Before they got married, missionaries Aaron and Rachel Halbert knew they wanted to adopt a black child. In an article written for The Washington Post, Aaron explained how he and Rachel, due to problems conceiving a baby naturally, came to know that children of color were adopted to a lesser extent.
It was for that reason that they felt the need to provide a home for a child who might otherwise never have a family. What they didn’t know is that this decision would change their lives in ways they never expected.
Aaron and Rachel went to an adoption agency and adopted two African American children, a boy and a girl to be exact. The new members of the family were accepted and rejected in equal parts by people outside the family.
The Halberts never intended to have more children until they heard about the National Embryo Donation Center.
Usually, these embryos were destroyed or donated to science, however, some Christian centers accept “donations” that can be “adopted” by couples having trouble conceiving. It was then that Rachel decided implant two twin embryos of African American babies.
From that moment, something incredible happened. One of the embryos split in two and…
“Last Sunday, my beautiful wife, white like me, gave birth to three beautiful African-American babies that we adopted when they were just embryos.
We look forward to coming home so that our other two adopted children can meet their three new sisters. I know that while this is a totally natural way to grow a family for me, there are people who need a little explanation.”
«I grew up as the son of evangelical missionaries in Honduras, this made me quickly aware of the racial diversity that existed in the world.
I was a pale as milk boy with blue eyes, it was not surprising that I stood out among the others, however, at the same time that I felt different, I also felt very connected to the people there. My wife, on the other hand, grew up in the Mississippi Delta, and it wasn’t until she traveled a couple of times to Haiti that she was able to put racial prejudice out of her mind.”
We both think that diversity is a wonderful thing that makes the world better. Our differences are cause for celebration, not contempt.”
“When I was still dating Raquel, we decided that we wanted to adopt a child. Although we were fertile, we were convinced that one of the best ways to promote life is through adoption. Several years after we were married, with the idea of traveling as church missionaries to Honduras and while trying to conceive naturally, we decided to visit an adoption center in Mississippi.
Knowing that it is often much more difficult to find adoptive families for children of color, we informed the agency that we were willing to accept any child except one who was totally Caucasian.”
“When we started the adoption process, we knew that the skin difference would play an important role in our family life. We both think that we are all the same despite our physical differences. Far from ignoring them, we see them, appreciate them and accept them».
“While we love being a multi-ethnic family and think our differences make our lives richer and more fulfilling, especially in the South, a white couple with black children often elicits not-so-pleasant reactions. There will always be the typical woman who looks at us with disapproval in the supermarket line or the typical man who will point his finger at my son while he walks holding my hand. Fortunately, there are many other people who support us and see our family as normal and natural.
Bad experiences are a reminder of how far we still have to go as a society, but despite everything, there are people who show that we have made progress and that racism should be a thing of the past.
«It was our commitment to the protection of the unborn and the idea of increasing the family that led us to the National Center for Embryo Donation. Although our adoptive children kept us quite busy and at first we did not contemplate the possibility of expanding the family, after being encouraged by a couple and supported by Rachel’s idea of rescuing one of those embryos, we decided to give it a try.
We live in a world where hundreds of thousands of frozen embryos are donated to science or destroyed.”
«When we decided to adopt an embryo, we again faced the same question from a few years ago. What ethnicity would the embryo be? We decided to make them African American embryos so that our children would feel connected and supportive of each other.”
«In September of last year, two embryos were implanted In Rachel, from that day the tedious wait would begin to verify that the embryos were healthy according to the gestation process. Six weeks after the embryos were implantedWe nervously visited a local hospital in Honduras, where we were working as full-time missionaries.”
«We began to explain to the doctor the entire process that we had gone through with the embryos. For his part, he kept asking us if we were sure that they had transferred two embryos. And yes, of course we were. To our surprise, one of the embryos had split in two in Rachel’s womb. We were going to have triplets!”
“We have been greatly comforted by the countless expressions of affection from all our friends and family who have remarkably expressed their support for the new changes that our family will experience. For our part, we are living a dream.”
“It filled me with happiness to see how my tan-skinned daughter kisses her mother’s snow-white belly waiting for her to give birth to her new sisters. Every night, my children said goodbye to their sisters from their mother’s womb and now they can do it face to face.
“This is not the way we planned our family to be 12 years ago when we started our relationship, but we are so grateful to be able to enjoy such a fantastic family as ours.”
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