The Call to Adopt: A Kidmin’s Story


Today’s post is brought to you by my friend, Jason Underhill. Jason is the Children’s Pastor at Longhollow Baptist Church in Nashville, TN.  In his past seven years at Long Hollow, he has been privileged to watch the Children’s Ministry grow to serve nearly 1200 children across four campuses.  He is married to his beautiful wife Sarah of 15 years. Jason and Sarah have 5 children (Katie Beth , Everett, Nolan, Lyla and Sosie) which he likes to call his mini basketball team.


Adoption has been a part of me and my wife Sarah’s heart almost all of our marriage.  We’ve been married 15 years now and have 5 incredible children which I like to call my mini basketball team.   When we were about two years into our marriage we took classes for foster care/adoption.  Not because we couldn’t have kids, but because we just had a heart for it.  It didn’t work out (they lost our huge pile of paperwork – yep, lost it, and then we moved to TX for seminary.)  We went on our first mission trip to Africa where we introduced the Bible to hundreds of kids and shared the gospel in the summer of 2000.  We were blown away by the number of orphans and knew God would be calling us to Africa at some point. We originally thought sooner than later.  Our next few years were filled with getting started in ministry and serving in three great churches and having three great kids.  The places we served helped us grow, and prepared us for the right time to adopt.

I know sometimes people don’t get what it means to feel like God is calling you towards something.  But, every time we would hear about orphans there’s just a longing in my heart.  There were kids who didn’t have a mom or dad to love them and care for them.  Why shouldn’t we step in to give them the love they need and to hear about  Jesus?  I work with kids every week why not us?  Its like a stabbing longing where something in your heart is missing.  It’s a constant prompting from the Lord.  It’s a sense of no peace regarding this issue.  Sarah and I began to pray about what God wanted us to do in regard to adopting.  We prayed but we realized that while we were praying we were really disobeying what God was calling us to do. We thought we needed to wait until our kids got older , etc., etc.

He bought into the phrase that we use with our children to mind, “Delayed obedience is disobedience”.  We realized that while we were praying as an act of obedience we were really putting off what God was calling us to do and being disobedient.   Sometimes we do need to keep praying about things.  Sometimes the timing isn’t right.  BUT, we were struck by the fact that one of Satan’s favorite things to hear from Christians must be that we’re “praying about it.”  Because for me, as long as we were praying about it and waiting on God’s timing, I felt like I was obeying.  We’re going to obey, just not now.  That is delayed obedience which equals disobedience in the Underhill house!

So, I believe God had awakened our hearts, but I just wasn’t doing anything with it.  When we got home from a service at church on a series titled, Crazy Love, Sarah and I talked about adopting again.  God had laid it on my heart that now was the time to move forward and Sarah had been thinking the exact same thing.  We knew we couldn’t delay.  God confirmed our desire  with His desire in the verse 2 Cor 5:13 ”If it seems we are crazy, it is to bring glory to God.”   This is CRAZY, CRAZY!  The stakes were high as we began the journey.

We began to find the right agency and started to talk with other folks in our church and outside the church who had adopted to find out as much as we could so we could be prepared for all God had in store for us.  We had a ton of support when we announced that we were adopting.  We held fundraisers, yard sales, and other gifts were given to help us in our adoption.  God was right there with us.  We had people praying for us, sending us messages and encouraging us along the way.

We could see that God was blessing us because of our obedience.  Maybe God is calling you to adopt but you are giving Him excuses for why you shouldn’t . Give all your what if’s to God because He is all powerful and can use you to make a difference in the life of a child that otherwise wouldn’t have a mom or a dad.  He may be calling you to be their mom and dad to share the love of Christ with them.  Are you delaying God in what He is calling you to do?  It may seem crazy but don’t delay because it will bring God glory.

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