Brian and Rebecca were kind enough to join me for a Q&A session in order to share their unique perspective and experiences with the Crossbridge community.
Q. How does the gospel shape your life, your marriage, and your career?
A. The gospel should shape everything that we do – it should be fully integrated into our lives. Jesus died so we can have a new life… not necessarily a better life. A new Rebecca & Brian, but not necessarily a better Rebecca & Brian.
Q. What are you passionate about and why?
A. We’re very passionate about what the Lord has called us to do with married couples. A good marriage is made out of two good forgivers, as our pastor told us when we were married. We learned forgiveness because we have been forgiven by God. Our goal is to see healthy marriages around the world accomplishing His purposes with joy. We hope to help men and women build healthy marriages in faith, hope and love.
Q. Have you and Brian always had a “healthy” marriage?
A. In my book “Confessions of a Desperate Women” I [Rebecca] talk about my separation with Brian as I packed his bags and helped him move out. I told him that my reason for wanting a divorce was that he understood the science of forgiveness but never really changed his passive aggressive behavior. What I didn’t realize was that I too was creating a breakdown in our communication. I was trying to control Brian with words as he was trying to control me with the good old silent treatment. We both made ourselves feel invalid, and so we separated for a short time before coming back to re-establish our relationship.
Q. How did the understanding of the gospel shape your desire to adopt? What organization did you adopt through? Are there any resources you found helpful?
A. We had been married for ten years and were so absorbed with our careers that the topic of kids hardly ever came up. One day someone made a comment about us not having any kids, and it made us both realize that we really wanted children in our life. Unfortunately, after three years of fertility treatments, we were told that I [Rebecca] was barren. This was devastating to hear– I felt handicapped and barren… much like Rebecca in the book of Genesis. I was beside myself with regret in not taking advantage of the years of my youth, and I started to seriously doubt God’s love for me. Brian told me that “if we never have kids our love for each other is enough.”
A couple of years later the topic of adoption came up and we began to do some research. I suddenly remembered a moment, many years prior to the realization that I was barren, that I had while in deep meditation. I felt that God was pressing on my heart that one day I would take great care of His kids. I literally felt pregnant that day… and nine months later we adopted two children, David & Julia, through Lighthouse adoption in Russia.
Q. How did the children respond to the two of you at first?
A. As we saw little David for the first time we thought we saw an angel, even though he was severely malnourished. Our first encounter wasn’t very pleasant, however, as little David began to scream and pound Rebecca in the chest when she picked him up. We were told by the agency not to adopt this kid because he was “nothing but trouble.” In a later visit we learned that little David was being treated somewhat like an animal… and it had a strong impact on his development. His bedtime routine, for instance, consisted of curling up in a ball and frantically rocking himself to sleep.
It wasn’t easy, at first, for the kids to adapt to us. After some persistence I [Rebecca] was able to get David to sit with me, some toys, and a banana on one of our last visits to the agency. Later that day I was able to rock him to sleep while singing a song to soothe his anxiety. The song went “Who is this baby with blue eyes, who is this baby that the Lord gave me – his name is David and if you give him a banana he will eat it all at once.” (David still loves bananas to this day!!)
The adoption adventure helped me [Rebecca] to realize that God loved me all along, because God had adopted me into His family. The adoption presented a new opportunity for the kids and strengthened our marriage because of our new understanding of God’s love. We began to realize that adoption was not plan B— it was the plan that God had all along.
I want to thank Rebecca and Brian for sharing and I hope you’ll stay tuned and join me each month for exciting testimonials born right here out of the heart of Crossbridge. You never know if the next story might change your life. If you wish to sojourn with or support the Knowles’ in any way please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.