We sent this letter to friends & family back in July of 2009.
"Dear Family and Friends,
We want to fill you in on what God has been doing in our lives over the last few months. Back in January, as we were celebrating our 2nd wedding anniversary, we were excited to find out that we were expecting our first child. We excitedly told our parents they were going to be grandparents in the fall and went to our first appointment with the OBGYN. To our disappointment, we learned during our 8th week of pregnancy that the baby had stopped growing two weeks earlier. While we grieved this loss we waited for the miscarriage to happen naturally, and two weeks later, during our 10th week of pregnancy, Bethany ended up having to have a D&C surgery to remove our baby.
Through this extremely sad time of suffering, God really drew us closer to Himself. He reminded us daily that He and only He is Sovereign and in control. One of the many scripture passages that we clung to for comfort was Psalm 139, especially verses 13-16,
“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there were none of them.”
It is so comforting to know that our baby, and every baby ever conceived, is in the Lord’s hands. That He knows every day He has planned for their lives before there is even one. So we are very sad for the loss of our child, but we know that God is not any less good or any less Sovereign. And we may not understand at the time why certain things happen, but they are for our good and for God’s glory. “And we know that God works all things together for good for those who love God, for those who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28).
Through the experience of pregnancy, the Lord has also really shown us our desire to be parents and to raise a child in a loving, Christian home, and teach them the good news of Jesus (the gospel). While we would still love to get pregnant again one day, and are open to that whenever the Lord wills, we feel that He is calling us right now to adoption. And we are excited to share this journey with you, our friends and family! We know that “children are a gift of the Lord” (Psalm 127:3) no matter how they come into your family. God gives children to parents through birth and through adoption. We desire to adopt for many reasons, one of the main reasons being that we were both adopted by God, the Creator of all things, the Giver of life and our Heavenly Father, when we became believers.
We are all born with a sinful nature bent on rebellion from God as a result of the fall in the garden of Eden (Rom. 3:10-18, 23). “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God” (Romans 5:8-9). Jon accepted the gospel, and was therefore adopted by God as a son at age 8. Bethany was adopted by God, upon believing in the gospel of Christ at age 20. We both have a relationship with God our Father, thanks to Jesus’ death that atoned for our sin.
“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were born under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son (Jesus) into our hearts, crying “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God” (Galatians 4:4-7).
We want to share the love of God through adoption to any child God will choose for us. We are fortunate to know about 8 couples at our church who have adopted thru the Foster-to-Adopt program in KY. After praying about adoption for months, we began classes for the Foster-to-Adopt program in May. We will complete the 10-week training period at the end of June. We are told we will most likely be approved sometime between August and October to accept a child into our home. We have applied for an infant, anywhere from newborn to 6 months old, and are praying that the Lord would equip us for some long sleepless nights (as any parent of a newborn experiences). We will be acting as Foster parents for an unknown amount of time, typically somewhere between 6 and 22 months, and would be able to legally adopt the child as soon as the parental rights are terminated (if they are terminated).
We want to ask for your prayerful support as we continue to seek the Lord’s wisdom about His plan for our lives and our family. We would love if you would join us in praying for our future child! We pray that God would protect them and keep them safe and that God would give us grace to parent them in a way that is pleasing and Glorifying to Him. We pray that God would help us to rely on Him alone during the uncertainty of the fostering period, and to never forget that He is Sovereign and has “plans to prosper us and not to harm us, to give us a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11) as we wait until the day we can (Lord willing) adopt the child. We have realized through the loss of our own birth child that we have no more control over the health or development of a child during pregnancy than we do over the adoption process; and we are thankful, that in both, we can rely on the Sovereignty and goodness of the God we serve.We are so thankful for all that God has been teaching us about Himself throughout this adoption process, and we hope that He will use it to teach you and draw you to Himself as well. We also want you to know that we will be praying that the Lord would be preparing the hearts of all of our friends and family to love this child as our own, just as we will.
There is an awesome book about adoption that we are reading right now, and want to recommend to all of you. It is called “Adopted for Life” by Russell Moore. We hope that you will have a chance to read it!
With Love, Jonathan & Bethany "