My name is Gina Pfingsten. My husband and I have five children ranging from 4 years old to 12 years old. Our oldest three are biological and our youngest two were adopted from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Tia asked if I would tell our story of adoption – I am happy to share because adoption can be for everyone and is life changing for an entire family!
Why would you adopt when you have kids of your own?
It’s a question we’ve been asked numerous times. For the most part, people aren’t being rude – They are just genuinely curious. Adoption is often thought of as second option if you can’t have children of your own. Most people don’t consider adoption unless they are placed in that situation.
Our family grew from five to seven in roughly two and a half years. In actuality the process had started long ago. In high school, I made the choice that when I was married I wanted to adopt a child. I can’t even tell you why I decided that. Maybe it was the horrifying birth video we watched in junior high health class. I’d like to think that my reasoning even back then was to provide a loving home to a child that needed one. I also didn’t really think that I might need to convince my future husband to get on board with the whole adoption idea!
When Matt and I got married we wrote down individual goals and goals for our marriage. Adoption made the list for both of us! No convincing needed! This time our reasoning for adoption was clear – we wanted to care for others that needed it. There are so many children in foster care and orphanages here in our country and all over the world. Jesus has called us to care for the orphans of the world. We knew we were called to do this. We took a lot of time discussing and praying about our future family and how that would look. In 2004 we took time to travel the world and were exposed to so many different people and cultures. We saw first hand the poverty many other countries and families faced. We knew we were being called to an international adoption.
We prayed, researched, discussed, researched, discussed and prayed about when and where we should adopt. We decided to have our biological children first. We wanted our adoptive children to know we chose them for no other reason than we simply wanted to be their parents. When our three biological children were seven, five and three years old, we sat them down and spoke to them about adoption and why we felt that God was calling us to adopt children needing a home. Our kids were so excited to give children a home that were in need and to gain siblings!
Our family is proof that adoption works!
Adoption is life changing for all involved. Our adoptive children have a loving stable home and a future full of opportunities. Our biological children have siblings that they love and care for – and younger siblings that look up to them. We all have gained a perspective and heart for the marginalized. Adoption is time consuming, expensive and the transition can be draining, but it is also the most rewarding journey. I love how our family fits together. We laugh, cry, annoy and fight together. Most of all we LOVE and support each other. Our adoptive kids are alive and well with a future ahead of them because of adoption. They gained a lot but our biological kids would tell you we gained even more!
We know the future will be challenging for all of our children, and certainly for our adopted kids. At the same time, we also believe that God created all humans to have parents and a family that love and care for them unconditionally .
Many people tell us what a blessing we are giving our children, but the truth is – Matt and I feel like we’re receiving the far greater blessing!