As quite the introvert, writing a post as personal as this in a public arena completely throws me outside of my comfort zone…but our prayer through our entire adoption process has been that the Lord would use our family to his glory and others’ good. The last couple of months have intensified our desire for families to know more about international adoption. Our eyes have certainly been opened, and we believe that Christian couples must pursue excellence in partaking and supporting adoption practices and organizations that practical the highest standards of ethicality. Unfortunately, because of the broken nature of our world and especially international adoption, that is often not the case. For the safeguarding of adoptive familes, for the integrity of vulnerable families, and most importantly for the protection of orphaned and vulnerable children, we MUST insist on nothing less.


Let me give a little background for our story…We began the process to adopt from DRC in August 2011 as part of a pilot program with a Hague-accredited agency. Two years later (to the day!) we were matched with beautiful identical twin boys. Throughout the past year, we have pushed to see forward movement in our case (in spite of unimaginably long and inexplicable delays) and fought alongside hundreds of other American families seeking to bring home their children from DRC in light of the adoption suspension there.


In early August, we learned that the twins’ birthfather, who we understood to be previously unknown, had returned to the city where they live to reunite with his family. Their birthmother, who (we recently learned) had been employed at the orphanage nearly the whole time the boys were there, took them home. We now know they have been living with their family since May, in spite of the months care, falsified reports, and (outdated misleading) photos we received through June and July. The “trust” our agency insisted we have in our in-country partners and in their own program crumbled in a matter of weeks as the very program itself finds itself on extremely shaky grounds.


After several weeks of discussion, prayer, discerning truth from assumptions, and even more prayer, we have released the boys from the adoption process. We fully support and are truly joyful that they have been reunited with their family, which includes older siblings. We believe this is God’s design for families that in spite of difficulty or hardship, family units remain intact, and we are grateful they will have the opportunity to grow up with their biological family. Of course, we have had to (and still) grieve the loss of the family we thought we’d have and have been working to bring together for over 3 years.
Among the many things we have learned in what has been a roller-coaster past 2 months, is that we all have an opportunity to fight for the cause of the orphan, even outside of adoption. What we have learned is that many, many, many children are given to orphanages who have birth relatives who, with appropriate resources and support, could otherwise remain a family. If you’re interested to read our good friend’s article on this, click here.
We remain firm adoption advocates: we believe adoption is God’s very hand of redemption for children who are experiencing the most broken aspects of this world. And we plan to adopt again, firmly knowing that the Lord has called our family to grow through adoption. However, I challenge all of us to ask tough questions, willing to face realities that adoption can itself be a broken practice, even with the best of intentions. These precious children and families who are vulnerable to broken systems MUST be protected through nothing less than an absolute commitment and demand of ethical practices. I hope you’ll join me in this commitment, to see families preserved, true orphans come home to their forever families, and in all–for God to be glorified.