In October 2019, Adrienne and Jordan Telman had just been matched with their daughter, Shai, and were preparing themselves to travel to South Korea the following summer to bring her home. But in the early months of 2020, the Telmans, along with countless other families pursuing adoption, held their breaths as the spread of COVID-19 transformed our world in unexpected and unprecedented ways.
“Families come to me saying, ‘Oh, your fourth time around. You know how this goes.’ And I’m going, ‘Honey, I don’t know how any of this is going to go.’” Adrienne laughed.
As the world’s governments have scrambled to respond to COVID-19, adoption processes have been delayed or halted, leaving waiting children and families in uncharted territory. “But, [after] three successful adoptions of God working,” Jordan said, “we can very easily say, ‘Hey, this isn’t the same as before, but here were some things that God brought us through before. And God is the same.’”
In addition to the emotional toll of extended waiting and uncertainty, for many families, these delays in their processes also mean additional fees and expenses. For the Telmans, it meant extended time in South Korea as they waited through a mandated two-week quarantine period and then an additional four weeks of logistics and court proceedings.
“Our prayer as soon as COVID hit was, ‘God, make these restrictions go away, heal the land, and let things continue because we’ve got a kid who’s not home,’” Jordan said. “‘And we want her home. And not just her but everyone else in that process.’”
To their relief, Adrienne and Jordan’s initial timeline for when they would be able to bring Shai home was extended by four months. But the additional time spent in South Korea brought its own challenges. After the two-week quarantine and their initial meeting with their daughter, Adrienne remained in South Korea alone for another five weeks while Jordan traveled home to be with their other children and return to work.
“I’ve never been away from my kids that long,” Adrienne said. “And I’ve never had to do the custody [process] by myself. So that was daunting.”
Along with the emotional cost of their extended time in South Korea, was an added financial cost. But the Telmans trusted that, once again, God would make a way.
“The journey of adoption … the journey of infertility … it’s ‘hope deferred makes the heart sick.’ It’s that verse [Proverbs 13:12] lived out for so many years,” Jordan said. “And then you see these sprints of God running ahead of you. Not walking, running ahead of you and clearing obstacles. It brings you not just back to the level you were before that hope deferred—that heart sickness—it brings you beyond it.”
Adrienne and Jordan were awarded a Show Hope Adoption Aid grant early in their adoption process; however, with the onset of COVID-19, Show Hope strategically increased grants to help offset additional and unexpected costs related to the pandemic. As their process slowed and hope seemed deferred, the Telmans found out their grant amount had been increased.
“It moves those mountains that you’re staring at,” Jordan said. “Like when God says, ‘You know, if you have the faith of a mustard seed, you can look at that mountain and tell it to go be cast into the sea.’ That’s kind of that moment—you’re looking at a mountain and then you blink and that mountain is gone.”
Seven weeks after Adrienne and Jordan first landed in South Korea together, Adrienne and Shai stepped off a plane in Elizabeth, Colorado.
This moment, too, looked different in our new world of COVID-19. There was no fanfare in sight—signs, balloons, or a waiting crowd of loved ones to celebrate their arrival—just Adrienne, Jordan, and Shai.
“The only word that went through my head was Done,” Jordan said. “It was one of those quiet moments of victory. That’s what it felt like. We won this thing. We made it through.”
Though the journey to their youngest daughter looked different than they could have ever imagined, Adrienne and Jordan are thankful for their unique story in this unique time.
“We are so eager to see God lift this fog,” Jordan said, “[but] grateful that we can be a part of his movement in the midst of it. Even in the darkest periods, even in the 400 years of silence between Malachi and John the Baptist, we know God still moved. He moves in those dark times, and that gives us hope. It’s humbling and exciting to be a part of his movement when the chips seem down.”
LifeHope donors play a unique and vital role in Show Hope’s work to restore the hope of a family to children who have been orphaned. As a LifeHope Donor, you have the opportunity to fund a full Show Hope Adoption Aid grant annually. And as we have shared, perhaps more than ever, our Adoption Aid grants are more vital and needed, particularly in light of the COVID-19 impact on waiting children and families.
Will you prayerfully consider joining us?