I Am A Survivor (Jared's Story)My Adoption Testimony (Rebecca's Story)Our Foster to Adoption Story (Betty's Story)

I am a Survivor

by Jared

remember vividly one summer day. I was twelve years old, tan, lean, and quite tall for my age. In stark contrast, the rest of my family was shorter, pale, and had personalities completely different than mine.

That day, I asked my dad why I was so different from the rest of my family. He explained that I was adopted, that my birth mother had extenuating circumstances that made her feel that I would be better off with a family that would be able to better care for me. Because I could tell that my dad was uncomfortable with this conversation, I asked little about my birth mother over the next few years yet my heart yearned for more information. Who was this woman? What might she be like? Did she share my gregarious personality?

My halting response of, "Mom" left the line dead for what seemed like hours.

Seven years later, I was in the Army stationed at Fort Bragg, NC. As part of the Special Forces unit, I had access to an individual whose civilian job was in private investigation. Thanks to this man's help and some information from my parents, I was able to track down the mediator who had connected my birth mother with my adopted parents. From this point, I had a number... a California number.

With emotions overflowing, I dialed that number on Mother's Day 2003. In that moment, my heart nearly stopped when I heard my momma's voice for the first time. She sweetly said, "Hello?" My halting response of, "Mom" left the line dead for what seemed like hours. We talked for two straight hours where I discovered, to my surprise, that I had a younger brother and two younger sisters.

...my mother chose to protect my life and find a family that would raise me as their own.

I learned that, despite a government offering an inexpensive way to end my life, many others that encouraged her to end this unexpected pregnancy, and little outside support; my mother chose to protect my life and find a family that would raise me as their own.

This coming Mother's Day marks the ten-year anniversary of talking to my momma. I now have a younger adopted brother, I married my high school sweetheart 9 years ago, and have brought soon to be four little girls into this world. I have been able to stand next to my younger brother and sister in their weddings, and have a deep and meaningful relationship with my California family.

I am alive not because a government protected my unalienable right to life, but because my momma made the choice to give me the opportunity to exist. I am a Roe v Wade survivor.

And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.
Mark 10:16

My Adoption Testimony

by Rebecca

Sin could ‘ve destroyed my life. Even though I allowed sin to enter in, God still had a perfect plan for me and what was in store.

Even though I allowed sin to enter in, God still had a perfect plan for me...

I believe it all started in 1991 when my family and I moved from the L.A. county area to Perris, California. Living right next door to us was an elderly couple, Mr. and Mrs. Beckley, who would have their children and grandchildren over often for weekend long visits. One of their granddaughters and I were one year apart in age and became good friends.

Throughout the years of living next door to the Beckley’s, my excitement came when my friend would come for her regular visits. She always came with her mom and dad. She was their only child and they were a very close and loving family. She had shared with me during one of our first couple of visits that she was adopted and that the mom I knew did not give birth to her. That was so odd to me then, seeing her and her parents looked so right and natural.

At the time I didn’t know much about adoption, but I guess my thoughts then were pretty negative about it. She changed all that. She was normal, happy, and loved. I was very interested in knowing more about that part of her life. I asked so many questions, questions that I’m not sure many 8-year-old kids would care to know. Questions like “Do you miss or love your 'real' mom?” or “Why didn’t your 'real' mom want you?” As usual, my friend would answer all of my curious and sometimes ridiculous questions in as much detail as a 9-year-old girl could.

I asked so many
questions... like ”Why didn't your 'real ' mom want you?“

In 1996 my family and I moved again, this time to Buena Park, California. I attended Calvary Chapel Schools of Cypress for my 6th grade year. During school at one of the school's book fairs, I came across a book called Choice Summer by Shirley Brinkerhoff. When my dad came to pick me up from school later that day I asked him to buy me that book and he did. I read the whole book in two days! That was exciting to me because I hated reading books.

It was all about a teen girl who found herself pregnant one summer as a result of her sin. She had three choices and needed to come up with one soon. First option was to tell her parents and raise the baby, second option was to tell her parents and place the baby up for adoption, and her third option (the most tempting to her) was to keep this mistake a secret and have an abortion. After a whole summer of confusing thoughts, she gave her life to Jesus and decided on adoption. Little did I know that even as much as I loved this book, it was going to have such an impact on my own choices in life two years down the line.

In January of 1998 in the middle of my 7th grade year, I met a cute high school boy. He secretly became my boyfriend. I would lie to my parents about my whereabouts and go sneak off to be with him. After only two and a half weeks of him being my boyfriend, I blew it, and we had sex.

Eight weeks later I found myself at the doctor’s office. While my mom was forced to sit out in the lobby, I was told by the doctor that I was about 8 weeks pregnant. The doctor told me not to worry but that I didn’t have to tell my mom and that she could terminate the pregnancy. “After all it was only an embryo,” she told me.

...faced with the fact that their 13-year-old baby was pregnant, they forgave me and went above and beyond that.

I knew better even at my young age that “terminating” meant to murder my baby. I did the only thing I could and told my mom and dad “the news.” As heartbroken and as devastating as it was for my precious parents to be faced with the fact that their 13-year-old baby was pregnant, they forgave me and went above and beyond that. They became real humans to me! They always were, but I finally realized they were there for me. They became my support system, my comfort, and my encouragement team.

For the first five months of pregnancy I was determined to raise the baby, but thankfully my dad forced the church and its counsel on me. He wanted me to be fully aware of both my options. Not that my parents didn’t want the baby or wouldn’t help to raise the baby, but I think my parents knew God’s will before I did. My dad found out about this place called House of Ruth which was located at Calvary Chapel of Downey. Even though I didn’t agree with my dad forcing this place on me in the beginning, I am so thankful he did.

I met with Karyn Johnson and had a few counseling appointments with her before my change of heart. The Lord really used her and her testimony to encourage me. House of Ruth helped me to realize that I had two options. Karyn and House of Ruth were very informative about the effects these choices would have in my life. They didn’t force adoption on me as the only way to go, but they were very detailed on open adoption and how that works. The only thing House of Ruth reinforced was that whatever choice I made should be what the Lord wants.

Option one was to raise the baby while my mom and dad were still trying to raise me, and option two was to place the baby up for adoption in a loving Christian home. Even though I wasn’t 100% living for Jesus, He was faithful and spoke to me through yet another book, Choices for Life. He spoke to me through page one and two in this book.

Jesus made it clear through many things (the books, House of Ruth, and family members) that I was to place my baby up for adoption. I started the process right away. Chose to go toward open adoption and went to go pick out the parents of my baby. Again God spoke on who I was to pick and I listened. There were so many purple files to look through and thanks to God it took less than one hour for me to fall in love with one couple in particular.

Within that week my parents and I drove to their beautiful neighborhood and home in Newport Beach, California. We all met for the first time, it was so bitter sweet. I just knew they were God’s chosen parents for my baby, as did they. The adoptive mom was there for me throughout the remainder of my pregnancy. She listened to my heartache, took me out to lunch and prayed with me over the next three and half months. She totally allowed the Lord to use her and help with the peace I had been given by God about my decision.

House of Ruth was a huge help during that time in all our lives. They were there for me and to assist in what and how things would take place. Karyn even met with my parents, the adoptive parents, and I to discuss what we all expected of each other. House of Ruth wasn’t just there to counsel me, but they really helped my family during this time.

On November 3, 1998, my precious little son, Nathaniel, was born. My mom, my dad, and my son’s adoptive mom were present during his birth. I had 48 hours in that hospital with my baby and to prepare for the handover.

Even in that deep state of heart wrenching pain, there was such a peace that filled that hospital room.

On November 5, 1998, the adoptive parents arrived at the hospital to take home their new son. They were so caring and compassionate. The adoptive mom even cried with me. It was as though she felt like she was stealing my baby. She showed me so much love that day. When it was time to hand over my little baby boy to his new mommy, I was so heartbroken, scared, and my tears just wouldn’t stop. My arms were so weak, but in that moment Jesus took over and gave me all the strength I needed. I placed him in her arms and even in that deep state of heart wrenching pain, there was such a peace that filled that hospital room.

My son is now 13 years old. His parents have sent me so many pictures, notes, and thoughtful cards over the years. They have let me see him on occasion and have always made me feel very welcome to call them and catch up. To this day, they still tell me just how grateful they are that I obeyed the Lord and gave them their son. One of the many ways they still continue to bless me is on days like Mother’s Day, his birthday, or the handover day, they always acknowledge the day by sending my a sweet note or card and beautiful pictures of our son.

Not one day has passed since he was born that I didn’t think of him and pray for him. There are some hard days, but most are joyful. I have never regretted the decision I made in choosing adoption. From the time I was just a little girl, God was preparing me for this. This was His perfect will for the situation I had to face and He has given me true peace just as He promised.

This was His perfect will for the situation I had to face and He has given me true peace just as He promised.

John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

Now I’m 27 and the Lord has done (and still is doing) amazing things in my life. I’ve finally fallen in love with my Maker, Jesus Christ. After my son was born, I went on to rebel like I thought was normal coming from a teen girl. But at 17 I finally realized that I NEEDED Jesus. I started attending Church at Calvary Downey along with the young adults group, where I met my husband. I have been married now for almost 10 years. The Lord has blessed me with 4 children of my own now, two daughters, ages 9 and 8 and two sons, ages 7 and 5. I am a very blessed woman and I thank God for His grace and the gifts He has given me.

Our Adoption Story

by Betty

About 2-1/2 years ago I received a phone message from a local foster agency asking if I would consider fostering a child. Being a licensed child care provider, they got my name from the provider list. I didn’t return the call immediately, but prayed about it and talked to my family at length.

That was almost 2 years ago, and we had no idea what the Lord had in store for us.

We decided as a family that it might be nice to foster a child. After finishing the licensing process, we received a call asking us to foster 3 siblings that were living in separate homes. The county was trying to unite these siblings into one home. I was shocked, because I certainly didn’t expect 3 children. The agency worker pleaded her case, and my husband and I decided to give it a try.

That was almost 2 years ago, and we had no idea what the Lord had in store for us. I have been blessed with four children of my own: Cody 25, Nick 21, Cassie 19. and Emily 13. My husband Jim has three: Ashley 29, Amanda 18, and Kyle 13. Never in a million years would we imagine that at the ages of 55 (my husband) and 45 (myself) we would be taking on permanent responsibility for a 7 year-old, a 4-year-old, and a 2 year-old.

But we all know that our plans are not always His plans. These children came into our family from the very first day with smiles on their faces, and every one of us fell in love with them. Adoption and permanence was the obvious choice.

The adoption process is tedious... But the reward for us has been two beautiful sons and an adorable daughter.

The adoption process is tedious. It causes a little bit of stress. But the reward for us has been two beautiful sons and an adorable daughter. Adoption Day was so special! Our family and friends shared our special day! Although the two younger ones were basically clueless about what was going on, the 7-year-old smiled all day. Judge Ulloa asked him if he knew what adoption was and if he wanted to be adopted. He was too shy to speak, but his head bobbed up and down as he smiled that huge, toothless smile, and everyone in the courtroom got a bit teary-eyed.

I thank God that He has given us these three children to love. We have the privilege of raising them in a Christian home. We have the joy of taking them to church and teaching them about Christ’s love. And we have the awesome opportunity and responsibility to teach them about loving and serving others. Most of all I thank God for revealing His plans to us, and for giving us the wisdom to follow His lead.