Meet the Allyns
Today I am so excited to introduce to you Lisa, Matt, Olivia, Aggie (Agata) and Aurek. An entire family officially together now for just bit over a year, holding the most beautiful bond, full of incredible joy, and lasting love, waging far beyond anything physical, but rather of true choice and sacrifice. I met with Lisa at a Panera a couple months back to get to hear her share her story, and I tell you what, it was an incredible blessing and I hope I do it some justice, so here you go:
The Broken and Beautiful Story:
The Allyn family adoption is an incredibly poignant picture of brokenness covered in beauty. It encompasses perseverance, grace, hardship and trial. Yet, as the story unfolds it is wrapped in treasure of untouchable value. For what greater gift can one give than the gift of provision, life, and unconditional love? It is a picture of Jesus saying yes to us, choosing us, every day of our lives despite being completely undeserving.
Matt and Lisa married 11 years ago, and were blessed just over a year and a half later with their beautiful daughter Olivia. Their world was forever changed in the most remarkable way, shifting from full time sales work to diapers and feedings. Parenthood arrived and with it all the adoration and messy. Nothing out of the ordinary; a treasured gift. In time, they decided to grow their family, but had trouble making that a reality for them.
So, the idea of adoption started to present itself for their family. Having had an adopted sibling himself, Matt understood the joys and challenges of adoption. They decided to say yes, and step into this adventure.
The Allyns adopted from Poland. But before the process that now stands completed before us, they had to walk through rejection of an agency, a failed domestic adoption, and two switches of international country of origin of which to adopt from. The journey was long, the wait hard, unbearable at times as I can only imagine, however Lisa and Matt continued to say yes. They continued to surround themselves with people who could give them wise, sound advice, they continued to step forwards, to take the steps they could towards adoption and eventually it led to success. And a success greater than the could have imagined, for adopting one child turned into two. :)
The Allyns were connected with their daughter Agata (Aggie for short) from Poland through their agency. Lisa speaks of how she truly knew that Aggie was her daughter, simply from seeing her picture. She knew she was going to be her mother. And sure enough, the process began and paperwork was filed and that process was finally transitioning smoothly. However, 5 months before their trip to meet and bond with Aggie before her adoption could be finalized, they got a call stating that Poland discovered Aggie had a brother, Aurek. Lisa and Matt were asked if they would like to adopt an additional child as well. They of course said yes!! And in an instant their family growing from 3 to 4, would now become a family growing from 4-5. All the waiting, all the tears, all the periods of rejection and hurt were now surfacing into the adoption of a sibling pair from Poland. A beautiful gift from the Lord, their story being laid out in a far different way than they had ever imagined, but creating the most beautiful canvas, a treasured story.
Due to the legalities of Poland they ended up making two separate trips to Poland, 6 weeks each to bond with each of their children; Aggie first, (although they did have the opportunity to meet Aurek on their first visit), and Aurek second before bringing them home officially into the family. I love that not only did Lisa and Matt go out for these trips, but they took Olivia with them. This was a family thing, they were becoming a family together. They were choosing to say yes to these children and welcome them as children/siblings. They were saying to them, we choose you to love every day, to stand up for, to care for and provide for and teach and correct and lead up in this world. We choose you!
Because they persevered through all the trials and hardships for a cause that was greater than themselves, they are now given a chance to say to care for and love two children who could not be cared for by their biological parents. And not to say they are perfect by any means, none of us are, but they are real and practical, and they said yes when they were called to and now two children have a space that they can call theirs. A family they can call their own. They are being raised in a stable environment and given an opportunity for hope, an opportunity for far more than they might have received otherwise. This is love. This is adoption and this is the gospel.
What you should know about Adoption:
In closing, I ask all my families, what, if anything they would like to share with others about adoption. We know it isn't easy. We know its hard and so much more than the beautiful facade we paint it to be. So, here is what she said: "Be prepared for the ride of your life. There will be trials, but great joy. Hold on, because it's worth it!" Hold on, because it's worth it!! What a beautiful translation of the gospel right? Life isn't meant to always be "easy", but that does not mean that it isn't worth it or that beauty isn't being born of it. Hold on, because it's worth it!!
Letter to the Allyns:
A little piece written as encouragement of this beautiful family:
Olivia your first. She breathes beauty, fun, goofy and joy to your family. She was gifted the term "big sister" because of your faithfulness. She radiated love onto her siblings. She cares for them well and comes alongside in need. She made you a mother, a father. She is your firstborn gift, teaching you wisdom as you learn in parenthood and laugh off the silly mistakes. Your first baby girl.
Aggie. Her big blue eyes to steal the heart and adorations of so many. She is compassionate and yet adventurous. She wants you close, in loving proximity, but isn't afraid to take a step into greatness. She has the best laugh and man, she is going to lead people places one day. Hold on tight, for she is surely going to lead you on the ride of your life!
Aurek, your sweet sweet boy. Full of energy and curiosity. Ready to go forth wherever sister leads. His kind heart and willingness to serve. Even at a young age, he is soaking it all in, coming alongside you both as you have accepted him as your own. He is loyal, yet a fighter. He is your baby of the bunch. Snuggle in his days, for they will soon fade into school age years and independence at hand.
Matt. You are the sweetest man, full of compassion and kindness for your children, but also the goofy one spurring on fun and laughter. Your children adore you. They are truly connected with you and attached to the love you are giving as is plain to see. I know this road has not been easy. There have been so many sacrifices along the way, but wow, how blessed you have become, with arms open wide, full of love and faithfulness of the Father. You are a good father to your children. You invest your time that you have in your family. It is evident that you lead this family well and love well. You are a rock for Lisa. Giving her the emotional rest to be silly and laugh at life when needed, to take it easy, but also to come alongside her when the days are tough. You uphold honor and respect of your family, and I don't think any father could ask for more.
Lisa, what an incredible mother you are. To not only sacrifice your time and resources, but to sacrifice all of you. You have taken the time to gain wisdom, to learn how to parent a child birthed from another mother well. To be everything loving and caring and good to them. All of your children wildly adore you. They are bonded, connected, and attached to you. They love you fiercely, truly, genuinely, and I know that only comes from hard work in the home. From saying yes to showing up for them each day. From working hard for them. From advocating for them and sacrificing more of you, to give them what they need. To give unconditional love and security that you have been gifted to give. You are a one of a kind. Beyond being a mother, the way you speak of your husband, the way you connect women and love people in your community. You are a treasured gift. You bring light to the dark spaces. You are true to your word, a woman of honor. You are a delight to be around. The radiate the love of Christ, and are walking forth in your calling well my friend. I am so blessed to have met you.
The Allyn Family. The most beautiful picture of redemption. Of being chosen. Of choosing to step into love and grace. To say yes to little ones. To make a better way for them, to provide all that you can to say, I love you and you are mine. To create the most beautiful family, the most incredible picture of the gospel. Thank you for saying yes.
This is love.
This is the gospel.
This is adoption.
Advocating Rich stories of Hope, Making Extraordinary of the Seemingly Ordinary.
Making space for your call.
Resources to Get Involved:
Agency used and highly recommended by the Allyn Family: Lifeline Children's Services
Book Recommendations by Lisa: You Can Adopt Without Debt by Julie Gumm
***Also, be on the lookout MONDAY MORNING as I go LIVE on Facebook and Instagram to share with you an exciting new partnership project I will be doing to also get involved behind orphan care. Maybe your calling isn't to adopt, but maybe you are called to rather help one child in other ways. Maybe you are called to give a little extra for one child?
Thank you everyone for taking part in reading this incredible adoption story!! Did you love it as much as I did?!! I hope you will join to join me with more families coming!! And, it would be such a blessing to the Allyns I am sure to share their story as well as comment with love and support for them! What an incredible blessing to share! Thank you as always for reading!