FORT WORTH, Texas (BP)--Just mentioning the word "adoption" causes John Mark Yeats' eyes to light up. Yeats, assistant professor of church history at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, not only has four adopted children, but he and his wife Angie counsel potential adoptive parents and advocate adoption wherever they can.
The idea of adoption was a topic of discussion early on in their relationship.
"Before we got married, we had laid the expectation that we could have kids on the table and surrendered it to God," Yeats said.
They agreed that even if they were able to have biological children, they would adopt at least one child. At that point, the Yeatses did not know that they would experience infertility.
Having seen a few families self-destruct when faced with infertility, Yeats considers this kind of surrender "an important thing because a lot of times we think it's a right that we have kids."
Having difficulty getting pregnant early in their marriage, the Yeatses experienced feelings of inadequacy. Some wondered what was "wrong," since they adopted children instead of having them biologically.
"Many people want a sense of biological succession," Yeats said. Angie admits that she had difficulty with it as well, wanting to be able to bring the baby home from the hospital.
Angie said she prayed, "I'd just like to know one way or the other whether we should adopt." After a complicated tubular pregnancy that ended in surgery, doctors told them in-vitro fertilization was their only option for getting pregnant, but they did not consider this an ethical option. Through these events and continued prayer, they realized that God wanted them to adopt and began the process. Less than a year later, they brought their first daughter, Briley, home and finalized the adoption.
When they moved to Texas and Yeats joined Southwestern Seminary as a professor a couple of years later, they felt like the Lord was leading them to adopt again. During a meeting with Hope Cottage, a Texas-based pregnancy and adoption center, Yeats asked, "Do you ever get sibling groups?" Read More