(Posted January 18th 2019 @ 9:10 AM by: Melody Reever)
Motherhood can come to us in a variety of ways. Ours came through adoption and fostering. The decision to adopt from New Beginnings came after navigating the emotions of infertility. After years of waiting, and transitioning from Mexico to the States, we finally received what is known in the adoption community as “The Call.” Debbie Velie’s smiling voice came through the phone: “We have a baby boy for you!” The following days were a whirlwind of excitement, shopping for baby gear, and the best road trip ever to Tupelo, Mississippi.
I cannot explain the feeling I had when my son was placed in my arms for first time. All I know is that he filled empty spaces I never knew existed. My husband’s joy was captured in photos that day through his huge smile. We were finally parents! We enjoyed watching our son grow alongside the church we were planting in St. Louis, Missouri, where he hit all his milestones. He first started crawling at a home Bible study, and his first steps were at church. Such is the life of a pastor’s kid.
Our son was later diagnosed with high functioning autism. (We knew before the adoption that there was a possibility for special needs.) He has a funny sense of humor and an infectious laugh. Although autism is a package deal that comes along with sensory issues, ADHD, and OCD, we would not trade his diagnosis or this part of our journey for anything!
As the years passed, the yearning for children returned and we decided to adopt through the foster care system. We opted to work with toddler and school-age boys since we already had the experience of having a baby and have the luxury to choose. Boys are often overlooked because of behaviors that go away after time and therapy, and the assumption that girls are easier to raise. There is a misconception that adopted children have issues that never go away, but my husband and I have spent the past twenty-five years as global missionaries, metro missionaries, and now pastors. We have seen hundreds of people’s lives turn around. If God can heal and turn adults around, won’t He do it for children too?
Having relocated to Michigan, we jumped headfirst into foster care. Since then, eight foster children have called me “mom.” These little broken souls have come into our lives and homes with garbage bags full of clothes and invisible suitcases packed with trauma. So far, we have adopted two foster children and plan to adopt one more. We had been fostering boys exclusively but presently have two girls for the first time. I must say, it is a vast difference—but I am enjoying every minute!
As in the case of most foster children, ours also suffer from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), as they have been through unspeakable trauma. It has been a privilege to watch our families and church family embrace our kids as together we introduce them to Jesus. Our God heals even the deepest hidden wounds. He makes all things new and beautiful in His time. We have prayed for and raised every child to minister in the future that has been through our home. God is a healer of broken lives, and we choose to use our stories to bring hope.
At this time, we have five children: three adopted and two fosters. Our house is full, and we love it! There are always dishes in the sink and a pile of laundry somewhere. This is God’s answer to many years of prayer. It is because of His perfect plan for my life that I am a mom!
“He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children” (Psalm 113:9).
Angela Marquez and husband, Alex, pastor in Lake Orion, Michigan. She is an advocate for autism, adoption, and foster care. Angela’s passion is to teach on trauma, emotional healing, and God’s Word.