And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
Adoption has always been a part of our story. Even when we were just dating, God laid on our hearts a desire to adopt a child. Little did we know He was laying the foundation for His will for our lives as parents.
Our first pregnancy occurred in July 2011. When it ended in September to a devastating miscarriage, we thought back to our desire to adopt and made plans to begin foster parent classes. Just a month or so later, we learned through our church family about a precious seven year old named Makinzy. Via independent adoption, Makinzy became ours on November 9, 2011. We had full legal custody by Christmas and her adoption as a Wilson was finalized months later. Throughout this time, we continued to get pregnant and suffer miscarriages. We sought the best medical care and visited the best specialists, but no one could quite figure out the cause. After loosing another son, our 6th miscarriage, in October 2015, we were told our only option was through a gestational carrier, but even that would carry risks. The costs were similar, if not more, than adoption. Our next steps became clear. DNA does not determine family. Anyone could watch Makinzy snuggle in her mama's arms or giggle with her daddy and see that love makes a family.
We began our second adoption in January 2016. By July, we were a waiting family. We waited for months and months and months. In March 2017, we learned about a baby expected to be born with a severe heart condition and said that we would be willing to adopt her if the birth family chose us. In May, we found out that they did! Then, on June 20, 2017, we welcomed Mira into our family. Mira's heart condition was very serious and scary. Mira's adoption, not including medical costs, was around $25,000 - $30,000, which we were able to pay through saving up, fundraising, donations from friends/family/strangers, and with adoption grants. Mira's heart condition declined in late October 2017 and we spent November in the hospital, where she passed away on November 26, 2017. Her short, beautiful little life touched so many hearts, and we have been honored that God chose us to to be her family and that He saw fit to use us for His glory.
Even before Mira died, we knew we'd adopt again. And so, we embarked on our third adoption journey a few months after we lost our sweet girl. We anticipate a long wait, but in June 2018, just days from what would have been Mira’s first birthday, we brought home our sweet baby boy, Finley. Now, we never know how many kids to say we have - two? three? nine? Despite our loss and difficulties, we are so incredible blessed to be the mom and dad of our precious children.
And we’re not done yet. Adopting another child, particularly a child with a special need, is a calling we still feel. After Finley’s adoption finalized in February 2019, we began our fourth adoption journey - and who knows where that will take us.
Adopting is expensive due to the costs of meeting the needs of those in crisis pregnancies, but it is so very worth it. It’s also emotionally costly. It involves risks. It involves opening your heart. Adoption is about more than just adding beautiful children to our family; it's about providing a Christ-like love to people. We believe that adoption reflects the gospel and that all Christians are called to consider, pray for, and support adoption. We thank you from the bottom of our heart for your financial support, your prayers, and for joining with us in our mission to defend the fatherless and love the brokenhearted.
Jake and Briana W.
If you'd like to know more about our journey, including Mak's adoption, our struggles with grief and loss during the six miscarriages, dealing with anger and sadness, finding identity, and all that we've been through on a more personal level, you can read Briana's personal blog at www.shinefromtheinside.blogspot.com.