(l-r: Isabel, Mike, Isaac, Ruben & Rachel Pirtle)
Meet The Pirtle Family
When we first married nearly thirteen years ago, we both felt that God had laid adoption upon our hearts. We didn't know when the time for adoption would be, but it was always in the back of our minds . . . someday. After having two biological children, Isaac (now 7) and Isabel (now 5), we were finally in a place where our life felt "settled." However, we knew that we weren't finished adding to our family yet. Through various circumstances, we both felt a huge prompt to begin looking into adoption. We knew the time was finally right. At first we looked into international adoption after hearing the experiences of friends and reading many joyful adoption stories. After looking into the process, it became very clear to us that international adoption was a closed door to us at that point in our lives. Immediately, we begin looking into the domestic option. We were hesitant at first because of the negative stigma many times associated with the state system. We were afraid of what we might encounter, but we decided to step out on faith.
After making a few calls about how to get started, we were directed to Keith Howard at Arrow Child and Family Ministries in Amarillo. Though we frequently called with a plethora of questions, the staff at Arrow always took time out to patiently answer, encourage and guide us through the training process. Our positive, assuring experience at Arrow eased our doubts and fears about fostering to adopt. After receiving our foster license through Arrow, we began to submit our home study on children that we hoped would be a match for our family. We prayed over each one, asking God to keep his hand up on the child that we were meant to raise. Only a month after obtaining our license and submitting our home study on a few cases, we received a call about a possible legal-risk placement; a five-year-old boy named Ruben. We read the case file, prayed over it, and decided that we would love to have this little boy in our home. It was decided that he would come for a 3-day visit before permanent placement, to make sure he would be happy in our home. The first day this bright, bubbly, outgoing little boy walked in our door, our whole family loved him. The bond came so easily and Ruben settled in seamlessly with our other two children.
Three months into the placement he became legally free for adoption, and after three more months, we attended our court hearing and he became ours forever. Though some days have their challenges, we are thankful for the support available through our friends at Arrow and our local foster parent association, and we're eternally grateful for the healing and hope that comes from our Lord. The adoption experience has shown us a beautiful picture of the grace by which we're adopted into our Father's family!