A Family Affair: Growing in Grace through Adoption

As we journey through each day of the Advent season, we’ve gathered special stories from Lifeline families, staff, and friends to share with you, testifying to how the hand of the Lord and the Character of Christ have been magnified through their children and in their families…

My first experience with an adoption through Lifeline came in December of 1995. I was six years old when our family of three (which I was completely comfortable with at the time) added my brother, Cannon, as its fourth member. Although I was skeptical at first, my brother Cannon helped me to understand part of the adoption process, one that would enable me to not only develop a strong passion for Lifeline Children’s Services, but also draw me closer to Christ in the process.

My journey through adoption has been a long one. My parents, Doug and Gail, have always been open in sharing and discussing adoption and its processes with me, but I was not. Until I was 20 years old, I rarely discussed my adoption with anyone. It was at this time I decided to go and obtain my medical records so that I would know of any family illnesses I might encounter. It was on that same visit that I decided I would like to try and find my birthmother, embarking on an entire new journey through adoption I never saw coming.

At 20, I was counselled so that I would understand that the process of reunification would not be easy. I had no idea just how hard until the door was closed: my birth mom did not want to meet with me. I continued to struggle and pray about this issue for almost 4 years, until one day last spring…

During my last week in graduate school, while studying for finals, I received the call that my birthmother had changed her mind. To say I was shocked is an understatement. The maturation that occurred in my understanding of adoption over those four plus years was God’s way of making me patient enough to find peace with not only my birthmother, but also with myself. I wanted to share my story of adoption with anyone who would listen.

Since graduating, volunteering with Lifeline has become a passion of mine. My success story is just one of many, and I am not afraid to tell mine to anyone. Sharing with others about Lifeline’s work in adoption and foster care to help to raise money and awareness for the ministry has helped me grow spiritually ten-fold. Lifeline gave me an earthly family full of the love of Christ, but it also helped me grow closer to my spiritual one as well.

Whitney Acton, Lifeline Child