Ken and Sue Hill have 6 children, ages 11, 9, 7, 7, 2, and 11 months old. Their first five children are biological. Their youngest was adopted from Ethiopia this past February. Those of you who have already adopted or are currently pursuing adoption know the financial challenges involved in adoption. It might encourage you to know that the Hills received a check from Shaohannah's Hope at a Steven Curtis Chapman concert this past September.
The Hill family is currently in the process of adopting a 3 1/2 yr orphan from Africa named Arama. You can visit their adoption donation website here.
1. What initially motivated you to adopt?
In the winter of 2004, I decided to start asking God in my prayers what I could do for Him. I did not know what it would be. But, I wanted to be a vessel for Him in this world. Being a stay-at-home mother of 5, I did not have a lot of extra time. But I kept praying that prayer, hoping God would reveal to me how He wants to use me in this world.
In the spring of 2005, I received an issue of a magazine called "Above Rubies." It is a Christian magazine written by Nancy Campbell. She encourages mothers in their walk with Christ and teaches them how to have Godly homes. In this particular issue, she wrote about her mission trip to Liberia, West Africa. She wrote about the 14 year long war that took place there. This war and its atrocities left behind many orphans. She wrote about these children and the need for adoptive families. After reading this, I knew God was calling us to the ministry of adoption.
So, I approached my husband. Our youngest at the time was only 4 months old. I asked him to think and pray about it. At first he thought I was a little crazy. He said "Sue, we already have 5 children." I again asked him to pray about it and he said he would. We also attended a Kingdom Kids adoption conference. At the conference, Steve and Michelle Gardener, who are adoptive parents, spoke about adoption from a Biblical perspective. This really changed my husband's perspective on things. After 1 year of much prayer and consideration, we stepped out in faith and decided to adopt. There were a lot of unknowns. We knew, however, that our child was in Africa. We did not know how we could afford it financially, but we went ahead and started the process.
2. What kind of responses have you received from extended family and friends about your decision to adopt?
At first, many family members thought we were crazy. Since we already had 5 children and lived on a modest income, how could we do such a thing? My own mother would ask me questions like "What if the child is autistic?" or "What if he is not healthy?" and "What if people retaliate against you because you have a black child?"
We sent out fundraising letters and we actually had a friend of the family write back and say, "I can't support you financially in this adoption, however, I will pray that you and your children do not contract HIV or any other diseases."
Spiritual warfare was definitely happening. Satan does not want to see this beautiful children in Christian homes.
At the same time, I realized that the people in my life that were supportive and happy for us, were true followers of Christ. They helped me through the difficult times when we felt under attack.
3. How do you think the God's story of adoption (i.e. God adopting us as His children) should influence the decision to pursue adopting children?
Oh, our adoption into God's family is a beautiful story. We have been adopted into God's family and I know God wants many of His children to adopt the orphaned into their families.
I had always heard that God loves each and every one of us so much, He even knows the number of hairs on our heads. But, honestly, until our son's adoption I never felt loved like that by God. I now look at our beautiful son and have a greater understanding of how much God does love me. He chose ME to be Daniel's mother. He could have picked anyone else, and He picked ME. We are incredibly blessed by this child. I can't even put it all into words. It is an honor and a privilege to be an adoptive parent.
4. How is the God's story of adoption shaping your relationship with your adopted child?
Our son is not old enough yet to have conversations about anything. But when the time comes, he will know how his story compares to our adoption into God's family. He will also know that he was wonderfully chosen by God to be in our family.
5. Did you or do you have any fears related to your adopted child's future as a member of your family? If so, what were/are they and how have you sought to apply God's story to those fears?
We do have some concerns because Daniel is African and we are Caucasian. We know that he will endure racism and prejudice when he is older. We want to be there for him and help in any way we can. I know God will give us the words to say to him, and will bring other people of color into our lives. He already has. We have been blessed through this adoption because it has also opened new doors and we have new friends that are also adoptive parents and their family composition is similar to ours.
God will always be with us and our adopted children. Their faith will help them get through any difficult times they may have.
I am also excited to announce, that we are stepping out in faith again. We are in the process of adopting a 3 year old girl from Ghana, West Africa. God has truly blessed us. I want to be open to any children that might call us to adopt. Our door is always open.