Adoption Stories

Adam & Valarie Clark

For Val and I, God always seems to connect the dots in reverse. As a married couple and parents of three children age three and under, the journey forward is just beginning. Yet as we look back at the last year, we are amazed at the things that God has done to bring our family of five together. In 2011, we began the process of adopting from the Democratic Republic of Congo after doing some research into the immense population of orphans left in the wake of one of history’s deadliest civil wars. Several months after we had gotten our referral for our now 11-month-old Ezra, we got pregnant with our now 7-month-old Max. We did not have a clue how we were going to manage at the time, but we determined that we were as committed to the little boy in the referral picture as we were to the little boy growing in Val’s tummy. So we pressed forward with our adoption.

Not long after we received our referral for that sweet baby boy, we were given some very unique and heart wrenching news about his story. As it turns out, he was brought to the orphanage by a social worker along with his birth mother, a beautiful 12-year-old girl, just a child herself. We do not know all the details of her story, but we do know that she was rescued from a life of trafficking. The orphanage, which is owned and operated by our adoption agency, took her in, offered her shelter, food and even training towards a job of her own. We had the privilege of meeting her when we traveled to the DRC to bring Ezra home. It was a short conversation, but one that is incredibly important to our family story, and that we will cherish forever.

On November 24, 2012, Val, Ezra and I were greeted at Fort Wayne International Airport by an enthusiastic group of family and close friends; with our three-year-old Miles front and center ready to hug his new baby brother.

A house with two babies in it has made for a wild couple of months, particularly with Ezra bringing home some germs that got us all sick for the first few weeks!

Like I said though, God has a way of connecting the dots in reverse for us. Now as we look back at our completed adoption process, we see His faithfulness in the timing of our pregnancy and the completion of our adoption, the way that our community rallied around us in getting Ezra home, the profound impact that Ezra has had on our view of God’s love for us, and the way that God redeemed Ezra’s birth mother out of a heart-breaking and dangerous situation through our adoption agency and their orphanage in the Congo. To say our story had some unexpected, and even difficult, moments in it is putting it mildly, but we have experienced the rich truth that our God truly withholds no good thing (Psalm 84:11) from us.

Adam & Valarie Clark
The Miracle of Adoption

Our adoption journey began just one year ago but has been in our hearts for quite some time. Even as children, both Jeremy and I hoped that our future family would include adopted children in addition to biological children. Soon after we decided to start a family, I found out that I needed to take a temporary medication that would have harmed an unborn child. Unable to carry a child for the 9 month duration of the medication, we started looking into adoption. After much prayer and research, we started the paperwork last August.

On Saturday, March 6, 2010, a miracle happened, but we did not know it yet. We were going about our normal lives, helping some friends move into their new home, doing yard work, and cleaning the house. We prayed that night, as we always did, that God would protect and comfort the birthmother of our child, that our baby would be safe, and that we would soon be united as a family.

In most domestic infant adoptions, the adoptive parents are matched with the birthparents a few months before the child’s due date. We heard stories about couples that were surprised and got a "doorstep" baby, but it is uncommon so we did not expect it for ourselves. We assumed that we would have a month or two to become emotionally and physically prepared to have a child.

On Monday, March 8th, we received a call from an adoption agency in Florida. They told us that there was a baby girl born two days earlier who needed a family, and asked if we would be interested. They sent us some paperwork, mostly family history questions answered by the birthmother and hospital records, to look over before giving them an answer. We met over our lunch hour to pray, go over information, and to call the agency with more questions.

That afternoon we told the agency that yes, we did want this baby girl and yes, we would get there as soon as we could! At this point, all we knew was that we had a healthy baby girl with a Jamaican heritage waiting for us in Florida, and we had no baby items! After a quick email to the Gateway Woods staff, we had a car full of baby clothes, bottles, blankets, a car seat, baby carriers, a diaper bag, bibs, burp cloths, and much more! What a blessing the Gateway Woods family is!

Soon after arriving at the agency on Wednesday, March 10th, we signed the adoption paperwork and then we met our daughter, Adilynn Grey, for the first time. We spent many hours just looking at her, touching her, praying for her, and thanking and praising God for our precious "doorstep" baby. In fact, we still do those things with awe and wonder. Our Father has blessed our family so much with this little girl. She is fearfully and wonderfully made and it is our privilege to raise her and introduce her to Jesus. We pray that she will be used mightily for God’s kingdom and that her life will bless many others for God’s glory.

Jeremy & Kristi Reinhard, Adoptive Parents
Into the Arms of Jesus

I am told that our adoption story is somewhat unconventional. To me it is the same as every other story written by our God when His people answer a call He has placed on their life – an exciting, epic tale filled with grace, love, sadness, faith, frustration and hope.

Before our home study was even completed here in Indiana, we were chosen to be the parents of twin girls through Adoption by Shepherd Care, which is an agency in Florida that Gateway Woods partners with. God works fast when He needs to, but our family wasn’t quite ready for Him to work that fast, especially in the area of finances! In less than one week, God provided $25,000 and the wonderful staff at Gateway Woods finished our home study quickly. We traveled to Florida and met our new daughters, Macy Jean and Gaby Hope.

Gaby’s story is a long and detailed one that is still being written even as she now lives in Heaven with Jesus. Our entire journey with Gaby can be read at our family blog,, but I would love to share a little of it here with you. We are blessed that Macy is now a healthy, happy little girl and she brings our family much joy as we see God working in her life, even at such a young age. Gaby was born on January 19, 2010, and entered the world physically fighting to live. She was seven weeks premature, had congenital heart disease-hypoplastic right heart, lung disease, gastrointestinal issues, and many other medical complications. But these conditions were just what she fought against, not what defined her.

Gaby was a stubborn little girl. She only liked those she chose to like and yelled at everyone else. Thankfully for us, she loved her family. She was precious. Her delicate hands were probably my favorite thing that God created on her little body. They were so sweet. One of our family’s treasured items is a mold of her hand that some sweet nurses at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Indianapolis made for us. Looking at it and touching it makes me smile.

Gaby spent six of her seven months on earth in hospitals. Our family came to know and love many special people during our times at those facilities. In the end, God blessed us with 37 busy, hectic and crazy days at our home in Fort Wayne with Gaby. Looking back, I wish I had cherished them more. They were special days filled with family, fun, and love.

Gaby went from my arms to the arms of Jesus on August 12, 2010. Our family of six is now working through the grieving process of losing a daughter and sister. We covet your prayers of protection over our entire family. There are many dark days behind us, but we continue to cling to the eternal hope we have through Christ, eternal life in Heaven with Him and our Gaby! Until that time comes, we will honor the One who gave her to us and continue to thank Him for the gift of Gaby Hope.

Shelley Brown, Adoptive Parent

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