Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Adoption Story: Will and Kennerly

Will and Kennerly's adoption story didn't end the way they thought it would. In fact, it ended up literally half a world away from where they anticipated. When they called Christian Adoption Consultants last fall they had already been through a lot.

After struggling with infertility and experiencing a miscarriage, God blessed us with two beautiful and healthy biological children. When our daughter turned one and we started to think about growing our family, we seriously began to talk and pray about adoption. It really just started as a simple thought: “We desire to have more children. God has already blessed us with our two loves. Why not give a child who needs a family a family?” Simple, right? (I’m shaking my head at my na├»ve former self right now.) But really above all else, we truly felt like God was, and still is, calling us to adopt.  James 1:27 says, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” This is a call for all of God’s people. It doesn’t look like adoption for all of us, but for my family it does.

In 2014, Will and Kennerly received a referral for a beautiful four month old boy in Ethiopia. But shortly after they eagerly said, "Yes! We will be his mommy and daddy!" things started to fall apart. The agency abruptly shut down and when the Ethiopian government finally agreed to move forward, the orphanage director refused to work with the new agency. After nine long months of fighting, writing letters to members of Congress, reaching out to influential Ethiopian figures, and falling to their knees in prayer – it came to an end. Noah disappeared from the orphanage and Will and Kennerly haven’t been able to locate him since.  "Noah will always be a part of our lives. He will always be in our hearts. And we are committed to praying for him, wherever he is, for the rest of our lives." 

Kennerly shared last winter: I will admit, there have been times this past year where I have thought, “I can’t do this again. I’m done. There is too much at stake, too much to lose. It’s too risky. I’m done with adoption.” But we feel this urging to press forward, to keep on going. We really truly have a desire to grow our family through adoption and God has given us a great peace about moving forward. I have been claiming this verse for some time now, “Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!” Isaiah 30:18 We don’t know the ending to the story that God is writing in our lives, but He does. All we know is that we are being obedient to a call and trusting that He will use whatever He brings our way for our good and His glory.

We have prayed for so long to see redemption in our adoption journey. I remember sitting at the kitchen table with my husband shortly after everything with Noah’s case began to fall apart, tears streaming down my face, and saying, “I just want God to redeem this.” And my wise husband said, “He will. We know He will. It just might not be on this side of Heaven.” Well, our loving and gracious Heavenly Father has redeemed our story. Not because we deserve it, but because He is faithful and He saw fit to bless us in this way. He called us to adopt and allowed us to walk a painful road, but He held us the whole time. He used the trials to refine us and transform us and prepare us to the better parents for our children. He divinely orchestrated events to connect us with a beautiful, selfless, and brave expectant mother who would make an incredibly difficult decision out of her fierce love for her unborn son. And because we have seen redemption in our story, we have confidence that God will redeem Noah’s story too. He hears our prayers.
One thing that the Lord has taught me through all of this is that adoption is NOT about me. It is not about my desires and wants. It is certainly not about being comfortable. It is about so much more. It is about the child. It is about the expectant mother. The birth parents. It is about lives coming together and being bonded in such a unique and special way. It is beautiful and tragic. It is beauty from ashes. Most of all, it is about Him. We give God ALL the glory.
Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21
I would like to introduce our SON, Isaac Connor! Born August 5, 2015 in Florida and home with us forever on August 19th, 2015. His birth mother is so very dear to us and we could never thank her enough for her brave decision. She has given us the most precious gift. We are thrilled to have an open adoption and keep up with her, not just for us and for her, but for Isaac as well. He will always know who she is and know of her great love for him. This little boy has been prayed for and is loved by many!

In honor of Isaac’s amazing birth mother – a woman who will always be a special part of our lives. I took this photo and many more the day Isaac was discharged from the hospital. We will always treasure them.
A child born to another woman calls me Mommy. The magnitude of that tragedy and the depth of that privilege is not lost on me.  ~  Jody Landers


You can read more of Will and Kennerly's story on her photography blog, Kennerly Jordon Photography. Beautiful photos by Lorien Owens

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