In the coming months Mike and Kristin Seaver, who already have five biological children, will be completing the final stages of a long journey to adopt four more. The Seaver's hope to complete an adoption of a sibling group of 4 children from Colombia in the late summer. Despite the large and growing family that they have now, the process of building their family has come with challenges.
Mike, a pastor at Risen Hope church in Summerville, and Kristin had considered adopting since they first got married 20 years ago. They have faced heartbreaking experiences with miscarriages, failed adoptions and adoption complications along the way.
“We suffered two miscarriages and eventually were connected with a young single woman who wanted to have us adopt her baby,” Kristin said. “Before she delivered him though, she chose to parent him.”
While the couple was eventually able to have five of their own biological children, now ages 16, 15, 12, 10 and 7, they continued to feel a desire to grow their family and take care of children whose parents were not able to.
In January of 2020, the couple began to pray together about adopting a sibling group. They had recently been connected with several families who had adopted larger sibling groups themselves and from that felt encouraged. When the Seavers came across a picture and a video of a group of four children, ranging in similar ages to their own children, they immediately became interested.
“After we began to inquire about them, we really felt like the Lord was moving our hearts toward an eagerness to pursue these children to be their forever family,” Kristin said.
The siblings are currently at an orphanage in Bogota, Colombia. While the family is still in the midst of the final paperwork, they hope to go to Colombia to bring home their new additions to the family in the coming months. Despite a year of delays due to COVID-19, the Seavers say they have not had any unusual challenges from it.
“Since we are adopting from Colombia, they have been similar to the U.S. in closing down and opening back up. We haven't experienced too many unusual delays or challenges up to this point,” Kristin said.
Kristin says that throughout the process of their adoption, they have had an immense amount of support from their community, even so much so that at this point they only need about $17,000 more to complete the adoption.
The family plans to go through Both Hands, an organization that helps families fundraise for adoptions or orphan-related initiatives to help with their final push of funding.
The organization raises money in an unusual way, Kristin says.
“We gather a team of friends to join us and we find a widow who could use help with some home improvement projects. Then our team sends out support letters to their circles asking for financial support for them while they serve at the one day widow-helping project,” Kristin said. “We get donations from business for the project needs, and all of the financial donations that come in from support letters that our team sends out goes to our adoption funds.”
Other efforts through the organization have raised substanial sums for prospective adoptive parents. The Seaver's had their project day on March 27, when they served a widow in the Sangaree neighborhood.
Kristin says the family has no doubt there will be challenges as their family almost doubles in size with the upcoming adoption.
“I think we are definitely aware that it's going to change things for our family. There will be changes in the things we can do now versus what we can do with nine children,” Kristin said. “Life is going to look different and our time management will look different.”
The family actually bought a 12-passenger van several years ago, during a short time while they were involved in foster care, in order to have enough seats for everyone. Kristin says that after they were no longer active with foster care, they spent a lot of time considering selling the van for a smaller car. Now, Kristin says, she sees that God knew all along that this adoption was in motion and that he was working to provide them with the physical resources in advance, including their current house.
“We never really knew why 10 years ago when the lord provided us the house we are in, why he provided such a big house for us. We feel like we have ample space for the kids. It's actually kind of neat how we have a house with plenty of rooms and bathrooms,” Kristin said.
With many of their physical needs already provided for their growing family, Kristin says it allows them to focus more on the emotional stressors their soon-to-be adopted children may face.
“Kids coming from hard places will have enough emotional challenges, so I guess the Lord was preparing us with the physical need we would have in order to help them more with their trauma and their challenges from the neglect they have experienced and such,” Kristin said.
Adoption, whether international or domestic, typically encounters challenges throughout its lengthy process. Kristin says their family came into the experience expecting plenty of bumps in the road and are continuing to hold their hands open for what's to come as they grow closer to the finish line.