God, Adoption, and Fulfilled Promises: A Testimony of God’s Faithfulness
By Brian Seidel
Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.” —Hebrews 10:23 NLT
There have been a few times in my life that I have literally seen scriptures play out right in front of me. I am reminded every day that this verse is one of those scriptures.
My wife Maureen and I had our first child in late 2003, a son, and were ecstatic for a healthy baby. Our next child came two years later, another son. I was content with two, though Maureen wanted three and really wanted a daughter. I also had hopes for a daughter, so we decided to go for our third child. Our third son was born in 2008. With each pregnancy we had a boy name and a girl name picked out. Every pregnancy, the girl name was Claire, yet it stayed unused. Maureen would have kept trying, but I convinced her that the odds were against us. I claimed we would end up with eight boys and still not have Claire. So, we agreed to stop at three, however hope for Claire didn’t disappear. We conjectured that, to get Claire, we would have to adopt her.
Over the next several years, Claire remained a distant hope. The boys grew, I pastored, Maureen taught school. Sometimes a passing joke and other times a serious prayer, the idea of adoption and the hope that Claire would somehow join our family never went away. There were even a few times we heard rumors of a baby needing a family, and we thought it might happen. Yet it never came to fruition.
Life continued, and God showed up in many ways in our life, family, and ministry. In 2015, I felt a prompting from God toward a new season of ministry. That July we sold our house, packed up our family, and moved thirty-five miles west to the other side of the Boise metro area to lead a small church in need of revitalization. We saw God show up in many miraculous ways, but not regarding Claire. I was likely just distracted with this new venture but, for me, the idea of adoption and finding our daughter faded into the background. The same was not true for Maureen. She brought up the idea of adoption again, and I pushed back. My heart and mind had moved on. I was consumed with pastoring a church and being a “big-boy dad,” and the thought of starting over again, even with a daughter, terrified me. To say I was resistant would be stating it too lightly. But Maureen hadn’t lost hope and she started praying, and God started working on me.
As God softened my heart, the desire became overwhelming for Maureen. As God worked, hope grew. We prayed independently and together. Eventually we both arrived at the same conviction—God was going to give us Claire through adoption, and we were not to go through an agency. Thus, it would happen, but not down the traditional adoption route. God had another way in mind for us. We had no idea how or where to start, yet we clung to the same reassurance Mary received in Luke 1:37, “for nothing is impossible with God.”
As we continued to pray, God started to open doors. We learned of the next step and fulfilled it as quickly as we could. It felt like God was truly moving mountains, and fast. Within three months from starting, we were connected to a lawyer, background-checked, home-study-approved, and family profile distributed. God was providing everything from connections to finances, truly doing miracles. The next step was to meet Claire and bring her home. And what came next? Silence. No movement. For months, nothing.
The longer we sat in silence from God, the more discouraged we got. Did we not hear God correctly? Why would God bring us this far and then stop? Maureen and I both contacted an agency without telling each other until after God slapped our hands. “I told you not to do that, just trust me,” was what we each received from God, but then it was back to silence and dead ends.
Over a year into the waiting, a connection from our old church reached out. A young woman had recently been arrested and, through the process, discovered she was pregnant. There was no family or options for the baby, but also no guarantee it would be a girl. Regardless we could not in good conscience send this baby into the foster system when we were ready to adopt, so we committed to take the baby. We walked with this young woman through the pregnancy and her incarceration, and then Claire was born in October 2018. We took her home from the hospital, and her adoption was finalized the next February.
This was not an easy journey, but one that reflects so many truths from Scripture (NLT).
Father to the fatherless, defender of widows—this is God, whose dwelling is holy. God places the lonely in families.” —Psalm 68:5-6a
God lovingly provided for Claire what she didn’t even know she needed. Just like God has done for every person through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.” —Ephesians 1:5
God also knew what we needed; our family was not complete without her. Her presence has changed our marriage, changed our boys, and showed how faithful God is, even when we fall short.
[God] is faithful to do what he says.” —1 Corinthians 1:9
My hope is by hearing our story, you can be encouraged in yours. Know that God loves you and has a plan for your life. That you will experience God’s faithfulness and can echo these words of Isaiah with us.
O Lord, I will honor and praise your name, for you are my God. You do such wonderful things! You planned them long ago, and now you have accomplished them.” —Isaiah 25:1
Brian Seidel is the lead pastor at Faith Journey Church in Caldwell, Idaho, as well as a writer, speaker, and podcaster. He is an avid golfer, skier, and generally loves being outside. God has blessed him and his wife Maureen with three boys—Colin, Curtis, and Cameron. God provided their daughter Claire through adoption in 2018.
Learn more about the Church of God movement at www.JesusIsTheSubject.org.