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Rachel Bristol: Adoption Case Manager

My story of adoption begins with a still small voice...

One of my favorite passages in scripture is a story about Elijah, found in the book of Kings, chapter 19. In it, the prophet Elijah is crying out to the Lord in desperation - everything has gone wrong, and he is fleeing for his life. The Lord tells Elijah to stand on the mountain to experience the presence of the Lord when He passes by. Elijah waited in expectation as the wind tore through the mountains, shattering the rocks as it went. But the Lord wasn’t in the wind. And after the wind was an earthquake and then a blazing fire! But the Lord wasn’t in those either. The passage then describes how after the fire came a still small voice...

The journey to adoption

My husband and I had discussed building our family through adoption before we were even married. It was something the Lord had laid on both of our hearts. We just had no idea how He would flip all of our plans on their heads...

It was that still small voice in my spirit one evening, the Lord knocking at the door of my heart, that changed our direction. We had planned to bring a child into our home through intercountry adoption. I had started researching all of our options - and there was so much information to sort through, as anyone who has walked that road can attest. But in the midst of all that planning, that still small voice persisted - day after day - week after week - as my attention kept being drawn to the many pleas for foster parents in our own community.

Into the whirlwind

So we stepped out in faith and became foster parents. Our first placement was a sibling group of three little kiddos. They came into our home like a whirlwind and upturned our lives. We quickly experienced the many joys of parenthood, but we also learned painful lessons about trauma and its effects on little hearts and minds. We were stretched and challenged in more ways than we could have ever imagined. But the Lord was faithful each step of the way.

Two years after those little loves came into our home, they became forever ours through adoption.

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A testament of God's faithfulness

We have had a front-row seat as God has poured out His healing and grace in our children’s lives and in our family as a whole. My personal experience with adoption gave me the desire to encourage and support others as they walk through the mountains and valleys of their own adoption journeys. It’s an honor to walk alongside and speak hope over the families we serve through our adoption program here at Gateway Woods.

I’m so glad I listened to that still small voice all those years ago.

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