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Adoption leads to new experience, overcome struggles

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Adoption is a part of multiple student and family lives here in the FC community. Although adoption is not uncommon, most are unaware of the process and stories of those families.

The emotional and spiritual journey of adoption is a major passion for Allyson, FC alumnus ’93, and Ryan Howard, parents of Taylor Howard, ’15. Taylor’s family is made up of 3 biological and 4 adopted children, so he has first-hand experience with adoption.

“We chose to adopt for many reasons, but early in our marriage we saw that God placed a desire in us to add to our family through adoption,” Allyson said. “We first started the process of foster adoption in 2000. Although we didn’t adopt at that time, the idea was firmly in our hearts and minds.”

In 2004, the Howards made the decision to adopt from Russia. A year later, they returned home with a son, Noah. Since then, they have adopted Samuel from Russia (2008), Zachary through Fresno County foster care (2010), and then Ivy Grace in December (2012) from China.

Although adoption is a tedious process, Allyson, shares her immense gratitude towards Christ and the blessings he has given her family.

“There are many uncertainties in adoption, not unlike having biological children,” Allyson said. “But through the processes, we have been immeasurably blessed by each of our children and seen God put together our diverse family in a way we would never have dreamed or imagined. Adoption, although completely different than having children naturally, is just as great. And it has taught us in unique ways, about what God did for us. He loved us so much, that he didn’t stop with the great gift of salvation, but made us His heirs through adoption.”

Having a diverse family comes with struggles and hardships. Some adopted children struggle with loneliness, belonging or frustration. These struggles are a part of life, however that has not stopped the Howards from glorifying God or looking at this blessing in any different way.

“There have been struggles, yes. Sadness, anger, fear, and language barriers to name a few,” Ryan said. “But God has been very gracious to us, as He always is. We wouldn’t trade what we’ve experienced and learned for anything.”

Allyson believes God will be faithful and sanctify her children through their new experiences.

“We know some struggles may continue, but we also know God promises to be faithful, and use those to sanctify us,” Allyson said. “Our biological children have also learning much from watching their new siblings struggle. It has taught them patience and we believe it has shaped their character and confidence in the Lord.”

Curiosity is something that adopted children go through at one point in their life. They wonder why they are different, wanting to know their unique story, and how they came to be. This does not mean they are alone, they just have different circumstances and find it within themselves to figure out what to do with those circumstances to make themselves unique.

Throughout the self discovery process, Allyson seen that they have learned about the power of love, and the true meaning of family.

“Adoption has changed our lives, and we are extremely thankful for the grace and love God has demonstrated to us through the blessings of all 7 of our children,” Allyson said. “We have learned about unconditional love. As we seek to love our children and meet their needs, we are overwhelmed and in awe of our Heavenly Father’s unconditional love for us.”

Allyson sees her children transforming into believers of Christ through their transition into a new family.

“God has given us, as a human race a strong desire to belong,” Allyson said. “It has been amazing to see the transformation in our little ones as they snuggle into the security of a mom and dad who love them, but even more exciting to see their eyes and heart open to Christ and His sacrifice for them. We pray each one will find ultimate security in Him.”

PE coach and co-athletic director Mick Fuller, also an adoptive father of two children, Charles Emmanuel (13) and Lillian Rose (12), views his adoption journey with humility, and a great appreciation towards Christ.

“Adoption is a sort of representation of God’s redemptive plan for people, Fuller said. “He takes individuals who are not part of Himself and through the saving work of His true Son on the cross, He accepts those people as his own.”

Fuller explains how God lead him into adoption and uses Gods teachings to raise his children.

“Christ’s death and resurrection doesn’t make us perfect, but it draws us into His family so we can be God’s children and heirs,” Fuller said. “This is not to say that I am doing some great thing, saving my children from destruction by adopting them. Rather it is a reminder to me of how gracious God is. When my children are difficult or disobedient.”

Nicholas Morrison, ’15, shares his and his twin brothers’, Rick Morrison, ’15, adoption story, and their gratitude of the process.

“We were adopted out of 10 kids when we were two. We had a really big family and they couldn’t support us so we were adopted by the family that we have now. Sometimes we talk to our other relatives,” Nicholas said. “I think its better that we are out of that family because we get more attention now.”

Ryan and Allyson Howard are a part of the leadership team for Hope Found, the Adoption, Foster Care and Orphan Care ministry at Campus Bible Church. With founding help from Ryan, their goal is to raise awareness of foster children around the world, and to exemplify the love and grace God has given them by making those children His through adoption.

This writer can be reached via Twitter: @ashhasthescoop. Follow The Feather via Twitter: @thefeather.

For more features, read the Oct. 9 article, Woodshop allows students to explore artistic ability, talent.

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  • C

    Caitlin GainesJan 27, 2012 at 12:02 am

    Mr. Harris is the craziest teacher I have ever seen! It was kinda scary when we first saw him with his hair dyed black and we didn’t recognize him. So glad it’s almost back to it’s normal color….

  • J

    Joshua JimenezJan 27, 2012 at 12:02 am

    That was cool of Mr. Harris to let us dye his hair. I don’t know of any other teacher that would let us do that. That was alot of fun.