Well, I told you I was going to introduce you to some fierce women. I can’t wait for you to meet this gem. I’ve known her longer than I’ve known myself, that’s for sure! I love Stephanie like the sister I’ve always wanted and her story is full of hope and anticipation. Her life is not simple or easy as a the wife of an Army Chaplain and mom to 3 kiddos, but I love where God is leading her sweet family.
As adamant pro-lifers the Kersey’s are adopting an infant as means of tangible support to an unexpectedly pregnant mom. They’ve recently been chosen for a possible “placement” due in September and I love celebrating with them and praying for the expecting momma with them. Their love for the mom is just as fierce as their love for this unborn child.
I asked Stephanie a series of questions and I want you to hear her own powerful words, so here it ALLLLLL is interview style:
How did you decide you wanted to adopt? (Were you and Dan always on the same page?) I remember the very first time Dan brought up adoption back when we were dating. He shared with me that the idea of adoption deeply resonated with him because of how it tangibly demonstrates the gospel. When we are saved we are chosen by God and invited into his family as a son or daughter with the full rights of a natural born child. He does this not because of anything we did but because of his grace. So after that conversation I always kept the idea of adoption in the back of my mind. When we got married, I was very sick with Ulcerative Colitis and ended up having 3 major surgeries after all other options failed. My doctor was upfront about what it could do to our chances of conceiving naturally, so we had to face the real possibility we wouldn’t have biological children. But God miraculously and graciously gave us 3 amazing kids we did not expect to have. Even still, adoption was something we talked about and prayed for God to move if it was his will for our family.
How did you decide to adopt an infant? About 6 years ago one of the major news headlines was about a man named David Daleiden who uncovered Planned Parenthood’s illegal selling of aborted baby tissue. Once a week for several weeks he would release new video footage. Footage that rocked me to my core. I couldn’t stop watching every new video or reading every news article on the topic. I couldn’t stop crying. And though I tried, I couldn’t forget it. I second-guessed my reaction thinking I would snap out of it, but I didn’t. Then my thoughts shifted: Maybe this was the Lord. So I prayed. I asked God that if this was the Holy Spirit moving that we would listen. So that’s when Dan and I started praying intentionally together about abortion and how we should respond. We had no idea what obedience looked like in specifics but what we did know is that we wanted to be a part of the solution. With becoming more active in the pro-life movement, we had a growing conviction to care specifically for women in unplanned pregnancies and their unborn children by becoming an adoptive family. We started seeing first hand the need to put conviction into action by becoming an adoptive family. But adoption isn’t easy and may or may not be the best choice for women facing an unplanned pregnancy. In fact, we believe it should be a last resort after a woman has exhausted all her resources.
For those women who choose to make an adoption plan, we want to be there as an option.Stephanie Kersey
How do your bio kids feel about the adoption so far? (What have you told them? Do they know other adopted kids?) Our kids are very excited to bring into the family another sibling! We have shared with them that there is a mother out there who has chosen us to be the parents of her baby. But they’re still pretty young and don’t always understand how this all works. But what really helps is that they have seen adoption with their cousin Jack. We’ve been able to talk about “tummy mommies” and how special and brave they are for placing their baby in an adoptive family.
How has the process of adoption been different from adding bio kids to a family? Strangely, I think many of the fears are the same. When you’re pregnant they give you all these tests to find out if the baby has any sort of abnormalities or diagnoses that need to be addressed. So it’s like right off the bat you’re worried for them and whether or not you can handle whatever bad thing might happen. And then the baby comes and you don’t stop worrying about them. Like, will I bond with them? Are they eating enough? WHY WON’T THEY EAT?! What if I mess up and totally ruin their lives? What if they have crippling disorders? So even though I’m not growing a baby in my womb, I find myself worrying about all sorts of things that could happen. Whether it’s my biological child or adoptive, I will need the Lord’s strength in letting go of my right to decide my kids life and future. I have to remind myself every day that my children belong to God for His glory and not mine.
What has helped you to wait during all the paperwork, then waiting to be selected and now waiting for the due date? I can’t speak for Dan on this one but for me, I think the hardest part about waiting wasn’t the paperwork process but playing the comparison game with other hopeful adoptive families. When I see other hopeful adoptive families bringing their babies home it is hard not to think, why not us? I had to really check those thoughts and pray to have a heart for God’s plan for our family, not my own. I find that when I get ahead of God with my desires, things go badly for me in my spirit. So Dan and I work on being open-handed toward God with our plans by praying together. And I think praying together as a couple is huge. It gives us the chance to be vulnerable with each other about our fears which only makes us stronger as a couple.
Isn’t Stephanie incredible? She brings us such a lovely balance of authentic hope and real truth. I love that. Her strength comes from being rooted in the True Vine and it shows!
I am the Vine and you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.John 15:5
Let’s take this challenge to remain connected to the True Vine so that the fruit we bear will be lasting despite the ups and downs and challenges we face. May our fruit change the world for one person, one child, one at a time. And let’s join together in praying for the Kersey family and the baby they love already. Let’s all be praying for the expecting Momma who is making hard decisions right now. We believe the best for her and her child and the GOOD future we know God has for them.