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Black Family Adoption Story

 

Galatians 4:4-7 says:

"But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying Abba! Father!  So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son then an heir through God." 

As we look to celebrate Christmas this weekend we hear sayings like, “Jesus is the reason for the season” and “Keep Christ in Christmas”. These sayings are well intended to help remind people that we are not celebrating the giving of presents, time off work, or even family. This season is truly about remembering "when the fullness of time had come and God sent forth His Son" who was born of a woman and became flesh among us. As Paul explains in Galatians, Jesus came to redeem us and set us free from the bondage of our sin, so that we might be adopted into His heavenly family. One aspect of the story of Jesus’s birth that is not widely discussed is adoption. 

Jesus was God's Son, but he also had an earthly father, Joseph, who adopted Jesus as his own son. As Galatians 4 says, Jesus was born under the law to redeem and free us from the law. Not only are we redeemed and freed but the perfect and finished work of Jesus allows us to be adopted into God’s family. We are justified and made righteous through the shed blood of Christ, allowing Jews and Gentiles alike to be called brothers, just as Pastor Daniel taught us from Luke last Sunday. Adoption is essential to our understanding of the Gospel and our identity as children of God! 

We are the Black Family and have been a part of this church family since 2010. 
Our family has been adopted by God and been built through adoption. We would love to share our story with you all - a story that began long before we met. 
  
Meghan was adopted from Seoul as an infant, as well as her two brothers, so Korea has always held a special place in our hearts. She currently works part-time as a Pediatric Nurse at a local hospital, where many of her patients are children with cancer. I (Jacob) was born & raised in Santa Fe, and became involved in the local fire department early on. Despite health setbacks, and overcoming cancer twice, I am currently healthy and working as a Training Captain for Santa Fe County. We met in college and were married in 2009 in Albuquerque. 

As we looked to start our family, we learned that adoption is not just a means to becoming parents, but is a reflection of God’s very character. As adopted sons and daughters of the Almighty God we have an incredible opportunity to show the world God’s love by building a family through adoption. 

About four and a half years ago, we started the process of adopting our daughter, who was born in Feb, 2014. It was a tough experience as we were new to the whole process of adoption. We struggled through the amount of paperwork that was required and experienced the heartache of a birthmother who changed her mind. God was faithful to provide financially through the generosity of others so we did not go into any debt. He matched us with an incredible birthmother (who we still see today) and gave us the most amazing little girl we could have ever imagined! We're so thankful for our daughter, Lily Rebecca! 

Jacob's cancer history was key to our adoption story. Not only did it lead us to starting our family with adoption in the first place, but his relapse in 2009 meant that we would need to adopt a child locally/domestically. We wanted to go to Korea, but they have strict health requirements and it wasn't an option until he was declared "in remission and healthy for 5 years". We look back and see that if Jacob's cancer hadn't come back during our first year of marriage, we wouldn't be Lily's parents today.

After hitting the celebratory 5 year cancer free mark in June, 2015, a Korean adoption was back on the table. We have been working on the process for over a year now. We have completed all of our part and already paid about $31,000 for application fees, fingerprinting, background checks, home study & agency fees, psych evaluations, and more! About four months ago, we were contacted by our Social Worker with a referral -which we accepted- officially matching us with our little boy! We named him Gideon. He is one year old, healthy, active and being well cared for in a Korean foster home. We have seen his photos, health records, videos, and history. 


Now it's time for us to begin the process of bringing him home, which could take from 9-15 months. As we wait for Korea to process all our paperwork, we will begin to prepare for two required trips to Korea, and the post-placement/legal process. We will get to meet our son on the first trip, which is scheduled around the Korean Family Court Date. We are required to stay in country for a week to two weeks. Then we will have to say goodbye and come home...waiting for the call that Korea has set up our exit visa appointment, which gives permission to leave the country and come to the US. We could be waiting a couple weeks or couple months. Then we will fly back to Seoul, stay for a couple days, and get to bring him Gideon home. Following his homecoming we will have 6 months of post-placement visits and a few legal process to finalize the adoption. 

As we look ahead at the processes and number of people that have to review and approve our file, coordinating two international trips, and the cost of it all.... it can be a little daunting and scary. Not to mention the challenges of introducing our little toddler to a completely foreign time zone, culture, language, food, home, etc. when he has only known life with his foster family in Korea. But we are confident in our calling to adopt and believe in a great God who will be going before us and strengthening us every step of the way! We have been encouraged by Isaiah 41:9-10, "...You whom I took from the ends of the earth, and called from its farthest corners, saying to you, “You are my servant, I have chosen you and not cast you off”; fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." God literally took Meghan, her brothers, and soon Gideon all the way around the world from South Korea to Albuquerque, NM. We pray that before next Christmas arrives, we will get to bring him home. And someday be able to tell our son “The Lord is with you, O mighty man of valor” just as the angel of the Lord told Gideon [Judges 6:12]. 

This is not simply the story of the Black Family. This is a part of God's Family, His story, His kingdom. He has brought us loving relatives, financial support, excited friends, fundraising help, faithful prayer partners, fellow adoptive families, & generous sponsors from places we never expected to encourage us along the way!  We praise Him for His provision, blessings, and grace as we walk through this journey and pray that He will receive all the glory. 

This Christmas we hope that you will meditate on Jesus a little more, see the evidences of His grace in your families, and develop a deeper understanding of your identity as God's adopted son or daughter.