Driven by a passion for adoption and its blessings, members of an adoption support team from Harderwyk Ministries Christian Reformed Church in Holland, Mich., walk alongside families pursuing or considering adoption or foster care.
“Our team [provides] prayer support, paperwork support, and a shoulder to cry on or a sounding board when frustrated,” said Kreg Sills, president of the GIFT (God’s Intended Family Treasure) team. GIFT is comprised of adoptive parents as well as employees of Bethany Christian Services, a Christian adoption and foster care agency.
A few years ago, Kreg and his wife, Stacey, adopted their son Hagirsa from Ethiopia around the same time as another Harderwyk couple, John and Jeannine Ferguson, were working to adopt their twin sons from Bulgaria, Petar and Teodor, over four years ago. “The four of us got together and started talking,” Sills said.“Other like-minded families came together very naturally, very easily. It was God-ordained,” John Ferguson said. After all the support they received throughout the adoption process, including a concert fundraiser, Ferguson said they wanted to pay it forward.
The team offers grants to Harderwyk families who pursue adoption, including domestic, international, and, most recently, embryo adoption. The financial aspect, said Sills, “is usually the biggest hurdle for people to jump: ‘How are we going to be able to afford this?’”
“It’s a huge leap of faith to adopt. It’s not just the money up front. It’s a lifelong change. Families need to be ready for that. We’re doing our best to let them know that it’s not something they’re going into on their own. As much as we can help, that’s why our group was formed,” Sills said.
GIFT also partners with Bethany to put on a bimonthly respite night for foster or adoptive parents in the greater Holland community. The kids get a fun night out while parents have a much-needed night off.
“We have a deeper bond because of the things we’ve been through,” said Sills. “We hope and pray that we can make more of an impact through our group, our church, and beyond to make a difference to children who need loving families.”
The Sills and others from GIFT shared their adoption story at https://vimeo.com/144573616.