by Dottie Story
Dottie is an adoptive mom of three and an adoptee herself. Her husband, Stephen, works as Covenant Care’s Executive Director.
Adoption has given me a visual picture of the beauty of God’s redemption. Adoption is like a huge marquee sign pointing me to my Abba Father. I can’t think about adoption without first thinking of Him!
Stephen and I began our adoption journey immediately after a long struggle with infertility. What is infertility? It’s one of those wretched excruciatingly painful reminders of the fall of humanity. It’s the inability to participate and relish in a God-given desire – a good desire! So we were in the midst of infertility and then waiting to adopt on top of that.
I remember the struggle well, but what stands out most vividly is how the Lord continually turned my head to look at Him during this time. The Lord had me reflecting on my own personal adoption story and my spiritual adoption and showing me the parallels within. He was graciously and lovingly reminding me to look at Him. “Look at me, Dottie. Look at me. Don’t be afraid. Just look at me.”
So, we adopted our first child but I couldn’t for the life of me shake away the infertility stench. Seriously, I was so frustrated. I was holding in my arms a beautiful baby girl whom we had prayed for and longed for and anticipated and I still cried at the sight of a pregnant belly or a mother nursing her baby. I felt so ashamed. Over time, by His grace and strength and despite my brokenness the infertility pain has faded. I now can’t figure out how I ever thought my plans compared to His.
Whether infertility is part of your story or not – if you’re adopting and you’re not constantly learning something new about our Abba Father then pray, because adoption is electric! Does anyone else feel it? So you decide to adopt and fill out the paperwork and perhaps you’re like my husband and I – anticipating the arrival of a healthy baby just like we’d always wanted.
But adoption doesn’t work that way. At least it didn’t for us. We met our baby girl’s birthmother when she was pregnant. That was hard. We met our second child’s birthmother when he was a year old. Hard again. We met our third child’s birthmother when he was two years old. Hard. Hard. Hard. I can’t tell you how many times we doubted that we could do something when before we knew it we were seeing our feet moving forward. The Lord would tell us to look at Him and He would turn our eyes toward Him. The Lord would tell us to trust Him and He would give us the faith to do whatever the task was.
A good portion of our adoption experience has happened within the Covenant Care community. I love Covenant Care. My husband is the director, so I have no choice but to love it, right? But it’s more than that. I feel a personal love for this ministry inside and out. I love the ministry of adoption and that’s what Covenant Care is all about. That’s what the Lord has given them the ability to do well. I’m friends with several staff members and I so appreciate the fact that they can talk to me in a personal, yet profoundly professional way and it’s never removed from the heart of the ministry – the Gospel.
Adoption has highlighted and corrected many things in my mind…one of them being that it’s not all about me! This is not about me fulfilling my desire to become a Mama so I can complete my family. No. Covenant Care looks at the triad of adoption. Not just the adoptive family. Not just the child, but the birthparents too.
And this is not just something that they say that they do. They really do walk with everyone involved in the process. Because they do this so well it has caused me to reflect on and better understand my responsibility as a believer. My responsibility to think about the Adoption triad as redemption for His glory alone. Whether I’m talking to our children about their adoption stories or I’m preparing to write a letter to one of their birthmothers, it’s always prayerfully through the lens of the Gospel. I am constantly thinking about how my attitude, speech, and actions ought to reflect my Abba Father.
Covenant Care is really three ministries in one…as it should be. A three-in-one ministry composed of staff members that work night and day…staff members with families of their own…staff members with struggles of their own…staff members that continue to do what they do with excellence because they have a deep passion for adoption, a passion that is fueled by their love for Gospel truth.
So, this is why I joined the Augusta triathlon to raise money for Covenant Care. It’s why Stephen and I give every month to support the ministry. It’s why I’m asking you to make a donation now during the Annual Giving Campaign.
With all of these opportunities I’ve tried to think of how I could “sell” Covenant Care. How can I convey my deep love of the ministry so that others will be moved and convinced to support Covenant Care? I’ve realized that this ministry doesn’t need a pretty little package and bow to “sell” its mission and ideas. Simplify. Look inside. Peel away all of the rich layers and see the heart, the core…see the Gospel.