Guest post from the Stoll family, Lifesong fundraising support recipients.
We first entered the adoption process in the midst of deep grief and loss.
We’d just returned to the U.S. from serving as missionaries in Ethiopia due to the country’s unrest. And we’d just buried my mother-in-law after her short battle with pancreatic cancer.
We had a new two-year assignment in Columbia, South Carolina working with internationals to help us heal in our home country, and we had a new opportunity to seek adoption. We applied for a domestic infant adoption right after our move to South Carolina, and we were excited for the day our baby would come home with us.
Instead of joy coming our way, more heartache and loss came instead. The wait for the right adoption match lengthened to years, pushing our time limit. And our hearts broke when we realized God closed the door for us to return to Ethiopia. But the Lord, in His kindness, clearly called us to change fields to Bolivia.
We began making plans to move but then matched with a birth mom in Oklahoma. Our hearts broke again when the adoption match fell through.
Our time had run out, and we packed for our move to Bolivia. But we were determined to maintain hope until we boarded our plane.
Two weeks before we were to move to Bolivia, we matched with a birth mom in Missouri!
The packing stopped, and we headed west for our son’s birth. As we went along on our cross-country road trip, we stocked up on dwindling supplies because COVID-19 had just hit.
The morning Joshua’s birth mom went into labor was the morning the hospital went into lockdown and told us we couldn’t enter. We were to meet and pick up our newborn upon discharge from the hospital. But God, in His miraculous way, allowed me to be present in the delivery room and for my husband to meet him in the hospital the day he was born.
Joshua Christian Stoll was born in March 2020, to the happiest family that ever lived! His big sister adores him, as we all do.
At times, our journey felt like a battle.
In the very beginning of the fundraising, we needed a lot of financial help to cover our adoption expenses. We also needed a great deal of encouragement, having just been through so much, and after having felt like many things had just fallen through. It was easy to believe our adoption would fall through, too.
Lifesong provided encouragement through the approval of our grant application, and we were connected with a Both Hands project. At the moment, it felt like a project that would be more than we could handle, but the staff was great and it was such a blessing.
The personal e-mails, cards, phone calls all added up to wonderful support that reminded us of Aaron and Hur holding up Moses’ arms when Joshua and his army were fighting the battle against the Amalekites (Ex. 17:8-16). In the battle to adopt, we are grateful for the support!
Our Both Hands project in March 2018 was a huge success.
It brought in $10,000 for our adoption—a massive chunk of what was needed! And it was a blessing to our sweet widow, Mrs. Pat. Our team worked so well together and did such a great job that Mrs. Pat asked if we could come back monthly!
As an adoptive family, it is easy to get your head down and do the work to adopt, so it is also easy to miss additional opportunities to bless others in the process. God, through Both Hands, called us to lift our heads, look around, and be a blessing to others. We are so glad we did!
Lifesong also offered us an interest-free loan. We were so grateful for that “safety net” should we have needed it. The offering of the loan was another example of the generosity of Lifesong to bless and help adoptive families finish strong.
There were many “God-things” in our adoption journey!
God helped us find the right match at a time when we thought perhaps our adoption journey had turned up empty.
He helped us complete an adoption in the midst of the pandemic—allowing us to bond with Joshua from birth and kept us COVID-free until after his finalization (and beyond).
God took a broken, inward-facing family of three and brought us through a difficult adoption journey to become a healthy family of four who was used to bless many others along the way.
CONSIDERING ADOPTION? LIFESONG CAN HELP.