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 Catholic.org. 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.

–Levi

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.

–Olive

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.
–Lila

How I was Impacted by Adoption


My name is Romy, I’m 20 years old, I was born in Colombia and I was adopted on 2018. Since I got adopted my life has changed a lot. Adoption has give me the opportunity to grow, to learn, and to experience what is like to have a family.  

I had grown not only physically but emotionally. I trust people more, I feel happy, and I’m myself. Things like a buenas noches kiss or a breakfast with my family had help me feel comfortable and welcome in a environment that was new for me. I had learn appreciate things and people who made adoption possible. Because of adoption I will have a better future, a better education and a better lifestyle. Adoption has affected me and my family in a positive way, my parents learned about our culture to make us feel like in home and comfortable, and we learned about their culture to get used to this new life. The last thing I want to say is  if you have the opportunity to adopt you should do it, it’ll change your life and you will change the life of the kids you adopt. 

–Romy

What Adoption Has Taught Me

I Love Who I Was, Who I Am, and Who I Am Becoming

As I enter the waiting room of my therapist’s office, I realize how much lighter my chest feels, how much more confident I have become, and how thankful I am for all the events and opportunities this life has brought me thus far. My therapist opens the door with a big smile on her face. “Anna, come on in” she says as she waves her arm, signaling for me to enter her office. She looks at me and asks, “So, how have the last few months been now that we have started the process of healing your inner child?” I look at her and can feel the instant release of tears welling up in my eyes. She knows of all the challenges and trauma I faced as a child and still sits in the hurt and pain with me. I tell her how much happier I am and how much more willing I am to open up to my friends and family about the internal struggles I used to feel ashamed of. I tell her of the demons I have been dealing with and how I have taken the time to get to know my inner child. My therapist and I decided to call my inner child “Little Anna.” Little Anna was angry, hurt, and pushed people away because all she knew as a kid was that eventually everyone would leave her behind. Her parents left her behind, so why would anyone else want her in their life? That little girl was eventually nurtured and loved by her older self. It took patience, self-love, positive affirmations, an amazing therapist, and a healthy support system to get that little girl out of her shell and to allow people in emotionally. Little Anna used to drive the car on the freeway that is my life, but now she sits in the passenger seat and trusts me to navigate where the road may lead us. That little girl just needed some love and a place where she could let her guard down and open up without the fear of imminent rejection or abandonment. As Little Anna began to heal, I decided I wanted to set her free. I wanted her to be able to still play and feel free, so I mentally placed her atop the cliffs of Moher, in Ireland. As a little girl, I loved to run and frolic through fields of tall grass as my ashy brown hair danced with the wind. So, she resides there and every once in a while I go check up on her. She is happy and thankful to be in a place where she can trust me to love her, nurture her, and reassure her that everything will be alright. If I am being honest, it hurts when people tell me how amazing it must be to have been adopted and how cool it is that I was placed with parents that love and care about me. They assume that I am unappreciative. Yes, I am thankful I was placed with such nurturing parents, but people do not realize how hard the adjustment is for a young child to move to a new country, having to learn a new language and adjust to a new culture, while also wondering where her birth parents are. It was not until I turned twenty-four that I was able to heal and move forward from the pain that my adoption left me with. Because my parents were not around when I was an infant, I developed an unhealthy attachment style and an aversion to physical touch. But, with the help of therapy, I was able to overcome these challenges. Though all these things may seem negative, I will tell you how they made me who I am today. Today, I repay my gratitude for my situation by helping children feel secure, loved, appreciated, and wanted. Today, I evolved my struggles as a young child into energy as a loving and caring young woman, who wants to work with children with special needs. Every child deserves a chance in this world that can often be so cruel. I have been accepted into a program to teach English abroad next year and I know that this opportunity was meant for me. My adoption did not harden my heart. Instead, my adoption allowed me to become an empathetic woman who sees each child as a beautiful and unique individual with great potential to grow into a kind and loving human being. Adoption is a scary process for both the parent and the child, but something beautiful can bloom from it if you allow yourself to sit and acknowledge the hurt and the pain without shame and learn to use your experiences to help others around you. I was created to help children who are much like me: scared and living in fight or flight mode for far too long. With that being said, I have so much gratitude, appreciation, and love for my parents and all the struggles and hurt they had to deal with while raising a child that just did not know how to properly love quite yet. I appreciate the fact that they never gave up on me, and because of their never ending love and support for me, I cannot wait for the day I get to adopt a child, love them for exactly who they are, and remind them that they are not alone. One day I will pay it forward.
–Anna B.