November is National Adoption Month, and as we have been thinking about the importance and blessing of adoption, my mind has been continuously drawn to a family at Faith Church. I knew that their stories of foster care and adoption were so encouraging, so I asked them to share some of their story with us. May I introduce you to the Brownfield family.
Justin and Lydia Brownfield attend and are actively involved in Faith Church. A former intern here at Vision of Hope, Lydia has much experience with loving and helping others. As a couple, they both have a heart for children, and felt God leading them to become foster parents, which led to a few amazing additions to their family! Here are the highlights from my interview with Lydia:
How did you and Justin meet?
“Justin and I met at a college hang-out at church the week after I started my internship at VOH. We were both around the church campus a lot, but didn’t really develop a friendship until we both started teaching in the same Sunday School class for 2nd graders.”
What made you and Justin decide to begin fostering?
“There was a little boy and his mommy in our lives, and we just loved them. She called me one day just at the end of her options. She needed help, but didn’t have a place for her little boy to stay. We loved having him in our home and truly grieved when they moved away. Even though we only had him in our home for a short time, we realized the impact that we had been able to have in his life … and him in ours. We decided we weren’t ok with stopping with just one child. We wanted to open our home to more children who needed a home, a mom, a dad – even if just for a short time”
What have been some challenges in fostering?
“I have had to grow tremendously in flexibility and true love for others. Growing in flexibility was a necessity for me as, I usually like to have things very structured, very precise, and to follow a schedule. That is not how fostering works J I also really had to grow in true, Christ-like love for others. This was especially true when I was given the privilege of interacting with some biological parents. When you are called to love someone who has hurt someone you love… Well, that’s when Christ’s love has to be first and foremost in your heart and mind. I’m so thankful that God loved me when I hated Him. His love has enabled me to grow in truly loving these parents who are created in His image – even though they are living in rebellion to Him.”
Tell me about your experience with adoption. What have been the challenges vs. what have been the blessings?
“Sometimes fostering/adopting can feel very lonely. There are not a lot of people who understand the unique needs adoptive parents have. Another challenge has been the added pressures of parenting. My children have experienced more in their short little lives than many adults. This presents unique challenges in our parenting. However, we have been blessed beyond measure to be a physical representation of our own adoption into God’s family. The beautiful gospel now has an added dimension for my children! My daughters especially (due to their age) are beginning to grasp the truth of the gospel in ways that I was unable to grasp until I was much older!”
Why do you think adoption is important?
“God’s Word states that true religion is caring for orphans in their distress. Adoption is a very practical way to accomplish that. And, again, I just count it such a privilege to have a physical representation of God’s adoptive love in our physical family. Adoption is a precious gift.”
Amidst the challenges, adoption truly is a blessing and a gift to both the child and the adoptive parent! Will you consider being involved in this wonderful blessing?