Finding Christ Through AdoptionEver since I was a little girl I wanted to be a mom. I wanted the fairytale — sealed in the temple to the man of my dreams. Two or three kids and a dog.  Somewhere along the way, I got lost. I was 20 and loving life in college. As a division 1 athlete, I was playing the sport I loved while taking classes about topics I enjoyed. I partied on Friday, Saturday, and on most Sundays. When I found my way to church, I was just going through the motions.

I thought my life was pretty great. It was as if I was invincible. I was wrong. On the outside, I looked fine, but on the inside, I was spiraling out of control. I felt like the Lord had forgotten about me, or so I thought.

My Consequence

In January of 2008, I found out I was pregnant. It rocked my whole world. This was my wake up call. Telling my family was one of the scariest moments of my life. My parents were disappointed but were supportive of whichever choice I made.

The two choices I was considering were to parent or place my baby for adoption. Now, I was not unfamiliar with adoption as I was adopted as an infant. I grew up knowing what adoption was and liked how it was apart of my story. I knew my decision shouldn’t be taken lightly, I had to think about more than just me. Little did I know the Lord’s hand was in it from the beginning, I just didn’t see it at the time.

The same week I told my family of my unplanned pregnancy, family friends across the country were praying to adding another baby to their family through the gift of adoption. When the family friend called and told me they would be honored to raise my baby in their family a light bulb turned on for me. I started to consider adoption as a real option.

Honestly, I was a 20-year-old college athlete without a job and no money to my name. If I had chosen to be a single parent, it would have been hard, but I would have made it work. I wanted so much for this baby growing inside me. There was so much this baby deserved, and at that time in my life, I couldn’t provide it. I knew I had to put my baby’s needs over the desires of my own heart.

I Was Found

Finding Christ Through Adoption
Talia with her adoptive family

In June of 2008, I had the most spiritual experience. I was sitting with our family friend and listening to him tell the adoption stories about his two older children. The week prior I found out I would be having a girl, and I was having such an internal battle about my decision to place her for adoption. I was unsure what the right choice was for us.

When it was my turn to talk, I couldn’t. The spirit filled the room, and in the faintest whisper I heard “this is her family.” The doubt was gone. I knew what the Lord wanted me to do and what the right choice was. The Lord’s hand was in this from the very beginning. I was the lost sheep, and all He wanted was for me to put in the effort.

The Blessings

Finding My Way Back to Christ Through Adoption
Jori and her birth Mom

I was reunited with my birth mother six months after I placed Talia for adoption. It was one phone call, but a dream come true. The first thing I told her when I met her was “thank you.” I thanked her for everything. For allowing her own heart to break so I could have the life she dreamed of. When we hugged for the first time I knew exactly how she felt because I had just gone through it. That void in my heart was no longer there.

The next month I met my future husband at church. Six months later we were sealed in the Washington DC Temple. We have 7-year-old twin girls, a 4-year-old son, and a 7-month-old baby boy. They are all the greatest blessings in my life!

Through adoption, I have met some of my greatest friends. People whose stories have touched my soul and who I connect with on such deep levels. If not for my connection with adoption I would not have had the opportunity to share my unique story with those around me. As a result, these strangers have left a lasting impression on my heart because of the thread we share in the adoption triad.

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What I Learned

Finding My Way Back to Christ Through Adoption
Jori and her daughter Talia

Experiencing an unplanned pregnancy and placing my firstborn for adoption changed my life forever. I have learned so much about myself, and about the love God, and Jesus Christ have for each one of us. Through the heartache, pain, tears, unspoken and answered prayers I have found hope, love, forgiveness, and grace.

Adoption is about love — I placed her in her mother’s arms because I loved her. I learned I wasn’t really lost, I had just wandered off the path. Learning to rely upon and have faith in Christ has brought me back into his fold and blessed my life beyond measure.

November is National Adoption Awareness Month.  To learn more click here.
Finding My Way Back to Christ Through Adoption
Finding My Way Back to Christ Through Adoption

Everyone has a story. This is mine. My struggles. My accomplishments. I write about love, adoption, motherhood and my many adventures of being a stay at home mom.

Jori is an adoptee and a proud birth mother in an open adoption to Talia. After 21 years, Jori was reunited with her birth mother.

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