Adoption Sunday was where God told us to adopt

Gillian shares her story of how Adoption Sunday led her and her family on a journey to adopting the same child they had prayed for years earlier

Both my husband and I grew up in large, loud, busy and supportive families – I am one of six and Anders is one of four.

After ten years together, we started talking about having children. Although lots of people’s adoption journey may start here ours did not. We started to look into adoption, even getting information from the Trust (the Northern Irish equivalent of Local Authorities in the rest of the UK), but agreed this was something for our future.

We never took for granted that starting a family would be easy and there were many challenges, but we were able to have three beautiful birth children. Our eldest was diagnosed with a rare disease called 22q which brought with it a host of medical conditions and additional needs. But when our youngest reached two and a half years old, adoption started playing on my mind.

As is the way, I started noticing adoption everywhere! I would spot a TV programme, Anders would see a poster on a train, we would both notice a banner at a hospital appointment – the list went on and on.

The experiences of vulnerable children came further into focus through the story of a family friend. Her daughter’s life became complicated. She had four children already and was pregnant with her fifth. I knew her and her children, so it broke my heart when I heard that the children were given kinship care and the newborn baby needed a foster family to stay with until their mum could care for them.

The story of these vulnerable children prompted me to pray for them, and to start thinking what we could do to help other vulnerable children who needed a home for good.

More and more signs kept popping up. After a full week of hearing about fostering and adoption on UCB (a Christian radio station), God’s plan was bursting in my heart and I was praying that God would be clear with the direction he wanted us to take. 

As usual that Sunday, my children and I headed to church. Anders is not yet a Christian, and although he is very supportive of my faith his appearance at church is a rare treat. Sure enough, it happened to be Adoption Sunday. Our church marked it by having two members of the church share their experience of adoption and the Home for Good initiative they were involved in.

I went home knowing God had given me a clear and direct answer through them. When I walked through the door and asked Anders to guess what the service was on he just knew in wonderment that it would be on adoption! That very night we made the call and left a message on an answer machine somewhere and it officially became the start of our journey.

The journey to be accepted as prospective adoptive parents was slow. At times it felt intense even for me (who wears their heart on their sleeve), but especially for Anders who is much more shy and private. No part of our lives was left unturned, but he and I both feel the pain was worth the gain.

It just so happened that the same newborn I had prayed for years earlier was given an adoption placement. After conversations with his birth family and the Trust it was agreed that maybe the best place for this little boy was in our family. We had many near misses and false starts but my God had a plan and it would work to His perfect timing. In February 2016, a beautiful bouncing toddler who had just taken his first steps took a few more into our family.

I know how God used Adoption Sunday and Home for Good to tell us what he planned for us. Here I am today telling you about just part of our journey (there are plenty more stories of respite fostering and Home for Good championing) so that God can speak to you in whatever it is he is laying on your hearts.

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Gillian


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