One week before their wedding, doctors told Joe and Kristen they may not ever have children. “We were shocked and devastated,” Kristen shared. “We had to rethink our future and accept that it wouldn’t look the way we thought it should.” But they clung to Romans 5:3-5. “We rejoice in our suffering, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts…”
“We’ve learned that God uses suffering to mold our hearts to become more like Him,” they shared. “He has a heart for children and orphans, and now because of everything He has allowed us to go through, we do too!”
For years, Joe and Kristen knew that adoption was in their future, but it was difficult to decide when and how to start the process. They waited, prayed, took time to heal emotionally, and prepared a home for their future children. In 2015, they took a training class at Covenant Care. “We were blown away by what we learned. Covenant Care was NOT just another adoption agency. They have a huge heart for the pregnant women who come to them seeking counseling and advice. We love that this agency doesn’t find babies for families, but finds families for babies,” Kristen said. “Covenant Care desires to see Christ restore and redeem the lives of women who face unplanned pregnancies, and we wanted to be part of that.”
In April 2017, Joe and Kristen learned they would become parents to a baby girl. They felt so blessed to meet Kara Lynn’s birthfather and birthmother. “We connected immediately and got to hear their story. When they showed us pictures of their beautiful baby girl, there were more tears – tears mixed with relief and pain, but most of all, tears of joy!” Kristen reflected. They keep in touch with Kara’s birth family each month through letters and pictures.
“So many times, we don’t understand why God doesn’t answer our prayers immediately, but He knows and sees things that we don’t. Our life is in His hands completely,” Kristen said. “He is a wonderful Father who really does LOVE giving great gifts to his children! Our sweet Kara Lynn is proof.”