An Adoption Story: Thaddeus Allison Newborn Session
This fall I had the honor of photographing the Allison family just a few weeks after they became a family of three. What a treat to snuggle sweet little Thaddeus at only a few weeks old. Have you ever seen such luscious locks of hair on a newborn? I just love his name. Thaddeus (or "Thad" for short) is named after one of Jesus' disciples and means "courageous heart."
Carrie and Taylor chose to grow their family through the gift of adoption. I have such a heart for adoption stories - I'm not a big crier but you can usually find me in a puddle of tears after watching any adoption video. I just love to hear how God weaves together families through his redemptive love. I thought it would be fun (and enlightening) to do a little Q&A with Carrie about the adoption process. May you be blessed today by her poignant words...
1. What compelled you and your husband to adopt?
There is an entire story on how we decided to adopt, but we are beyond grateful that this is where the Lord led us. We knew that we wanted to grow our family, and we sought the will of our Heavenly Father on how He wanted us to do so. After praying for months and months, we clearly knew that God had called us to adoption. But what specifically compelled us to adopt? We believe that adoption represents the gospel, and we long to be kingdom-minded. Adoption is a parallel of the gospel, for God sees us as His children because of our salvation in Christ. 1 John 3:1 proclaims, “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” We want to share our love and the love of Jesus with a child who needs it. We want to show compassion and care for those Jesus calls us to.
During our time of prayer we read a book by David Platt called Counterculture. In this book, Platt states, “When we realize what God has done for us as revealed in the gospel, we recognize that God desires this same action from us on behalf of orphans and widows. For we are not rescuers giving our lives and families to save orphans and widows in need; instead, we are the rescued who lives have been transformed at our deepest point of need. So now it just makes sense that men and women who have been captivated by the mystery of God’s mercy might be compelled to give themselves to the ministry of God’s mercy.” We realized that we couldn’t just stay on the bench anymore and see the battle to defeat the enemy that was happening on the field in front of us. We had to jump in, regardless of how uncomfortable it was, regardless of our fears, regardless of the cost, for we know God is our comfort, bigger than our fears, and our Provider. There is the call to join the work that God is doing, and we didn’t want to miss out! At this time in our lives, our call was to care for the orphans through adoption.
2. What have you learned about God's character through the adoption process?
Throughout this adoption process, I was constantly reminded of God’s goodness. Each step of the adoption process I knew that God was faithful and full of goodness. I specifically remember over the summer when we were waiting to be matched with a baby, God whispered to me when I was feeling discouraged: “My plan is best. My plan is good. I have the perfect child for your family. Keep trusting Me.” And indeed, as I hold my son each day, I am confident of His goodness. Psalm 13:6 became a constant encouragement to me throughout the adoption process. This verse says, “I will sing the Lord’s praise, for He has been good to me.”
3. What would you say to another family who is considering adoption?
Trust, step forward in faith, and watch God work in amazing ways. Yes, adoption is messy, but it is absolutely beautiful. Truly, beauty from ashes. I am beyond grateful and humbled that I got to be a part of an adoption story. I would encourage them to reflect on Ephesians 3:20 which states, "Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine according to His power that is at work within us." God is faithful, and where He leads, He will be with you each step of the way. Since our son was placed in our arms, I have been confident that this was God’s plan for us and have been so thankful that God’s plan for growing our family was through adoption, rather than what I had originally envisioned. Therefore, be confident that God’s plan is always best, even when it is difficult.
4. Do you think that there are misconceptions about adoption?
Yes, there can be many misconceptions around adoption. For example, many people assume that families adopt because they struggle with infertility. Now, this absolutely can be the story for many people, but this is not always the case. Another misconception is that adoption is too expensive. Yes, it is expensive, but I do not think that money should ever be a reason someone decides not to adopt. If God calls, He will provide. And adoptions have many variables that affect the price. Also, not all mothers who give up their child are young, single, low income, or on drugs. Each adoption story is different, yet many people want to try to make them the same type of situation.
5. What are some specific ways that we can support adoptive families? If we don't feel called to adopt ourselves, what are some other tangible ways that we can support orphan care?
First and foremost, I would encourage you to pray. Pray the families that are going through the adoption process, for it can be filled with many mountains and valleys. Pray that more families would listen to how God is specifically calling them to become involved to help the orphans. Pray for the birth mothers that are making the courageous decision to choose life. We need the body of Christ to come along side those who are adopting not only through prayers, but also through giving financially. Consider giving to organizations that aid in orphan care or even to individual families who are walking through an adoption. Another way you can become involved in orphan care is to serve globally at an orphanage.
Blessings to the Allison family - thank you for sharing your story!