Monday, November 26, 2012

The Wadenpfuhl Family ~ 31 Families of HOPE: Day 26

Meet the Wadenpfuhl Family!: John & Brandy Wadenpfuhl, Dominic, Gabriel and Analeigh

Brandy, what first tugged on your heart about the Fatherless?

Adoption has always been a passion of ours – it was actually a stipulation for us getting married.  I can’t speak for my husband, but for me I just always had the desire to adopt one day.  We tried to conceive for a few years after we were married, ever learning of various roadblocks.  Long before we exhausted all avenues to conceive a biological child, we turned our focus back to adoption – not to rescue a child, but because we were selfish and wanted to be parents.  Our desire to adopt had led us to a group at our church focusing on those interested in adoption/orphan care.  It was through that group that we first learned of God’s heart for the Fatherless and began to understand the extent of the passion He had given us.

Tell us one unique thing about your family/ministry.

Our boys are only 7.5 months apart and we got all our children when they were first born (4 days, 1.5 hours, and 1.5 hours).  Prior to having a family, we spent almost 5 years researching adoption and foster care and networking with others.  This knowledge has helped me work with others by simply answering questions about adoption methods/requirements to walking someone through the process from potential match to placement.

What was one challenge either before, during or after your child(ren) came home?

Waiting was always very difficult for us. Not just the seemingly forever wait for “the call” with our first child, but more so once we were matched.  Our first child was already born and he was placed with us the same day as we were matched.  Our second child was a 2 month wait between match and placement.  During that time the bio mom had lost touch with the agency so we were not sure at all if it was still going to happen or not.  The day we got the call saying she was in labor was such a relief because we at least knew the wait was over – regardless of the outcome.  Since our daughter was a bio sibling of our younger boy, we were considered matched when she was very early in her pregnancy.  This time things went much smoother than before (thankfully), but just like our second son, her placement was under “legal risk”.  This meant that the rights had not been terminated and she could still change her mind at any time (even after we left the hospital).  I can’t say we were “scared” but it was a challenging time as we waited to see if she would choose to go through with her decision.  We knew we could not do anything that would affect the outcome so we relied 100% on God and trusted Him that whatever the outcome was, it was His will and the best for everyone.

If you could tell a family that was considering adoption one bit of advice what would it be?

Do not be burdened by the feeling you need to justify your path and do not allow others to cast doubt on what God has placed on your heart.  We struggled with this for a long time – everyone wanted to know why we had chosen what we had chosen (international vs domestic, age, race, openness to special needs or not, open vs closed, etc) and I tried often to satisfy their questioning.  I finally learned that my answers would never suffice.  Ultimately, God was leading us down the path HE designed.  We didn’t understand it, no matter how much we tried to, and surely we did not choose it, but we knew it was our path - the path that He created for us, not anyone else.  This path would lead us to the children God had created for us to parent and to be in our family.

What is one verse that was especially encouraging to you during your adoption journey?

The verses we leaned on seemed to change depending on what the hardest thing was at that moment, but this verse really brought us peace.  This was our reminder that God always fulfills His promises, but not necessarily in our time or in the way we imagine.

And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised. –Hebrews 6:15

Share one blessing that has happened because you said YES and followed God on this journey.

We have a family!!  We did not just grow by our three children, but we grew by 3 children, and lots and lots of their bio family.  (As I explained to my niece, how can we define family to my children as those who are blood related?  We define family by love – regardless of blood/biological relationship.) This journey has opened many doors to share adoption and God.  The response to the fact we have open adoptions is always shock.  I really enjoy sharing with others how an open adoption is an amazing blessing to us as parents and our children – it is truly an example of love multiplied.  The best part is adoption opens the door for us to share God – He created adoption when we were offered adoption into His family as full heirs as siblings to Jesus Christ.  Every time we share our adoption story, we get to share how God broke unbelievable barriers, how His timing was perfect in every way (and how the wait made us better parents), how God knew which children belong to which parents, and His love.

If you could share one other thing that is meaningful to you on the topic of adoption/orphan care, what would it be?

Foster care and adoption are not the only ways to support adoption/orphan care.  If God has placed this on your heart – find some way to get involved to help the Fatherless (support an adopting/foster family, become a CASA, join an adoption/orphan care group, etc)!  If adoption/foster care is your path, it is one of the toughest things to do, but beyond far the most rewarding!  God has stretched us and grown us like we could have never imagined through this journey (and we are not done yet!).  So many times we found ourselves face down in tears with nothing left to give.  No answer to our direct questions “when will it be our turn”, “why them and not us”, “how will this ever work”, etc, just God’s peace overflowing from within that He was with us and Jesus was carrying us through the hardest times as we walked our path towards our family.

Thank you, Wadenpfuhl Family, for sharing HOPE with us here at Reaching Hearts!  Be sure to check out their family blog so you can see God continue to work in and through their family.

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Be sure not to miss the rest of the "31 Families of HOPE" series:

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