The Harris Family

Hands of Hope Blog

About the Harris Family

The Harris’ moved to Fishers in 1989 as part of a church plant.  They have a special connection to adoption and recently adopted their son, Alec, from Russia.  This is the story of their adoption journey.

Tell me a little bit about your adoption story.

Susan:  In the summer of 2006, our girls were 7 and 5, and I felt a strong feeling that God may have been laying on my heart to adopt again.  After talking through this with Brent, we decided to talk, think, and pray about it for a year.  However…

Brent:  within months, I began to feel like I couldn’t shake the feeling either.  So by the summer of 2007, we went to an informational meeting hosted by Kids First (an international adoption agency that was recommended to us by the Roth family).

Susan:  We additionally thought about fostering and domestic adoption as options.  We checked into both of those options and neither felt “right” at the time.  In retrospect, we felt like we knew that we wanted to adopt internationally but felt like we need to eliminate other options first.

Brent/Susan:  So by the end of the summer (Labor Day) of 07, we had completed the paperwork to adopt from Russia…which would then put us on a 3 – 6 month waiting period for adoption.  We actually had a referral in November of 07, but there were a lot of unknowns with that particular situation and, although it was difficult, we had to refuse the first referral.  It was a tough choice, but we were supported through Kids First to realize that we were embarking on a full life change and we needed to be sure to make the best possible decision for our family.  One month later, we had our referral for Alec (who was 16 months at the time).  It just “felt right” and so we made our first trip to Murmansk, Russian in January of 2008.  We felt an instant connection and instant bond to Alec.  

Susan:  I asked God to make it known somehow that Alec was to be our son…I just “needed to know.”  God confirmed this in that within a few moments, Alec crawled right into my arms (which is somewhat rare for a child raised in an orphanage).  Also, on both visits to Murmansk, Alec bonded very easily with Brent (which again is rare because there the children at the orphanage have very little contact with men).

Susan/Brent:  …and on March 1st of 2008, we brought Alec home from Murmansk!

Talk about feeling God’s hand throughout this experience.

Susan:  I feel like God carried us throughout the entire process.  We never felt nervous or anxious – even when we felt like we had no control of the situation – which is definitely not us.   Also, the matching of needs (ours and Alec) had to be orchestrated by God.

Do you have a particular verse or quote that has helped you throughout this journey?

Susan/ Brent:  We have kept Jeremiah 29:11 very close to us throughout the process:  “For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Was there anything unexpected that came as a result of your adoption of Alec?

Susan:  We became much more aware of the people and culture of Russia.  

Brent:  We were both surprised and how quickly Alec bonded with the two of us.  Also, for us to be forced to give up control was a big learning experience for us.  I think we were both continually reminded to let it all go and trust fully that God will make this happen.

Any advice for those considering adoption?

Susan/Brent:  It is a GREAT opportunity, but don’t think that you are doing this to “save a child” (although you may be at some level, you have to be careful not to “romanticize” the adoption process), but that you are doing this to grow your family and because you know you can provide love to a child.

Brent:  Be prepared to give up control.  This was a true exercise in faith…and if we respond, God will be faithful in honoring His calling for us!

If you have any questions about their adoption experience, feel free to contact Brent or Susan Harris at