Thursday, October 1, 2015

#AdoptionRocks: In Her Own Words, Part 2

Melissa when we met
in 3rd grade
As I explained in my previous post, I'm featuring an entire month of guest blog posts focused on ADOPTION to help raise awareness for #worldadoptionday November 9. Noonday Collection has a special partnership with October 1 - November 9 that will  (hopefully) result in hundreds of thousands of dollars being raised for the sole purpose of helping bring children into their forever homes. It makes me want to host adoption fundraisers Every. Single. Day. to make it happen for all these precious children and these amazing families waiting to welcome them home. 

To kick off this amazing month, I cannot think of another person in the world that I would rather have share her adoption story! While we hate to say it this way, she really is one of my oldest friends. I have known Melissa (Head) Humphrey for over 30 years. She quickly became one of my best friends after I moved to Mena, Arkansas, in 3rd grade. We even had best friend pictures made in high school with coordinating outfits and mile-high bangs (I'll save those pictures for another post! You're welcome.). It was - and still is - the real deal friendship that has spanned miles and moves and marriages and children.

Reports of Melissa's earliest days.
Although I've known her for years, Melissa's story is still painful to think about for me - from so many perspectives. She was abandoned by her mother in a green house in Austin, Texas, at just two weeks old. The anguish her mother must have felt to walk away from her precious child, believing that this was the best - or possibly only - choice she had. I can't even, y'all. Then there's the anticipation that Melissa's adoptive parents and older brother must have felt in all those months of waiting for their baby girl to come home. And even now, how as an adult and an amazing mother to her own little boys, all the emotions involved as Melissa continues to process all the information she has since learned about her earliest's just so much.

After her discovery in the greenhouse, Melissa spent 4 months in foster care before finally arriving at home with her amazing parents, who have loved - and continue to love -  her oh-so well. Had it not been for her sweet parents' obedience and faithfulness to respond to the desire God put on their hearts to grow their family through adoption, I would have never had the gift of her friendship.

** An important side note  Melissa's mom still ranks as my ALL-TIME FAVORITE TEACHER! Shout out to Mrs. Head's 5th grade class!

During my recent trip to Dallas, I asked Melissa if she'd be willing to share her story on my blog and her perspective on adoption; I can't wait to share it with you today! Melissa was also asked last year by her church family to share her story as part of their focus on how we are adopted in Christ, and you can watch the video here (And trust me, you want to...grab a tissue!).


Melissa with her parents, Melba & Joe Head,
on her wedding day.
Adoption is one of my favorite things, because it always saves more than one life. Of course it saves the life of the child, but I’m willing to bet you’d have a hard time finding adoptive parents who would say their lives weren’t also saved by the opportunity to welcome the blessing of a child into their lives.

Adoption is also one of my favorite things because it’s what brought me to my family. Even though I was abandoned as an infant by my birthmother, my adoptive parents chose to have me as part of their family. Actually, it was God who orchestrated it all.

“I was thrust into Your arms at my birth. You have been my God from the moment I was born.” – Psalms 22:10 NLT

Melissa (4 months old), the
day after coming home

Isn't she the cutest?
My parents and big brother had prayed for a baby for many years, and God said “yes” to their prayers in His perfect timing and placed me in their arms. My birthmother was selfless enough to give me life, and my adoptive parents were selfless enough to give me “a” life.

I really wish there weren’t 101,840 children in foster care, waiting to be adopted (as of 2013). And that’s just in the United States alone! I spent the first four months of my life in a very loving foster home, but that wasn’t where I was meant to stay. God knew exactly where He wanted my forever home to be. Those 101,840 children desperately need forever homes, too.

I also wish there weren’t more than 3,000 American babies killed by abortion every single day (as of 2011). Staggering, huh? An alternate – but also staggering – statistic is that in the U.S., there are approximately two million infertile couples waiting to adopt. After some quick math, supposing that, starting tomorrow, no more abortions took place … at those rates, it would take less than two years for each one of those couples to adopt a baby into their homes and into their hearts. We must look for ways to wrap our arms around these scared, pregnant women, to encourage them, to love them, and to let them know that there’s a better option.

Every child deserves a chance at life – whether inside or outside the womb.

“Don’t you see that children are God’s best gift?” – Psalm 127:3 MSG
Melissa with her husband, Chad, and their precious boys, Carter and Chase.
What can we do about it? To make it even more personal, what can you do about it?
You might be thinking, “I just can’t adopt” or “Those situations don’t apply to me.” But what if – outside of the scenarios described above – there was something you could do? What if you really could make a difference? What about God’s plan for you? What about God’s plan for them? Have you asked Him?


When I think about Melissa's story, I am so grateful that her birth mother chose LIFE and gave Joe and Melba the chance to love Melissa and give her the home she felt could not provide. Melissa's faith and obedience are such a testament to God's provision for her throughout her life. She is a Godly woman who is an amazing mama to her two funny little boys and loves her husband well. She is the kind of friend we all need in our lives; I'm so thankful God chose Mena, Arkansas, as her home so that our paths crossed and I can call her my friend. 

We each have a role to play in the adoption crisis in our world. You may not feel you've been called to adopt, but maybe your family would be a safe place for a foster child to grow and flourish while he or she waits for a forever home. Maybe you could provide a temporary loving home for a child coming to America for medical treatment. How precious would this gift be to a family separated from their child during this difficult time? 

Maybe you're not ready for those options or maybe just feel you've passed that window in your life. Reality is --> Adoption is expensive, some reaching well over $30,000. I don't know very many - ok, any -  adoptive families who would turn away your financial gift to support their adoption journey.

And y'all. WE CAN ALL PRAY. Pray for the millions of children around the world longing to be loved and cherished -- and just WANTED by someone...anyone. We can pray for the adoptive families as they wait: for peace in their hearts, smooth transitions into their homes and even financial provision.

Wherever you are with this situation, every Christ-follower has a responsibility to care for the orphan (Head to James 1:27, if you need to SEE it!). I ask you to earnestly seek His face over these next few weeks as you read these amazing stories and consider how He is calling YOU to respond -- and then ACT.

Stay tuned for the next post from my sweet friend, Meaghan! She and her husband have recently grown their family through adoption a second time and have such a beautiful family!

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