This is part one of a two part series featuring adoptive parents Nathan and Lindsey Williams. Connected Hearts had the pleasure of helping the Williams pay for costly medical procedures for their sons Ethan and Oliver. Oliver was born with a rare birth defect that affects various organs. Because of the severity of his needs, Oliver was abandoned at 7 days old. Ethan was abandoned at age one, when his family found out he had heart failure. Both boys are thriving with the Williams family! We recently did a Q&A with the Williams about their adoption journey.
Today you will get a dad's view on adoption, as you read Nathan's responses to the Q&A. We'll be posting Lindsey's responses soon. A special thanks to the Williams for sharing your story, and also to everyone who supports Connected Hearts. Your support helps children like Ethan and Oliver be all that God created them to be.
Why did you decide to adopt?
Lindsey has known since she was a little child that she has wanted to adopt – in particular, internationally. Early in our marriage, we discussed this desire and I was quickly excited about the possibility. However, both of us believed that we would probably have biological children first and adopt later in life. God made it clear as we began thinking of having children that adoption should be our plan A for building a family.
Why did you specifically decide to adopt Ethan and Oliver?
It sounds totally ridiculous to say this, but there is a noticeable wave of emotion that washes
over your heart during the adoption process. In particular, when you receive files for children who could potentially be your child. It is difficult to explain to someone who has not gone through the process. It doesn’t happen with every child, but it happened with both of our boys. The process is not made immediately, and much prayer and discussion comes after, but the emotion is immediate and powerful. For me, I had imagined bringing a little girl home, but the moment I saw Oliver’s smile, I knew he was ours. We had only recently included his special need on our list. It was similar seeing Ethan’s photo, although there were many more questions about him medically. Again, we had to rely on faith to step out and trust that we could provide the needed care.
How has adoption changed your lives?
Adoption has been the mechanism that helped us both realize our dreams of being parents. It has stretched us as individuals, and a couple, farther than we could have ever gone without it. It has been a blessing to see our marriage bond strengthened through difficulty as well as through joy. I see the impact our kids have on those around them and rejoice in the honor of getting to be a part of their lives. Adoption makes people ask questions, which gives us the opportunity to answer in ways that bring glory to God.
How has Connected Hearts helped your children/ family?
Connected Hearts was literally an answer to prayer following our adoption of Oliver 2015. We had saved money for a surgery that we knew would take place based on his medical information we had during his adoption. While in China, we noticed immediately that there was something else wrong that would likely mean more surgeries and more expense. After returning home, it was confirmed that Oliver would need an additional surgery, sooner than expected, to address a spinal cord issue. This depleted our funds that we had saved for another surgery at a later date. To make matters more difficult, we felt the nudge to begin the process to adopt again, which carries with it another large set of expenses. After surrendering to God’s prompting to begin the process again, a chance conversation led to Connected Hearts. In less than a week, we learned that CHM would cover our medical expenses for the next round of surgeries, allowing us to begin saving for Ethan’s adoption.
If Connected Hearts did not help with medical expenses, would medical care be a financial burden for your family?
Yes, we would not have been able to give the kids the level of care without this help. We have pursued not only the surgical repairs, but also several different types of therapies for both boys. These therapies have had profound impacts on both physical and emotional development. I can honestly say that we are giving our kids the best care available – which is all you could ask for as a parent.
What do you think your children's lives would be like if they never got adopted?
I try not to think about this too often as it makes the orphan crisis become very real, very quickly. As I think about our kids and what their fates would have been, I can’t help but think of the thousands of children who actually face this prospect, and my heart breaks for them. Oliver’s undiagnosed tethered cord would have eventually caused irreversible damage to his gross motor and potentially limited his mobility. Furthermore, his ostomy was done very poorly and would have been prone to leakage and infection, something that would have been both embarrassing and dangerous. He would have eventually aged out of the system at 18 without any family or way to manage his condition or pay for supplies. More than likely, he would have ended up on the streets. Ethan, on the other hand, was deemed inoperable by the surgeons in China. He would have never received the repair necessary to sustain his life into adulthood. His life would have limped along in the orphanage and he would have continued to grow until his heart condition could no longer support any further growth. Based on his anatomy, Ethan probably wouldn’t have lived long enough to age out of the system.
2019 Benefit Concert Featuring Jeff and Sheri Easter
Want to help more children just like Ethan and Oliver? You can make a difference by purchasing a ticket, or donating the cost of a ticket, to our upcoming benefit concert. On September 13th, we will host our 2019 benefit concert featuring Jeff and Sheri Easter. All proceeds go towards helping more children thrive like Ethan and Oliver.
Tickets Only $10.00
Friday September 13th, 2019
Doors open at 6:00 pm.
Concert starts at 7:00 pm.
First Baptist Church of North Augusta
625 Georgia Avenue, North Augusta, SC 29841
Only $10.00 (13 and older)
Children 12 and under are free.