Blog: Checkered Pasts Don’t Check You Off God’s List

The journey to become Missy’s mama started when I was seventeen years old, when Cindy Whelchel — my best friend in high school — and I led our youth group Bible study through the theme of adoption in Scripture. We made a pact to adopt babies that no one else wanted when we grew up. We were as sincere as we knew how to be when we made that solemn promise, while wearing matching pink Izods and flipping our Farrah Fawcett–inspired hair wings in 1981. We were walking in the light of all the revelation we had as perky, mostly devout teenage followers of Jesus.

We had no idea Cindy would marry Peter after college, that they would struggle with infertility and then go on to adopt two beautiful children. Nor did we imagine that I’d still be single at fifty. I often tease and say my husband won’t stop to ask for directions.

Frankly, being unmarried is the main reason I pondered adoption for so long but never seriously pursued it. I grew up in the Waltons era, so the idea of having a child without a dad was pretty foreign to me. I think every child deserves two loving parents. But I attended a breakout session at a missions conference ten years ago and heard a speaker talk about the 147 million orphans in the world who are languishing in desperate situations in …

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