Our Journey with Brad

I just finished reading through the Facebook thread of my son, Brad, and my heart is touched by the outpouring of love and good wishes from Brad’s birth father and all the family members Brad didn’t know about.

I thank God for Brad. I would like to share a little more about him and how we brought him into our family as an infant for adoption. I want to show you this journey of an adoption in Florida from another perspective.

When Barbara and I married, I recall being intentional about my desire for God to be a major part of our marriage and family. I also made a commitment to God and expressed my desire to put him first in our life. I prayed for God’s blessings for me and my new family. God answered my prayers then and he has been answering my prayers daily since then.

After our twin daughters and son were born, Barbara and I realized that we had been blessed abundantly as parents.

At that time, our church had started a ministry to provide an alternative for young women who found themselves with an unplanned pregnancy. Expectant mothers would be counseled so they could make an informed choice about the baby they were carrying. The plan was to provide pregnancy help to the mother, and also to the birth father, her family and loved ones as she shared the news with them: “I’m pregnant.”

Women were to be educated on the difference between “Giving baby up for adoption” and “Placing” the baby with an adoptive family. Expectant mothers choosing to parent would be offered guidance on community resources for herself and her baby.

Barbara and I loved children. We loved babies. We committed to being foster parents through the newly formed Christian Family Services ministry.

In September of 1979, God blessed us with the birth of a very special baby. A couple of days after he was born, we welcomed Brad into our home as a foster child. We loved him from day one and we prayed that we would be able add him to our family through newborn adoption. God answered our prayers and we adopted him several months later.

After Brad joined our family as our son, we continued to keep foster children, mostly babies, and we realized that we couldn’t keep every future foster child on a permanent basis. Our role was to provide a temporary home, provide the love and care each child needed, and provide a nurturing environment for every child until they were united with their “forever mom and dad”.

We kept foster children in our home for 30+ years and over that time, provided much love for approximately 35 children.

God blessed the ministry of Christian Family Services, he blessed our home, and he blessed each of our children with the understanding of how important it is to serve and love others.

Over the years, we spent many sleepless nights taking care of babies that had different sleep schedules. We also shed many tears as we loved and let go. It was a painful experience for every one of us when we said goodbye to our foster children as they said hello to their forever mother and father.

However, we all learned much about God’s love for us in the process of loving others.

written by Jimmie Brunson

Part 2 of this journey is to be continued…

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