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Andy and Mackenzie’s life and family look much different than they ever imagined, but they wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Early in their marriage, they learned about sex trafficking and were burdened for people whose lives were forever altered by the greed and sin of others. So, when they experienced infertility, they turned to adoption and focused on Cambodia. They decided to adopt a child orphaned by trafficking but learned that American families could not adopt from the country.
It was strange to feel open to the idea of adoption and have the door closed in such an obvious way. Yet, they had also been learning about other adoption and foster care routes. “We just couldn’t go back. Kids needed families, and we wanted to be parents,” Mackenzie said.
So, they started working with an agency near their home in the Pacific Northwest, confident they wanted to adopt one or two children under five. They fostered kids needing emergency placement while waiting for their forever children, but the wait was longer than anticipated. Andy and Mackenzie were sad and confused. They knew there were kids that needed homes, and they were available. One Friday evening, they received a call from their agency about three children, all over the age of five. It did not make sense with their plans, but through prayer and trust, they moved forward in taking them in and adopting them ten months later.
Fast forward a few years, and God called the family to Texas. A couple of years after they settled, Mackenzie heard from the Lord again. She sensed their family wasn’t complete, so she and Andy talked and prayed. They knew God wanted them to open their lives to more kids, but this time they needed to include their children in the decision, too. It wasn’t quick, but in the end, the kids all agreed, “You did this for us; why would we not do this for someone else?”
Andy and Mackenzie started working with PCHAS. The process felt different because of the COVID-19 pandemic. They also had first-hand experience parenting kids from hard places. They were excited to get excellent trauma-informed care training and enjoyed good communication with PCHAS staff.
They had a rather strict profile for children they would consider, so the wait was once again longer than they expected. And again, they learned of kids needing a family who were outside of their parameters. It didn’t match their plans, but they sensed the Lord leading them, and they said “Yes.” The experience has turned out better than they imagined. It’s been exciting to see their older kids grow and mature. They’ve also had a different perspective on the process because they believe in Trust-Based Relational Intervention® (TBRI®) and can see the benefits of focusing on connection.
When we asked Mackenzie what advice she would share with families thinking about fostering, she said, “Don’t decide what’s best for you. It’s not about you. God works in you and through you and teaches you so much. It’s all about Him.” She added, “[almost] every step of our processes both times did not go as we planned. We were pretty adamant that we knew what was going to be best, but God had different plans.”
God is working in and through Andy and Mackenzie. Their family looks different than they ever imagined, but Mackenzie says, “We’re so honored to be called to something different.” PCHAS is grateful they answered the call.
Do you feel called to something different? We want to get to know you. Connect with a Foster Care & Adoption Guide at 281.324.0544 or email@example.com.