We Are Not Heroes – Joel and Corinna’s Story

Joel and Corinna’s story, as told by Corinna:


Our adoption journey began December 2018 when the Holy Spirit began to reveal to Joel and me a burden and passion for adoption. We looked at our lives: our jobs, comfortable home, family that loved us, strong families/upbringing, strong support system in our church family & beyond. We saw that our lives lacked nothing. Our life situation and resources were blessings and privileges that were no result or reward for something we had done or earned. These blessings were by God’s grace in our lives. How could we just go on living like that without sharing what we had with a child born into a situation they could not control and without the same opportunities we had?

Why adoption?

As believers in Jesus, we are often quick to say that we don’t agree with abortion. One of our passions was to stand for something instead of against something. We saw adoption as a practical way to take a stance for LIFE.

We read over and over in the Bible about Jesus’s heart for children, how we are to care for the widow and orphan, and how we are not called to live a comfortable, easy life. Instead, Christ calls us to die to ourselves and our selfish desires, including our desire for a perfect family, in order to be more like Him.

Adoption is a beautiful picture of what Christ has done for us by adopting us into His family. Galations 4 says, “So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.”

We felt it was an honor and responsibility for us to adopt. We also hoped to ignite a passion in others to stand for life in this way. We hope others can see that adoption isn’t just a last resort to grow a family, but rather a privilege and a command. For those several reasons and more, we decided to pursue domestic infant adoption.

In spring 2019, we were matched with a birth mother who was very early on in her pregnancy, which ended up falling through. Fairly quickly, we were re-matched with another birth mother. In June, we took a brief trip to Florida to meet our birth mother in person and to see an ultrasound. I maintained regular contact and communication with our birth mother throughout the summer in order to grow our relationship. Having an open adoption was a concept that was new to me and Joel, but we feel it is the best thing for both our daughter and her birth mother.

In October, we flew to Tampa, to be with our birth mother as she prepared to be induced. We had the opportunity to meet with her at a restaurant for dinner that evening prior to when she was going to the hospital. It was an amazing time relaxing together before her labor. Our prayer that night was for her to have a smooth labor and delivery and that we would be a comforting presence to her.

While Joel sat on an uncomfortable plastic chair in the cafeteria all day long, I was able to be there for the whole duration of her labor and c-section delivery. It was an honor to be present in the operating room, cut the cord, and be the first one to hold our little girl.

Our time in the hospital was very positive but also very stressful. It was an opportunity to meet a few of the extended family members and friends who came to visit during her time there. It was also a stressful few days because nothing was “for sure” yet. It felt like we had to be very aware and guarded of how we would word things when conversing with the birthmother, hospital staff, and family visitors. We didn’t want to be insensitive to anyone, but we also had a reserved excitement that we would be leaving the hospital with a baby.

When our little girl was discharged from the hospital, we were relieved to finally have paperwork completed and to get settled into the condo as a family of three. Over the course of the next 10 days there, we loved on our new daughter and tried to figure out what we were doing and how to take care of a newborn. The days felt fast yet slow. We would look forward to any “outings” such as grocery store runs, Target runs, meeting her birth mother for lunch, and her follow- up newborn appointment. This time was emotionally HARD and lonely. We were awaiting the Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children in order for us to be allowed to travel outside of FL. Were told it could take 8-10 business days and were a bit discouraged to find out that one of the Mondays we were there was Columbus day, which meant offices were closed & our stay could be prolonged.

God was faithful through it all. We had to rely on Him for our strength and comfort. We experienced so many blessings along the way: a comfortable “home” for 10 days, amazing interactions with a neighbor at the condo complex, having the time for Joel and me to love on our precious little one, and spending time as a new family of three. We sensed the time to be humbling, molding, and refining of our characters as God chiseled away at our selfish desires and our thoughts that “we can do this on our own”. We truly had to rely on God in those long and lonely days, and we couldn’t do it on our own. I was reminded by a dear family member while we were there that we were right where God needed us to be. Those day were opportunities to daily choose joy, even if we weren’t in the physical location we desired.


Finally, after many prayers, we received word from our home study agency that we were good to go – just in time to leave that same day as we had hoped. We booked a flight for 6:55 PM, threw everything in our rental vehicle, and started our drive to Tampa. I texted our Florida caseworker that we were on our way to the airport. She responded that she had not received final clearance for us but should know by 6 PM. Her text to me said, “Head to airport. I’m sure it’s fine.” How about that for an answer!? We pressed on to the airport, trusting that the Lord would provide and trusting that this was the day we were to travel home. We returned our rental car, got through check-in and security without being questioned, arrived to our gate…and waited again. At 5:30 PM, approximately 40 min before boarding our plane, I received a text from our caseworker, “All clear.” If that’s not a miracle and a display of the power of prayer, I don’t know what is. We were officially able to board that plane and go home!

It was SO good to be home! Parents came. Family came. Friends came, and all visitors were welcomed into our home with much joy and excitement. I was so ready for social interaction and to share our daughter with the people who cared about us so deeply.


As I reflect on our adoption journey, I can’t help but recognize God’s faithfulness to us and His mercy. I’ve been going through a devotion book for adoptive mothers, and there was a beautiful prayer in my devotions a day or two after we returned home that fits so well with the tune of our hearts at this point in our journey. It reads, “Dear Lord, adoption is not for the faint of heart. It’s hard. It’s not glamorous, and we are not heroes. We are just people, called by You to bring a child into our families. We are the blessed ones. Thank you, Lord. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.” We celebrate the this little life and are grateful to God for bringing her into our family.


Whatever He Thinks Best – Marc and JaLisa’s Adoption Story

Marc and JaLisa’s story, as told by JaLisa:

We struggled with infertility for many years and after undergoing fertility treatments, had a son in 2015. After several more unsuccessful treatments, we felt like God was telling us to stop and pursue adoption instead. We were referred to Victorious Hope Adoption Consulting from friends who had also worked with them. We were so inspired after meeting with John and Cindy and really admired them and their ministry. We finally felt ready to start the adoption process in July of 2018 and now a year later, welcomed our second son into our family!

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We were chosen by an expectant mother in February of 2019 and she was due in June, so we had a few months to prepare. However, during this time, our contact with her (which had been texting every week per the agency’s recommendation) had dwindled and there were some doctor’s appointments she was missing. A couple months into our match, we were contacted by a relative of the birth mother warning us of different things and telling us not to be surprised if the birthmother changed her mind and that it was a scam. After talking to our caseworker, we learned this was most likely a relative who was known to have some mental challenges and was trying to cause problems for the birth mom. We were encouraged to not worry even though our caseworker was telling us that she was seeing a lot of red flags as well. As much as we wanted to pray that we would be able to welcome this child into our family, we started instead praying that God would just do whatever He thought best since only He knew if this child was meant to be part of our family or not. We had to truly put it all in His hands, as we felt completely helpless and of course couldn’t control the outcome. Both Marc and I felt a real spiritual battle taking place during those months of being matched and decided to receive prayer and anointing at our church, which we’re so glad we did!

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On May 29th we received the call that the birth mom was in labor and we jumped on a plane to Arizona still not sure what her decision would ultimately be, but still placing our trust in the Lord. After we arrived we were able to meet with our son’s birth mother and we had such an emotional, wonderful time of sharing and connecting! It was also special to spend some time with her children and parents at a local restaurant while in Arizona, so that we could all meet. After those months of feeling like we were on an emotional roller coaster, we were so grateful that everything went so smoothly once he was born and there were so many little blessings along the way! We thank God for our sweet little guy!

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Through It All – James and Becky’s Adoption Story

We have known James and Becky since their college days and were thrilled when they were the first couple to meet with the newly formed Victorious Hope Adoption Consulting. Life transitions put the start of their adoption journey on hold for a time but when they were ready, they jumped right in. As always, none of us had any idea what twisted paths their journey would take. Through it all, they were faithful and steadfast. What a blessing to see their adoption finalized in 2018! Here is their story, in Becky’s words:

“December 21, 2018 was the beautiful, sunny, perfect culmination of our adoption journey. It was an unseasonably warm day where we got all dressed up and walked into the courthouse where we met friends and family and sat before a judge as she declared our little one to officially be our daughter, part of our family, co-heirs with our sons, officially taking our last name. I thought I’d cry but I was smiling too much. Oh the joy and the celebration!



She grew in our hearts for years, dare I say, over a decade before she actually joined our family! James and I, even while dating talked about adoption and how we are grateful to be adopted as sons and daughters of the most high God, how we are co-heirs with Christ and about how important family is to both of us and how we’d love to extend family to those little ones that need family. 

James and I had two biological children first but the burn for adoption still radiated in our hearts so we began the process with Victorious Hope Adoption Consultants. John and Cindy King are near and dear to our hearts. We loved seeing their family come together through adoption and we trusted their experience to help guide us on our journey. 

The journey though, was fraught with a mess of experiences and emotions. We started the paperwork process in May, 2016 and after completing the home study were quickly matched in September 2016. But only a week later had our first failed placement when the birth mother reported the baby was born but then disappeared. That was our first heartbreak but we knew God’s story wasn’t ending there. 

At the beginning of November, 2016 we were matched with a birth mom in Florida and we immediately felt the love grow in our hearts for this little one. We met the birth mom in February 2017 and then the baby was born in April. We flew to Florida and got to meet that sweet baby boy and spend time with him before the birth mama changed her mind and decided to parent. We were devastated. We loved that baby and believed him to be ours and didn’t understand what happened or why we were experiencing such loss. It was a dark and depressing several weeks after that failed placement. I felt the pain of loss that I can only imagine is what a birth mother would feel…God granted me a kind of compassion for birth mothers that I hadn’t known before. He also granted me the strength to forgive. And beyond a shadow of a doubt, God was holding us and surrounding us with a community of brothers and sisters that lifted us up and carried us through with prayers, love and support.

My wounds were still fresh when we were presented with a third situation in Tennessee – a sweet baby boy who had already been born. We thought perhaps this was it…perhaps this is what God had prepared us for. Unfortunately we traveled to Tennessee twice to attend a court hearing in which the birth mother didn’t show up and we experienced our third failed placement. By this time we were weary and I even prayed that God would take away the desire for adoption because it hurt too much.

In August, 2017 we met a fourth expectant mama and talked about an adoption plan, but she too changed her mind by the end of September. I questioned my understanding of God and his tug on my heart.

In October 2017 we met with a fifth birth mama and agreed on a mutual adoption plan. I walked through that pregnancy with her, yes as an adoptive resource, but more confidently as a support person who would be there for her throughout her pregnancy. Perhaps out of protection for my own heart, I reframed my role and worked hard to care for that birth mama, no matter what. 


In April 2018, baby girl was born. She was delivered into my arms and it was surreal and even a little bit scary to hold her for the first time. I was afraid to believe she was ours. I got to be with her and care for her in the hospital and she was released into our home. I didn’t realize I was holding my breathe until the parents signed consent to adopt but after that I was able to breathe deeply and tell our sweet girl that I loved her. Our little girl is our reminder to remain steadfast through the trials. She is our reminder that God is with us in the midst of our pain. And although we don’t understand why we went through all of the heart break, we can see God’s love for us through it all.”



Letting Go of Control – Paul and Melissa’s Adoption Story

From an early age, adoption was on Melissa’s heart. She can’t pinpoint exactly where it came from, but her heart always seemed to beat a little faster whenever she heard about a new family being created through adoption. She remembers telling Paul about this desire to adopt early in their relationship, and over time they agreed it was something they’d like to pursue after having biological children.


After they had been married for seven years, a fertility specialist told them that they would not be able to have biological children without significant medical intervention. They describe the weeks after that diagnosis as being filled with a lot of prayers, tears, and grace with each other. They knew they wanted to parent and raise children together, and that it did not matter to them whether a child shared their DNA, so they began to research different adoption paths.

In September 2017, Paul and Melissa met with Victorious Hope Adoption Consulting to better understand the domestic adoption process. Their home study and profile book were completed by April, and they settled in for what they expected to be a long wait. Just a few days after submitting their materials, they heard from their case manager that a young expectant mother was making an adoption plan for her baby boy due in August, and that they had been chosen! They were overjoyed and began making many plans and dreams for him. But those dreams came to an abrupt halt when they heard a month later that a family member of the birth mother would be getting custody of the baby and the adoption was now closed to them. They were left with a feeling of loss and heartache, having to constantly remind themselves that the call and desire to be part of the redemptive story of adoption was not something they made up on a whim. They trusted that somewhere there was a child who needed them as parents, and that there was a brave mother who they could welcome into their story with open arms.

As August drew closer, Paul and Melissa thought about the baby often and hoped he was safe and healthy. At the end of July, their case manager informed them that the birth mother had reached out saying that she wanted to move forward with the adoption plan if they were still willing, and that the baby was due any day now! Paul and Melissa scrambled to get ready to fly to Florida, and six days later, their son was born.


Paul and Melissa said that the uncertainty was the hardest part of the adoption process. They reflect: “One of the first things we learned about adoption is that it is essentially a crash-course in letting go of control and trusting in God. We see now how every twist and turn in our story ultimately led us to our sweet son, and it’s amazing to look back on how God orchestrated every detail that we were anxious about. That doesn’t mean that our journey was perfect – it certainly had some very challenging points! But God consistently reminded us of His presence and purpose in every dark moment, and we know without a doubt that this baby was always meant to be part of our family.”

They are extremely grateful for their church and their loving community of family and friends who went out of their way to cover them with love and support during the highs and lows of the process. In the months leading up to their adoption, they found people “coming out of the woodwork” to share stories about how adoption touched their family personally, which gave them hope for the future. Walking through infertility and adoption can feel very isolating, so they were grateful for every reminder that they were not alone on their journey.

One message Paul and Melissa would share to those considering adoption is: “Don’t give up! Adoption can seem so intimidating at first. But we firmly believe that God equips us for everything He calls us to do, and provides exactly what we need for each part of the journey.”


He Knew the Story – Shane and Emily’s Adoption Story

Shane and Emily recently welcomed a sweet little girl into their family. Baby Girl joins Big Brother in a family that honors God in every part of their journey. Here is their story, in their own words…


When we look back over our fertility and adoption journey, it is evident that He knew how the story would unfold. He knew exactly how to direct our thoughts and decisions in order to orchestrate His great plan. He knew where our hearts were at each given moment: through the stresses, through the excitement, through the waiting, and He continued to meet us where we were and to blow away our expectations.

God knew that we wouldn’t be able to fully fund the adoption alone. He provided various unexpected financial provisions in the form of generous donations and grants. At one point while we were waiting for a match and trying to raise funds, we received an unexpected cash gift from a relative (unrelated to our adoption) and decided to give it towards our church building project. Within a week, we received an unsolicited grant in our fundraising account for the exact amount of the gift that we had given to our church. We did not tell anyone about receiving the cash gift or about passing it on to our church. But, God knew. He was also in tune with where our hearts were in regards to “preferences” in a birth mother. From the beginning, we were hesitant about matching with a birth mother with known drug use or mental health conditions. After not being offered many situations, we decided to broaden our preferences with two agencies and removed those exclusions. The same week we did that, God opened the door to a situation which met our original preferences: a healthy mom and baby with no known drug use or mental health issues. When we took a leap of faith and gave God control, He met our hearts’ desires.

God directed and urged our steps while reading adoption blogs which eventually connected us to an agency on Facebook. This agency was who we would eventually match with after seeing a situation come across on their news feed. Who would have thought that social media would help us find our daughter…but God knew.

When making our profile book, Cindy, co-director of Victorious Hope Adoption Consulting, had suggested that we include things unique to us. We have 8 chickens and Shane loves to garden. When we received the phone call that we “matched,” two things voiced by expectant mother that she loved about us were our little “farm” with chickens and a garden. God worked through Cindy in suggesting those changes to our profile book.

God knew that one of our biggest stressors once matched was where our family would stay while transitioning with a newborn and waiting for clearance to come home. There were so many options that we felt overwhelmed. We researched for a few weeks and tried to decide where to stay. One Sunday morning at church, Emily decided to write a down a prayer request for housing provision and hand it in for the church staff to pray for. The following week, God orchestrated communication with a family member in Virginia who connected us with the blessing of a private home while in Florida. This not only saved us a great deal of travel expenses, but enabled us to be in a relaxing atmosphere while we adjusted.

Emily is a labor and delivery nurse and she felt strongly about wanting to support the birth mother in whatever way possible during her delivery and hospital stay. We were told that the birth mother didn’t want anyone to be with her during the C-section or recovery period and she requested to keep baby girl with her in her room. While in the hospital waiting for news of the birth of our baby girl, Emily received a phone call from our case worker that the birth mother was asking for Emily to come be with her in the pre-operating area. Emily was able to provide support for the birth mother before her C-section and was able to wait in the recovery area while the birth mother was in her C-section. She was the first to meet and hold our daughter when the nurses brought her out of the operating room. And she got to support the birth mother post-operation. Through this bonding and trust formation, the birth mother then offered for us to spend as much time as we wanted with her and the baby in the hospital. God knew the importance of this time in forming and building a relationship with our daughter’s birth mother. We now touch base with her regularly after she asked if we would be willing to have an open relationship despite her original request of a semi-open adoption. The “open-ness” was on our hearts from the beginning of the adoption journey. Again, God knew.


God knew that we would be worried about traveling home. Returning a rental car, navigating a large airport and lugging baggage, all with two small children, was causing a great deal of anxiety for us while we were waiting. God knew. He processed the paperwork in 8 days, which ended up being a record for our agency! Despite Emily’s mom having booked a flight at the beginning of the week to travel home Sunday, He orchestrated the details so that we got the phone call of clearance to travel Friday afternoon. This allowed us to book the same flight as Emily’s mom. He knew the need of an extra pair of hands to make traveling easier. He knew the ease it would bring flying into a smaller airport closer to home. And He fulfilled both of these through the inaugural flight of a Frontier plane from Orlando to Harrisburg. Praise God!

Despite the low moments of having to wait almost a year from beginning our adoption journey to bringing our daughter home, it was worth every moment to look back and see the Good Lord’s hand in it all. The words of encouragement that we’d like to give to anyone seeking to adopt or who may be in the adoption process already is to open your heart and allow yourself to release control over to God. It was in those moments of surrender that we most felt God’s sovereignty and peace. When we allowed Him to be in complete control, He was able to mold our hearts, direct our steps, and prepare us for the situation that best met our desires.

Our daughter and her story have solidified our Trust in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He knew the wants of our hearts, the needs of our souls and He continues to time and time again meet us right where we are in the mess of it all. Our challenge for each of you who may be curious about the nudges or “gut feelings” you may have throughout the day is to consider it more than that. Consider that there is a higher being who orchestrates out all the details of your life. Consider that He has all the days of your life planned out, and that He has a purpose for the sorrow and despair that may come during your life on earth. Consider these nudges to be a gift from Someone higher, revealing His plan and His character.


“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come” John 16: 12-14.


A Non-stop Adventure – Tyson and Melissa’s Adoption Story


Melissa knew at an early age that she was unable to conceive a child naturally. This news was shocking, and she always hoped the doctors were wrong, but she also came to realize that there would be other options to becoming a mother.

When Tyson and Melissa met, they agreed that they would be open and honest about everything. It was even on their first date that Melissa talked about her past, including the issue of infertility. Tyson never missed a beat, assuring her that this was not a big deal to him. He knew that you didn’t have to give birth to a child to be a mom or dad. On the contrary, being a parent is someone who loves, nurtures, and raises a child to grow with these same values.

Tyson and Melissa first met with us in June of 2017. It didn’t take them long to complete their homestudy and by Labor Day they were sending out applications and profile books. They were matched just shy of one month later! And in less than 30 days after being matched, their beautiful little girl was born.


For Tyson and Melissa, the wait was the most difficult part of their adoption journey. The wondering, hoping, and praying are tough. And even after they were matched, it was difficult to wait for updates and communication from caseworkers. On the other hand, they have been blessed beyond measure by their daughter’s birth family. Through their adoption adventure they became close to their daughter’s birth mother and half sister. This was a part of the journey they hadn’t imagined or expected.

This family knows that God has been with them through the entire adventure and will be there for whatever comes next. One particular story stands out: After a particularly rough night at the hospital, Tyson and Melissa were getting ready to freshen up because they just needed a few minutes alone. Then the phone rang and it was John, co-director of Victorious Hope Adoption Consulting. The best part? John had misdialed and had really meant to call someone else but God knew that they needed someone to talk to and John was there.

Tyson and Melissa encourage all couples in the adoption adventure to speak up! Don’t be afraid to talk! Talk to your consultants, your agency, to family and friends. Remember that you are not alone and that this is a non-stop adventure that will never end. It’s a beautiful story written just for you!





Together for a Reason – Brett and Lyndsey’s Adoption Story

Six years ago, God brought Brett and Lyndsey together for a reason, in a way that only He could orchestrate.


And last month, God added a son to their family. Clearly, God brought them together for a reason.


Lyndsey was diagnosed with Leukemia six years ago and underwent chemotherapy, radiation, and a bone marrow transplant. She and Brett first met during this time but her diagnosis did not deter him from pursuing a relationship. They both knew that the treatments would effect their ability to have a child but knew without a doubt that God brought them together for a reason.

They tried the difficult path of fertility treatments but after several failed attempts, they asked God to show them His plan for their family. In March of 2017, Lyndsey met a friend of a friend of a VHAC family and they talked about this family’s adoption journey. Lyndsey felt God’s presence throughout the conversation and thought that this might be where God was leading them.

A month later we found ourselves sitting across from Brett and Lyndsey, hearing their journey to this point and their interest in adoption. It didn’t take them long to join our VHAC family and to begin their home study and profile preparation. They were amazed at how things quickly began to fall into place. Just one month after their home study was complete, they were matched with an expectant mom who was due two weeks later. She went into labor a week early, however, so with expectation they boarded a plane.

Once they arrived, they found that their son was going through withdrawal due to pain medications his birth mother had taken. It was extremely difficult to see him in pain and to be limited in the amount of time they could hold him. But they also saw God’s hand in his quick recovery and his continued health.

Interacting with a birth family can be challenging but Brett and Lyndsey found ways to spend time with their son’s birth family while they waited for his discharge from the hospital. They saw how difficult it was for this family to give them such a precious gift. They tried to show as much love and compassion as they could even when it was difficult or uncomfortable for Brett and Lyndsey. An evening out together for dinner was meaningful for all of them.



They now find themselves talking to people about their family and the question inevitably comes, “How long was the adoption process?” People are always amazed when they say it took them only a month after their home study was complete!


God has definitely united this family for a reason. May He receive all the praise and glory!