Gentle Ripples of Hope:
The Promise of Adoption Realized
Hope’s Promise Celebrates One Thousand Adoptions . . . and Counting!
by Erin Ellison
Think for a moment how many lives one thousand people could affect. From a numeric standpoint, it’s relatively easy to conceptualize one thousand “things.” But if we were to fill a room with one thousand people, we would be overwhelmed at the thought of knowing each person’s name and unique story. What if these one thousand people were connected by a common thread? What if their stories converged on how they became a part of a family?
In January, Hope’s Promise celebrated its one thousandth placement. Each of these placements represents a child who has received a hope and a future. Not only are their lives enriched, but each child also has a profound influence on their family and all those who know them. Like the ripple effect of a stone dropped into a pond, the ripples of every adoption are visible expressions of hope in the world.
As we celebrate the thousandth adoption, we reflect on the stories of two lives, nearly one thousand placements apart, that began with Hope’s Promise. Lindsey Wilkens was the first domestic placement completed by Hope’s Promise. This charming, articulate woman recently graduated from college and will soon be married. Her future beams bright.
Lindsey is candid about her adoption story. She says she has such gratitude for her birth mother for choosing life for her, knowing that she made a sacrificial choice. It is also readily apparent that Lindsey is overwhelmingly thankful for her adoptive family as well. “I could not imagine my life without my sister, mom and dad and extended family,” she says with a grin. Lindsey has never been hesitant to share her adoption story with others; it has become an integral part of her life as she raises awareness about the hope and future that adoption brings.
Eager for her wedding day, Lindsey is optimistic about what God has in store for her future family. She says that maybe one day, she and her fiancé will adopt through Hope’s Promise, keeping the legacy going. Lindsey says that she would not be who she is today if her family had not found Hope’s Promise.
Naomi and Dan Flanagan stand on the threshold of a new beginning as well. In January their family welcomed home their daughter Zoe, Hope’s Promise’s one thousandth adoptee.
Zoe is Hope's Promise's 1000th adoption placement.
The Flanagans had always talked about adoption, but they never anticipated the story God had written for their family. They began by pursuing an international adoption with hopes of adopting an older child from Ethiopia. Naomi admits that she secretly longed for a baby, but knew this was very unlikely through an international adoption. However, one Thursday night, Naomi received a call from Hope’s Promise concerning a new-born baby girl that needed a home. Less than a week later, they met their daughter, Zoe, for the first time. Naomi says, “Zoe has already brought so much joy to our family.” They are excited to learn who she is and who she will become. Not expecting to have a baby again, Naomi says that her adoption journey taught her so much about patience . . . and how God can and will do more than we can imagine.
Today, both Lindsey and Zoe stand on the threshold of promise and hope. One is beginning a new season of life; the other’s life is just beginning. These new beginnings, just snapshots of their intricate stories, reveal only a part of who they are. But for a moment, we imagine the gentle ripple effects these two lives have on others and see a common thread woven in the stories of a thousand Hope’s Promise adoptees: we see the ripples of unlimited potential . . . and their continuous flow outward.