The Johnstons – Our Adoption Story

Trinette Johnston
Trinette Johnston Shakopee, Minnesota

Hi! Craig and Trinette here. Thanks for taking the time to read about our desire to adopt. 

Our hearts for adoption go back to early in my (Trinette’s) life, in my years at Bible College, when I heard about adoption through the testimony of a missionary to Eastern Europe who worked with orphans in that region. Hearing about the neglect and pain those children faced, my heart broke and I decided that if possible, someday I would adopt a child in need of love and a family too.   

Fast forward years later, we were dating, and had that all-important “children” talk. We knew that we were facing some potential fertility issues, and adoption was on the table as a possibility. We honestly had no idea what God had in store for us, we just knew we were madly in love and could face whatever it was, as long as we were together. 

A few happy years into marriage, those issues were now a reality, and we were dealt some heartbreaking news. If we wanted to have a child biologically, I would need a lot of medical intervention, and even then it wasn’t a sure thing.  Craig, being the loving, patient husband he is, held my hand, and reassured me that we would figure it out, together. One thing we knew for sure was that we wanted a child – when we pictured our future together, we could see ourselves as old people, sitting on a front porch, drinking lemonade, and watching our children and grandchildren play. Not being parents was not an option for us – we just have too much love in their hearts to not share it with a child!

So, we began to talk about adoption.  The more we considered it, the more the Lord quickly confirmed that this was the right choice for us. He confirmed it through friends’ stories of adoption, prayer, and a sermon preached at our church from the book of Acts, on legacy. We were challenged to think about what our own legacy would be. We knew it would never be a big, flashy one, but we also knew it would include adoption.

Once we began the adoption process, one thing that took us by surprise was the overwhelming support we received from our family, friends, and church community. The people around us have not just been supportive, but sincerely happy for us. Seeing the joy in their faces when we tell them we’re adopting is also confirmation that this is the right choice for us. We began to really see that being a family isn’t about being a unit of three people – the two of us and a child (oh, and Cooper, can’t forget the dog!). It’s about community, and our community is made up of the people around us who will be part of our child’s life forever. 

So, just as we learned that being new parents will require a lot of help, we are also learning that getting to that point is also a process where others can help. One of the key facts about adoption that has touched us comes from a letter that pastor John Piper wrote his wife, when they adopted their daughter. In it, he compares their adoption to how God adopted us into His own family, through Jesus Christ. He was clear that adoption does not come without a cost. For Jesus, it cost His life. Our cost is far less, yet the joy and rewards that come from it are no less beautiful. Being adoptive parents is God’s gift to us, and one we’ve come to treasure for all its challenges, blessings, and yes, cost.

That is why we have decided to fundraise to help bring a baby home. Without the help that will come from fundraising, the time it will take for us to adopt on our own would be significant. We are committed to giving our child the best life we can, and we know that we need help to start us off down that path. Additionally, we look forward to someday sharing with our child that it wasn’t just mom and dad who played a part in their adoption story – it was so many other people who cared about them and gave from their hearts.

The estimated cost to complete our adoption is $42,000, which is primarily agency fees, and also includes legal fees and travel expenses. It is our hearts desire to adopt sooner rather than later – waiting years to bring home our child would be heartbreaking. Every day I dream of being a mother, and Craig talks about all the silly things he will do when he’s a dad (most of them include dressing our baby up as MN’s biggest Vikings fan!). Help from our community, through a tax deductible donation, will aid us on that journey, and help our dreams of being parents come true. 

Please consider donating through this site, to help our adoption journey. Just click the “Donate Now” button to make a tax-deductible donation. We have been applying for grants, and hope to receive a matching grant that will make the most of any donations given here. Each and every donation gets us that much closer to our dreams of being a mom and dad. We can’t wait to provide updates, and someday share the good news that we’ve brought a baby home.

Till then, thank you from the bottom of our hearts!  Craig & Trinette Johnston


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 7512”, 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 14 people
 of  $42,000
8 days left

My Story

Hi! Craig and Trinette here. Thanks for taking the time to read about our desire to adopt. 

Our hearts for adoption go back to early in my (Trinette’s) life, in my years at Bible College, when I heard about adoption through the testimony of a missionary to Eastern Europe who worked with orphans in that region. Hearing about the neglect and pain those children faced, my heart broke and I decided that if possible, someday I would adopt a child in need of love and a family too.   

Fast forward years later, we were dating, and had that all-important “children” talk. We knew that we were facing some potential fertility issues, and adoption was on the table as a possibility. We honestly had no idea what God had in store for us, we just knew we were madly in love and could face whatever it was, as long as we were together. 

A few happy years into marriage, those issues were now a reality, and we were dealt some heartbreaking news. If we wanted to have a child biologically, I would need a lot of medical intervention, and even then it wasn’t a sure thing.  Craig, being the loving, patient husband he is, held my hand, and reassured me that we would figure it out, together. One thing we knew for sure was that we wanted a child – when we pictured our future together, we could see ourselves as old people, sitting on a front porch, drinking lemonade, and watching our children and grandchildren play. Not being parents was not an option for us – we just have too much love in their hearts to not share it with a child!

So, we began to talk about adoption.  The more we considered it, the more the Lord quickly confirmed that this was the right choice for us. He confirmed it through friends’ stories of adoption, prayer, and a sermon preached at our church from the book of Acts, on legacy. We were challenged to think about what our own legacy would be. We knew it would never be a big, flashy one, but we also knew it would include adoption.

Once we began the adoption process, one thing that took us by surprise was the overwhelming support we received from our family, friends, and church community. The people around us have not just been supportive, but sincerely happy for us. Seeing the joy in their faces when we tell them we’re adopting is also confirmation that this is the right choice for us. We began to really see that being a family isn’t about being a unit of three people – the two of us and a child (oh, and Cooper, can’t forget the dog!). It’s about community, and our community is made up of the people around us who will be part of our child’s life forever. 

So, just as we learned that being new parents will require a lot of help, we are also learning that getting to that point is also a process where others can help. One of the key facts about adoption that has touched us comes from a letter that pastor John Piper wrote his wife, when they adopted their daughter. In it, he compares their adoption to how God adopted us into His own family, through Jesus Christ. He was clear that adoption does not come without a cost. For Jesus, it cost His life. Our cost is far less, yet the joy and rewards that come from it are no less beautiful. Being adoptive parents is God’s gift to us, and one we’ve come to treasure for all its challenges, blessings, and yes, cost.

That is why we have decided to fundraise to help bring a baby home. Without the help that will come from fundraising, the time it will take for us to adopt on our own would be significant. We are committed to giving our child the best life we can, and we know that we need help to start us off down that path. Additionally, we look forward to someday sharing with our child that it wasn’t just mom and dad who played a part in their adoption story – it was so many other people who cared about them and gave from their hearts.

The estimated cost to complete our adoption is $42,000, which is primarily agency fees, and also includes legal fees and travel expenses. It is our hearts desire to adopt sooner rather than later – waiting years to bring home our child would be heartbreaking. Every day I dream of being a mother, and Craig talks about all the silly things he will do when he’s a dad (most of them include dressing our baby up as MN’s biggest Vikings fan!). Help from our community, through a tax deductible donation, will aid us on that journey, and help our dreams of being parents come true. 

Please consider donating through this site, to help our adoption journey. Just click the “Donate Now” button to make a tax-deductible donation. We have been applying for grants, and hope to receive a matching grant that will make the most of any donations given here. Each and every donation gets us that much closer to our dreams of being a mom and dad. We can’t wait to provide updates, and someday share the good news that we’ve brought a baby home.

Till then, thank you from the bottom of our hearts!  Craig & Trinette Johnston


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 7512”, 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

Summer Update

June 19, 2018

Hey friends & family,

Great news, thanks to the generous partnering of you all, as well as some garage sale fundraising, and a lot of saving every month, we’re now over 50% funded!  This is such an answer to prayer, and I am so excited to think we’re halfway there!  God is so good! 

So, an update on what we’ve been up to for fundraising that’s helped us get there: 

This month we held our first fundraiser, a garage sale.  We were beyond blessed as family after family contacted us to provide donations.  People we work with gave carloads (like, multiple carloads) of new & barely used/high quality items.  We were so overwhelmed by the donations that poured in.  By the time we were one week out, our garage was so full we couldn’t even walk in it, and our dining room, living room and entry way were packed with overflow items as well.  We had to start turning donations away we had so much!  And just when we thought we’d never have enough room to show it all, our neighbor K volunteered up her garage and driveway for the entire 3-day sale.  She is an adoptive mama too and she blessed us through the chance to use that extra space, through donations of items to sell, and by lots of prayer and encouragement throughout the weekend. All in all, we sold over $1200.00 worth of stuff.  We know we would have sold more if only it hadn’t rained for the last day & half of our sale. 

The rain that poured down all Saturday didn’t keep everyone away though – just when I was at the breaking point of exhaustion and frustration and we were closing up, our best friends showed up to take us away on a much needed break to Lions Tap for burgers and beer.  God knew exactly the faces we needed to see, and sent them our way.  It was a reminder to me that throughout the difficult process of adoption, and in the years to come of parenting, there are people who care and will come alongside us to support us, encourage us, and just walk this journey with us.  These friends have a newborn of their own, and I can’t wait for the day our babies will play together and grow up as close as their dads have for the last 20 years.

So, now our goal remains to fund the last 48% of our adoption by October 1st.  The sooner we get 100% funded, the sooner we can receive matches through our agency & their partners, which means the sooner we’ll be parents.  We would still love to have a baby home by Christmas, making this year our first holiday season as parents. 

Please consider partnering with us, and making a donation here or partnering with us in prayer.  We appreciate every ounce of support, as we know it all comes from your caring, loving and supportive hearts.

With love and gratitude,

the Johnstons

 

 

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***** Update #1: How We Got To Our Goal Number *****

March 16, 2018

 

We are so excited to share our first update!  It’s been prompted by two things:

 

1.  An understanding that we should maybe explain how we got to our original goal of $42,000.

 

2.  The need for an update on how much we’re currently funded, and what we still need.

 

2.5.  The good news that God has been faithfully providing for us daily, and our joy at wanting to share that news!

 

Okay, that’s three things, but those of you that know me (Trinette) know that Craig is the numbers guy 😉

 

So, the first week we had this site up and running, a good friend messaged me asking how we got to our $42,000 goal, since it seemed high to him, when he had heard of so many children being available for “free” through the foster care system in our state.  This is probably a question that a lot of people had, since, as he put it, “Free vs. $42K? What gives??”

 

I think it’s fair to explain to our friends and family how we got to that number.  As mentioned before, the bulk of that goal is in agency placement fees, which are the fees paid directly to the adoption agency we will receive a match through.  We estimate that $30-35K of our goal will go directly to agency fees.  Typically agency fees cover the following:

 

 * Medical expenses for the birth mother, and prenatal care for the baby, above what is covered by Medicare or insurance

 

 * Pre-adoption and post-adoption counseling fees for the birth mother

 

 * Legal fees, including all necessary court fees needed for termination of parental rights and adoption by us

 

 * Advertising fees for the agency, which help them to reach as many potential birth mothers as possible to get a match

 

 * Social work services needed to match a child with a prospective family

 

 * Interim care for a child post birth, but before adoption (Not every state lets us take a child directly into our home. MN for instance has a 10 day waiting period during which a foster family will care for our child.)

 

The rest of our goal will go to:

 

 * Court and legal fees, which can range from $3,000 to $7,000 depending on the state, and what legal action the attorney needs to take to terminate parental rights.

 

 * Travel related expenses incurred while waiting in another state for birth and post-birth/pre-adoption. Because the legal requirements for both the placing and adopting states have to be met, we know we’ll have to wait at least 10 working days in the birth state before we can bring a baby back home to MN. 

 

Some of the adoption related expenses we’ve paid out of pocket ourselves for are:

 

* Our application fee of $500

 

* Our homestudy fee of $3,000.00

 

 * Any necessary training fees, including registration fees, materials and resources, and travel to and from trainings (approx. $1,000.00)

 

Additionally, we’ve been saving up every penny, diligently, during this time.  Craig has been crunching numbers, and has budgeted for our family so well, reducing any unnecessary expenses down.  Gone are the days of eating out all the time, or my Target habit!  We know that any sacrifices we make now are for the good of our family in the long run, and will get us closer to our goal of being parents.  And that, as they say, is priceless!

 

Hopefully that helps clear up for anyone who was wondering, how we got to our goal amount of $42,000.  And it might be worth noting that the average cost of a Domestic Newborn adoption in 2017, was $42,000.  So we feel that we’re right on track.

 

The good news is that we’ve currently met 30.97% of our goal!!  Through Craig’s amazing budgeting skills, and the 16 grant applications that I have spent hours writing, we are now a third of the way to our goal!  We count this blessing as proof of God’s faithfulness to His children, and demonstration of His generous, abundant love.  It is our hope to share that love and joy with others who will join with us on this journey, and to encourage them that their gifts are making the difference in the life of a child and birth mother. 

 

So please, feel free to reach out to us with your questions.  We are so excited to share with people about our adoption, and are always available to chat and answer any questions you may have about our adoption in particular, or adoption in general.  We are blessed by each person who wants to partner with us on this journey and are grateful for each gift received! 

 

With thankful hearts, Craig and Trinette

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Comments

$100

Leslie

Dec 31, 2018

“May God bless you both. Praying for you!!”

$20

julie

Sep 19, 2018

“Hope all goes well with your eventual adoption. I'll keep you in my thoughts.”

$100

J

Sep 17, 2018

“We wish you the best of luck on this journey!!”

$50

Hidden

Sep 4, 2018

“Can’t wait to give this feel good salsa a try! :) thank you! Thinking of you often!”

$50

Krista

Jun 19, 2018

“Blessings to you both!!!”

$5,000

Offline Donation

Jun 19, 2018

$3,815

Offline Donation

Jun 19, 2018

$50

Hannah

May 22, 2018

“May god bless you both and add another child to this crazy family. I wish you nothing but the best and I love you!”

$100

Bobbie

May 15, 2018

“Our prayers are with throughout your journey. Love Duane and Bobbie”

$1,000

Offline Donation

May 14, 2018

$2,000

Offline Donation

May 11, 2018

$500

Offline Donation

May 10, 2018

$3,000

Offline Donation

Apr 1, 2018

$6,044

Offline Donation

Mar 1, 2018