My heart has long desired adoption. However, I thought I was unqualified and because Jeff was not on the same page, it seemed impossible. We took a few years of praying specifically for God to reveal what He has planned for our family.
Jeff and Jill Mitchell met in a small hometown diner in 2006. We married 3 years later and today we have an 8-year-old daughter, Eliza, a 2-year-old son, Gabriel, and are in the process of adopting a sweet child from Haiti. We feel very thankful.
Our married life began with Jeff joining the military. He spent a few years on active duty in the US Army and separated from the military in 2014. Upon his return from Afghanistan, he realized the transition wouldn’t be as easy as he had thought. He often felt isolated and had difficulty relating to the civilian world again. At about a year later, and newly being settled into our home, we both still felt lost and distant from one another. It felt like we were separately carrying around fear, doubt, unmet expectations, anger, and bitterness. One afternoon I took my daughter to the park and met a friendly mom. We quickly developed a sweet friendship and she invited me to her church to learn about Jesus and the Gospel. Three months later, in an attempt for something to change, Jeff began going to church, reading the Bible, and also placing his faith in the Lord. Slowly we both began to perceive things very differently. God began to piece together our brokenness for His glory.
My heart has long desired adoption. However, I thought I was unqualified and because Jeff was not on the same page, it seemed impossible. We took a few years of praying specifically for God to reveal what He has planned for our family. I consistently felt a stir about adoption. Eventually, we both had peace knowing that our life is about how God wants to use us and that He has already gone before us and paved the way. We decided to adopt because it is an extension of the love that is shown to us from Christ. He had opened our eyes to the realization that it would be a gift to show love and care to a child in the same way that we receive mercy and grace from Him.
During this time our church was holding a mission conference and we were introduced to a Haitian child sponsorship program. Our family enjoyed this process and began learning more about Haiti. About a year later Jeff went on a mission trip to Haiti through our church working in orphanages, visiting schools, partaking in construction projects and even meeting our little sponsor child. The trip had a great effect on Jeff and it was clear to us both that God had used it to change his heart in favor of Haiti’s international adoption program.
We began the process of adopting from Haiti in September of 2017 and as of August 24, 2018 our dossier is in country. We know that this is a very long process with an estimated average of a 36 month wait before being matched with a child followed by another 12 months before bringing our child home. We are using this time to pray, prepare our families, update our paperwork, and educating ourselves. We have already seen God move mountains in so many ways. God has been so faithful, and we trust in His perfect timing. He will never leave us, and we know He will continue to carry us through all of the highs, lows and everything in between as we continue taking each step in our adoption journey and our life.