The S Family

By Hope Grafted In


We are honored to introduce one of our adoption grant families. We pray their adoption testimony can be an encouragement and challenge to you! Please join us in praying that the S family can be together at home soon.

Adoption has been woven into Natalie’s testimony since high school. It was at that time that she became knowledgeable of adoption as a solid example of our own adoption into God’s family. A friend and her husband were adopting twins from Africa, and this friend blogged candidly about the experience. There were a few instances after this, mostly in college, when Natalie felt very clearly that God was calling her to motherhood as my primary ministry in life. He gave her a vision for a family of adopted children, living out the Gospel as best we can each day.

When we started dating, it was not too long into our relationship that Natalie told Dan about this call she felt for her life. We had attended an adoption information session at a local church. Natalie had planned to go on her own, but Dan insisted he come. While sitting in a gazebo in a nearby park during a thunderstorm after that session, Natalie shared her heart with Dan. She knew it would be a deal-breaker if he was not interested in adoption. Dan has always wanted children, but he shared that he had never assumed they would be biological children. Jackpot!

We spent hours talking through life desires while dating. We believe it is those intentional conversations and God’s extravagant grace that set the framework for a solid foundation in a young marriage. We got married 11 months after our first date.

Not too long after we were married, we felt a tug to start considering adopting before the two- to three-year plan we had discussed while engaged. While we very much enjoy our time together, we started to realize we had planned to wait to start the adoption process because society seems to tell us to wait to have children. Of course God had other plans. Knowing friends and family who have adopted internationally, that was on our minds first. We continued to pray about it, and we felt we could most definitely handle the challenges of transracial parenting.

At 24 and 25 with a lot of student debt and a low income, we started the adoption process. Many friends suggested adopting two children at once, but we were afraid of the added financial burden. In the end, we were approved for two children but only requested one child, male or female, between the ages of birth to six months old. One night, shortly after our home study was approved, Natalie woke up early in the morning and glanced at her phone and emails. We had an email from our agency asking us to consider twin 6-month-old boys. She woke up Dan, and we really didn’t sleep for the rest of the night.

We called our agency the next day for more information. We were surprised to hear that several other families had turned them down because they preferred only one child or wanted at least one girl. Our program director told us if we were interested, we would need to amend our paperwork. She didn’t even know we were approved for two children! We decided to pray about it and smiled about the way God had prepared us to say “yes” to these boys. So, of course we said yes!

That decision was nearly two years ago. Since that time, God has transformed us as individuals and transformed us as a couple. We have learned to turn to Him first in times of stress, be content despite our circumstances, and trust that He has the best interests of our entire family in mind. Though our adoption process has taken longer and cost more than we ever expected, we believe it is the journey He planned for those newly-married 24- and 25-year-olds to take. We pray this journey ends in the homecoming of our sons. We are comforted knowing that Christ is all we need and adoption is not the ultimate.

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