Those two words have always gotten us into trouble, and this time was no different. It was 2013, and the end of summer had come. We’d made it through another baseball season with two boys and gotten them settled into the school year before taking off for a few days alone. One thought dripped like a leaky faucet in our minds and conversation.
“What if there’s something more?”
Long drives have always been our place for eating snacks and contemplating the big questions, and that one just wouldn’t leave.
What if there really is more? What would we do?
We prayed and talked throughout that trip about what might be next for our family. We knew we needed to use our skills and experiences to serve together. But how?
That fall, WhitsonLife was born.
We are Matt and Becca Whitson. We believe in the power of stories- in their ability to heal, to expose our hearts, to build community, and most importantly, to reveal God’s work in our lives. We use our skills and experiences as a pastor and licensed counselor to share hope with as many people as possible.
We came home from that trip in 2013 excited to start exploring how God would use us. What we didn’t know was that His first step would be to add a four-year-old girl to our family. She is a delight, but let’s just say the process of becoming a family of five didn’t always feel delightful. Although it was our second adoption and we'd provided informal foster care for years previously, we'd never experienced the isolation we felt during that time.
After we emerged from the adoption rip tide and started to catch our breath, our oldest son was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. He finished his final treatment in the fall of 2016. We celebrated, and we knew. It was time. Our “what if” could be the voice of our fear, or it could be the beginning of something more.
Two months later, Matt left his position as Executive Pastor to focus on WhitsonLife full-time. Orphan care has been a part of our lives for over ten years, and we couldn't shake the feeling that we have the power to do something more.
We hear from parents consistently that they feel alone in the most difficult years of their lives. We see church leadership struggle with how to care for these families well.
That's where we come in.
Parents need encouragement, training, and community with other families. Church leaders need awareness, resources, and a plan that fits into their model of ministry. We're here to provide those tools.
Orphan care is messy and hard. And it's always worth it.
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
How you can help:
- Donate to WhitsonLife. We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and your donation will be tax deductible. Our funding is based on the generosity of others. We literally can’t do this without you.
- Help us find places to serve. Can we help your church leaders create a plan for ministering to kids from hard places and their families? Would your church family host a retreat for foster and adoptive families in your community? Contact us.
- Pray for us. Pray for everyone we’ll meet along the way- that they would be encouraged, filled with hope, and loved well.
- Follow and share our adventures. We’ll be stopping in communities all over the United States, and we want to share hope with as many people as we can- in person and online. You can help us do that.
- Get your kids involved. The WLKids page is by kids and for kids. It’s a place for the next generation to shine their light in the darkness.