Hello! We’re Christopher and Samantha Layer, and we’d like to welcome you to our adoption journey. Our journey began in 2013 when we first started dating. Over the next seven years, we’ve gotten married, bought a house, hosted many parties, and tried to start a family of our own. We have always had a heart for children and had talked about adoption even early on in our relationship, but we planned to have children naturally first. However, God’s plans aren’t always what we expect or hope them to be. For over three years, we struggled with infertility, going through cycles of hope, grief, and acceptance with every passing month. We took refuge in the Word of God and the overwhelming outpouring of love and support from our friends and family. After much prayer, long conversations, and research, we have found peace and renewed energy in our decision to pursue the incredible adventure of adoption! And that’s where you come in - adoption is an expensive process, and we are asking for your help to fulfill our dream of becoming parents. Between our adoption agency, legal fees, travel expenses, background checks, and more, the total comes to about $40,000. We are eternally grateful for any contribution you can make, including your support and prayers.
For the full story, feel free to read below.
> OUR STORY >
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”
First off, we would like to introduce ourselves and tell you a little bit about who we are. Christopher is a filmmaker who co-owns a video production business, Big Forest Video, with his best friend, Jordan. Chris got his BFA in Digital Cinema Arts in 2015. At heart, he is a storyteller, a social butterfly, and a devoted family man. He also has a great love for the midwest, especially for the people in it. Samantha works at Mercy Hospital as a Medical Secretary and has been there for 6 years. She loves to exercise, discover good books, and spend quality time with friends and family. We share many common attributes as well! We have an affinity for hosting parties, for one. We also love our church family (First Baptist Church of O’Fallon, Missouri) and enjoy serving in various ministries there. But perhaps most importantly, we both desired to be parents from an early age. We started dating back in 2013, and even near the beginning of our relationship, we knew we wanted to someday adopt a child. The thing is… when we envisioned this process taking place, we always thought it would happen after we had multiple biological children of our own.
In case it isn’t obvious, we have a heart for kids. We’ve always enthusiastically engaged with our nieces and nephews, as well as actively served in the children’s ministry at our church, all the while fantasizing about what it would be like when we finally had one (or four) of our own. FINALLY, the time came and we felt ready to take the leap into parenthood. We excitedly jumped into trying for a baby… and that’s when the heartbreak began.
Here’s where we mention that Bible verse listed at the top; it’s become something of a philosophy for us. Before we knew it, hope turned to fear, joy turned to despair, and each passing month compounded our crushing longing. It was one of the most dismal and darkest hours in our lives. It was then that we had to come to terms with the truth that perhaps our ambitions of parenthood weren’t what we initially planned. Through many tears and desperate prayers, our heavy souls began to find peace with our reality. Thankfully, we didn’t have to walk through the pain alone. We took refuge in the incredible support from friends and family, and we rested upon the Word of God. As James 1:2-4 says, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” These words motivated and inspired us to press on. They gave us the courage to come to a humbling realization: God’s plan may simply be different than our own.
It took everything we had, but we set out to embrace Deuteronomy 31:6, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified ... for the LORD your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.” Knowing this encouragement is uplifting, but it takes renewal and reminding. Otherwise, we would slip back into places we try not to even think about.
Every single month for over three, long years, we have regularly faced an empty, aching grief. We bitterly mourned each time we were met with the reality of yet another failed attempt. We got better at bouncing back, over time, but we still hurt nonetheless. We had to change our attitudes; choose hope over fear. As Psalm 46:1-3 puts it, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.” We felt calamity and catastrophe raging within us. Running to God and resting in Him was the only way to truly calm the storm.
Even in the storm, we still had the distinct privilege of watching those around us be given the wonderful gift of being able to conceive, grow, and birth a baby of their own. With every announcement, the beautiful miracle of producing new life became all the clearer. And yet… there was, every time, a pinch of sadness. With every celebration, we also experienced pain, wondering when “our turn” would come around. There were encouraging moments, though! Like when Samantha was diagnosed with symptom-free endometriosis. She got a procedure done and our “odds” skyrocketed. And yet, it led to more disappointment. Dread and anxiety began to creep back into our hearts and minds. And, again, we turned our attention to the pages of Scripture.
Philippians 4:6-10, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Our Heavenly Father heard every prayer, saw every tear, and still gently whispered, “no.” Whether or not that answer will someday become a “yes” is beyond our knowledge. What we do know, however, is that our schedule is not necessarily God's timing. Throughout this trial, we’ve endured countless doctor visits and the loss of thousands of dollars in copays, medications, and other treatments. We’ve had many ultrasounds, but never seen a baby. After an exorbitant amount of time, thought, discussion, and emotional turmoil... we have finally arrived at a place of peace. Those words of exhortation in Philippians have truly resonated with us. We felt similar to Job, finding serenity even in the midst of what seems like discourse. As it says in Psalm 28:6-7, “Praise be to the LORD for He has heard my cry for mercy. The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and He helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise Him.”
No more fear. No more exhaustion. Now, we see clearly and hear our calling without distortion. We have new energy because God has made the next step apparent to us: to begin the epic journey of adoption. Out there, God has the perfect child for us who’s meant to be held in our loving arms. In Jeremiah 1:5 it says, “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.” He’s unsurprised by all of this, and intimately knows the child that is meant to join our family.
It’s massive undergoing, and not the timing we originally thought, but with God... we know we are fit for the task. As Isaiah 40:31 says, “…but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” To some, it may seem like giving up, but to us, we see it as a beautiful vocation.
Unfortunately, though... adoption is far from inexpensive, which is why we are now asking for your assistance. We need help paying for the tidal wave of fees that come along with adoption. We have had to swallow our pride and now humbly go before our friends, family, and anyone else, to ask for donations. We deliberated for months on how to best approach this process, and that brings us to here and now. We’re coming to you for aid to help us fulfill our dream of becoming parents.
> THE COSTS >
We will be working with an adoption agency, who will assist us with finding a mother, or couple, who has made the very difficult decision to put their child up for adoption. The amount needed will be approximately $40,000, when all is said and done. This total will pay for our adoption agency to carry out their process to find an adoption candidate for us, our home study, our adoption lawyer fees, necessary forms, legal background checks, travel expenses, and medical costs for the mother, along with a variety of other, miscellaneous expenditures.
> CLOSING >
In closing, we thank you so, SO much for taking the time to read our story. If you are able to donate towards our adoption process, we would be eternally grateful for any contribution. We understand the incredible significance of each donation we receive and are truly touched by every last one. However, as we said in the video, even if you can’t spare any money, your prayers and support are also deeply appreciated. It’s easy to see your difficulties in a negative light and become discouraged, but we choose to see purpose in the pain; to see a beautiful design in what seems like broken pieces. As it says in Romans 8:28, “...we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” Instead of despairing in our trials, we choose to rejoice in them, and to quote Jeremy Camp, “My life is not full despite the disappointments. My life is full because of them.”
Thank you, again, and God bless. Let the adventure begin!
- Anonymous Donation
#1 fundraising platform
More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more
Expert advice, 24/7
Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more