With six biological children and limited means, the Polks found themselves pursuing the adoption of special-needs children from China.
Welcome to Adoption + Foster Week at All Things New. Adoption is a picture of the gospel, and the church should be its foremost champion. November is National Adoption Awareness Month, and National Adoption Day is November 18. More than a dozen families between Summitview and our sister church in Greeley have experienced the incredible journey of adoption or fostering. Many of these families shared their stories with us, and we compiled these stories into a full-length publication, Heirs: A Celebration of Adoption and Foster Care, which will be available on Sunday, November 5 during our worship service. This week, we’ll be publishing excerpts from a handful of the stories that you’ll find in Heirs. We are all adopted, and that’s worth celebrating.
We attended a conference where God began to speak to us about adoption. Once home, we began to prayerfully research different options and realized that we had two major obstacles—our family size and no money. As in zero. Travis had taken a different job the year before that was more accommodating to our family, and with it, a significant pay cut. As the sole provider for our family, he wasn’t even sure it was financially wise that we embark on this journey, as we were more tapped financially than we’d ever been. And although we were blessed with wonderfully supportive friends, we didn’t even know anyone who had adopted. Were we being irresponsible? And even though it sounded a bit crazy, we both felt confident that God was calling us.
As time passed, we found a wonderful agency in Florida, who was happy to work with us and who shared a strong gospel-centered vision. About the same time, we received a call from the conference we’d attended. They were sending $250 in the mail as a door prize we had won—the exact amount we needed for our agency application fee. At last it was settled, and we were elated—we began to pray for our (hopefully healthy) newborn girl.
Thus, my new hobby began. After our children were tucked into bed, I would spend my evenings filling out adoption paperwork and applying for grants that we desperately needed. Months later we got our first response back. Show Hope wanted to give us $5,000. We were stunned. We cried. Then we heard back from a second, and a third. All in all, God had given us $25,000 in grants. We wept and rejoiced. God was providing every penny we needed to bring home our little girl. And yet there was a bit of uncertainty in the back of my mind. Was He planning something even bigger? One thing we were certain of: God’s provision and grace in this journey were becoming more and more evident with every passing day.
As we continued through the adoption process, we began to learn more about the plight of orphans. About the children that are least likely to be adopted in America, and those overseas with special needs. We learned about the rampant abortions in Asia and shocking facts about abandoned children in their culture. God began to challenge our thinking, and we both grew increasingly uncomfortable with adopting a child that would be considered a highly desirable choice by most people. We had always strived to be good stewards of our resources, and yet didn’t have the money to help an orphan with a life-changing surgery. And yet we had been blessed with health insurance that was enviable by most American standards. Could God be calling us to use our resources for a special-needs child? Surely not! With six kiddos in tow already, I wasn’t even sure how well I could do with another healthy child in the mix.
And yet that was the very direction God was leading us. A special needs child (not the baby we’d been praying for) from China! Some people thought we were crazy. My family would hardly speak to me. And yet we were thrilled! Only a few more minor obstacles. We didn’t meet China’s requirements to adopt from their country. We’d also need significantly more money for the adoption itself. We began to fervently pray that God would give us our hearts’ desire and provide what we needed.
And he did. Seamlessly. But the surprises weren’t over yet. Travis came to me one morning and told me he thought God was calling us to bring home not only a little girl but a little boy, too. I was speechless. There was no way. Three of my children were already under age 4. People would really think we were crazy. We already had five energetic boys! Some people could do this, but I wasn’t nearly a good enough mother for two more children. I wanted to crawl back in bed and go back to sleep. Instead I agreed to pray about it over the weekend.
I hardly slept that weekend. I confided in a friend who wasn’t sure what to say. It wasn’t exactly a vote of confidence. And yet by the end of the weekend I had a simple peace that could only come from the Lord. If God was leading us this way, then of course he would provide.
Grab a copy of Heirs: A Celebration of Adoption and Foster Care on Sunday, November 5 to continue reading about the Polks’ story.