Mark Rodriguez had a huge heart for the orphaned and oppressed. Since it is National Adoption Awareness Month, we will take a few posts to talk about the many ways one can help address the problem of children who are living without families.
Wayne was Mark's youth leader at Trinity Church, Virginia Beach. He really impacted Mark's life when he taught him how to pray and journal at a retreat he called Camel Knees. Wayne and Bethany agreed to share their adoption story...see if you can handle the cuteness of Ivey Jane
Our adoption story is a very simple one: we believe the gospel of Jesus is best told through the tangible picture of adoption AND we had an open home and there are children who need one.
As we prayed over our call to adopt we sensed what so many other adoptive parents sense: a hero complex. We could see ourselves speaking at churches about our dangerous journey into the jungles of some country we weren't even allowed to name and rescued and poor helpless child from abject poverty and a bleak future. What heroes we would be! But a funny thing happened when we started praying more diligently about how and who God would have us adopt: He sweetly encouraged us that it would be ok for us to adopt a newborn so we could experience every stage of our first child’s post-womb life.
“But...God, that's not as sexy as the other story we were ready to tell…” We're not proud that our arrogance had limited our scope of God’s ability to tell good stories of redemption in any context. So, while we still looked forward to adopting internationally and to becoming adoptive foster parents, we took the dive into domestic infant adoption.
And oh what needs there are! We were shocked at how few women (usually young, scared, single women) knew that there was an alternative to abortion to be found in adoption (we would love for there to be a revolution of gospel-centered education on leaving behind a life of promiscuity but that's another battle for another day)! With a small army of supporters and dear friends who had run this race just before us, we found an agency that showed our profile to a young woman who found herself pregnant, single, out of work (and the insurance that went along with the job) and with a 8 month old baby that already required so much of her attention and the reality that she couldn't keep this little life that was growing inside her.
|Ivey Jane Patterson|
It was a long (2+ years from deciding we were going to adopt until we were selected by a birth mom), expensive (feel free to email for details), painful process that we wouldn't trade for the world. I encourage anyone who has even slightly considered adoption to prayerfully and humbly pursue the next steps - only 2% of people who strongly consider adoption ever go through with adopting so your ‘next step’ may still be research or prayer (seriously, you can't pray too much about this) or even getting your Home Study scheduled. Whatever it may be, take that next step. We're with you
Bethany, Wayne and Ivey Patterson