Updated: Sep 5
Waiting and adopting seem to go together. But Sara and Kyle Warren would prefer the old adage “things worth having are worth waiting for.” After marrying in 2010, the couple not only began a life together, they started on a nine-year journey that would lead to the adoption of their son Lukas.
“Pregnancy for us was elusive, despite our efforts,” says Sara. “It was difficult the day we decided to stop trying.”
Kyle is accustomed to challenges. He was born with VATER Syndrome—several birth defects that occur in conjunction with one another. He has only one kidney, scoliosis, and malformation of his arms and hands. He has had 26 surgeries in his lifetime. Despite the heartache of learning that he and Sara could not conceive, the couple was determined to not give up their dream of having a family.
“I never liked the word no and believed there would be a way,” asserts Kyle. “From a young age, I have trusted God as I lived the life He gave me. I have believed when one door closes, another one opens.”
In 2016, the couple turned their minds and hearts to adoption and began a new path on their journey. Home studies, volumes of paperwork, and creating a Family Profile Book were just the first steps to what would become a longer process than they imagined.
Now focused on adopting, the Warrens connected with an adoption agency. They soon learned that every adoption agency was not the same. After months of frustration, a friend told them about Christian Adoption Services (CAS). Sara and Kyle sent their home study to Sheryl Naylor, Executive Director of Domestic Adoptions for CAS. They were told that prospective adoptive
families have to go through a process to become a waiting family with CAS, but their home study would be kept on file. The couple was excited—but again they waited. Months passed.
As the couple were learning, adoption can take time. “We knew it was about God’s timing,” says Kyle. “It was difficult then, but God was preparing us for a little boy who had not even been born. We realized that adoption is not like standing in front of a fast food menu board where you pick and choose. Adoption is putting things into the hands of God. Instead of us picking, God picked us for Lukas.”
The baby boy was born on December 13, 2018. He weighed three and a half pounds. There were mobility issues with both arms, he
had scoliosis, and pulmonary issues which impacted his breathing. Later, doctors determined he suffered from hearing loss. They speculated that he had been exposed to a virus while in the womb. The birth mother decided to make an adoption plan, but CAS did not immediately have a family for Lukas.
Naylor spent Christmas with her family, taking a few days away from the office. “I just could not stop thinking about this baby boy,” she recalls. “I cried out to God to show me a family,” Naylor remembered the Warrens. She accessed their home study and re-read every word. Kyle had similar disabilities as the baby. “I could not believe what I was reading.”
On December 28, nearly two years after contacting CAS,
the call Sara and Kyle had waited for so long finally came.
“I listened and the tears began to flow,” remembers Sara. “Sheryl told me about a baby who had special needs and needed special parents.” The baby was in a Greenville hospital. The Warrens called family, canceled commitments, and packed what they hoped would be enough for the time they would be away. In a few days, they would meet their son.
“It was a whirlwind,” says Kyle. “We had waited years, but we became parents in the seconds it took to hear about this baby boy who needed a family.”
Kyle was nervous. Would he be able to hold his son with shorter arms and hands with only four fingers? Spending the next three weeks with Lukas in the hospital, he realized his life with disabilities, facing the challenges he had faced, could be helpful to Lukas. “Lukas might face some of the same challenges I’ve faced. Living a life with disabilities made me uniquely able to care for him.”
Kyle leaned on Sara as he ventured into fatherhood. “She encouraged me. If I had concerns, I shared my thoughts and feelings and together we found a way.”
When the new parents shopped for a crib, they bought a crib that Kyle could reach over the side to lift Lukas from the crib. It needed to work for Kyle as well as Lukas.
“I have always supported Kyle,” says Sara. “If he was able to try something, we tried it. We focused not on what can’t be done, but on what we could do. Kyle deserved to be as much a dad
as any other dad.”
Lukas is now four years old. He wakes in the morning and has only one speed—go, go, go. By the end of the day, he and his parents are worn out. He attends daycare, and his special education teacher mom supplements what he is learning at home. He is on his way to being ready to begin school next year. The Warrens still navigate. health issues that require doctor appointments with a variety of specialists, but he is doing well. Lukas and his dad slip away for an occasional “Man Day.” They attend a college baseball game, go to the zoo, or stop by the library to peruse books. And every trip includes lunch complete with hot dogs and fries.
What’s next? Rumors are that a new home study has begun for an adopted sibling.
To learn more about adoptions through CAS, visit online at www.christianadopt.org or call 704-847-0038.
Written by Jim Edminson, Editor of Charity & Children