An Adoption Story
As my family toured LaVie Pregnancy Care Center, I found my mind resting on a cherished verse of Scripture:
He must increase, but I must decrease.
John the Baptist was speaking to some of his disciples as they wondered, maybe with jealousy, why Jesus was gaining so much attention, and why John’s popularity was waning. John understood, and his reply has become the cry of my heart, “He must increase, but I must decrease.”
The Lord first impressed this verse on my heart in another season of life. My wife, Amanda, and I were parents to two amazing kids. We lived in a great town, had good jobs, involved in a great community and a wonderful church. We were living the American Dream in a three-bedroom house, happily married, with a boy, a girl, and two dogs.
Then, I heard this quote, “if you are pro-life, you must be pro-adoption.” At this point, I claimed to be pro-life, but not so much pro-adoption. Adoption to me was for couples without kids of their own. Our family was complete. Besides, life was made for a family of four—a car easily seats four, four-top tables are readily available in restaurants. Becoming a family of five would be a logistical nightmare!
But, I could not deny the truth this statement offered. God was challenging my perspective. As I desired to seek Christ more fully, God was teaching me to decrease.
You see, my happy, content, four-and-no-more family wasn’t the problem. It was my thinking, “This is it. What more could I want?” that was hindering God’s plan. In Christ, there’s always more.
Before I knew it, the Lord was giving me a masters course through Matthew 6:33, Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you, and James 1:27, Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. Had I become polluted by the world’s standard of contentment? How could I serve children and women in distress?
Sometimes the hardest thing is being receptive to the Holy Spirit’s prompting in our lives, but real surrender is choosing to walk in obedience in whatever God calls us to do.
God was leading and calling us to adoption. More importantly, though, He was patient as we were learning how to listen to His voice, to walk in obedience, and to be more intimate in our relationship with Him. For many years, I admired the hearts of adoptive families I knew, but it wasn’t natural, and it certainly wasn’t for me. There were concerns of how I could love a child as my own when biologically they were not. Maybe my deepest fear was that my love for an adoptive child would not measure up to the love I had for my biological children.
As Christ ordains, He also prepares. I offer you this advice: when God leads you to act in obedience, you’ve already been in a season of preparation. Be wise, and choose to obey, because what our Father calls us to will ultimately lead to His glory, strengthen our faith, and draw us ever closer to Him.
In the following months, through incredibly divine events, our lives began to change. God orchestrated and moved in the most amazing ways, bringing our son, Jordan, into our lives. And rest assured, God has multiplied my ability to love. The love I have for my adopted son is no different. The love I have for my three children daily surpasses what I thought I had to give.
Now, several years later, my family has the incredible opportunity to serve women and children in distress in our community through the ministry of LaVie Pregnancy Care Center.
LaVie, born through the work of Lexington Interfaith Community Services (LICS), is a safe place for women and men who are facing difficult pregnancy decisions. The vision of LaVie is that every child conceived would live out the purpose for which they were created. They empower each client through accurate information about all of their options, as well as the Truth from God’s Word.
All of the services offered at LaVie are provided at no cost and are confidential. Pregnancy tests and non-diagnostic ultrasounds are some of the services they offer. LaVie also equips by helping to prepare each person mentally, spiritually, and practically throughout the pregnancy and beyond.
According to South Carolina’s DHEC 2016 Annual Vital Statistics Series, 10,716 abortions were performed in our state. When you look deeper into those statistics, you can see where Lexington County ranked seventh highest in our state for abortions performed. I was shocked.
Then another statistic floored me: 36% (more than 1 in 3) women were attending a Christian church at least once a month at the time of their first abortion*. I can only imagine that if a ministry like LaVie had been available, many of these situations would have ended differently. If there had been an advocate and education available at no cost, free ultrasounds, free maternity and baby supplies, along with incredible people to walk with each person through their pregnancy, so many of those situations would have resulted in mothers choosing life for their babies.
At LaVie, they understand a woman’s right to make an informed choice. Whatever she chooses, it will impact her life. For women who are struggling with a past abortion, LaVie offers a path to healing that is life changing. If she’s ready, they can help. This service is free and confidential.
When Christ becomes greater and we become less, God draws us to love His children, born and unborn.
He draws us to serve in ways that make eternal differences in lives for His glory. Christ uses each of us to make Him famous, so each person might know they are loved by the One who knit them together in their mother’s womb (Psalm 139), and by the One who died for their sins on the cross.
LaVie Pregnancy Care Center needs our help in order to offer these services to the residents of our community. You can be a part by praying, volunteering, and/or giving financially, ensuring thousands in our community are offered this service.
For more about LaVie Pregnancy Care Center please visit www.laviesc.org or call 803-996-4673
*Study of Women Who Have Had an Abortion and Their Views on Church— Commissioned by Care Net, Conducted by LifeWay Research (2016)
Chuck Underhill and his family, along with Chuck’s employer, House of Raeford are proud partners of LaVie Pregnancy Care Center.