Obedience and Grace | The Bailies' Adoption Story
Nov 23, 2020
| By Katelyn Byram
Years into their journey with foster care and adoption, Gabe and Callie Bailie have seen God’s faithfulness every step of the way.
Even before they were married, the Bailies knew they wanted to share their home with children who needed a family. Initially, this looked like participating in respite care—short-term care for children coming out of traumatic circumstances.
“We would just care for [these children], whether it was a night or a week, and we would give them a home and safety and fun. We just wanted them to experience a childhood that felt peaceful and we were just able to share the gospel with so many of those kids,” said Callie.
Though hopeful, those short stays were not without the sting of goodbyes. Gabe said, “In those moments where you are saying goodbye to kids, it is hard. … We closed the door, we walked into our house, and sat on our couch and just cried for a few hours just because emotionally, it’s hard. But the beautiful thing about it [is that] God gives you grace over every one of those moments when you feel like, ‘Man, how am I going to do that again?’”
God’s grace was abundant as the Bailies called their local agency several years ago, ready to open their home again. By lunchtime, they got the call that a two-year-old girl and three-month-old boy were in need of their care. And in a few hours, the children arrived at the Bailies’ home.
Once complete strangers, over time, Gabe and Callie knew they wanted to adopt Lai and Jordyn. What they didn’t know was that the process would take nearly five years.
During those years of waiting, the Bailies learned of God’s closeness in their surrender. “Even though the outcome was unknown, we knew that God is known and his promises are known to us. We could cling to his promises because he never changes” Callie said. “… we would always wake up the next morning with just enough grace to get us through that day. And that was something you almost grew to look forward to in the waiting—his closeness,” she continued.
“One of the biggest things [God] showed me [during the waiting] is to not let the possibility of future pain stop you from loving someone in their present pain. … The hurt we would feel losing the kids or them going back pales in comparison to the pain they were feeling right in [the moment they came to us],” Gabe said.
In 2020, the Bailies adopted Lai and Jordyn.
“[After five years] we got to adopt Lai and Jordyn on May 7. And it wasn’t how we thought it would go at all, it was all over Zoom with the judge, but just one word from the judge changed everything for us. And so it’s the same thing with us, one word from God can change our whole story. And that’s just a picture of the gospel, what God does. That’s why we do this because God changes lives, Jesus changes everything, and one word from him is all we need,” Gabe said.
The Bailies believe everyone is called to take care of orphans. “There are 143 million orphans worldwide, and there are over 100,000 just in the United States that are in need of a loving family. And so we believe that if the church mobilized together, we could do so much for the kingdom,” said Callie.
Gabe continued, “[Y]ou just need to pray through [what that looks] like for your family in certain seasons. … [W]e’ve had people just pray over us, bring us meals, just watch our kids for us in certain seasons. But if God is really just pressing on your heart that you need to walk in obedience to this, I would say: 1) continue to pray and 2) talk to a family that is walking through foster care and adoption—they would love to share more and get you connected. You can talk to one of the champions at one of our campuses with EmbraceRDU, and we would love to connect you with resources and ways to just care for kids that are longing to have homes.”
“We’re not superhuman Christians, we’re just faithfully following each and every day.”
If you are interested in adoption or foster care, learn more about Summit’s EmbraceRDU ministry and contact your campus mobilizer.