*All donations to the Woods family are tax deductible
Kendyll: I have always had a heart for adoption. I guess you could say that it is something God called me to at a young age. God has given me the ability to love any child wholeheartedly as if they were my biological son or daughter. When Chris and I started dating, I was so excited to discover that adoption was also a calling that God had given Chris.
Chris: I first started thinking about adoption when I was at an orphanage in Ethiopia on a mission’s trip. I saw the most vulnerable humans on the planet there: orphans. God very specifically placed adoption on my heart at that time.
What brought you together?
Chris: My wife and I met through mutual friends at church. I was actually trying to set her up with my roommate at the time (!), so it was a funny and gradual romance that eventually kindled into something more. She was a nurse and I was just getting out the Air Force and ready to start my own education in healthcare.
Kendyll: Chris and I met when he had just returned from Ethiopia and I from Belize. We bonded pretty quickly over our heart for international missions and orphan care. Some of our earliest conversations centered on these topics. We both knew that there was a hurting and needing population of children throughout the world and we both knew indelibly that the Lord had given us a mutual heart for two things: adoption and international, healthcare related missions.
Why did you adopt before?
Chris: A few years into our marriage, we relocated from Colorado to New York City for my graduate program as a physician assistant. Soon after, we knew it was the right time to start expanding our family. We started the paperwork to begin the adoption process not knowing how long it would take or if we would get pregnant in the meantime. You can watch our original story below:
Kendyll: When we started our adoption paperwork we both made the assumption that we would be adopting internationally. We had both first felt our hearts stir for adoption while overseas and that was where our passion lay. But, as we started to wrestle with the paperwork, the applications, the decisions, we quickly saw the doors for international adoption close. Instead, God seemed to be undoubtedly opening the doors for domestic infant adoption. I struggled with this at first — it did not seem to fit my plans for adoption. The Lord gently showed me that my plans were not His plans. He had a Better Plan and a specific child in mind for us.
Chris: In an unbelievable series of events, six months after we filled out our first adoption form we miraculously brought home our first child, McCoy Alexander Woods.
Kendyll: I still feel stunned when I reflect back on those days when we brought McCoy home nearly 2 years ago. We got the call that a young, 13-year-old birth mom was due to deliver in 2 weeks. She had had another family lined up to adopt her baby boy, but it had fallen through at the last minute. She had seen our profile and thought we would be a good fit. What an amazing and whirlwind experience! We had absolutely no control over the situation and knowing that brought us an amazing amount of peace. We knew without a doubt that, as certainly as the Lord had made McCoy in His image, He had created him to be our son. He is the most amazing gift we could have every asked for!
Why do you want to adopt now?
Kendyll: The Lord began to stir our hearts in the past few months to start the adoption process anew. It seems right and appropriate for McCoy to have a sibling, another child with whom to share the bond of adoption. Logistically, it also works out well as we have recently moved to Oregon to be near family. We have more social support than we have had in the past. And, moreover, we have a house now! We were living in 470 square foot apartment in New York City when we brought McCoy home. Now that we have an actual home with space in it, we’re eager to fill it with the next child the Lord has in mind for our family. We are pursuing domestic infant adoption again to be able to adopt in birth-order.
Chris: When Kendyll and I were dating, I told her I wanted 6-10 kids. I actually was serious when I said that. Since having McCoy, I realize that might be a little overzealous, but I still long for a large family. Thankfully, we have been so blessed to be well-equipped to raise a large family. My parents and siblings live within a few miles of us and we have so much support. I never dreamed of having my kids be able to walk to their grandparents’ house! It will be such a joy for my children to intimately know their grandparents and cousins, an experience I never had growing up.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
We have worked really hard (and been blessed beyond measure) to not accrue a lot of debt while we were both in graduate school. Moreover, we were so fortunate to receive a lot of financial support with our first adoption. We’re not great at asking for help, but we are praying that the Lord with soften the hearts of some to give financially to our adoption. It’s a big cost to bring home a baby through the adoption system in the United States (unfortunately) and we can certainly use the help. More than anything, we know that it takes a community to bring home a child and raise a child. We know there were many blessed by partaking in our first adoption, and we’re eager to see what miracles the Lord works in this 2nd adoption!
We both knew that there was a hurting and needing population of children throughout the world and we both knew indelibly that the Lord had given us a mutual heart for two things: adoption and international, healthcare related missions.
I am a physician assistant working in gastroenterology and Kendyll is a nurse practitioner working in primary care. We love that we’re both in healthcare. It is so great to be able to come home and swap stories and get a 2nd opinion on each other’s cases.
What makes our family unique is our love of travel and adventure. God has blessed us with a heart for the world and the stamina to make the experiences happen. We want our children to grow up travelling as often as possible for many reasons. Primarily, we want them to recognize how vast the world is, how big the God that made it must be, and how blessed we are to be born in America with all the opportunity that affords us.
We really believe that the Lord has called us into medical missions someday. We don’t really know how that is going to play out, but we both have this sense that our time in Oregon is time of preparation for international work.
We just moved across the country from New York City to Portland, Oregon. We loved living in Manhattan with its ceaseless vivaciousness and energy, but we knew it was time to be near family, especially if we wanted to have more children. We just bought our first home and we love spending the weekends making it “ours.”
In our spare time, we like to gallivant about the area: driving to the coast, hiking in the mountains, enjoying the wineries and restaurants, etc. Any day that it’s not raining (and often even when it is!) we love to be outside with our son, McCoy, and dog, Mordecai. We work in the yard or walk to the park or hike on the trails by our home.