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Joy Out of Pain: A New Adoption Ministry
By Davesa Fernandes

Erika Lin and Jayson Payne felt alone and incomplete in their quest to be parents. From the moment they got married the excitement of raising children filled their hearts. Five years, three miscarriages, and an empty room later, Jayson and Erika found God moving them in a new direction.

Jayson and Erika Lin Payne with Erikson Leander.

Pain thrust them into a whole-hearted dependency upon God’s plan. They stopped praying to get pregnant and started praying for a baby.

“One does not need a baby, husband or wife to be made whole,” said Erika, who works as the executive assistant to the Rock Church’s chief information officer. “GOD is enough.”

That is a truth they felt they had to learn before God moved them toward adoption, and then brought them the perfect addition to their family.

The Paynes’ adoption process took nine months from start to finish. On their fifth wedding anniversary, they were matched to Cait, who was five months pregnant with a baby boy. In July, baby Erikson Leander Payne came home from the hospital with Jayson and Erika. They are now enjoying the responsibility of their child.

“He is my son,” Erika said, full of joy at in the way God changed her and Jayson’s hearts towards adoption.

The Paynes want to convey some encouragement for those who are struggling with infertility:

* You are not alone. We are here to hold your hand through the pain.
* Adoption may be second choice but it is not second best.
* Adoption does not have to take a long time. The entire process takes anywhere from six to 18 months.
* Adoption won’t “break the bank.”

The Paynes’ adoption process took nine months from start to finish.

While the Paynes did an independent infant adoption, there are 40 children between the ages of three and 17 years of age in the San Diego foster care program who are waiting to be placed in a forever family. In case you are wondering about the benefits of adopting a child through the foster care system, the Paynes want to draw your attention to some sobering statistics.

Nationwide, there are more than half a million children and youth in the U.S. foster care system—a 90 percent increase since 1987. Two hundred cases of child abuse are filed every week in San Diego. Three in ten of the nation’s homeless population are former foster children.

A recent study has found that during the 12-18 months after leaving foster care:
* 27 percent of the males and 10% of the females had been incarcerated
* 33 percent were receiving public assistance
* 37 percent had not finished high school
* 50 percent were unemployed

The Paynes teach on the biblical foundation for adoption. They meet with couples who are exploring adoption to encourage them. The ministry has mentor couples, adoption resources, support groups and classes. They also have help for pregnant women looking to make an adoption plan. An infertility group will launch late February. They welcome all who’d like to know more about the Rock Church Adoption Ministry.

Asked how they know leading an adoption ministry is what God is calling them to do, Erika said, “When God did something in the Old Testament, the people would build an altar to Him. This is our way of building a memorial to God for bringing us through and being faithful.”

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Davesa Fernandes is a volunteer writer with Rock the Word: The Rock Church Writers Ministry. If you're interested in writing, or in telling how God is using the Rock to change lives, go to for more information.

For more information about the Adoption Ministry, click here »