Three local families have recently welcomed new children into their lives through the process of adoption. For the Craig, Karnish and Sas families, the journey has been long, but well worth the challenges.
Orange City community members Jonny and Kayla Craig have recently adopted their third child, Eliza. This is the Craig’s second adoption; they also adopted their five year old son, Joseph, four years ago.
For the Craig family, each adoption was very different. Their son Joseph was adopted from Nigeria through international adoption, which was a challenging process.
“It was the hardest thing I have ever done,” Dover pastor and Summit worship leader Jonny Craig said. “There were moments where I was told that I would not be able to take my son home.”
After adopting Joseph, both Jonny and Kayla felt called by God to adopt again. The parents put their names on a waiting list for a child through the Special Angels, an organization that helps parents adopt children with special needs. On the Thursday before Christmas, the Craigs filled out a form to adopt a girl with Down Syndrome. Little did they know the next day they would receive an email and by Sunday they would be on a plane to Florida to adopt their daughter.
Throughout the difficult process of adoption, Craig has had to rely on God and trust His plan.
“You have to have a firm conviction that adoption is what God has planned for you,” Craig said.
Craig sees the value in adoption and wants to encourage students to consider adoption when they choose to start a family.
“You can see how God has worked to bring that child to you and when you see the face of your adoptive child you know that they are a miracle,” Craig said.
For the Karnish family, adoption has always been something they wanted to pursue to grow their family. Nearly a year ago, they adopted their daughter Lillie. She is now a spunky 18 month old with her own personality.
“Jennie and I have felt called to help those in need, the orphans,” Ben Karnish, women’s soccer coach, said. “This passion weighed heavy on our hearts.”
The adoption process the Karnishes went through included meeting birth mothers and going through a home study. Once they were in contact and the paper work was complete, they went to the hospital to take their daughter home.
The Karnishes have an open adoption, which means that their daughter will be able to communicate with and possibly meet her biological mother when she gets older.
The Karnish family has been open with their daughter about her adoption since the beginning of her life and plan to teach her what it means to be adopted.
“We talk about it a lot; we have books and read about adoption,” Karnish said. “Even though she can’t comprehend it now, it’s something she will know from the beginning.”
The Karnishes look forward to watching their daughter’s personality develop as the grows up.
“There is never a doubt that she is our child and no difference in the way that we feel about her,” Karnish said.
For Heather and Michael Sas, adoption was able to give them the gift of a child when it was not biologically possible.
“We spent a lot of time in prayer and had many conversations with other couples who had adopted,” serials coordinater Heather Sas said. “We recognized God was clearly calling us to grow our family through adoption.”
The Sas family has adopted two year old Zander, and most recently, three week old Grayson. Sas attempts to use her situation as an opportunity to serve and honor the Lord.
“The process of adoption follows the biblical command as in Psalm 82:3,” Sas said. “Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.”