AFRICANGLOBE – A white evangelical couple told the story of how – and why – they chose to ‘adopt’ five Black children, three as embryos, Thursday.
Presbyterian missionaries Aaron and Rachel Halbert had agreed while dating that they wanted to adopt because, as Aaron told The Washington Post, it was ‘the logical outcome of being pro-life.’
And they agreed not to adopt white children, knowing that white kids are more likely to be chosen by prospective parents. It was a decision that was to transform their lives in the most heartwarming way imaginable.
Aaron grew up with his missionary parents in Honduras, where he says he was a ‘blue-eyed, cotton-topped white kid who stuck out like a sore thumb.’
But that helped him feel comfortable around people of other races, he says – something Rachel, who grew up in the Mississippi delta, took a few years to pick up.
Having difficulty conceiving naturally, they eventually went to an adoption agency in Mississippi, and told workers there they only wanted to adopt ‘non-Caucasian’ children.
‘We did this with the deeply held conviction that if the Lord wanted us to have a fully Caucasian child my wife would conceive naturally,’ Aaron explained.
The pair adopted two African-American kids, and found their lives changing in a magical way.
‘There is something beautiful and enriching being the only white face sitting and chatting with some of my African-American friends as my son gets his hair cut on a Saturday morning,’ Aaron told the Washington Post.
‘The beauty of a multi-ethnic family is found there, in the fact that the differences are the very thing that make ours richer and fuller. It forces you to think in a new way about the way you think, speak, act and live.’
The Halberts hadn’t intended to have any more children, but then they heard about the National Embryo Donation Center, a Christian embryo bank that ‘saves’ the excess frozen embryos that are created during a couple’s IVF treatment.
Usually those embryos – which comprise just a few cells – are destroyed or given to science once their biological donors successfully implant one.
But Christian centers accept ‘donations’ that can then be ‘adopted’ by couples having trouble conceiving.
‘Deeply moved’ by the thought of having more kids – and wanting their new arrives to fit in with their siblings – the couple had two African-American embryos implanted.
Little did they know that one of those embryos would divide again, leaving them with triplets and not the twins they had expected.
And on Sunday Rachel gave birth to the three tiny bundles of joy.
The couple are currently serving as missionaries in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, but Aaron knows from experience the strange looks they will get when they take their three new kids out and about in the American South.
He recalled the times that an elderly white women looked at his family with disgust, and a Black mother ‘looked at us and just shook her head.’
‘However, there was also the young Black girl who wept when we told her this little boy with her skin color was our son,’ he said, ‘and the older white doctor who lovingly prayed over him and held him so tenderly.
‘These latter experiences were rays of hope reminding us how far our country had come, while the former experiences reminded us how far we still need to go.’
By: James Wilkinson