Adoption first became a serious topic of discussion in our home in January of 2018.  I (Brooke) had begun reading The Best Yes, by Lysa Terkerst, and while doing so adopting a child came to the forefront of my mind.  My original intent in reading Lysa’s book was unrelated to adoption so when instead adoption became a recurring thought, I felt compelled to begin seriously considering it. 

Over the next month, God helped to lay the foundation for me to see the correlation between my spiritual adoption in Christ and the physical adoption of orphans here on earth. The Lord allowed us to see that if we believe that God knit us together in our mother’s womb (Psalm 139), if He knows how many individual hairs are on our heads, if everything about us was on purpose, then it is no accident that we live in the most affluent country in the world, in a home that keeps us warm, with plenty of food in our refrigerator, and water that flows at the twist of a knob.  During our time of discernment, the Lord simplified adoption for us into three questions. “Do you have room in your home for another child?  Do you have room in your finances to care for another child?  Do you have room in your heart to love another child?” When all those questions were answered ‘yes’, God assured us that He would take care of the rest.

Over the next year we began the process of adopting from China with Madison Adoption Associates, and we officially met our son, Benjamin An Xia Yang on March 24th of 2019.  Benjamin is an active, expressive, all-boy, 2 1/2 year old.  While he has a heart condition, aside from the scars you would never know.  We were blessed to be able to adopt him from an orphanage with wonderful nannies who loved him very much (we’re still keeping in touch over WeChat) and his needs were provided for beyond what we expected.  Because of their hard work and gentle love, a little boy who, while still overcoming a language barrier and grief, is adapting exceptionally well to our family.

Our days have been full of sign language, smiling, laughing, tickling, teaching, loving, caring, hand-holding, trying new foods, learning to recognize emotion, sharing, rocking, and more.  It’s been a whirlwind of a month and with so many things still yet unknown we’ve seen the biggest success come from the closest possible one-on-one attention and utilizing all the things we learned during the educational portion of our adoption process with Madison.

It was in response to God’s prompting, His love for us, and His love for the parentless, that we decided to adopt. We have been adopted into God’s family, being allowed to partake of His riches. And now we are excited to do likewise for Benjamin, a child who needed the same thing.  We are so thankful to Madison for helping us make our adoption a reality.  We’re looking forward to the days ahead and are excited that God chose us to be Benjamin’s forever family.

With the deepest gratitude,
Brooke Varner (and Brad, Abilene, Andrew, and Benjamin)

To learn more about adopting from China, please visit our website, or email us at