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Presbyterian missionaries Aaron and Rachel Halbert are the proud parents of 5 young children. They are white and all five of their children are black.

In an article written for The Washington PostAaron explains how he and Rachel not only had difficulty conceiving naturally, but they also came to understand that white children are more likely to be adopted. They felt a calling to provide a home for a child who may otherwise not get to have a family.

They went to an adoption agency in Mississippi and adopted two African-American children, one boy and one girl. They said their family was of course, met with both 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. 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,” Aaron wrote in The Washington Post. 

The Halberts felt a calling to have more children. According to Little Things, that’s when they heard about the National Embryo Donation Center. Usually these embryos are destroyed or given to science, but Christian centers accept “donations” that can be “adopted” by couples having trouble conceiving. Since Aaron and Rachel wanted their two adopted children to fit in with their new siblings, Rachel had two African-American twin embryos implanted. One of them split.

Some people say the phrase, “I’m color blind” when describing that they don’t see color as an issue, obstacle or difference. Aaron says that’s not how they look at the world at all, they see color and they embrace it.

“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. 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.”