Jefferson Award honoree credits faith for adoption guidance
Throughout her years at Bethany Christian Services, Joann King has helped women cope with an unplanned pregnancy.
"There isn't a typical person. It’s really anyone who has a pregnancy that wasn’t planned and that is causing them to consider abortion," King told WACH FOX. "We want to be an abortion-alternative ministry."
King started off as a part-time pregnancy counselor in 1988 and now serves as director of Bethany Christian's three locations in South Carolina. The organization works with both birth moms and families hoping to adopt a child.
Unlike when King first started at Bethany Christian, the birth moms now choose the baby's adoptive families.
"We find very often that it’s not the most attractive couple or the couple that has the biggest house or biggest income," King said. "(Instead) they identify with something in their background. For example, one girl looked at the family’s profile and she said, 'Oh, they call their grandparents Meemaw and Peepaw, and that’s what I call my grandparents.' And so that’s how she identified that family."
While some of the adoptive families struggle with infertility, others already have children but would like to open their homes to another, King said.
"We’re not going to meet every situation, but I just trust in God’s plan," King said. "I just have to be ready for what happens."
King said she uses her faith to guide and comfort clients who are disturbed by the uncertainties of their situation.
"The Bible says to be part of God's family, you're adopted," King said. "I don't deserve to be taken into God's family, but God chooses to save us."
King said she continues to marvel at how everything just seems to work out for both birth moms and adoptive families.
"To see that little picture of how circumstances go together is really amazing to me," King said.
King has a son and daughter who were young when she first started working at Bethany Christian Services.
"When I would get the call about a birth, sometimes I would actually take (my daughter) with me," King said. "I would make her stand outside the nursery window so she could look in."
King said she wanted to give her children to see how women who are not at a point in their life where they can care for a baby can find a family who can. She said her daughter ended up pursuing a master's degree in social work because of that exposure.
For more information on Bethany Christian Services, click here.