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.
Along with a lot of paperwork comes waiting and a roller coaster ride of emotions. I was not really prepared for that part of the journey, but God taught me so much throughout the process. It required daily surrender to the Lord’s plans and not allowing fear or doubt to guide my heart. Waiting is hard. Feeling totally out of control over a situation is even harder. Hearing “no” from a potential birth mom is difficult, it’s hard not to take it personally. It was in these places that deepened my faith and caused me to trust because that was honestly my only option.
Six months into our adoption process we found out we were pregnant. We had accepted the reality this may never happen for our family. Talk about a flood of emotions—shock, excitement, fear, and some honest questions like, “God, what in the world are you up to?” “Why now?” and “Do we adopt AND have a biological child at the same time?” Over the next month we settled into this new reality of expectation and excitement. We went in for our second routine ultrasound on an early Monday morning and left with the words of, “I’m so sorry we cannot find the heartbeat.” We grieved deeply and felt so confused. Yet deep down had a peace that the Lord was not done with our story yet.
The following month we received an unexpected phone call from an attorney totally out of the blue. He told us of an expectant mom and her baby boy due in November. In fact, the due date was the same week as my due date for our baby we had recently lost. Without even knowing about this birth mom or baby, we had already been chosen to be the adoptive parents. As we looked over the information, everything about it seemed right. Kyle and I both experienced this peace and confidence, and we just knew this was the child God had chosen for our family from the beginning. We gave our “YES” and then began another season of waiting.
On September 4 we received a call that A (our son’s birth mom) was admitted to the hospital for pre-term labor at just 29 weeks of pregnancy. The doctors worked hard at stopping the contractions and from states away, we prayed hard. The cycle of frequent hospital admissions would continue to repeat itself for the remainder of the pregnancy. Our bags were (mostly) packed, and we were prepared to pick up and leave at any moment if baby made his arrival early. By the grace of God, our son Oliver made it to full term—in fact just a few days short of 40 weeks! We will never forget the moment we saw him for the first time just minutes after he was born. Instant love, joy, and overwhelming healing from years of grief.
We treasure Oliver’s birth mom and the act of love and selflessness she displayed in allowing us to be his adoptive parents. Our relationship with her has been so special to us and an answer to our prayers. There are so many details in Oliver’s adoption—many of which are for him to tell someday if he chooses—which point so clearly to the goodness of God and his sovereign work. Adoption is full of unknowns and a place that is easy to allow fear to become crippling. It is full of brokenness and grief, but also new life and hope. It is complex and messy and can be difficult to navigate at times. If you are reading this and may be considering adoption, I would say do not let the fear or unknowns hold you back. The Lord will equip you, and I believe you will be blown away at the ways he displays his faithfulness along the way. Adoption is a journey we are grateful to be called into.
Our hope and prayer is that Oliver’s life and adoption story would make much of God. That it would speak of his goodness in the midst of brokenness and hopelessness, and that it would display his faithfulness in the smallest details of the story. I wish you all could meet sweet Oliver. His precious blue eyes, bright smile, and contagious giggles. He is a gift from the Lord, fearfully and wonderfully made in his image!
|Shelby Hostetler Photography|
Bri has been married to her husband Kyle for 6.5 years and lives in Lancaster. She loves being a mom to Oliver who is 7 months old. She works part-time as an oncology nurse at the Ann B. Barshinger Cancer Institute. Outside of her home and work roles, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, traveling to new places, and being involved at Keystone Church where her husband is on staff.