“Do it!” It is not a simple or easy process, but God has amazing things planned through adoption!
That was the answer when Pastor Levi and Jessica Willms were asked what advice they would give to anyone considering child adoption. They have had no doubts that their son, Caleb John Zian Willms, was meant to become part of their family. Adoption was not a novel idea in the Willms’s family. Jessica’s grandfather John was adopted by his maternal grandmother. (That was how Caleb got part of his name.)
The decision to adopt really was not a difficult one for Levi and Jessica. They had a history of participating in life-affirming work—such as 40 Days For Life—and were committed to proclaiming the sanctity of all human life—however God called them to do so.
Through a series of events and health issues preventing them from expanding their family biologically, they felt God calling them to adoption, specifically foreign adoption.After numerous months of paperwork, home studies, and background checks, Levi and Jessica were finally on track to make the journey to China to bring home their 23-month-old-son, Caleb, in April 2018, and work on completing the adoption process.
On their adoption journey, the Willmses made some interesting and sad observations. Along with learning to navigate through the government adoption bureaucracy, which is very confusing and mysterious, they discovered how anti-child and anti-adoption our culture truly is. Even fellow Christians would comment or ask why they were choosing to do this.
The world constantly tries to pull us toward self-serving humanistic goals, while God calls us toward Kingdom goals.
“Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon. ‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts’” (Isaiah 55:6-9 NIV).
God knew exactly what Levi and Jessica would need through the adoption process and surrounded them with a support system of godly people and experiences to encourage and reassure them along the way. They are still being blessed by these special relationships today.
The adoption process did not come without a cost. Of course, there was the financial cost, which paled in comparison to the time, work, energy, effort, and spiritual battles. But for the Willms family, these short-term costs cannot compare to the long-term blessings they have already received by adopting Caleb.
As they have trusted God’s “higher” ways and thoughts in following His call to adopt Caleb, they cannot even imagine him not being a part of their family and, again, in their words, it was “meant to be.”
Dear Heavenly Father, we thank you for the Willms family and the beautiful example of Gospel-motivated voices For Life they are in providing a family for a precious little boy who did not have a family. May the life-affirming family of Lutherans For Life gain a similarly enriched perspective of God, His Kingdom, and the mission of His Church. May their story and courage inspire others to answer your call and “Do it!” In Jesus’ name. Amen.