Lesley Hemphill is a single, adoptive mom of a teen, a pastor at Life.Church, and a writer here at finds.life.church. This Mother’s Day, she got dressed up for what she thought would be an early breakfast with a friend when instead, she was greeted at her front door by Rob Marciano of ABC’s Good Morning America and Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond. Watch the story above to learn more about the surprise. We’ll give you a hint: It has to do with the fact that Lesley adopted a teen as a single mom.
Here’s what Lesley posted on Facebook in response:
Each year, our pastor encourages us to pick a word to focus on for the year. This year, my word is ‘magnify.’ There is nothing I want more than to magnify the gifts and strengths of the incredible people around me, and most of all, I want to honor and glorify Jesus Christ.
When I woke up today, I certainly did not anticipate a knock on the door from Good Morning America. I will fall asleep tonight overwhelmed and overflowing with thankfulness. I am so grateful to the producers and staff that worked tirelessly to pull off such an extravagant surprise. I am also reminded of how special our village— truly family—is. We are blessed beyond measure.
God’s faithfulness to magnify the privilege of teenage adoption is stunning to me. Becoming a mom to Dakota is the greatest honor I have known. I am praying for every family or person that God calls forward into the beautiful and messy world of adoption. If that’s you, please let Dakota and me know, so we can be praying specifically for you and your village, too.
From the very bottom of my heart, thank you to every single person who played a part in making today so special. We are so appreciative and so humbled. We cannot wait to see what God’s plans are for other children through this opportunity to share about what God has done in our lives.
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
Recently, Lesley wrote her story of adopting Dakota here. Here’s what’s pretty amazing about all of this. The word Lesley chose five months ago for her year is a word that describes what happens when you use a magnifying glass, or some kind of lens, to make something larger and larger to see the details. When Lesley adopted her son Dakota as a young, single mom, it was without magnification. Neither Good Morning America nor most of us were in the court room when she signed those life-changing papers. Yet, she did it.
Each difficult and beautiful day after, this wonderful adoptive mom kept doing it, without being seen. Because Lesley didn’t set out to make her story bigger—she set out to make God’s story bigger. And now that a magnifying glass has come across Lesley’s family, every detail in her story is large enough for all of us to see, and every detail is telling a larger story—God’s adoption story.
For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” Romans 8:15 ESV
And, “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6:18 NIV
He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. Deuteronomy 10:18 NIV
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 1:27 NIV