Since November is National Adoption month, we’ve been featuring a variety of adoption stories. Today, on the last day of this month, we want to share about an organization that is very near and dear to our hearts.
Adopt A Love Story empowers families to overcome the financial obstacles to adoption by providing them with the tools and platform they need to raise funds for their adoption. We sat down with the CEO Chris McIntire to hear more about the heart behind this wonderful organization.
Tell us a little about yourself and your family?
My wife and I had 6 kids in 6 years, including two sets of twins, and that all took place in the first 6 years of our marriage. I came from a big family and I remember thinking that big families were doable because they don’t all come at once, then we got married and they pretty much all came at once. Pretty much all you need to know about our family is that my wife is amazing, I could not do what she does.
Why do you feel like adoption awareness is so important?
I believe it’s not a mistake that an action that reflects the Gospel so clearly is such a large part of the answer to abortion, the foster care challenges in the U.S., and the orphan crisis worldwide. But I would contend that it’s not just awareness that’s needed. Everyone knows someone that’s adopted. Our passion is for action; that people are either pursuing adoption themselves, or helping someone they know in their adoption process.
How did you start Adopt A Love Story?
I was working in politics and the Lord really laid it on my heart that policy and politics were an important part of the pro-life movement but it wasn’t the only part. As I realized that, I saw that politics wasn’t the part I was supposed to be involved in. During that time, I also recognized the power that innovation and unique storytelling had in impacting culture.
Where did the name come from?
We wanted something that would make people pause and give it more thought. We live in a time when everyone usually seeks to put things into stereotypical boxes so that no more thought is required to form an opinion, we are trying to push through that regarding adoption. As to the meaning of the name we recognize that each adoption tells the story of a mom, who despite all other circumstances or challenges, chooses to give her baby life. In doing so she writes a love story of her own, a story of potential and promise for her child. When an adoptive family enters the picture they are entrusted with that love story.
So what are the details? How does Adopt A Love Story work?
We help families raise funds for their adoptions by telling their story to a larger audience then they could on their own and allowing people to donate and engage with each adoption. A huge part of that process is telling each family’s unique story in a compelling way. We wanted to give a family more than just a couple paragraphs to share their journey and why they are adopting, that’s why we work with each family to create a video that really dives deep into their life and heart behind adoption. Once a family’s video and online page is in place we then promote the family through our social media channels.
What is the most impactful thing you’ve learned since working with adoptive families?
There are actually two things that have really stood out to us. First, it’s very obvious that God is doing something powerful in this generation of young parents in regards to adoption. The families that we meet and work with have adoption as part of their DNA. It’s not an after thought or Plan B. It is couples that share how they talked about adoption on their first date or have decided to adopt before having biological children.
The other thing that constantly stands out is how unique each family’s story is. If you only had 30 seconds to talk to families adopting you would think they’re all pretty similar. But when you really dive into each journey and hear the background and what led each of them to the decision to adopt, it is amazing. Sometimes that decision is born out of a passion that leads the calling and other times that calling comes from tremendous heartbreak. But each story has a very unique point where the heart to adopt comes to life.
What if we don’t feel like our family can adopt but we want to care for orphans?
One of the most important ways is to help families that have already adopted.
Bringing their child home is really just the first part of the journey.
Adoptive families oftentimes just need their community to love on them and support them. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but simple acts towards those in your community that have adopted can be encouraging.
After that I would say people can look for families that are in the adoption process and journey with them. There can be a lot of ups and downs in the adoption process and having a team that travels that journey with the family is tremendously important. So the theme is community, adoption needs to be done in community. That’s really the heart of Adopt a Love Story- helping a family’s community rally around their adoption.
How can I get my community involved in Adopt A Love Story, not just myself?
The simplest way would be to adopt one of our adoptive families and support them. It could be a family from your region or a family that’s adopting from a country that your church has done mission trips to. Because we focus on the family’s journey and update their progress, it’s easy for people halfway across the country to still be involved and a part of that process.
Where do you see Adopt A Love Story headed in the future?
Our passion is to see adoption ingrained and a part of every communities’ identity. As we grow as a voice for adoptive families, we are seeing more and more opportunities to bring adoption to the forefront of our culture. We have some immediate things that we see growing and developing towards that end but also some long-term ideas on the horizon.
Is there one particular story of a family impacted by Adopt A Love Story you can share with us?
That’s actually a very tough question. It’s not hyperbole to say that every family’s story impacts me personally and our team as a whole. I’m not a super emotional guy but stories have always had a huge impact on me. In fact, when the video team sends us a final cut for a family, I’ve learned to be careful when and where I watch it, otherwise the other people in the coffee shop wonder why the guy sitting by himself is tearing up.
How can adoption make an impact for the kingdom?
Something that has had a big impact on me, especially when we were starting Adopt a Love Story is an excerpt from the German poet Rilke. It’s not a perfect translation but in one of his poems he contrasts Jacob wrestling with the angel of God to our efforts, he wrote “What we fight against is so small, that when we win, we make ourselves small.”
Our culture is really good at providing a constant stream of things it thinks we should be outraged about or debate endlessly, but I believe we have a responsibility to be constantly before God seeing what the battles are that are actually worth our time, treasure and talent. For the Adopt a Love Story team and myself, that’s seeing the adoption movement expand and being the reason the mom chooses life, and that kids in the foster system and orphans worldwide know the love of a forever home. We’d love for people to be a part of that movement, if that’s where God is calling them.