It’s so sweet to mosey back here and re-read what I wrote back in 2014 when we were in the process of our adoptions, raising funds, praying, hosting events, praying… Thanks for reading our story! God is SO good!
I knew years ago that I’d have trouble getting pregnant. Family history showed there might be some issues, and I just assumed that I’d end up with infertility, even though my mom and two grandmothers had 17 biological children between them. I had a feeling…and sure enough, when I met the man of my dreams and we decided to start trying to have a family, it became a challenge. He was tested, I was tested, both having “low normal” signs for fertility, but nothing conclusive. We prayed. We cried. We got angry. And then we started trusting God for our family. The family that HE had in mind for us. One we never could have imagined…
We started trying for a family in the fall of 2012, on the heels of returning from our mission trip to Kenya with our church, Vista. We fell in love with the country and its people, especially the beautiful and innocent children! We laughed and danced with them, and taught them about Jesus. Our hearts came alive as we worshipped alongside people who looked nothing like us, lived nothing like us, and who lived oceans away. We realized that just like Heaven is a sea of saints from all the nations, so is the family of God here on earth, with so many colors, shapes and sizes. But as humans, we all have the same longings, and one of the main ones is love. The kind of love only the Father Himself can extend, but one that we can try to emulate.
One night we prayed to God, cried out to Him, asking for direction for our future family, so hurt that having a biological family was proving so difficult. God answered us; He broke our hearts for His children — the children who are orphaned, around the world in in our backyard. He showed us a glimpse of His heartbreak for those who can’t be cared for the way He intended. He drew us to open our hearts to the possibility of building our family through adoption. Something I had never dreamed of. But all of a sudden it was a deep conviction that this was our path.
That’s what brings us to today, to our adoption journey. We feel strongly that God has called us to a family that doesn’t look the same as us. One that is unique — with different colors, complexions, backgrounds and boundaries. One that reflects the floor of Heaven itself, with all types of people represented. As He adopted us, and so many like and unlike us, into His family, we feel moved to adopt some children who may not be able to receive love, protection and care from their birth families. We don’t know what our family will end up looking like specifically, but for us, the Arnold family tapestry is being woven as we speak!
We feel called at this time to adopt a domestic child. Having served at The Better Way downtown, we’ve seen so many children from our very own city in need of loving parents. We’re working with an incredible agency, Choice Network, based here in Central Ohio. Choice is unique — their goal is to advocate for the other choice…adoption. The agency partners with abortion clinics to educate their staffs on how to share all the options with their patients, and how to connect them with adoption resources if they’d like to go that route. In the past four years, there have been more than 50 babies born who otherwise would’ve been aborted! What a miracle! We’re hopeful to be matched with a local (or closeby in the US) birthmom, whether she’s black, white, Asian, you name it! We believe that God will bring the specific child He wants in our family to us. We’re trusting Him in that, and we’re excited to work with Choice.
Here’s a special vision the Lord gave me (Jen) one night when I was praying about what the Arnold family would look like. It was at a worship night with great friends from church, one in which had a “theme” that night of “childlike faith” and joy, something that wasn’t programmed, but Divine intervention. During that gathering, God gave me a picture of a long line of children, all colors, sizes and nationalities, holding hands and playing “Red Rover.” What a picture of joy that birthed a hope in us like we hadn’t felt in so long in trying for a biological family.