Families look a lot different now than they did just 50 years ago. Interracial marriage is widely accepted, adoption and foster care means that children with bad home lives are given hope in a forever family, and it’s not uncommon for a family to be made up of parents and children of different ethnicities and skin types.
Aaron and Rachel Halbert are strong believers that the racial turmoil in our country—and predominantly where they are from in the south—should never mean sacrificing a child’s opportunity at having a family.
In fact they believe it’s their duty to embrace the beauty in our differences.
After struggling for years to conceive, Rachel and Aaron turned to a different method of creating a family: adoption. They proudly welcomed a little boy and a little girl—both with darker skin—into their forever family.
“We knew, especially in the South, that a white couple with non-white children would draw a myriad of different reactions,” Aaron explains. “There will always be the older white woman in Walmart who stared at us with sheer disgust, or the African-American mother who looked at us and just shook her head.”
But love conquers all, and the couple loved everything about their little family. As missionaries serving in Honduras, the Christian couple was eager to bring more lives into their family.
A short time later, they learned about embryo adoption. It’s where embryos that have been frozen in a Christian embryo bank for a number of years—in this case 15 years—are implanted in the mother, giving embryo babies a fair chance at life.
“If Christians—or others—really believe life begins at conception, it follows that we should respond by being willing to support embryo adoption and even take part in it ourselves,” Aaron explains.
Rachel and Aaron decided it would be great to be able to break the racial stigma and have their new babies “match” their siblings rather than their white parents.
Though they knew some people would shame them for their controversial and somewhat culturally-taboo decision, the couple knew it was the right decision for them. It’s not every day that a white woman gives birth to three black babies, but Rachel was willing to endure the criticism that may come along with it, with her supportive husband by her side.
They adopted two frozen African American embryos, and implanted them as directed. Inside the womb however, one of the embryos split, and six weeks later the couple learned they were pregnant with triplets!
The triplets, three girls, were born in April 2016.
“It’s been heartening to see virtually all of our friends and family express overwhelming support for our family and the unusual ways we’ve built it,” Aaron says. “In our minds, we are just living out our dream. A dream that may not look like the average family, but one that we are thankful could come true in light of our country’s history.”
Aaron says their family is not what he and Rachel had planned 12 years ago when they were dating and discussing adoption, “but oh, how thankful we are for God blessing us with these sweet little ones He has placed in our care.”
“I can remember a friend going through the adoption process telling me he had always wanted his family to look like a little United Nations. As I look at my growing family, I prefer to take it a step further, daring to hope that our family picture is a little hint of Heaven.”
Not only is it beautiful that Rachel was finally able experience pregnancy— further—that the Halbert family of seven is a living example of what God has called us to as brothers and sisters in Christ.
“We believe when you look into any human’s eyes, you look into the face of an image-bearer of God—into the eyes of a person whose soul is eternal,” Aaron says. “While that is the common thread of all humanity, it doesn’t mean our racial differences are insignificant. We see the human family’s varying physical characteristics as awesome reminders of God’s creative brilliance.”