3 Encouraging Stories of Adoption

Rob Schwarzwalder is senior vice president of the Family Research Council.
Rob Schwarzwalder is senior vice president of the Family Research Council. | (Family Research Council)

In the midst of the distressing stories of Planned Parenthood's heartless abortion industry and the gruesomeness inherent in destroying a child within the womb, compassionate and committed people in our country and in many other places in the world are putting their lives and incomes on the line in adopting children who desperately need families and homes.

Here are three such examples:

1. A Family Formed by Ebola and Compassion

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Donnell Tholley is a nurse in Sierra Leone, Africa who adopted, essentially on impulse, the baby of a woman who died of the Ebola epidemic. The little child, now nine months old, is now named Donnell Tholley, Jr., and is cared for by "his new grandmother and his great-grandmother, Marie, who calls him her 'little husband'."

As reported by CBS News:

Tholley's cell phone displays a picture of the two of them. Tholley, whose working hours have diminished as the epidemic has waned, wants to get married and have more children someday so his son will have brothers and sisters. "People say I made a brave decision," he says. "The task is very hard, but God being our helper, up 'til now it is going very well."

2. A Baby Named Noah

Anna Quinlan and her husband had a child biologically but chose to adopt.

Here's how she describes her relationship with Noah, her second son:

I am just one of two mothers he can claim; his biological mother gave him life, and I am teaching him how to live it. And in the gap between her and me, there is a whole village of people who have stepped in to help write Noah's story. He is better for it. I am, too … The story of adoption can be complicated and messy and beautiful all at once. Which makes sense, because life is complicated and messy and beautiful all at once. And so are children. All of them. It's our job to help them write their stories and fill in their gaps, wherever those gaps might be.

3. Carlos, the Single Dad of Two Boys

Miguel and Antonio "were placed in foster care in 2001 because of abuse and neglect. They lived in several foster and group homes, and the two fought constantly — so much so that social workers considered separating them."

They were adopted by a single man named Carlos, who helped the boys understand "what it meant to be siblings and to be part of a family."

As reported by the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption,

"The defining moment when Miguel and Antonio knew they had found their forever family was when Antonio became sick and had to be admitted to the hospital. Carlos rushed to be there with him and his brother to care for them. They now knew that Carlos would be there for them — through the good times and the bad. The trio officially became a family in April of 2012. Being in a stable family with their adoptive dad, Miguel and Antonio have become closer than ever and respect each other more. And now they have a father who will support and help them achieve their dreams."

These are beautiful stories, but there is no denying that adopting can be hard. Three women who had committed to my wife and me that the children they were bearing would be ours changed their minds, one of them after we had taken her newborn baby home. We understood and understand; giving up one's child would be so painful.

Adoption can also be complex, from the, sometimes, many people involved to international travel to domestic rules governing various aspects of the process to working, often, with adolescent women whose instability and anxiety and simple youth can make them erratic, dramatic and plain miserable.

But for most people, the difficulties and hurt and waiting are well worth it. Our three children, all adopted, have transformed our lives. And they are simply our children (they are not "adopted" — they "were adopted").

Mothers who are unable to care for their children and surrender them to those who will love and nurture them are brave, self-sacrificing, and so very loving. They bring joy to those who long to hold children in their arms and make them their own, just as a loving Heavenly Father opens His arms to those who turn to Him for the forgiveness and new life they can gain by trusting in the death of His Son in their place.

To learn more about how adoption benefits children and parents both, read FRC's study, "Adoption Works Well."

Rob Schwarzwalder, Senior Vice-President of the Family Research Council, was a presidential appointee in the George W. Bush administration chief-of-staff for two Members of Congress. He is a longtime member of the Evangelical Theological Society."

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