Adopted for Life champion stories

Communications Staff — May 14, 2009

Towersonline recently asked for adoption stories in conjunction with giveaways of Russell D. Moore’s new book: ‘Adopted for Life.’ Here are the stories we selected for giveaways in the categories of: personal adoption story and church promoting adoption story.

Personal adoption story champion

Jeff Douglas, pastor of Millville Baptist Church in Frankfort, Ky.

After years of childlessness, a failed IVF procedure and months of bitterness, the Lord rescued us from the idolatry of wanting to have our own children and gave us the desire to care for orphans.

We were still in seminary and ministering bi-vocationally at a small church. We knew we could not afford a private domestic or international adoption so we resolved to become foster parents with the expectation that we would not be able to adopt but could still take care of children as a ministry to their struggling parents and our community.

After our training was completed and about the time our home study was nearly complete we received a call from a co-worker of my sister-in-law’s friend. She was about four months (she thought) pregnant, 18 years old and was a high school senior who lived with her parents. Not wanting to have an abortion, but not wanting to be a mom at 18, she decided to give her baby up for adoption.

We arranged to drive to her city to meet with her and her mom. She invited us to accompany her at her ultrasound two days later. There we learned that the baby was a boy and he was due in less than 12 weeks to everyone’s surprise.

We started the legal process and 10 weeks later she called us on her way to the hospital. She had invited us to be in the birthing room so we immediately packed up our vehicle and headed off for a seven-hour drive. We walked into the room at 1 a.m., May 12, 2000, to find her surrounded by her family, crying with her eyes clinched shut and our son held by the doctor still attached by the umbilical cord.

The doctor cut the cord then a nurse wrapped him up and invited us to go with her to the nursery where they would be evaluating him and washing him up. We spent the night with him at the hospital and Elijah Lynn Douglas has been with us ever since. The adoption was finalized the following October.

We have since fostered several children and have adopted three of the children who were under our care. We currently have seven children in our home: four adopted, two foster and one young man we fostered for six years. He is now 20, lives in our home as one of our own and is preparing for college.

Church promoting adoption champion

Jeff Learned, film and television editor in California and a member of Calvary Bible Church in Burbank, Calif.

A couple years into our marriage my wife, Maureen, and I began trying to have children. We tried for two years. Upon a doctor’s advice, we began to seek infertility treatments. In 1999 we had a baby girl. After another six years of infertility treatments, medical tests revealed that we would never have biological children again.

While adoption was always an option and my wife was willing, I had never truly warmed up to the idea.

In 2005, a friend called us. His high school age friend was caring for her 8 month-old baby. She had dropped out of high school, had been working full-time to provide for her baby and she just couldn’t do it anymore. Unprepared for motherhood, this single mom had decided to put her baby up for adoption. We received the phone call from her on a Thursday afternoon and by the next day we had taken her 8 month-old baby into our family and the adoption was finalized a short time later.

As I was thinking about how to explain adoption to our then 5-year-old, I decided to study the biblical doctrine of adoption. What I found in the verses of Romans, Ephesians, Galatians, etc. blew the scales from my eyes as my heart was opened to the beauty, compassion and kindness of my spiritual adoption in Christ. I had a new perspective on adoption and my heart began to beat for more.

We were certified as foster-adopt parents in 2007, and as we were being trained our hearts changed from ‘wanting to have children’ to ‘wanting to help children.’ Since then, we have adopted three more children from the Los Angeles county foster system.

We have enthusiastically shared our story with many from our church, Calvary Bible, in Burbank, and our church’s missions board has formed an alliance with a local foster agency, Olive Crest Adoption Agency.

Calvary currently has more than 10 certified foster-adopt families in our congregation, and eight children have been placed into families at our church. Others continue to wait for the right match. Praise God that we also have several friends who have caught the vision, and have begun to pursue foster-adoption.

Maureen and I are currently waiting on the Lord to see if we should continue to enlarge our family. As many adoptive families know, once you start adopting, it’s hard to stop! We are thankful that God did not allow us to have biological children after our first, because otherwise we would not have known the blessing of adoption. Thank you Jesus for giving us a heart for adoption and thank You for adopting us.

Are you ready to become a pastor, counselor, or church leader who is Trusted for Truth?

Apply now for summer or fall studies

Classes begin in June & Aug.