In the last six months, Kyle and Jennifer Putnam have experienced a lot of changes in their home.
In September, they brought home their adopted daughter, Ella, from China. Two months later, their youngest son, Hudson, was born. “We’ve had even more changes than we expected going into this,” Kyle said. “But the two things that have stayed the same are our church family and our devotional time together as a couple.”
Kyle said since the beginning of the adoption process in March 2015, he and Jennifer have spent time together every morning in prayer and devotion. Even now with an infant and a newly adopted four-year-old, they do their best to continue that habit. “It’s so important to our family,” he said. “That’s what makes everything run smoothly.”
“[Our devotions] are so important to our family,” he said. “That’s what makes everything run smoothly.”
Jennifer said she and Kyle have always had a heart for adoption. They talked about it for years, but they always found reasons not to, such as timing or money. They already had two sons, Wilson and Mason, and she said it was easy to think the time for adoption had passed. “We brought home a packet from an Orphan Care Sunday and looked at it,” Jennifer said. “It sat on our nightstand for what seemed like years, but the tugging on our hearts never left.”
In March of last year, The Putnams started the adoption process. Jennifer said it was difficult to even know where to start, so they began by talking to other families within the church who had adopted. “The families here at West Jackson were a great support system,” she said. “Several of them sat down and talked with us and told us how they got started and kind of pointed us in the right direction.”
It took six months to the family to complete the necessary paperwork for adoption from China. At that point, they were put on a list, and children’s files were sent their way. Then Jennifer found out she was pregnant. “That threw a kink in the plans,” she said. “Do we continue with the adoption? Do we stop? Do we wait? Do we need to put everything on hold?”
Kyle said they struggled with these questions, but they decided fairly quickly they should continue. They had seen Ella’s file and knew she was the one they should adopt. The problem was the paperwork. “They tell you from the outset not to get pregnant,” he said. “Once you have a baby, your home status changes. If that has to be changed, the whole process starts again.”
Kyle said it is thanks to God’s timing the process was able to continue. If the pregnancy had been delayed by one week, Jennifer would have been too pregnant to travel, and they would have had to halt the process. “While we were stressed to the nines, God’s timing was perfect,” he said.
“While we were stressed to the nines, God’s timing was perfect.”
In the scheme of adoption stories, Kyle said Ella is pretty easy, and the boys have adjusted to the change well. He said the church, his employer, the boys’ school and friends all provided things they needed throughout the process. Throughout all the changes, he and Jennifer have learned the importance of prayer and trust. “Always trust God’s timing,” he said. “Because his timing and your timing are not going to be the same, but his is perfect.”
Story by Nathan Handley. Photos by Kyle and Jennifer Putnam.