On Adoption and Having a Baby

Written by Mark Van Steenwyk : August 20, 2007

image Amy and I celebrated our 10th anniversary in June. For much of these ten years, we’ve been trying to have a child (or at least not trying to avoid a pregnancy). Yet, a baby has not come.

But it hasn’t bothered us much at all. You see, we are big advocates of the idea that adoption should be the default assumption of every Christian couple. In other words, the question shouldn’t be “should we adopt?” but “is there any reason why we shouldn’t adopt?” With so many orphans and “unwanted” children in the world, we the Church should be adopting. This is the sort of “church growth that God desires.

With this assumption, Amy and I had decided to adopt children first, and then have doctors help us determine what has prevented us from conceiving. We wanted to be able to adopt out of gladness, rather than out of a sense that we had no other choice.

And so, for the past couple of years, we’ve been looking into adoption. We decided a while ago that we’d try to adopt a sibling set out of the Hennepin County foster system. The only problem with adopting out of the foster system is that you need to qualify for foster care. For a number of reasons, we’ve been unable to do so. There are certain housing and income requirements that we’ve been unable to meet. And so, our dream of adoption has been put on hold…for a little while.

But a strange thing happened a couple months ago. Amy is pregnant! She’s due on March 31. Please pray for the health of my wife and emerging child.

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14 Responses to “On Adoption and Having a Baby”

  1. fargo john on August 20th, 2007 10:11 am

    i am so excited for you both. i’m glad you are going to be providing gunnar with a playmate. how was pursuit, by the way?

  2. Makeesha on August 20th, 2007 11:06 am

    how exciting! that’s not the first time I’ve heard of that happening…and I’m sure because of your experience you’ll hear that comment a lot :)
    we chose to limit our bio. family size with the intention of adopting “on purpose” as well. Right now we have 2 lovely little girls from our DNA and hope to welcome another 1 or 2 through “foster care adoption” in 3 years or so.

    we too believe that adoption needs to be in every Christian family’s radar in some way - either by supporting an orphanage or foster home or by being foster parents or by adopting. I don’t think it was an accident that Jesus said we should care for the orphan :)

  3. Nate Bettger on August 20th, 2007 11:39 am

    Wow, Mark! Congratulations… I am so happy for you two.
    Still staying tuned in,

  4. Corey on August 20th, 2007 11:40 am


  5. Aaron on August 20th, 2007 2:35 pm

    dude….i am so on the same page with you about the concept of adoption. my wife and i are huge advocates for adoption, and honestly it’s hard for us to NOT say, “every able Christian should adopt a child.” we believe it is a crucial part of the gospel, as we take care of widows and orphans. there’s lots of resources and help for those considering adoption. let me know if we can help in any way with pointing you guys in a direction (whenever you think about adoption in the future). i’m happy that God has you on the journey of adoption one day.

    CONGRATS on the baby that’s on his/her way!! so cool.

  6. Dan on August 20th, 2007 5:27 pm

    Congratulations Mark. You have no idea who I am but I read your blog all the time. We just adopted our second child from Kyrgyzstan (7 month year old girl). I love what you had to say about adoption. We have struggled with the same baby situation as you and your wife so our prayers are with you. I’ve got a ton of adoption stuff on my blog if you’re interested.

  7. Ariah Fine on August 21st, 2007 1:50 am

    Babies are an amazing thing. My wife and I are hoping adopting an older child when we move north, so I’d love to chat sometime about the Hennepin adoption process sometime.

    Peace and congrats again.

  8. Mike & Amy V on August 21st, 2007 7:41 am


    We met you in Cushing when you preached. My wife, Amy, has been praying for you guys since you where there. She had asked Heidi why you had no children.

    God is so good, all the time.

    May your Amy have a smooth pregnancy without complication and deliver a healthy little blessing beyond what you ever dreamed. I pray for protection and provision for your family and relational stability in these times of many changes. In the name of our Lord Jesus.

    Mike & Amy Verlennich

  9. Josh on August 21st, 2007 8:09 am

    I stumbled upon this site from my Google alert for ‘first choice’ adoption. My wife and I strongly believe every Christian should adopt. We decided before marriage not to have any bio children and to instead grow a family through adoption only. We’ve welcome two children so far and on our way to our third. Keep spreading the word that adoption is not a last resort and that every Christian should be doing their part.

  10. Jeff on August 21st, 2007 9:54 am

    Way to go, man (and woman)! Regardless of how confident you are in your manhood, it’s always good to know that your “boys” can indeed hit the mark (or in this case “the amy”).

  11. Jeff on August 21st, 2007 9:57 am

    I guess blogs are the “expecting” announcement of the 21st C.

  12. Dale on August 28th, 2007 10:56 am

    I’m indeed happy for you and Amy. But as I do the math on this one it apperas to me that you may have broken rule #10 at Camp Joy! :-) It seem’s only fitting that the place where your little one came into being was at the same place your relationship with Amy began. God bless you both! Dale

  13. markvans on August 28th, 2007 12:06 pm

    Thanks Dale :)

  14. toddh on August 28th, 2007 12:24 pm

    Wow, that is fantastic!! Congratulations! What a wonderful gift.

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