Adoption is such a rich idea. The Bible reveals that, as great as it is for a family to welcome in a child that is without a family, there is an even greater adoption. The ultimate adoption is what happens when God (our Heavenly Father) welcomes in people (spiritual orphans) into His family thru the person and work of Jesus! This spiritual adoption then creates in us a desire to care for all who are orphans (whether spiritually or relationally). James 1:27 says "Religion that is pure and undefiled before God is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world." In other words, for the Christian "horizontal adoption" is fueled by the beauty and significance of our "vertical adoption". May it be so at Sojourn.
Ephraim and Molly Costilow are in the middle of the adoption journey. They are members here at Sojourn and, if you don't know them, you will recognize Molly as one of our gifted vocalists who lead us in worship. Here is a little bit of their story. Please read it carefully, pray from them regularly and consider giving a gift to the Sojourn Adoption Fund during the month of December. Over the last 7 years, our church has given around $50,000 to assist families with adoptions! Our church will be giving the Costilows a gift in January from our Adoption Fund.
The more we have, the more we can give!
Ephraim and I have always known we wanted to have children. It wasn’t long into our marriage that I became pregnant for the first time. I remember the whirl of emotions so vividly. It felt as if I had purpose. Coming from a broken home myself, the reality of building our family felt very fulfilling. The night before a normal ultrasound checkup I began to feel uneasy. I brushed the feeling off at the time, but now know that God was trying to prepare me for what was coming next. I remember the cold room full of silence as the doctor measured our baby, trying to justify the lack of expected growth. I remember the single tear that rolled down my cheek as I tried to process the mute words coming from his mouth. Our baby had died. I was diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome), and thrown into multiple years of medications, hormone treatments, medical procedures, miscarriages, hemorrhages, and a complete loss of faith. I didn’t feel like a loved child of God; I didn’t feel anything but sorrow. I was so broken by the continued loss that I began to shut everyone out, including God. Eventually when I reached the bottom and I couldn’t carry any further pain, I ended all medication and ceased all treatments. It was a closed book on our dreams. Over time my heart began to thaw. With the help of a dear friend’s guidance and the never ending support of my husband, I started throwing honest laments towards God. Just opening up that dialogue with Him became a platform of healing for me. No more faking fine. I began to ask the dreaded question of why. I felt like I was a “good” person. I needed to remember that the worst thing imaginable happened to the best person, Jesus. Humbled, I started to rebuild.
Adoption came up in conversation from time to time, but was never really something I felt drawn to. As time went on, I started feeling a pull in my heart. I began picturing our life with a baby that needed us just as much as we needed them. Suddenly Ephraim and I found ourselves reading every inch of adoption information we could get our fingers on. After much prayer and reflection, confident in God’s path for us, Ephraim and I found ourselves sitting inside the Bethany Christian Services adoption office. We filled out all the paperwork and attended all the meetings. We were so sure that God’s plan for our family’s growth was through adoption, we just didn’t see how it would become reality. If you’ve ever looked into adoption, you know that it is very expensive. Since our entire savings was spent on medical bills, short of us robbing a bank, God was going to have to pull off something miraculous. We put it into His hands and hopped on the ride. We saved and raised the first 10k required to proceed in the process. We completed our home study and are now an official “waiting family”. Seeing God’s hands through this entire process has brought us to our knees. We could get a call any day! We will either be matched with a birth family before delivery, or we will get a call telling us our baby is waiting at the hospital. When we go to the hospital, we need to have the final payment ready. We are still in need of $12,000. When we look at that number we are overwhelmed, but quickly remember how far we’ve already come. We are so thankful to attend a church that loves and celebrates adoption as much as we do. Please consider praying with us on our journey.
With much love,