“Through adoption, Christ did a miracle in me. If He can change me, God can redeem anyone.” – Brendon Marks

“The day I graduated from high school, I found out that my girlfriend at the time was pregnant,” said Brendon Marks.

“I was headed to college on a scholarship, so my first thought was to find a quick way out and ask her to get an abortion. I had such a skewed view of obedience and God’s love back then.

“I was raised morally and culturally a ‘Christian’ and had definitely heard the gospel. I went to a Christian camp when I was in 7th grade and realized I was broken and in need of a Savior. But that profession never translated into a relationship with Christ. I didn’t understand that God wasn’t trying to rip me off. He was trying to spare me a lot of pain.

“After getting the news about the pregnancy, I asked, ‘Why me?’ a thousand times, begging God for an answer. Other guys I knew were sexually active and their girlfriends weren’t pregnant. Why did this happen to me? The truth is that I was reaping what I sowed and God was just about to show me how big He really was.

“My former girlfriend told me that she planned to give birth and place the baby for adoption. Her parents were in full support of that decision. She hoped to find Christian parents so the child would be raised in a godly home.

“I went off to school at SMU and conversations continued about the adoption. We decided we wanted an open adoption, so we would know our daughter. Over the next several months, God demonstrated His power to me through the adoption process. Through His Word, it became clear that I could either continue to do my own thing and experience the consequences, or choose to follow Him.

“I was at the hospital when Sonora came into this world. There I was, looking at my daughter, who I once wanted to be aborted when I was living by my own fleshly desires. I was totally wrecked as I handed her over to Danny and Heather Lilly, the couple who would adopt and raise her. I knew it was not loving to keep Sonora. But that was definitely the hardest day of my life.

“Danny and Heather lived in Houston at the time. So every month or so, I would go visit Sonora. I’m not sure how God did it, but over time, I really became part of Danny and Heather’s family. They were so gracious and have accepted me like a brother and sister would. We remain close, and I think that is a testament to how much God has done in all of our lives. There’s no other way that could happen other than through Christ.

“After Sonora was born, I experienced my first taste of community. I started going to Men’s Bible Study at Watermark and also took part in re:generation, Watermark’s biblical recovery ministry. The Lord provided a group of guys who really lived out the true meaning of community. Through these men, God’s Word, and trials and mistakes, I have developed a true and right understanding of who God is. Pursuing Him has been completely fulfilling.

“My wife, Kate, and I met each other through mutual friends in our community. It was really great to date under God’s design with purity and marriage in mind. We went through Merge, which helped get all our struggles out on the table. Talking about my past relationships was difficult, but we worked through it.

“I told Kate about Sonora before we even started dating. Kate was always very gracious and supportive of that relationship. When the day came for us to be married, Sonora was our flower girl, and Sonora’s adoptive dad was in the wedding as well. That day was a beautiful reminder of God’s redemption in my life. Through Him, I was able to get started on a new path.

“Through this experience, I’ve gone from thinking of God as a killjoy to finding great fulfillment and life in God’s Word and design for my life. It’s fun to look back now and see that God took my sin and transformed it into something good. If none of this had happened, I might still be in pursuit of what is lifeless and empty.

“My hope is that God will use our story to help save the lives of unborn babies. I want men and women who are facing an unplanned pregnancy to know that God can be made more famous through their situation. Choosing life is a way to glorify God in an amazing way for 40 weeks. I know the despair and emptiness that can come, but I’ve never regretted choosing life for my daughter, and I found a lot of hope in Christ as a result. Through adoption, Christ did a miracle in me. If He can change me, God can redeem anyone.”

If you are facing an unexpected pregnancy the Thrive Women’s Clinic offers a safe environment to help you through this time of uncertainty.