Jeff Purswell is the Dean of the Sovereign Grace Pastors College and several years ago our church was able to use our Adoptin Fund to help their family with the pursuit of adopting two little boys. In a child dedication service at Covenant Life Church, Jeff shared a bit of the Purswell’s journey from seeking biological children to gaining a heart for adoption. As you read the testimony, consider how God is leading your family in the area of adoption, whether through financial support, prayer, or adopting a child.
Since our marriage in 1987, Julie and I have witnessed, as a rough estimate, approximately 51 “Baby Dedications”; it is a consummate joy to be able to speak of the goodness of God in allowing us now to actually participate in #52. About 6 months after our wedding, Julie and I began “not trying to prevent pregnancy,” with no idea of what lay ahead of us. Living in our hometown, our lives were full with family, friends, and involvement in our local church. Neither of us was concerned when after a few months we had not conceived but, as the months passed, our “not preventing pregnancy” evolved into a more intense pursuit of it. We eventually journeyed into the brave new world of infertility testing. Tests revealed potential hindrances but nothing prohibitive, so we took some mild measures and continued to trust God’s timing. More time passed, more procedures were endured, and many of our friends were now on child #2, or 3 or 4–but we were still unable to conceive. What is always true was slowly becoming apparent to us: if we were going to have children, God would have to bring it about. In the meantime, the Lord gave us many wonderful opportunities to serve in our church, to travel on evangelism teams overseas, and to nurture our love as a couple. In the midst of our disappointment, God was so very gracious to put in our hearts the desire not to “wish away” these years of childlessness and to give us much fruitful labor in the church and the marketplace.
In 1994, after a long process of consideration, we moved to Chicago for graduate school. While we had longed for a family, it was true that not having children made this “life about-face” easier. It was also true that, as poor graduate students without insurance, further infertility treatments were not an option. Now more than ever, a child would have to be God’s doing. Once again, we found God faithful to brace us for more waiting during this 3 year period. We were never more sure of being in the center of God’s will, and our relationship grew more fragrant than ever. It was also during this time that God began opening up my heart to adoption. I felt the Lord helped me to articulate a prayer that helped bring me clarity: “Is our infertility a roadblock to children, or a detour to adoption?” Julie’s heart had long been open to adoption, and mine was beginning to change.
Psalm 127 says, “Children are a gift from the Lord,” –gifts aren’t simply something given for the benefit of the recipient—gifts reveal something of the Giver, of His kindness, His faithfulness, His wisdom.
In 2001, Jeff and Julie adopted Samuel and in 2003 they adopted their other son, Benjamin.
Thank you, Crossway, for how you support families like the Purswells and those locally. Your gifts have been a blessing to many Moms and Dads…and especially, children.