Twenty-three percent of practicing Christians prefer to have biological children rather than adopt, according to a 2013 Frames study by the Barna Group. This was the story of Nathan and Jessica Goodpaster. When their son turned three, they began opening the discussion of having another child. As the months passed and Christmas drew near Jessica began to lose hope.
Close to Christmas in 2015, I just said, “Okay God, if we are supposed to have another child, give me a sign. The next morning, I turned my phone on and got the verse of the day, it was Isaiah 7:14, “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” I was like, “This is the sign, so let’s continue on”.
In that moment, Jessica set an internal deadline for herself to be pregnant by March. When March came with no pregnancy, “I was done,” Jessica said, “but, my husband wasn’t quite ready to stop believing.”
The next Sunday, the sermon was about Abraham and Sarah and how God told them they were going to have a son, but how long they were going to have to wait for a child. “After the service I was really done, I did not want to continue trying to have a biological son.” But Nathan was persistent in saying he thought they were supposed to have another child. That evening he mentioned adoption.
“Immediately I knew, that was it, that is what we were supposed to do!” Jessica exclaimed.
They began the process of adopting from China in March of 2016. They started by looking at agencies and landed on Nightlight in Lexington. Unbeknownst to them at the time, Lucy, their future daughter, entered the orphanage on the same day that they chose our adoption agency on March 9. “It was like God laid it out for us perfectly.”
One of the main hurdles we ran into was the financial aspect of how to afford adoption. They started the process of applying for grants and were approved by Lifesong through OCA’s adoption fund.
Once they were approved for the matching grant, they had an idea to sell puzzle pieces for $5-10 a piece to help get their match met. However, when Jessica put the idea up on their Lifesong fundraising website and pushed it out to her family and friends – before they could even choose a photo for the puzzle, the money was raised!
Support poured in through meals, finances and prayer – but ultimately, Jessica saw this as a blessing, God taking care of us. The story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in Daniel 3 kept coming to mind throughout the process of fundraising. When they were being thrown into the fire they said, “God will be with us, but even if he doesn’t he is still God”. God was there for the Goodpasters as they journeyed through this process and it wasn’t always what they thought or how they thought it would go, but God was in control the whole time.
“Before we traveled to pick up Lucy we had the recommended cash we needed to take and a family at church walked up to us and gave us $500, in addition. When we got to China there was an issue with one of our rooms in one of the provinces we were in and to fix this issue we had to pay exactly $500 and we had the cash in hand.” God provided.
“We have a friend who I was talking to one day about adoption as this lonely journey – people just don’t get as excited about adoption as they do about having a pregnancy. My friend decided to show us how much we were cared for and she orchestrated a “team Goodpaster” campaign that raised $1,000 for our adoption to encourage us that we do have community. God used lots of people who had that passion to help our daughter or who had the means or ability to help us, step up and care for us and our little girl. God blessed us and then in return, God blessed them by giving them this opportunity for them to serve.”
OCA came alongside the Goodpaster family through financial support, but within the Family Support ministry, OCA offers ongoing post-placement care. OCA Connect Groups, led by local professionals in the field of adoption and foster care and lay leaders, offer a safe space for families to talk about the joys and pains associated with caring for a child who has experienced loss and trauma. The community that occurs during these meetings allows parents to know that they aren’t alone and the lonely journey of adoption doesn’t have to continue on in the homecoming of your child. Darren and Stacia Washausen lead OCA with experience in this journey, they have adopted twice internationally and have a deep desire to fill gaps and meet needs using OCA as their means of caring for adoptive families.
Learn more about how you can get involved in caring for adoptive and foster families through making a donation or request help in your journey as you care for kids from hard places. OCA is here to equip you and connect you to opportunities to care!