Josh and Emily were the first. They were our beta-test, the guinea pigs, the lab rats in our hair-brained idea to inspire individual, conservative Christians to work together across the country to provide the funding necessary to adopt a child. The experiment was more than “can we raise money?”. It was “can we raise families if the financial barrier was removed?”. Our first test case worked! It worked because of Josh and Emily’s character, faith, and courage. They made our first attempt to fund adoptions a wonderful experience and they so impressed the labor and delivery nurses where their daughter was born, that they told Dana, “We love them, do you have more families like them?” Josh and Emily gave Sacred Selections a successful launch.
And nothing succeeds like success; and to that we say, ”But wait, there’s more!”
Jason and Marilyn answered Dana’s call to help a four-month-old boy languishing in a drug invested apartment with his mother and three other people. They flew to our home in California and stood wide-eyed in disbelief as the birth mother stated matter of factly, without emotion, “Here’s your baby.” Then walked away to drive over and see some old friends at a crack house.
Tim and Carolyn boarded a plane in Seattle to fly across the country to Tampa, Florida when Dana heard from a day care worker that a two-year-old girl had been abandoned by her mother, who left that morning saying, “See if you can find a place for her.” The day care worker told Dana, “You’ve got 48 hours to find a family and then I have to call the state.” Before Tim and Carolyn left Florida, they took the two-year-old to a local pediatrician for a checkup. They broke down in tears when the doctor told them, “God bless you for helping this little girl, she’s on the borderline of starving.”
Kyle and Chelsea chose adoption to begin and grow their family after several unsuccessful years having biological children. They endured the heartbreak of four disruptions. The last of which came just a few weeks before the due date when the doctors informed everyone that the baby had a condition that would only allow for a week or two of life after delivery. As devastating as this news was, Kyle and Chelsea found the courage and compassion to fly halfway across to the country simply to be there and support the birth mother during her tragic loss. It appears that, God was watching. A week after they returned home, Dana got a call from an old friend about a young woman living just an hour from where we lived in northern California. She was due any time and needed to place her baby girl into a good, Christian home. Dana, moved by this couple’s example knew exactly who to call. We spent three amazing weeks with Kyle and Chelsea in our home as they started their long-awaited family.
Trey and Angela dropped everything. Dana had been working for three years to help a homeless mother with an adoption plan for her young daughter. It was an “on and off” again scenario for three long years until one Wednesday afternoon, when the mother called in a panic, “You have to get me out of town …tonight!” Mother and daughter were driven to the airport by some Christians close to where they lived. Meanwhile Trey and Angela scrambled a flight from Missouri early the next morning. As providence would have it…the “Artist of the World” would be flying in to see us the next day, Thursday afternoon. Ibiyinka Alao, is the “Artist of the World. He won the distinguished international art award in 2004 and we met “Ibi” in Manhattan, NY that same year. Ibi had been baptized just six months earlier at the small congregation founded by Sewell Hall. The point of this artistic diversion is to set the stage for a magical moment a few days after Trey and Angela became new adoptive parents. We sat around our kitchen table with Trey and Angela and watched a four-year-old girl from Las Vegas learn to paint with “Ibi” the “Artist of the World” from Ilorin Nigeria. It was a moment in time we all froze into our memories. Dana said it best, “How did all this come together?” God smiled and winked.
“I hope you’re #@&*#* happy!” a voice screamed into Dana’s ear. “I missed my appointment at the [abortion] clinic.” “Now what am I going to do? I really hope you’re happy!” Truth be told we were. If we’re going to say no to abortion we have to say yes to helping young women who choose life. In this case several Christians came together to support this young woman during her pregnancy. It was one of the most challenging, demanding and faith building adoption journeys we’ve taken even after fifteen years. We wish you could see the beautiful girl that was born and was the reward of so much effort. She is just now entering first grade.
It was about 7:00 in the evening in November. Dana and I were in the car driving south on the Queen Ka’ahumana highway on the big island of Hawaii. Dana’s phone rang interrupting a beautiful Hawaiian sunset and a wonderful conversation with good friends from California. The call was from an adoption agency in Alabama. Earlier that day a baby girl was born. The mother wasn’t able to parent and the agency need a family at the hospital by 9AM the next morning. They said, “I know this is short notice but you have the best families that always come through.” “We do!”, Dana said laughing, “I know exactly who to call. I’ll call you back shortly.” While we enjoyed the spirit of Aloha, 5,500 miles away a young couple slept soundly, until 1:30 AM Eastern Time. Dana called her first. it went to voicemail. Dana called him. He picked up on the third ring,” Uhhh…hellooo…” They made it to the hospital by 8:30 AM. Sometimes, certainly not always it’s that fast and easy.
Linda was the nurse director of Labor and Delivery at a children’s hospital in northern Alabama. Three years prior Linda worked with Dana and a local family on an adoption case. Linda was deeply impressed and moved by the experience. The hospital is located in a county fraught with drug issues, single parent births and babies found in safe places, and not so safe places. Late one afternoon Linda left her office heading down the hall for one final task before heading home. She hit the down button by the elevator door. The silver, scuffed and dented door slid slowly open. Linda was greeted by a very pregnant woman, sweating and breathing heavily. “I think I’m about to have this baby” the woman said. Linda darted in to help get her down the hall to the L&D nurses’ desk. An hour later a health baby boy drew his first breath. His mother had a difficult decision to make. She needed to find a home for her son. Maybe Linda could help. As soon as Linda heard this, she remembered the experience with Sacred Selections three years ago and she called Dana. Another child found a Christian home.
But wait… there’s more. We could go on. In fact we could go on for another 380 some stories. You see there really is, as the Hebrew writer says, “A great cloud of witness” cheering you on, showing you how adoption can be done and most importantly why it should be done.
We need your help to keep these stories coming. You can do this. You can support this. There are two things we in the 21st century have in common with our brethren in the first century. A culture where abortion is common and children are abandoned and fatherless. God expects us just like them to care for the fatherless.