Upwardly Dependent » walking the delicate balance of absolute truth and overwhelming grace.

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The Post I’ve Waited Years to Write

I’ve had the pleasure of sharing some exciting news with several people over the last few weeks: Pinkston Baby #2 is on the way!

But I’m not pregnant. I have no ultrasound picture to share. And I can’t tell you when his due date is.

Gavin and I have started the adoption process and are thrilled to walk this journey with you. We’ve applied for a baby boy from Lesotho {Luh-soo-too}, a tiny country completely surrounded by the nation of South Africa.

As excited as we are, this post is so hard to write. I’m scrapping the first draft because, how exactly do I write about how God is moving in your life without sounding utterly self-righteous?

If I’m being honest, it would probably be nice if He just left us and our mushy, easily-convicted hearts alone for a while. He’s starting to make me sound like a pathological liar.

Hi. I’m a 26-year-old grad student. My husband is a family physician. We have a five-month-old daughter. We’re adopting from a country in Africa. We’re moving to a country in Asia. We think this is totally normal.

This is totally not normal.

But seriously. What is normal anyway? My white-house-picket-fence dream died long ago. Probably the day I burned my recipe for mom’s chicken and dumplins just after getting married.

Nah. It was probably the day I opened my new box of sidewalk chalk as a Kindergartener and wrote, I’m proud to be a white American all the way down my driveway.

That is totally not normal.

Kindergarteners don’t know they’re white. They definitely don’t know they’re American. Lee Greenwood can sing though, ya’ll.


I joke because I don’t want to make this some sappy post that we publish and then sit anxiously awaiting the Facebook likes. I share the embarrassing sidewalk chalk story to say that God has been doing a work in us for a while.

I knew Gavin shared my burden for adoption before we married. I love this man’s heart. There’s nothing I can throw at him that he doesn’t join me in complete abandon.

We actually started the domestic adoption process this time last year. When I became pregnant with sweet little Eliza we were declined for a home study. So we accepted that we would have to wait to pursue this heartfelt calling.

Then again this fall, God was still knocking. And again, Gavin and I felt ready to begin the process. We knew that it would be difficult to find any agency that would consider working with us in light of our upcoming move.

But God is so in control.

I reached out to my friend Abby, who I knew was in the process of adopting from Africa. She told me that her agency specialized in working with expatriate families {people living in a country different from their passport nation}. Why in the round world am I so surprised every time Romans 8:28 is fulfilled in my life??

We Skyped with Small World Adoption Agency’s ex-pat coordinator, and she answered so many of our questions. She lived in China during both of her adoptions, and calmed our fears of raising children of a different race in a culture different from either of us.

After sharing our thoughts, concerns, and burdens, she directed us to apply for adoption from Lesotho. The country has recently become Hague Accredited, and only works with one agency in the US.

Besides the logistics of adoption legalities, Lesotho seems to present a pressing need for adoptions. There are 140,000 orphans in this tiny country. Lesotho has the highest rate of AIDS per capita in the world. I’m learning so much.


All this talk sounds like we are swooping in to save the day. Please let me do my best to change your mind about this.

We are not adopting to “save” a child. The son that we look forward to welcoming into our family already feels like ours. When you pray and think and talk about someone multiple times a day for months, he starts to feel pretty real. We don’t have a name or a face yet, but I can feel him in my heart. This child will not be raised as a charity project…he will be raised as family.

We don’t want our son to feel “lucky.” I have read nightmare stories of adopted children who feel like they have to please their parents in order to thank them for their adoption. In our minds, an adoption is a no-strings-attached extension of love. When God adopted us as sons and daughters, He did so because He loved us. The End. That’s how we feel about our son-to-be.

We are not seeking praise. One of my greatest fears in announcing this adoption is that people will praise us. I can hear it now. What a noble thing to do! That child is so lucky! I wish I had the courage to do that! Please don’t say these things. Please point to the One who makes all of this possible. Please notice how Awesome our Maker is whose Spirit empowers us to do things beyond our ability.

We are scared. As part of our home study, Gavin and I have been reading adoption books and blogs out the wazoo. There are so many things that could go poorly with this process. We feel completely out of control not knowing the biological makeup of our next child. But God is Healer. We keep telling ourselves that. God is Healer. God is Healer. God is Healer.


We are so thrilled to finally share this news with those we love! There’s a long road ahead. This blog will serve as a platform for documenting the journey of our adoption, our life in Southeast Asia, social justice issues, and random God Thoughts.

Thank you to everyone who has supported us in this decision already.

To our families: Thank you for instilling in us a love for children, regardless of the age, race, or ability level. We know our next child will be blessed by the most loving grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Your willingness to walk through this with us is encouraging beyond what our words can express.

To our references, Aunt Michelle, Aunt Cheryl, Tim, Daniel, Mike and Vanessa, Michael and Kris, Jacob and Carly, and Michael and Aletha: You are so kind to say nice things about us and get those letters notarized.  We owe you!

To our friends: Thank you for putting up with our constant and excessive ridiculousness. We are blessed by your encouragement and patience. Each time you send an uplifting text, a smile of approval, or a cry of joy with us, we know that we are surrounded by the best family of believers anyone could ask for.

To Ginny Phillips: Thank you for the pictures. Thank you for your unselfishness. Thank you for caring about us enough to edit pictures in the midst of the black plague in your home.


Who knows how God will breathe into your life? I don’t always feel smart enough, strong enough, or rich enough to follow where He leads me.  I just hope He’s always close enough to reveal His will for me.



SharonNovember 30, 2013 - 4:03 pm

Here to support you and Gavin in whatever way I can! Got you all in my prayers…

Lisa GoodmanNovember 30, 2013 - 4:46 pm

We love you and our new grandson !!! Feeling very blessed :) Sorry the chicken and Dumplins didn’t work out

Tina HickmanNovember 30, 2013 - 5:34 pm

Congratulations! Can’t wait to hear and see all about him. Do you have any idea how long it will be? Baby or toddler? Love y’all :)

DebbieNovember 30, 2013 - 5:55 pm

So excited to hear this wonderful news! Prayers for you, Gavin and Eliza as God’s plan unfolds. Love you bunches!

Sandra BrooksNovember 30, 2013 - 5:56 pm

From a grandmother of a gift from another country I am so happy for you and your sweet family!

Stephen KelleyNovember 30, 2013 - 6:40 pm

This is awesome news! Adoption is such a blessing to YOUR life. We prayed for 13 years about a child. God guided us through the adoption process too. Yes, children will be blessed by being adopted by Christian families. However, those Christian families are far more blessed… in my opinion. Hannah Grace was our child before we ever decided on her name and before we ever received the call from Agape to adopt… mainly because we had already received the call from God.

We are super excited for y’all. We will be praying about this process. God bless!

Susie McCarrollNovember 30, 2013 - 7:26 pm

Oh Lauren and Gavin and Eliza.. Congratulations!!! I can’t wait to hear about all the ways that God is working in your lives!!!! What a blessing!!!! Thank you so much for sharing this!!! I am so happy for you all!!! May God keep enriching your lives as you travel this new journey!!

Tony and Pauline Watson {NZ}November 30, 2013 - 10:14 pm

We ask God to bless you richly. We are proud to know some of your family..

Rebecca ThroneberryDecember 1, 2013 - 1:31 am

We are very excited for you and will be praying for your sweet family during this process!

FrancisDecember 1, 2013 - 1:39 am

So happy to hear of your soon to arrive baby boy!! Congratulations Mama!

Linda Crowe MazzaDecember 1, 2013 - 3:07 am

I’m a high school friend of Gavin’s mother, Sharon. I want to say that I enjoyed your blog and hopefully will be able to continue reading as your family begins the awesome journey. Your family will be in my prayers.

AliceDecember 1, 2013 - 3:50 am

Gavin and Lauren!

I am so happy for you and I am thrilled to get to see this. Keep us all posted. Randy and I will pray for your sweet family.


Sharon PinkstonDecember 1, 2013 - 3:54 am

God is so good and I am so thankful. Am so looking forward to another grand baby..

Emily HopkinsDecember 1, 2013 - 8:36 am

Adoption is a scary thing to go through but without it I would have never been a Mom! If you are in TN I have a GREAT candidate to help you with your home studies and if you need an attorney too. Top notch great ladies who know what they are doing!

Larry W. RedmondDecember 1, 2013 - 6:17 pm

I Will Praise Two, But I Will Praise Jehovah God For Blessing You Two, And Blessing You Both For Open Hearts.

Larry W. RedmondDecember 1, 2013 - 6:19 pm

I Will Not Praise You Two (The First Segment)

Joy CrileDecember 2, 2013 - 8:37 pm

I’m so excited for you. Yes, I’m excited that you are starting the adoption process and that you will be adding another sweet child to your family. However, I’m most excited about the fact that you are following God’s leading in your life and taking one step at a time in this adoption process. Can’t wait to hear more!

RobinDecember 2, 2013 - 10:20 pm

Prayers for your precious family on this amazing journey that our awesome God has planned for you!

April VanceDecember 6, 2013 - 12:48 pm

Lauren & Gavin,
Hello friends! Since meeting you 4 months ago ya’ll have taught me so much about the term CHRISTIAN/DISCIPLE! You are two of the most AMAZING people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting! I say that with all the LOVE in my heart! This just fits ya’ll so perfectly, and you are going to be wonderful parents to this sweet little boy!