The Johnston Family Adoption

Brandon Johnston Bremerton, Washington

“Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the LORD!” (Psalm 31:24). God’s words and promises are the themes of our adoption story. We have been married for 9 years and God’s faithfulness has been our song. We started trying to have children in 2014, but to no avail. In 2015 Brandon met with a local urologist for testing to look into why we could not conceive. The after months of appointments and even some invasive surgeries, the doctor left us with a response of “I simply do not know why. I can’t help you further. You will need to see a specialist.”

We were saddened by a lack of response and the haunting of the unknown. We had such a great desire to have children and were not able to, but the worst part was we did not know why. It was during this season that God was teaching both of us what it meant for us to wait on the LORD. A good friend of Brandon’s was the Executive Director of the local Youth for Christ chapter, and as Brandon says God used him and his words as a balm of peace and comfort to a hurting heart. It was through many conversations with him that Brandon started to realize the withholding of biological children was not God withholding good from us, but God preparing us for good. This is where God placed a heart of adoption in Brandon. At this point in time, we both were open to adoption, but not quite understanding that God was calling us to adopt.

We continued in prayer and during this season Brandon was committed to learning what God has in store for our family. He read all the Psalms each month and through this kept seeing God’s repeating pattern of calling His people to wait on Him. God was doing a work in both of our hearts that He has plans to bless us and work for our good, but in this season, was calling us to wait on Him.

Then one day, Brandon approached Crystal and simply said “I believe God is calling us to adopt.” At the time, Crystal was still looking for closure to the question regarding why we could not conceive. We made an appointment with a Specialist at University of Washington to help get some answers. Within 10 minutes of meeting with the doctor, he told Brandon that he believe he was born with a rare disease called Congential Bilateral Absence of the Vas Deferens, which prevented us from conceiving. This was the closure that Crystal needed and also the comfort and confirmation for what God was calling us to. As Crystal said “Through this He was calling us to begin the beautiful journey of adoption. Adoption had always been on our hearts as something down the road for us, but during our waiting, God was preparing us to make adoption our primary choice. We have always felt adoption is a beautiful narrative of bringing an outsider in and making them family, as God has done for us through Jesus. Jesus was made an outsider on our behalf so that we could be brought into God’s family and just as God has chosen us to be in His family, we will choose this child to be part of our family.”

We both have always had this thought and interest in having twins. As we spoke with our adoption agency, Bethany Christian Services, we learned that twins rarely become available for adoption in the north west. It is our desire to adopt infant twins if possible, even if it means adopting out of state. Bethany Christian Services will start matching us up with potential children to adopt once we have paid our first large fee of $14,000.

We continue to wait on the LORD, to see what chapters he has written for our life, but are very eager to flip forward to the pages where we bring our child home. We are so thankful for the friends and family that have encouraged and supported us. We invite you to contiune your support and encouragement in a few ways:

1) Prayer: Pray that God would continue to reveal is good and glorious will for our lives, that he would protect and keep healthy our child(ren), and that he would meet our emotional, spiritual, and practical needs as we walk through our adoption journey.

2) Letters of Encouragement: As silly as it sounds, your words of encouragement and prayer mean so much to us. We actually keep a box full of encouraging letters in our home and look back upon them when we are discouraged to be reminded of God’s faithfulness and care he provides through friends and family.

3) Financial Support: Adoption is expensive but we are trusting in God’s provisions for our lives. We invite you to participate in this story through financial support as well. Cash/check donations can be mailed to Lifesong for Orphans or online donations may be received through Lifesong for Orphans website. There is more information about financial support options towards the bottom of this page.

 Thank you for loving us and being a great support to what God is doing in our lives.

Love,
Brandon & Crystal Johnston

Financial Support Information

Checks or Cash:
– Make checks payable to “Lifesong For Orphans”
– In the memo line, note “Johnston/7158”. This will ensure your donation gets applied to our account.
– Mail cash or checks to Lifesong For Orphans, PO Box 40, Gridley, IL 61744.
– 100% of cash or check donations go directly to the adoption fund

Online Donations:
-Click DONATE NOW above!


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 “Johnston 7158”, to ensure it is credited to our account. Please mail to Lifesong for Orphans, PO Box 40, 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.
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Raised to date by 19 people
 of  $30,000
71 days left

My Story

“Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the LORD!” (Psalm 31:24). God’s words and promises are the themes of our adoption story. We have been married for 9 years and God’s faithfulness has been our song. We started trying to have children in 2014, but to no avail. In 2015 Brandon met with a local urologist for testing to look into why we could not conceive. The after months of appointments and even some invasive surgeries, the doctor left us with a response of “I simply do not know why. I can’t help you further. You will need to see a specialist.”

We were saddened by a lack of response and the haunting of the unknown. We had such a great desire to have children and were not able to, but the worst part was we did not know why. It was during this season that God was teaching both of us what it meant for us to wait on the LORD. A good friend of Brandon’s was the Executive Director of the local Youth for Christ chapter, and as Brandon says God used him and his words as a balm of peace and comfort to a hurting heart. It was through many conversations with him that Brandon started to realize the withholding of biological children was not God withholding good from us, but God preparing us for good. This is where God placed a heart of adoption in Brandon. At this point in time, we both were open to adoption, but not quite understanding that God was calling us to adopt.

We continued in prayer and during this season Brandon was committed to learning what God has in store for our family. He read all the Psalms each month and through this kept seeing God’s repeating pattern of calling His people to wait on Him. God was doing a work in both of our hearts that He has plans to bless us and work for our good, but in this season, was calling us to wait on Him.

Then one day, Brandon approached Crystal and simply said “I believe God is calling us to adopt.” At the time, Crystal was still looking for closure to the question regarding why we could not conceive. We made an appointment with a Specialist at University of Washington to help get some answers. Within 10 minutes of meeting with the doctor, he told Brandon that he believe he was born with a rare disease called Congential Bilateral Absence of the Vas Deferens, which prevented us from conceiving. This was the closure that Crystal needed and also the comfort and confirmation for what God was calling us to. As Crystal said “Through this He was calling us to begin the beautiful journey of adoption. Adoption had always been on our hearts as something down the road for us, but during our waiting, God was preparing us to make adoption our primary choice. We have always felt adoption is a beautiful narrative of bringing an outsider in and making them family, as God has done for us through Jesus. Jesus was made an outsider on our behalf so that we could be brought into God’s family and just as God has chosen us to be in His family, we will choose this child to be part of our family.”

We both have always had this thought and interest in having twins. As we spoke with our adoption agency, Bethany Christian Services, we learned that twins rarely become available for adoption in the north west. It is our desire to adopt infant twins if possible, even if it means adopting out of state. Bethany Christian Services will start matching us up with potential children to adopt once we have paid our first large fee of $14,000.

We continue to wait on the LORD, to see what chapters he has written for our life, but are very eager to flip forward to the pages where we bring our child home. We are so thankful for the friends and family that have encouraged and supported us. We invite you to contiune your support and encouragement in a few ways:

1) Prayer: Pray that God would continue to reveal is good and glorious will for our lives, that he would protect and keep healthy our child(ren), and that he would meet our emotional, spiritual, and practical needs as we walk through our adoption journey.

2) Letters of Encouragement: As silly as it sounds, your words of encouragement and prayer mean so much to us. We actually keep a box full of encouraging letters in our home and look back upon them when we are discouraged to be reminded of God’s faithfulness and care he provides through friends and family.

3) Financial Support: Adoption is expensive but we are trusting in God’s provisions for our lives. We invite you to participate in this story through financial support as well. Cash/check donations can be mailed to Lifesong for Orphans or online donations may be received through Lifesong for Orphans website. There is more information about financial support options towards the bottom of this page.

 Thank you for loving us and being a great support to what God is doing in our lives.

Love,
Brandon & Crystal Johnston

Financial Support Information

Checks or Cash:
– Make checks payable to “Lifesong For Orphans”
– In the memo line, note “Johnston/7158”. This will ensure your donation gets applied to our account.
– Mail cash or checks to Lifesong For Orphans, PO Box 40, Gridley, IL 61744.
– 100% of cash or check donations go directly to the adoption fund

Online Donations:
-Click DONATE NOW above!


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 “Johnston 7158”, to ensure it is credited to our account. Please mail to Lifesong for Orphans, PO Box 40, 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.
Read more

You formed my inward parts.

February 21, 2019

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.” Psalm 139:13-16

As I woke this morning, I found a lovely birthday card from my wife on my laptop bag. We have a thing where we try to find the cutest cards for each other; she is the best at this. Her card in the simplest form is praising the fact that I was fearfully and wonderfully made. Whether one praises the creator God or or praises the person, at its root is the same idea, we are thankful for them, we give praise for them (called a birthday celebration or song), and often are mindful of the unique ways that they are made.

The psamist puts us inside the Greater Story, God’s Story, giving us a lens and look into our creation, what leads to our birth. God has formed all your parts in utero. God knits you together. God’s eyes saw our unformed substance at conception, and has set all the days before us before we even experienced one day out of the womb. In all this, the Psalmist says “my soul knows it very well.”

I propose that the Greater Story, God’s Story, is not a competing story or narrative. God’s story is a more accurate, clarifying, and beautiful story, truly making sense of who we are. At the core of our souls, we know we are fearfully and wonderfully made. This is why people post professionally taken pregnancy announcements on Social Medai. This is why we gather for baby showers. This is why we record the years of our birth with candles and sometimes birthday swats on the rear. Our soul knows God has knit us together from the womb, and we acknowledge and celebrate this (whether to God or one another. Still, this is acknowledged and celebrated).

The birthday candles, the baby shower games, and the pregnancy reveal photos are the real competing narrative in our culture. They say the sanctity of life matters. That someone has value and is to be celebrated, even in the womb. In a world and culture that passes laws to to redefine what life is, there is a real world war to shout the birthday song or shout your abortion. There is an acknowledgement and celebration of life clashing with the acknowledgement and termination of life. Because birthday candles, baby shower games, and reveal photos are celebrating the wonderfully created life, our family pursues adoption. We will do what we can so that the clash of life may be no more. So that the unborn child may have their first car ride home from the hospital, have their first steps, and be celebrated at their first birthday.

In my birthday, I am reminded of the Good God who has fearfully and wonderfully made us. This is the very heartbeat to adoption, and all of our souls know it very well.

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Wow – Thank you so much!

September 21, 2017

Wow, Crystal and Brandon have been amazed and overwhelmed through the generosity of our friends and family. We have received over $2,000 towards our matching funds grant and praising God for his provisions through all of you!

We had the opportunity to share about our matching funds grant with our church family this last Sunday night. It was such a blessing to us to be encouraged and prayed for by our church.

If you are interested in follow more of our Adoption Story, you can read more online at www.thejohnstonfamilyline.com

Love, 
Brandon & Crystal

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The joy in waiting

March 18, 2017

Life seems to bring us in and out of seasons, some of which stretch on longer than others. As leaves wither and drop from the trees to usher in the stillness of winter or as we celebrate each budding flower and soak up each precious drop of sunshine upon entering into the long-awaited spring, those dreary winter months seem to last forever. The barren trees remind us of the future hope of new life that we will see in the spring and in the midst of a long winter we yearn to experience that effervescenceAs I look out my window (sidenote: it is currently a rainy and cloudy morning, typical of our Pacific Northwest climate, but I am clinging to the hope the weatherman is bringing us of sunshine this weekend!), I am eagerly watching my beloved lilac bush the hummingbirds are dancing around as its green buds increase in size and shape. I know that soon, I will be receiving the full benefits of its lush flowering purple clusters and intoxicating fragrance.

 

For me, God has taught me a lot about expectant waiting through creation. When I work the soil to make it tender so that I can plant something, it reminds me that He is making my heart tender. I may not know for what, but I can have hope that he is planting something beautiful, even if it may not look like much right now. Sometimes those things seem like they’re dead and barren, but come the springtime, what seemed lifeless had really just been waiting for the appointed time to bring forth beauty and life. I have always wanted to be a mother and that desire has seemed to have been a dormant and distant dream. I have prayed prayer upon prayer that God would bless us with children of our own, that each month I would not be disappointed with another sign that my body isn’t growing a precious life inside of me. As the months turned to years, it became clear that God was bringing me through a very challenging and very long season of waiting. My barren winter seemed to just continue on and on. It reminded me of one of my favorite authors, C.S. Lewis, in his book The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, where “it is always winter but never Christmas.” When you are going through a long winter, it’s hard to have joy when you don’t know if your Christmas is coming. After Christmas, we know we are moving through winter and that spring will come. But when you feel stuck, how do you have joy?

 

After Brandon’s diagnosis (Congenital Bilateral Absence of the Vas Deferens), there was relief to have answers but knew God was asking me to trust Him with my desire of being a mother. I was even forced to ask myself some hard questions, “If God never gives me children, does He still love me? Is He still good?” I knew the answer to both of these questions was “yes” but it was hard to answer in the midst of my heartbreak. During my waiting and hoping for the new life of spring, God had been working within me that my contentment can only be in Him. My desires for being a mother needed to be overridden by a soul-sustaining satisfaction and joy because only then would I be able to endure the long seasons of waiting which would give me the strength to endure the long seasons that come with parenthood. In the midst of our waiting on God for direction to become parents, He was already preparing me to become a mother.

 

Through this He was calling us to begin the beautiful journey of adoption. Adoption had always been on our hearts as something down the road for us, but during our waiting, God was preparing us to make adoption our primary choice. We have always felt adoption is a beautiful narrative of bringing an outsider in and making them family, as God has done for us through Jesus. Jesus was made an outsider on our behalf so that we could be brought into God’s family and just as God has chosen us to be in His family, we will choose this child to be part of our family.

 

Now as we eagerly wait for the child that is meant to be brought into our family, we are beginning to see the small green buds of new life forming. Our spring is coming soon and we are so excited to see the beauty God is bringing into our lives!

 

Praying for joy in your waiting,

Crystal

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Good gifts from our good God

December 25, 2016

It is Christmas morning and I am sitting by the fire, remembering Christmas years past. As a kid, I would wake up early, go crashing in on my parents to ensure they were up so we can expedite everything towards opening gifts. I would line up in the hallway with my sister and on my parents “go” sprint towards the living room. As I round the last corner, the Christmas Tree enters into my sight, and what a glorious sight it was, gifts and bows and presents.

 

As a 31 year old, there is still a lot of kid left in me. I couldn’t sleep last night as I was looking forward to Christmas morning. Now though, the anticipation is different as I eagerly wait for my family to open the gifts that I got them. I want them to experience the joy of receiving gifts.

 

As I considered generosity and gift giving this Christmas morning, my mind and heart were directed to the Words of James when he said “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” (James 1:17)

 

God is a giver. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) Additionally, the salvation that God brings by His grace is not of our own doing, but a gift of God, we are justified by His grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, and we cannot forget about how God through His Holy Spirit has given His Church many Spiritual Gifts in Christ Jesus for the building up and edification of His Church. God loves His people and delights in His provision for them and giving to them to meet all their needs and bring about their joy.

 

Sometimes though, there is a season of life or a place in our heart where we ask “is God withholding good gifts from us?” Maybe we frame it in another way and ask “Why won’t God give me….” It is great for us to be curious about who God is and what He is like, asking Him in prayer what He is doing and what He is building in our lives. It can become a dangerous thing when our curiosity and questions move to us questioning the goodness and sovereignty of God. As I look back upon God’s will for our lives, I remember the time of questioning what is God doing and by His grace, through His Word and His Spirit, He has preserved us from questioning the goodness of God in His giving.

 

As my wife and I struggled to conceive, I remember a part of my heart that asked God why is He withholding the good gift of children from us. This may not have been the reality that we lived in, but it is what we felt. Children are a blessing from the Lord, and why has He not chosen to share that gift of blessing with us. This friends is how it can be dangerous. The underlining assumption is that God is good and that God blesses and provides for His people, but we start to question the integrity and goodness of God by the gifts that He has chosen to give or withhold. Our hearts tend to go to the idea that God is withholding His goodness from us by not giving us what we want or pray for, even when they are good things like children. The danger is marrying the goodness of God to the goodness of His gift. If we do not believe that what He has in store for us is good, we then associate that God himself is not good because He is withholding what we believe to be good from us.

 

“But the righteous shall live by his faith.”(Habakkuk 2:4) This is where our faith in Christ Jesus really is put to the test to work out in our lives. By faith, do we trust God’s Word that He is good all the time, in all circumstances, working all things together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Do you see, ever so slightly, how the curious question of God becomes different through faith? In faith, it is no longer “God why do you withhold good things from me, like children” but becomes “God how are you working infertility together for good, for us who are called according to your purpose.” By faith, we are not questioning the goodness of God in His gift giving, but as curious Children of God asking how is He is working it for good in our life.

 

By God’s grace and in God’s time, He will reveal to you more details of how He is working all things together for good to those who are called according to His purpose. By faith, we trust that He is true and good and in spite of the circumstances that are set before him, because of Jesus’ death on the Cross we can know and trust that God is good, He does not withhold what is good from His people, but in fact is working ALL things together for their good. The infertility that has come into our lives God has and is working for good and by His grace, one day we will get to welcome His good gift into our loving home. Be encouraged friends this Christmas, God is good, He is a loving God that takes care of His people, meets all of their needs and delights in their joy.

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That is my bank. It never breaks, never suspends, never gets empty

December 9, 2016

“Charles Spurgeon was riding in a carriage with his American friend William Hatcher. As they approached his orphanage, Spurgeon pointed out the window and said, ‘Yonder is my bank, where I get my money for taking care of my family of 500 children.’ Hatcher looked but saw no bank. ‘There it is,” said Spurgeon, pointing to a plaque. The words on the plaque read: ‘Jehovah Jireh’ (the Lord will provide).

 

‘That is my bank,’ said Spurgeon. ‘It never breaks, never suspends, never gets empty. My children have never lacked for covering, or for food and I have no fear that they ever will.'” (Hatcher, Along the Trail of Friendly Years, 249).

 

In the last few days, I have had many conversations with friends inquiring of our adoption. When I share with them the estimated cost of $33,000 for our adoption, they are always caught off guard by the high expenses to adopt. As I consider the question, where will Crystal and I get our $33,000 to bring our kid(s) home, I remember the story and life of Charles Haddon Spurgeon, a well known Baptist Preacher from England.

 

Spurgeon is most commonly known for his bold and poetic influence in his preaching, while introducing many people to faith in Christ through London. He also is well known for setting up his pastor’s college to train pastors who had little academic background. In addition to all of this work, Spurgeon also set up an orphanage. He was inspired by George Müller as George asked God for provisions to establish an orphanage. Müller’s faith in Jehovah Jireh continued to influence Spurgeon in his daily living, as Spurgeon continued to believe that the Lord will provide, not only for the establishment of the orphanage, but of every need of Spurgeon’s orphans.

 

The next step for our adoption journey is to gather $2,500 to complete our adoption home study and immediately after, we need to provide $14,000 to start our search for our child. The rest is due when we bring our child home with us. As the plaque on the wall read true for Spurgeon years ago, it reads true today for all of God’s people, Jehovah Jireh – the Lord will provide. Jesus is the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords and all of creation is His. Through faith in Jesus by His Death and Resurrection, God has adopted us as His children through Jesus Christ. We are saved from sin and wrath, forgiven and made perfect before God, holy and blameless before Him, declared by God to be adopted as His children. We are God’s kids and Jesus is the Great King. When His kids are in need or wanting, the Great Loving King Jesus provides, Jehovah Jireh.

 

In the right time that God has for us, He will provide the means for our adoption and the child for our family because of who He is, Jehovah Jireh, the Lord will provide. We too can say as we look upon Jesus, “That is my bank. It never breaks, never suspends, never gets empty. My children have never lacked for covering, or for food and I have no fear that they ever will.”

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Comments

$25

Hidden

Feb 21, 2019

$200

Larry and Sharon

Jun 22, 2018

$775

Elisabeth

Mar 9, 2018

“We are praying that a little Johnston baby arrives soon. With Love, Josh and Beth”

$200

Larry and Sharon

Jan 20, 2018

“Looking forward to God's provision <3”

$175

Lacey

Nov 5, 2017

$100

Tara

Nov 3, 2017

“We love you guys and pray for your family regularly. Thank you for being willing to let God show us who he is, and his heart through your story.”

$25

Hidden

Nov 3, 2017

“Merry Christmas!”

$4,975

Offline Donation

Nov 2, 2017

$500

Hidden

Oct 11, 2017

$3,000

Offline Donation

Oct 11, 2017

$1,000

Offline Donation

Sep 27, 2017

$400

Ryan

Sep 26, 2017

“Love you guys!”

$2,000

Offline Donation

Sep 25, 2017

$500

Hidden

Sep 17, 2017

“Praying for you guys and your new little one.”

$500

Amy & Nathan

Sep 9, 2017

“Love you and wishing you many blessings!”

$50

Danielle

Sep 7, 2017

“God Bless you Johnston Family!”

$50

Amber

Sep 7, 2017

“We are so excited for the Johnston family to grow! Love you guys!!”

$1,000

Bolander

Sep 6, 2017

“Can't wait to meet the little one(s) !! Congrats Johnstons!”

$25

Hannah

Sep 6, 2017

“I so admire your heart to adopt and I'm praying for you along your journey. God is so good!”