How did you come to know Christ?
Kim: I was raised in the church and baptized when I was seven years old. But, it wasn’t until my junior year of high school that I fully understood the difference between religion and a relationship with Christ. Before, I was focused on my good and bad actions, but after I began spending time in the Bible and praying regularly, my faith and love for the Lord deepened and grew into a relationship.
Zech: After attending church with a friend for a while, I trusted the Lord in high school, but didn’t really know what a dependent relationship with Christ looked like. Through a rough season in our marriage, I learned to fully depend on the Lord as my Savior.
How did you decide that adoption was right for your family?
Kim: After trusting Christ, the Lord gave me a passion for orphans that led me on trips to Russia to work with children and eventually to work as an adoption and foster care social worker for about five years. When I left the field to transition into a teaching job, I knew firsthand the need for foster and adoptive families. When our son Jonathan was eight years old, we decided to attend a foster care and adoption training class through an agency. For me, there was no question this is what I wanted for our family. At first, Zech was concerned about how emotionally difficult it would be when foster children left our home, even though family restoration is the goal. But after the first adoption training class we attended, we both knew we needed to move forward with adoption.
What does your family look like today?
When our son Jonathan was eight, we fostered a five-year-old girl named Tatianna. Shortly after, our oldest son David joined our family through a matched adoption at age 12. After a long and emotional foster road, we were able to adopt Tatianna three years later. Today, our kids aren’t so little anymore! David (22) is a junior at the University of North Texas, Jonathan (18) is a freshman at Hardin-Simmons University, and our youngest, Tatianna (16), is in high school.
How has God used your family’s struggles to show His faithfulness?
When we were processing the idea of fostering an older boy who had been in the system for years, someone in our community group said, “This can be the best thing that’s happened to you or this can be the worst thing that’s happened to you.” And honestly, our decision to foster and adopt has been both the worst and the best thing that’s ever happened to our family. We’ve had our daughter for ten years, and we feel like we’re just on the other side of crisis mode because of trauma she experienced early in her life. Within the last three years, the memories and the gravity of life before she was a part of our family have resurfaced, and we’re currently processing through all of this with her. Through our struggles with Tatianna, we find encouragement in Lamentations 3:21-24.
We’ve seen God’s faithfulness in David’s journey as well. There is such a contrast between what his life is and what it could’ve been if he didn’t come to our family. After almost four years of behavioral issues, and court-ordered treatment that required him to leave our home frequently in his teenage years, David was able to come back to our family permanently. We encouraged him to attend The Porch, the young adults ministry at Watermark. Kim had to practically kick him out of the car to go, but after that first night, he was thankful for what The Porch had to offer.
After getting more involved, David found biblical community and completed re:generation, Watermark’s biblical recovery ministry. None of this is a result of anything we did. God provided every step of the way. The Lord didn’t call us to step forward and then leave us. Not only are we reminded of this in the Bible, but we are able to look at our own family and be reminded of His faithfulness.
How has God used this to shape your relationship with Him?
We’ve learned to trust God with our lives and our kids’ lives. He can do a lot better than we can. We’ve learned we are not the providers, God is. Yes, as parents we’re providing for them, but even if Tatianna or David were somewhere else, God is still the Provider.
A constant theme throughout our life together has been, “God has never let us down.” Our journey has taken us from the highest highs to the lowest lows, and it’s been incredible to see and feel the Lord’s provision through it all. Seeing His promises to us fulfilled firsthand has strengthened our faith in ways we couldn’t imagine and in ways I don’t think would’ve happened apart from this journey. All of it – the highs, lows, and everything in between – is for the purpose of making us more like Jesus (Romans 8:29).