Aaron and Rachel Halbert, a white couple of presbyterian missionaries, knew they wanted to adopt even before they got married — and last year they adopted five black children, three as embryos, because it was ‘the logical outcome of being pro-life’.
In an article written for The Washington Post, Aaron explains how he and Rachel realized that white children are far more likely to be adopted, thus coming to the conclusion that adopting children of another race was more likely to make a difference. They felt a calling to provide a home for a child who may otherwise not get to have a family. “Grasping diversity will make the world stronger as we marvel at God’s creative genius on display through His people’s varying pigments, personalities and proficiencies. Our differences are cause for celebration, not scorn,” Aaron wrote.
It helped that Aaron grew up in Honduras with his missionary family where he would often be the only white child around. This made him open to other races, something which he later would influence Rachel, who grew up in the state of Mississippi and was initially not as open-minded about the issue.
When the couple had trouble conceiving, they visited a Mississippi adoption agency where they expressed the wish to adopt only ‘non-caucasian’ children. “We did this with the deeply held conviction that if the Lord wanted us to have a fully Caucasian child my wife would conceive naturally,” Aaron says.
The couple ended up adopting two African-American kids, a change that had a profound effect on their lives. And although at the time they did not plan on having more children, that changed later when they heard about the National Embryo Donation Center, a Christian embryo bank that keeps excess frozen embryos created during an in-vitro treatment.
Such embryos – which comprise of just a few cells – are usually destroyed or donated for scientific research once their biological donors successfully implant one. In the Christian centers, however, ‘donations’ can be ‘adopted’ by couples who are having trouble conceiving.
The Halberts were ‘deeply moved’ by this philosophy, but also by the possibility of having more children who would fit in with the two they had already adopted. In April 2016, the couple was blessed with triplets instead of the twins they had been expecting; their triplet daughters were born in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, where they were serving as missionaries at the time.
Watch the video to meet this incredible family as well as hear Aaron and Rachel talk about both the racism and acceptance their unconventional family has been faced with in the Southern United States.