Your Ukraine Assistance is Making a Difference!

Nightlight has sent $12,500 directly to people we personally know, who are Ukrainian citizens or US workers located in Western Ukraine, helping those affected by war.  Your generous donations are providing food and medicine for children who have fled their war-torn cities.

Two families from Kharkiv than you for your support:

You may make a donation here and select the “Ukraine Refugee Fund” menu choice.  100% of the funds raised for this category will be sent directly to “boots on the ground” in Western Ukraine.    

What if we are Catholic…can we still pursue embryo adoption?

“We are solving a problem that already exists.”

This is the simple answer we give for why embryo adoption is permissible, even if one has reservations about in vitro fertilization.  In fact, since embryos are human beings, then not only is embryo adoption permissible: it is actually obligatory!

The Catholic Church takes a firm stance on in vitro fertilization (IVF): it’s a non-starter for infertile Catholic couples. The church issued a document in 1987 called the Donum Vitae (DV), or “The Gift of Life,” which clearly outlined its stance on alternative family building methods. The document stated that if technology aided a couple in achieving pregnancy, it was okay. If it replaced the marital act that led to pregnancy, though, it wasn’t – so that ruled out IVF as an option for Catholic couples facing an infertility diagnosis.

But where does that leave embryo adoption?

While the reason these embryos exist in the first place has been condemned by the Catholic Church, it also takes the stance that all children are worthy of love and respect no matter how they were conceived. Father Thomas Williams addressed this controversial issue in an interview with In the interview, he states that the question should not be how these children came into existence, but what we can do now to help them.

“Given the current state of medical science,” Father Williams says, “the only thing that can be done to save the lives of those persons is gestation in a woman’s womb. Most women aren’t called to make this sacrifice, but those who feel called should not be discouraged from doing so.”  You can read the full interview with Father Williams for more information on the moral and theological implications of embryo adoption.

Noted Catholic ethicist, Dr. Elizabeth Rex, has written extensively on the permissibility of Snowflakes®, noting that embryo adoption does not violate the sacred bond of marriage, and fulfills our obligation to save human lives. She says of Donum Vitae, “the human embryo must be treated as a person from the first instant of its conception (DV I.1) and it also declares as ‘licit’ and even ‘desirable’ all therapeutic procedures that ‘are directed toward [the human embryo’s] healing, the improvement of its condition of health, or its individual survival.’ (DV I.3).”  If Donum Vitae sees as desirable all procedures which are directed toward an embryo’s survival, then surely embryo adoption is permissible.

We have recorded a video about the Catholic View of Embryo Adoption presented by two Catholic doctors.

–Daniel Nehrbass, Ph.D.

Natalie Receives “Bright Light Award”

The Board of Directors of Nightlight Christian Adoptions established the “Bright Lights Award” which is given in recognition of a commitment to adoption which inspires others to adopt, advocates for adoption, or makes a great sacrifice in adoption. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).

The fourth recipient of the Bright Lights award is Natalie G.

Natalie was adopted from St. Petersburg, Russia in 2006 at the age of two.  On two occasions, Natalie has used her birthday party to raise funds for adoption…asking her friends to give money to help with adoption costs at Nightlight.


Adoption Changed My Life

I was adopted from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, at the age of three along with my older sister, Lila, who was four. Adoption has changed my life physically and spiritually and has shown me a great picture of how Christians have been adopted into God’s family at salvation.

Physically, being in a family meant my basic needs were fully provided such as nutritious food, regular medical care, clothing that fit properly, and having my own toothbrush. My first pair of shoes was so special that I would wear them all day every day. I wouldn’t even take them off in the shower. In the orphanage, older kids would steal from younger kids. I got into the habit of standing on my toys because I was afraid that someone would take them. That’s why I wore my shoes everywhere and refused to take them off.

Spiritually, adoption brought me into a Christian home. My adoptive parents made a commitment to love, support, and teach me even though I wasn’t their own. Raising children who have been through difficult situations takes a lot of commitment, sacrifice, and patience. I think adoption is committing to raise a child like he is your own and showing him the love of Christ through modeling His attributes. Jesus is the perfect example of what true commitment and sacrifice look like. He laid down His life for us which was the ultimate sacrifice and promises to all believers that He will never leave us nor forsake us which shows His commitment.

Earthly adoption is a picture of spiritual adoption in that when you get saved you become a part of the family of God. Our status changes to sons and daughters. With this new identity comes new purpose and meaning. As sons and daughters of God, we will partake in His future inheritance in the Kingdom of God. As the Apostle Paul teaches in Ephesians, God does for us what we could never do for ourselves.

My mom has always thanked us for choosing her to be our mom, but the reality is that God chose Lila and me to be part of the Schuiteman family. Adoption will always be special to me because it changed my life.


How Adoption Affected Me

Hello, my name is Olive.  I’m 9.  I was born in China.  My birth mom put me on a doorstep.  Someone saw me. They called the police. I was put in an orphanage. My first foster mom went to the hospital because I had a cleft lip and palate. The second foster mom took care of me until I was adopted. My family gave me a stuffed bunny and some other gifts. I was adopted at age 4. I was scared because I spoke in Chinese and my parents spoke English. Adoption affected me by learning about God, making friends, and learning about the world.  Today I live with my 4 siblings and my mom and dad.


A Purposeful Life

Orphans have a purpose, even though they are born into a life with few opportunities. I was an orphan in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and my adoption story is no exception. My life was forever changed when I was adopted. I was chosen to fly twenty-four hours to the United States to become a member of a family at the age of four and a half. When I arrived in the United States, as soon as I stepped off the aircraft and my new little pink sandals touched the black pavement, I became an American citizen and part of my forever family, the Schuitemans. Adjusting to this phenomenon of adoption was difficult at first. I was placed in an entirely new culture, and I had no concept of a family. In the Tam Binh I Orphanage, few people cared about me, and my number one priority was survival. It was hard for me to understand that my family loved me and wanted to care for me. Because of that, I was forced to become very independent at a young age; I did not experience people who lovingly cared for me and who found it a joy to meet my basic needs. After being with my new family for six months, I slowly began grasping what it meant to be part of a family.Being adopted has had a profound effect on me. This is best demonstrated through my salvation story. In Vietnam, Buddhism is strongly prevalent; conversely, Christianity is not. I was adopted by Christians, and I have been taught what it means to be a Christian through reading and studying the Bible. When I was seven, I accepted Jesus as my Savior and Master. Since then, I strive to live for God’s glory. I have had my ups and downs, but God has always been faithful to guide me back to Him. I like to say I was adopted twice -once by my earthly family and once by my Heavenly Father. I am so thankful that I was given a better life by an earthly family’s adoption. Most importantly,however, I was given eternal life by the ultimate adoption from my Heavenly Father!I have been given opportunities that would not have been possible without adoption. I was given a second chance at life when my birth mom, under unfortunate circumstances, decided adoption was better than abortion. She made a brave choice! I am living a richer life because ofmy adoption. My life is richer because I have found purpose in Jesus Christ. I have been blessed to travel to France and Ukraine. I have graduated from high school and just completed my first semester of studies at Grace College in Winona Lake, Indiana, where I am in pursuit of an Event and Facility Management Degree. I enjoy serving at my local church through music and children’s ministries. I work as an IHOP server and a front desk agent at the Winona Lake Marriott hotel. I work hard to develop and maintain meaningful relationships as family and friends are very important to me. I strive to live a life that reflects God’s glory. One of my older sisters says that I am the reason she pursued a career in mission work. As you can see in so many ways, my life is full and filled with purpose.Everything that has happened in my life has been impactful and purposeful. Who I am today is a result of being adopted. I have developed a deep passion for orphans and adoption because of my life’s story. Accordingto UNICEF, there are an estimated 153 million orphans worldwide. Each orphan has a unique and special story that is waiting to be unfolded. I choose to share my adoption story because I hope it encourages people to see the beauty in adoption.