share with him the story of his adoption and God’s story through us. He is the author and perfecter of our faith and he continues to write this adoption story.”