Cliff & Laura's Adoption Story
Cliff and Laura adopted their oldest daughter through ECFA back in 1992. As a military family, they moved around frequently, eventually finding themselves in the Chicago are. God evidently had a plan and a purpose as he used their situation to guide them to their daughter.
At first their adoption applications were rejected by multiple agencies. Their status as a military family made it hard for them to find an agency since they could be asked to move at any time. When they finally met Neil, an adoption social worker at ECFA, in 1991, he met with them right away. Normally, a home study can take months to complete, but because of their situation, Neil was able to speed up the process and condense their home study time to about three months. During this time, Cliff and Laura showed their strong desire to adopt by going through the paperwork, the requirements, and the tedious process in a short amount of time. Cliff shares that the home study process with Neil was very pleasant, and since he was able to come out to them in their home, Neil could see that they were evidently serious and excited about adopting.
But even after they were approved, Cliff and Laura still had to face the disappointment of an adoption not going through. While it is favorable for the birth mother to choose to parent her child, it can be extremely hard for the potential adoptive family as their hopes and dreams and preparations are put on hold. “It’s like losing your child,” Laura shares honestly. “You tell your friends this is happening and you prepare and get the room ready.” She, like many other adoptive parents, know the tragedy that is felt during these situations. But “we know that God works all things together for good for those who love him” (Romans 8:28) and a month later their daughter, Victoria, would be placed in their arms
Cliff describes the details and their excitement: “We got the call the day before and quickly asked for the day off. We drove to downtown Chicago.” Laura pipes in, “and sat at Burger King while we waited.” When they held their daughter, they were, like so many, shocked and overjoyed. Laura laughs and says, “As we drove away with our daughter in the car seat, I kept thinking a policeman was going to pull me over and say ‘Where did you get that baby? You didn’t have a baby when you were driving in’.”
A few years later, Cliff and Laura chose to adopt triplets through an agency in California where they now live. Together they had four girls and two boys, with the four girls joining their family by adoption.
While all of their children are grown, this couple is continuing to encourage adoptive parents at their church. They are grateful to be a part of church family where there are many adoptive parents, and they enjoy being a resource and mentor figure to those around them.
Cliff encourages those considering adoption to “be enthusiastic but patient. The process does take time. Don’t be fearful of the process. Trust in the Lord.” Their verse through all their adoptions was Psalm 37:4 “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.”