Just fifty years ago, families were quite different from what they look like today. It is not commonplace for a family to consist of parents and children of different ethnicities and skin types. Not only is interracial marriage commonly accepted, but adoption and foster care allow children whose home lives are difficult the possibility of a forever family.
Aaron and Rachel Halbert are firm believers that the current racial unrest in our country, and more specifically where they come from in the south, should never mean giving up a child’s chance at having a family of their own. They say this is one of the most important things a child can look forward to in life.
In fact, they believe it is their responsibility to celebrate the beauty in our differences.
Rachel and Aaron decided to adopt a child after having a difficult time conceiving for a number of years. This allowed them to start their own family. They were overjoyed to welcome a young boy and a young girl, both of whom had skin of a darker tone, into their forever family.
Aaron notes, “We understood, especially in the South, that a white couple with non-white children would draw a plethora of different reactions.” “We knew that a white couple with non-white children would draw a myriad of different reactions.” “There will always be that older white woman in Walmart who glared at us with pure disgust, or that African-American mother who looked at us and just shook her head,” you may say. “There will also always be that other person.”
But love triumphs over adversity, and the couple cherished every aspect of their quaint little family. The Christian couple who were serving as missionaries in Honduras were anxious to grow their family and welcome more people into their home.
They found out about the possibility of embryo adoption not long after that. It is the process of implanting in a mother embryos that have been stored in a Christian embryo bank for a number of years, in this case for a period of 15 years, giving the embryo infants a shot at a full and healthy existence.
“If Christians or other people truly believe that life begins at conception, then it follows that we should respond by being willing to support embryo adoption and even take part in it ourselves,” Aaron explains. “If this is the case, then we should respond by being willing to support embryo adoption and even take part in it.”
Rachel and Aaron came to the conclusion that it would be wonderful if they could break the racial stigma associated with their family by having their new infants “match” their older children rather than their white parents.
The couple were confident that this was the best choice for them, despite the fact that they were aware that some people would humiliate them for their decision, which was both controversial and somewhat culturally taboo. Rachel was willing to endure the criticism that may come along with it, with her supporting husband by her side. It is not every day that a white woman gives birth to three black infants, therefore Rachel was willing to bear the criticism that may come along with it.
They followed the instructions and implanted the two frozen African American embryos that they had adopted. One of the embryos did, however, split while still in the mother’s womb, and it wasn’t until six weeks later that the couple found out they were expecting triplets!
In April, three girls were born as triplets.
Aaron adds, “It’s been great to have practically all of our friends and relatives express enormous support for our family and the unorthodox ways that we’ve established it.” This is something that he has found to be quite encouraging. “In our thoughts, this is nothing more than the fulfillment of a dream. A dream that might not seem like the typical American family, but one that we are thankful could become a reality in light of the history of our country.
Twelve years ago, when Aaron and Rachel were dating and contemplating adoption, their family is not what they had expected. However, Aaron adds, “oh, how thankful we are for God blessing us with these lovely little ones He has placed in our care.”
“I can remember a buddy who was going through the adoption process telling me that he had always wanted his family to look like a small United Nations. He was telling me this while he was in the middle of the procedure. When I look at my ever-expanding family, I like to go one step further and dare to think that our family portrait is a tiny taste of heaven.
The expression of happiness and pride on this man’s face as he cradles his three infant children says it all.
The couple has experienced some discomfort as a result of people staring at their mixed-race family and offering negative feedback, but they continue to feel that the decision they made was the best thing that could have happened to them.
Not only is it wonderful that Rachel was finally able to go through the process of becoming pregnant, but the seven-member Halbert family is also a wonderful illustration of what it means to be a follower of Christ and a brother or sister in God’s family.
Aaron explains, “We believe that when you look into the eyes of any human, you are seeing into the face of an image-bearer of God—into the eyes of a person whose soul is eternal.” “When you gaze into the eyes of any human, you are looking into the face of an image-bearer of God.” Even if this is something that unites all of mankind, it does not mean that the differences between us based on race are irrelevant. We perceive the various bodily qualities that make up the human family as wonderful reminders of the brilliant creation that God has done.