Presbyterian missionaries Aaron and Rachel Halbert are the proud parents of five young children. The couple is white and all five of their children are black.
In an article written for The Washington Post, Aaron Halbert explained how he and his wife had difficulty conceiving naturally and later learned that white children are more likely to be adopted. They felt a calling to provide a home for a child who may not have otherwise been adopted.
They went to an adoption agency in Mississippi and adopted two African-American children, one boy and one girl. They said their family has been met with varying degrees of racism and acceptance.
"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," Aaron wrote in The Washington Post. "However, there was also the young black girl who wept when we told her this little boy with her skin color was our son, and the older white doctor who lovingly prayed over him and held him so tenderly. These latter experiences were rays of hope reminding us how far our country had come, while the former experiences reminded us how far we still need to go."
After adopting the pair, the Halberts still felt a calling to have more children. That's when they heard about the National Embryo Donation Center.
The nonprofit embryo donation program connects hopeful parents-to-be who have problems conceiving with families who have successfully gone through in vitro fertilization and have leftover fertilized eggs. The extra eggs are frozen and stored for later use, according to the organization. Some of those embryos go to research, others are kept frozen indefinitely and still others are left to die.
The National Embryo Donation Center, a Christian organization, implanted Rachel with two African-American twin embryos, according to The Washington Post. One of them split.
"When we began the adoption process we knew race could play a major role in our family dynamics, which led us to ponder deeply what a racially diverse family would look like," Aaron Halbert wrote in the Post. "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. 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. It's not that we think race doesn't exist, or that we don't see it. In fact, it's the opposite – we see it, and we embrace it."
He went on to write, "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."
Cox Media Group