Looking In, Looking Out: One Family’s Story of Adoption

Have you ever considered adoption as a possibility for you and your family? What factors help solidify your thoughts or decision? Sometimes a family can feel a pull, a call, towards adoption, but the hurdles seem so great they back out. One hurdle that consistently makes potential adoptive families hesitant is finances. Did you know that Caroline’s Promise offers grants to adopting families? These grants are just one way that Caroline’s Promise is reclaiming hope for orphans and giving a boost of help and encouragement to the families who would become a forever family for a child in need. Maybe you’ve not felt a burden to adopt but rather to help in other ways. By donating money, you are helping Caroline’s Promise offer more grants to more families. You can make a difference, one dollar at a time. Go to our website at www.carolinespromise.net to find out more about how you can make a difference for one: one child in need, one family in waiting.

We would like to introduce you to one family who followed God’s call to adopt. The Renslow family adopted baby Zuri this past year and with your help Caroline’s Promise was able to award them a grant to assist with the cost. Thank you for your support! Here is their story.

The Insufficient Because Clause

The list was flooded with cognitive reactions to a very simple question: “why not you?” Our question had evolved from “why” to “why not?” While wrestling to answer this question concerning adoption, all of our reasons either seemed silly, selfish, or faithless. “Why not us?” Why wouldn’t we be a family to adopt? Argument number one was that we had a loving home to offer, but we were afraid of ruining the wonderful dynamics that we had already established with our family of five –silly. Ruined it? How about refined or reshaped? This journey of adoption has made us closer than ever before because love is at the center and it was a family decision to step out believing that love never disappoints. Sure there are adjustments and it has been different having a baby in the house and an adjustment for our nine year old daughter to share her room, but for this to be the reason to say no was simply silly.

Argument number two was that mom and dad are pushing forty and have left the baby stage in the rear view mirror almost a decade ago – selfish. If we are truly called to pray, as Jesus taught us, that God would bring his kingdom of heaven to bare on the kingdom of earth, then what better demonstration of this than the love and hope of adoption? Many of our reasons for saying no were tied to our own personal comfort and once we realized this, “no” was no longer an option. How could we continue to say “no” when our justifications all came back to our own selfishness?

Argument number three was our inability to answer the question “how?” There is just no way that we could afford such an expensive endeavor – faithless. We had heard the stories over and over about how God had provided for other families, but were we willing to trust God that much? Were we willing to allow God to write us in his story in this way? We are not those people who have a long track-record of exhibiting radical faith. So, for a long time the answer was no, but in the end a lack of faith was just not reason enough and we knew that God would not lead us to something so wonderful only to watch us continually fail – he wasn’t calling us to failure, he was calling us to trust – but would we?

After quite a journey, we could not come up with a satisfying “because …” answer to the question: “why not you?” There were no words that were fitting enough to establish a “because clause” when there was a child living in an orphanage with no hope for a family unless we stepped beyond what was comfortable and trusted in what God was doing in our family. This seems to be the mystery of God’s work in our lives as he is constantly working in the shadows of our hearts, but many times this is only illuminated when we choose to trust.

In our story, God was working in our hearts to have enough faith to take one step, but at the same time he was working in hundreds of other people to give towards adoption through Caroline’s Promise. The grant we received by Caroline’s Promise allowed us to go and bring home the child God planned all along to be our fourth, created by Him for us, as much as our other three biological children, and we are forever changed. Our faith steps towards adoption found solid ground because of the generosity of people like you. Thank you to all who give to Caroline’s Promise. Your gifts have helped us complete our first adoption story practically debt free and that will allow us to look towards saving for our next adoption!

renslow family in uganda Jimmy and Gayla live in Northwest Greensboro with their four children: Boe (13), Mac (11), Leia Grace (9), and Zuri Hope (1). Jimmy is the pastor of the Church at 5:14 and they write about their adoption journey at www.echoesofzuri.blogspot.com

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