Adoption From the Kilgores
Adoption is now a really big part of the Kilgore’s lives. Ben said, “There are so many people struggling with the possible calling to adopt. They have real questions, real concerns–some they don’t even want to voice. We have been through so much. We feel we just want to help people who want to explore adoption from a real vantage point.” Ben continued, “God has really opened up some amazing doors for us for conversations with people who always wanted to adopt but were scared or didn’t know where to start. There’s so much fear of the unknown and questions. We’ve encouraged and watched as 5-6 couples went through the process,” said Ben.
My immediate response was “Wow, it’s so incredible to think of all those kids lives being changed.” Then, we all broke in at the same time “Actually, all the lives.” Ben went on to clarify and said, “People are always like they are so lucky that you adopted them. It’s really everyone’s life that’s changed. If it wasn’t for those kids, we wouldn’t have a family. We definitely won out in this situation. These kids would’ve been loved no matter where they were.” We continued to talk about that feeling you have when you start out going on a missions trip. You just can’t wait to go there and help the people. Then, somewhere along the way–they help you. When you come home, you realize you went for them, but God used them to change you.
The Kilgores also said that adoption changes your viewpoint of your relationship with God. Noelle said, “There’s not one single thing these kids could ask of us that we would not try to get for them. This picture of Christ adopting us and knowing that we have this now availability to him.” Then she went on, “At one point, it hit me–wait a second, there’s nothing I wouldn’t do for them and God feels that same way with us?” Romans 8:15 says, “So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him ‘Abba, Father.’”
Ben said, “It’s hard to explain. But they feel like they came from within us. Our baby pictures even look alike.” He continued, “People say ‘are you ever going to try to have your own kids?’ and other things that don’t sound right to us. There’s a whole article on what not to say to adoptive parents. ‘How much did you pay for your kids?’ is a good one,” Ben laughed. He said, “People just don’t get it and don’t talk about it. But they feel like my blood. I don’t know what it’s like to have a biological child. We don’t feel like we’d be lacking anything if we’d never had bios. They are a part of us…our personalities are intertwined and God wrote this story,” Ben said.
“There are so many sayings we have picked up over the years but ‘God makes families’ is my favorite. He definitely made our family. He saw it before it happened. He knew and He wove it together. He knit them in the womb with us in mind. So much like people are grafted together into Christ, we were grafted together. We carried them in our hearts and they’re ours and we’re theirs.” Ben spoke with such passion and love, it was easy to see how God used adoption and grafted these children into their hearts.
Noelle said, “Our prayer and our hope in sharing and exposing the world to our story is that people feel encouraged and moved towards adoption if it’s on their heart. I know it would be a dream come true if the dialogue came where people were asked ‘Are you going to have children anytime soon?’ And the logical question is, ‘are you going to have a bio or are you going to adopt?’ Because it becomes such a normal thing that people look towards.” Noelle went on, “I have to give credit to Hollywood celebrities, who made it like this is a really great thing that you can be a part of. If a celebrity can have an adopted child, I can too. I think it has shifted people’s view on it.”
Ben went on, “We think Oklahoma needs to eliminate the need for foster families. There are how many kids and how many churches? There should not be a kid without a home who doesn’t have one.” The magazine agrees with them. The “C”hurch SHOULD solve this problem. It’s not just a feel-good kind of thing, it’s actually expected of us by God. When I tried to isolate the perfect verse to demonstrate, my Bible App search overwhelmed me with so many verses calling out those who should help and not oppress orphans. Orphans are discussed throughout the Old Testament. James 1:27 (NLT) says, “Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.”
Ben shared, “I’ve been saying it that God has put it on our hearts to have a gathering of people who are interested and they come with their questions. Every time I mention it—people are saying let’s do it.” Ben said, “Noelle wanted to have several couples over to our backyard. It’s scary but we do hard things as God’s people and maybe we could help them see. We want to open our arms to people. We want to do that through our music, through our church. Our hope is that God will draw people to us so that they can be loved the way He loves. We want to talk about how we can be an advocate, a voice of encouragement and information.” Ben and Noelle’s hearts were flowing over with a passion for helping the “C”hurch realize our place to care for the orphans.
Ben said, “People get intimidated. There are so many thoughts that go through people’s minds. People need to have a safe place to explore those thoughts.” One thought that had come to my own mind before, was if I would love an adopted child the same way I love my bio daughter. When you have a child who captures your heart, it’s difficult to think of how to add another. Ben said, “We have friends that have 2 bio and adopted their third child and had those same concerns. They wondered if there would be a difference in how they loved the third child.” Ben continued, “People with their own bio children struggle with those relationships as well. Every kid is different. How it started is just part of the story but you aren’t going to love ANY of your children the same way. You have to love them differently. We all have different love languages.”
Ben finished, “It doesn’t make sense right now in your head but there’s something that happens miraculously. You can’t explain it. You can’t describe it. You can’t say this is what you do to gain that perspective and feelings–they just happen.”
Ben and Noelle shared that when they were looking to adopt, it was a bit intimidating. There were so many agencies. Then, their friend, Nicole Nordeman, said Stephen Curtis Chapman was in town—and asked if we wanted to go with her. Noelle said, “Stephen shared his own story, which many of us know, as it was a way to lead and motivate us. It did.” Ben said, “We pray when we share our story that it can do something for people as well.” Ben and Noelle said, “We are humbled and excited that we get to be showcased in a way that tells the story of adoption in a positive light. People need to know adoption is a thing God is mindful of.”
The two were naturally so encouraging, “You have a perfect opportunity with the magazine to shine the light on the need, the barriers and how to help people overcome their fears.” Ben went on, “We’re smart people. God’s given us resources and time—what can we do? How can we come together as the “C”hurch and get this done? Let’s create a dialogue and mobilize into action.” †
If you’d like to find out more about adoption or about creating a resource group for your church–reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us help plug you in. You can also visit the Oklahoma Heart Gallery link below to find out how you can help children in Oklahoma needing to be adopted. It just takes one small step, one light in the dark–and we can light a fire that changes generations to come. #GoDoBe