Local Adoption Story: Meet the Newman Family
Amber and Levi Newman are the proud biological parents of four handsome, healthy boys. And they thought they were done having kids. All of their boys are potty trained; all of their baby gear is long gone. But God had other plans for them. In just a few short months, the Newmans will welcome a sweet, adopted baby girl into their lively crew.
Adoption by the numbers
From the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute
- 397,122 children are living without permanent families in the United States’ foster care system. 101,666 of these children are eligible for adoption, but nearly 32% of these will wait three years or more in foster care before being adopted.
- Approximately 153 million orphans around the world have lost one parent. There are 17,900,000 orphans who have lost both parents, and are living in orphanages or on the streets, lacking the care and attention required for healthy development. These children are at risk for disease, malnutrition, and death.
- US families adopted more than 7,000 children in 2012, according to the US state department. Last year, Americans adopted the highest number of children from China followed by Ethiopia, Ukraine, Haiti, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Ambers says they’ve had several friends adopt in the past few years. She shares she’s always been fascinated by the process, but never thought it was for them. Then something changed. Simply Jessica recently sat down with the Newmans to find out more about their life-changing decision to adopt. Here is Amber and Levi’s story.
SFM: When and how did you realize that you wanted to adopt?
I always thought there were other ways to help needy children around the world without adopting them. As time went on, I felt God slowly leading my heart in that direction, like maybe adoption was a possibility for us. I kept trying to ignore the feelings and urges, because I was scared, and I didn’t necessarily want more children. When I brought it up to Levi, he wasn’t immediately receptive. But then this past November, we were in church, and the sermon topic centered on God giving us more than we can handle, so that we rely on Him for faith. I had a vision of a little girl playing with our four boys. When we got home, I asked Levi what he was feeling, fully expecting him to say no. But this time, he said yes. He said he felt like it was something we were supposed to do.
SFM: You already have four boys. Did you have a preference about gender? Did you always secretly want to add a little girl to the Newman bunch?
Levi didn’t have a preference, but I immediately knew I wanted to adopt a girl. I wanted to give a chance to a child different than what God had already blessed us with – we have four healthy, Caucasian boys; I wanted to help a life that was different than what we could physically have or give birth to on our own.
SFM: Is adoption expensive? What are your thoughts on this? Do you think more families would maybe consider adoption if it were more affordable?
Adoption is expensive, and it does seem that if it were cheaper perhaps more people would consider it. It’s hard to speak on whether that’s right or wrong, other than that perhaps if it were cheaper, those that truly couldn’t have children – and desired them – maybe it would give them more options and hope? We have done a few fundraisers, but we are working hard and trying to be smart with our money. God is really working as He continues to provide opportunities for us, and for those who are giving.
SFM: In your opinion, why is adoption so important?
Adoption allows us to reach out to others who maybe don’t have the same opportunities to thrive, and allows people to work together for the greater good of another life.
SFM: What are your biggest fears and worries surrounding the adoption?
Our biggest fears are the financial need we are facing in order to follow through with the adoption. I’m not sure that we have any other fears. We truly feel that God is at work in this, and He will work all circumstances for good. We hope that she feels loved and accepted by everyone in her life. Our fears moving forward would be similar to those we experience for any of our other children. God has shown His presence in this.
SFM: What are you most looking forward to?
We’re looking forward to the opportunity to love and share in another life – the opportunity for the boys to know what it’s like to have a sister; for us to have a daughter. We look forward to the lessons our boys will learn about following God, even when it’s scary; that we can appreciate our differences, but love each other the same. There are so many great lessons in this process as we watch God work.
The Newmans are hoping to begin presenting to birth moms by the end of April, or beginning of May, depending on their financial situation. Once they are matched with a mom, the adoption could take place anywhere from immediately, to a few short weeks. At this time, the Newmans know they will be adopting either an African American or mixed baby girl from somewhere in the US. She will most likely be a newborn. They are working with Faithful Adoption Consultants out of Georgia, and say they would highly recommend this agency to any other families looking to adopt.
To follow the Newman’s adoption story, or to make a donation, click here. And look for a blog post coming next month, about a multi-family garage sale in support of the Newman’s adoption. You won’t want to miss it!
About the author...Born and raised in southeast Texas, Jessica currently lives in Billings, Montana with her husband, her two year old daughter Savannah, and their newest addition, one year old Emma Kate. Jessica graduated from Texas Christian University with a degree in Broadcast Journalism. By day, Jessica works as a licensed Realtor, and moonlights as a freelance writer/photographer for several businesses around town.