We met in 2014 and were inseparable after our first date. Phil jokes that I pushed him into a cactus on our first date, and while it is true that we spent thirty minutes pulling cactus spines out of Phil’s hand, it’s still a mystery if he was actually pushed or if he simply walked into it nervously when we got a little too close on our way to dinner and almost held hands! We were both living in Southern California after graduate school and loved going to the beach, riding bikes, going to concerts, attending sporting events and traveling. Clare moved to Texas in 2016 for a job opportunity and Phil followed. Clare knew it was serious when Phil was willing to follow her across the country! Phil proposed on Clare’s birthday at her parents’ house in Washington state in 2016.
Six months later we were married at our church in Texas! Our wedding was a loving, faith-filled sacrament witnessed by our family and friends who came from around the country to celebrate with us. Our entire wedding was gluten free and it’s hard to pick our favorite parts, but the shrimp and grits bar was fantastic and the dark chocolate groom’s cake (which was made into the shape of George Harrison’s Guitar, Phil’s favorite musician) was a work of art and absolutely delicious. We planned our honeymoon to Bora Bora and prayed and hoped for a honeymoon baby!
It wasn’t long after the honeymoon when we found out we were infertile and would most likely never conceive a child biologically. In fact, the chances we were given were 1 in a million! Due to our faith and moral beliefs, we knew we wouldn’t pursue any means of artificial conception. It was heartbreaking, but it wasn’t the end of our story!
Despite our desire to have biological children, adoption was something we discussed and prayed about even before marriage. We were 100% convinced God was leading us to pursue adoption, to support an expectant Mom experiencing an unexpected pregnancy. We worked diligently for over a year while we were pursuing our first adoption, educating ourselves as much as we could about all the different perspectives in the adoption triad and acknowledging all adoptions start with a loss. But God makes all things new, and through honoring their story, we knew that we could love these babies while also loving their biological families. They are valuable because they are worthy. Both the biological mother and the child she carried for 9 months make the world a better place and we are committed to loving them without judgement.
Our first home study was completed in December 2018 and we were instantly matched in January 2019. Similarly, a year later we renewed our home study and were matched very quickly, and we adopted our sweet Cecilia (CeCe) in February 2020. We had a plan to start the adoption process again once CeCe turned one. We always wanted a big family with at least four kids. We are what you would consider “open to life, hopefully adoptive parents”, meaning, we plan to stay home study ready as long as we feel called to love and care for more children. We moved to South Carolina late in 2020 and purchased a home that we knew we could grow into. We imagine a house full of kids with lots of little feet running up and down the stairs, exploring the 70 acres of woods and trails behind our house, and jumping into our saltwater pool in the backyard.
We have so graciously been awarded a $4000 matching grant from Karis Adoption Fund, administered by Lifesong for Orphans. We have raised a little over $17,000 towards our $42,000 goal, so we hope to be able to meet our goal of being fully funded with a goal of $25,000.
We would be honored to have you pray for our family and the biological families of our sweet girls, and whatever new little one is to come!
STRIPE charges an online processing fee (2.2% +.30 USD per transaction). Your donations will be decreased by this amount. You may also send a check payable to “Lifesong for Orphans”. In the memo line please write “Gephart 09669”, to ensure it is credited to our account. Please mail to Lifesong for Orphans, PO Box 9, Gridley, IL 61744.
Lifesong has been blessed with partners who underwrite all U.S. administrative and fundraising costs (TMG Foundation and other partners). That means 100% of your donation will go directly to the adoption.
- In following IRS guidelines, your donation is to Lifesong for Orphans. This organization retains full discretion over its use, but intends to honor the donor’s suggested use.
- Lifesong is a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization. Individual donations of $50 or more and yearly donations totaling $250 or more will receive a tax-deductible receipt. Receipts for donations under $50 will gladly be sent upon request.