Andy and Abby Huette know first-hand the powerful impact of being loved and supported by their church family during and after an adoption.
In 2008 the couple joined a short-term mission team to Lifesong School in Zambia where God broke their hearts for the orphan. Leaving the children of Zambia to return home was hard, and Andy and Abby felt confident they would someday pursue adoption.
How It All Began
Abby was ready to start the adoption process when their only child was 9 months old. And while Andy–a pastor–felt it was critically important to lead his church family by example to love the fatherless, he thought maybe adoption was something they should pursue later–when they didn’t already have a new baby in the home.
But God had different plans.
While sitting at a McDonald’s one morning, Andy began reading in Deuteronomy while listening to music through his earbuds. He arrived at Deuteronomy 6:6-7:
And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
At that precise moment, Brandon Heath’s song, “Give Me Your Eyes for the Ones Forgotten,” began to play, and Andy broke down in tears. He remembered the children who had so deeply impacted him in Zambia, and he knew–though it didn’t make much sense with a 9-month-old at home–it was time to put feet to his conviction to adopt.
How the Church played a critical role in their story
Andy and Abby learned that they would be matched with a little boy, Silas, from The Congo, and they were overjoyed. But then a short time later–and to their surprise–they learned they were also being matched with a little girl from The Congo named Mercy. The expedited timeline could only be God’s doing.
Going from 1 to 3 children so quickly was exciting, but it also came with an sober realization that they couldn’t do it alone.
God, if we take this step we are going to need You!
But the story doesn’t stop there. Right before they left to bring Silas and Mercy home, Abby learned she was carrying their 4th child–a son–in her womb. More than ever, Andy and Abby knew they needed the help of their church family. They would soon parent 4 children under the age of 2.
The church family rolled up their sleeves and came alongside Andy and Abby–not only financially, but with words of encouragement and faithful prayer. Meals were brought and childcare was offered. Not once did the couple feel like their adopted children were treated differently than the other kids in the church family. Their kids were–and are–loved and accepted.
In Andy’s words, “That was a crazy year in our lives, but God was faithful. We needed people. We needed our church family.”
Lifesong was a real blessing to us because they allowed our church family to participate in our adoption.
Perhaps most exciting of all–because the church family had invested time, finances, prayer, and service to help bring the Huettes’ children home via adoption, they felt personally invested in the health and success of the family.
Practical ways Andy and Abby were encouraged by their church
Andy and Abby unapologetically believe it takes the church to support a family who adopts. Here are 3 practical ways the church encouraged them–
- After applying for a Matching Grant, they sent letters of support to their congregation who gave generously. This enabled them to meet and far exceed their grant.
- While enduring the wait to meet and adopt their two children, Andy and Abby’s church family regularly asked for updates. Church members were eager to see photos and hear stories of how the kids were doing. This enthusiasm was encouraging.
- Their church set up a Church Fund with Lifesong–making money available for families in the congregation interested in pursuing adoption.
One of the coolest things–after being in the Congo for 3 weeks–we flew home. There were close to 200 people waiting for us with balloons and signs, and they were cheering and clapping. It will be great for our kids to see it someday and understand how excited people were for them to be home.
“One of the main ways adoption is woven into the fabric of a church family is through adopted people being in the church. It’s grass roots.” –Andy Huette
Encourage families in your church to adopt.
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