The VanDerHart Family Love Story

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Jonalee: I am the oldest girl in a large family and had the privilege of helping my mom at home with my younger siblings. I changed my first diaper at 5 years old and never got tired of holding a baby or playing with a toddler. I felt that God had called me to be a mother and I couldn’t wait to grow up and be just like my mom. I babysat all throughout high school and was a nanny during the summer in college. It really felt as though God was giving me all of the learning opportunities I needed to be the best possible mother for my future children.

When Steven and I found out that we weren’t going to be able to have biological children, we were devastated. It was in May of  2013, and I remember getting a phone call at work in the middle of the day, which was unusual. Steven had received the phone call that told us there was no chance of that ever happening for us. We met up at home and just held each other and prayed. It was a very difficult thing for us to go through, but we went through it together and were able to come out stronger on the other side. We questioned God, we were angry at times, but throughout all of the processing that went on that summer God we were led back to the truth that God’s ways are higher than ours and his plan is perfect even when it doesn’t feel like it at the time.

Steven: I was raised in a warm and loving family but from an early age, I still felt that something was missing. It wasn’t until age 14 when I came to know the Lord that the empty space was filled through my adoption in Christ. It was at this point that I fully comprehended the magnitude of true love through Christ’s sacrifice.

Adoption is a gift. Don't get me wrong, it's stressful and scary and can change your world in a second, but there is true beauty in adoption