...Except, that isn't the case for everyone. Back in 2010, I (Danielle) was diagnosed with Lupus and Fibromyalgia. At age 19, I was having to prepare myself for the difficulties that child bearing could bring. It was then that I first felt the Lord place adoption and fostering on my heart. But at that age, being a mom wasn’t on the forefront of my mind, so I pushed it aside for the time being. I have never been angry with God and I have always trusted Him, so I knew whatever He had in store would be perfect. When Michael and I started dating, he knew about my medical history and the potential problems it could cause, but he also knew that the Lord would guide us. We know that He is good and this is not our permanent home. We know that whatever His will is, we will follow. Now that we are a little bit older, Michael and I are at the age where our hearts are yearning for our own children to raise up. So in the beginning of 2017 we started thinking about what starting a family would look like for us.
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance."- James 1:2-3
Life is not something without trials and tribulations though. In Summer of 2017, two more diagnoses were added to my medical resume, both of which are blood diseases and both of which would affect pregnancy greatly. After conversations with different doctors, Michael and I decided that for the safety of my body/life, having children of our own with my medical issues isn’t the best option. It wasn't a decision we took lightly. We prayed, we were still, we sought wisdom, and we talked to one another transparently. As I said before, adoption has always been in my heart but as time passed it has just continued to grow. Michael's heart for adoption grew as well over the past few years. We felt that maybe, just maybe, this was the Lord's way of calling us to adopt.
"Blessed in the one whose trust is in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream and does not fear when the heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and it is not anxious in the year of the drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit." -Jeremiah 17:7-8
So in Fall of 2017, we attended a Foster/Adoption meeting at our church. It was that night that we knew clearly what God has called us to in this life. After praying and discussing with our community, we knew that the Lord was wanting us to proceed with adoption. Our hearts had been set on FIRE! Our plan was to first do a private infant adoption, learn somewhat how to be parents, then later on foster to adopt older children. As a high school teacher, I eventually really want to foster children who are at risk of aging out of the system (ages 13-17). But as 27-year-olds, we know that right now the Lord would want us to grow in our wisdom first.
"Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you." -James 1:27
In January of 2018, we met with our first adoption agency. We had done our research and decided to interview an agency here in Dallas. We met with a sweet lady there who explained the whole process and then told us how much it would cost. We knew that private adoption was expensive, but we were still shocked when she told us it would be $30,000. After our meeting, we were pretty discouraged. We knew that we didn’t have $30,000 and that we still have my student debt looming over our heads that we are working hard to pay off. My heart was crushed, and when we got in the car I started crying. Sweet Michael consoled me and told me that it’s all in God’s timing and we can enjoy the season that we’re in now.
I felt like every avenue to have kiddos was shut and I felt broken. Between the guilt of not being able to give our family children (though Michael has always reassured me he 100% understands and that I shouldn’t have any guilt) and then the distraught from not being able to adopt in the near future, I felt like all the doors were shut. But Michael led us so well, as he continued to pray over us and remind me of God’s truth and timing. The next few months we took a break from pursuing the idea of adoption. We decided to use this year to continue to strengthen our marriage, utilizing our time together to make memories that we might not be able to with a newborn.
Now here we are in Spring of 2018, we’ve accepted that adoption is probably not going to happen this year, and possibly not even the next. But we were challenged in our thinking, we knew we needed to be proactive. We continued to search for an agency and found one that best fits our needs. We know that $23,000 is not a small number, and if we want to raise that we know it’s going to take an extremely long time. If we can’t fundraise the money, then in a few years we will begin to save up on our own. As for right now we have to allocate our income to my student debt. Without fundraising, we would have to wait until around the year 2021 before we could try to adopt. So you can see why we are hoping to fundraise so we can care for the orphans sooner rather than later. We found ourselves scared and intimidated of this large task in front of us, but then sweetly reminded that our God is a big God. So here we are, starting our adventure...our path to expanding our family, our path to bringing home a Bailey bundle of joy. We don’t know how long this path is or how narrow it is, but we know Who is guiding our steps.
We are always super transparent and want to always put out 100% honesty with the people in our life. Our goal is to raise the $23,000 over the next two years. While we are working hard to fundraise, we will simultaneously be using my income from my job to pay off my ever-so-daunting student debt. Lord willing, we can have my debt paid off in about two years while we continue to fundraise the $23,000. We want our baby to be in a debt-free home so we can provide the very best for them. Not a single penny of donations will go to student debt, mortgage, or anything else. All money from fundraising will go into a separate bank account that houses solely our adoption fund. It won’t be counted into our monthly budget, and we won’t touch it for anything other than adoption expenses.
We have nothing but gratitude and gratefulness for anyone who feels led to donate during this time. We know this task ahead of us is not an easy one, but we truly have our foundation and faith rooted in the Lord and His goodness. We also have an amazing support team around us between our family, friends, and church family. Our God is a big God and we know that He is our rock. We fully trust Him in this and surrender all our expectations to Him!
"For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition that I made to him." -1 Samuel 1:27
- Dan DeYonker
- The Dunlaps
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