Showing posts from August, 2019

Adoption Story: The Hess Family

By Emily Hess Stacy Parmarter Photography Living in modern day America, our family already looked a little strange. With four young children we had more than double the 1.7 the average American woman has. Also making us stand out was the simple fact that all our children are girls. It became common even for Amish women to ask if all the children were mine. I loved it. But God. He has this way of working in our hearts and minds, working with our past experiences to shape us into who He wants us to become. Ultimately, if we allow it and yes, put in some effort on our end, we should look more like him and less like the world. James 4:17 says that “ If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn't do it, it is sin for them.” For years my heart was for adoption. We had looked into an international program in 2011, but after much prayer felt God was closing the door for that time. We spent a short time as foster parents in 2012-2013 and it didn't go th

Adoption Story: The Miller Family

By Tiffany Miller I wish I could say I remember the exact song that was playing, what I was wearing, or even the date. Sadly I don’t remember any of those details about the day I heard God speak.  I couldn’t hear audible words in my ears, but there was no denying what God was saying to my heart on that Sunday while worship music played around me. “I have adopted you as my own, and you are to do likewise for your next child.” My husband and I were blessed early in our marriage with two beautiful sons. I loved my pregnancies and adored seeing them grow from tiny newborns into personality-filled toddlers. Our boys were ages 4 and 2 at the time, and we had been discussing “when” we’d like to have a third baby, but that was the extent of the conversation.  So when I told my husband what God firmly pressed on my heart later that night, he was clearly surprised. None of our families or close friends had adopted before, and we were (wrongly!) under the impression that adopting a c

How to Find Freedom from Mom Guilt in Jesus

Guest Post for Living Free Indeed By Kara Ranck Before I became a parent, I falsely believed I was perfect. The image of my life in my mental mirror was clean, spotless, and unbroken. My outward life—appearance, career, house, car—seemed put together. My inner life—emotions, spiritual walk, thoughts—appeared under control. Then, I birthed a baby. First, my emotions spiraled out of control followed closely by my environment. My house became disorganized and not as clean. I pushed pause on my career so I could be home with my child. Sleep eluded me. As my child got older, a mixture of her independence and sin threatened my control. I soon saw that I still struggled with my emotions, namely anger. My perfection was exposed for what it is—a lie. When I looked back into the mirror, I discovered fingerprints, smudges, and cracks in the glass. Maybe you are like me and faced a similar realization. Guilt follows closely afterward. And even now, we encounter guilt when we re

Adoption Story: The Kauffman Family

By Brianna Kauffman Shelby Hostetler Photography Adoption is an incredible picture of God’s love for us and a reflection of his gospel. Looking back over our adoption journey, it’s humbling to see the moments that felt so confusing or painful and how they led to something so amazing in the end—our son Oliver. As we faced heartbreak and hopelessness along the way, we believe God was working in our hearts and preparing us for the story ahead. We started the adoption process in the fall of 2017 by doing research on the different approaches to adoption and connecting with multiple agencies. We decided to go the route of an adoption consultant and would highly recommend it if you or someone you know is considering adoption! If you have any kind of knowledge about the adoption process, then you probably know that SO much paperwork is involved! Like a ton. But we worked through each step with our end goal in mind and completed each form and met the home study requirements.

Dark Stains on Our Canvas

A Story of Infant Loss By Jay Decker PC Unsplash Imagine your life as a canvas. It begins as a blank tapestry, waiting to be filled with the colors of life. Family, friends, life circumstances, decisions you make...all leave marks on your canvas. Beautiful reds, blues, oranges. Dark stains of browns and blacks. All these hues form together in a colorful representation of your life. This is where our story starts. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- My wife, Theresa, and I met in Jamaica on a missions trip with her church. I don't believe in love at first sight, but there was definitely chemistry. Theresa will tell you she knew that second week in Jamaica we were going to get married; it took me a little longer 'to know,' but just shy of two years later, we blended our canvases together and were married. We spent the first year of our marriage adding colors, with a move