An Unexpected Calling: Becoming an Adoptive Single Mom

This isn’t your average adoption story. At age 22, single, and on the path to medical school, no one expected Lauren Edinborough to become a mother. But on a mission trip in Nicaragua, one little girl stole her heart.

Video Transcript:

Lauren Edinborough: A fear that a lot of other people presented was that, “How are you ever going to get married? For a single mom, how are you going to find someone?”

I graduated from college and went to Nicaragua for a short mission trip. One little girl stole my heart: Yelka.

Yelka was placed in an orphanage at age one when he birth mother became seriously ill.

Lauren: It was something from the very beginning that I thought, “Oh, I’d love, love to adopt her.” But I also thought, “It’s impossible.”

The lady who was the director of adoptions over the whole country of Nicaragua was up at our home. The woman who runs it, she said, “Oh, well, Lauren was thinking that she wanted to adopt Yelka.” And here I am stunned that she’s saying this to the person who is in charge of all this.

At the age of 25, Lauren legally adopted Yelka. In 2016, they moved back to the United States.

Lauren: I can’t even imagine what my life would look like without her. I think that she’s brought so much more meaning and purpose to life, because I think that schooling was something I was supposed to do. Going on to school was just this plan that I’d had since I was a kid, just as the next logical steps to take.

I had graduated with my degree in pre-med, and so there was this thought and expectation that I was going to go on to med school. There was this part of me that had no desire to keep going in school, at least not right at that time. I’ll take a year off. Maybe go do some service somewhere, and then come back and go back at it. But it wasn’t … apparently not necessarily what God had in mind either.

For her, everything she saw was exciting, and everything was new. I remember her first time riding on an escalator. She’s like, “The stairs are moving. This is so crazy.”

It’ll come up every now and then. The idea of a Dad. I mean, she toys with the idea. She’ll say, “If you get married, will he be my dad?” “Yeah.”

You just see this whole new world through the eyes of a child. There’s so many kids that just want a home. They want somebody that’s there to call Mom or Dad, and to just have that family unit.

Sure, it’s crazy. I mean, I think the whole idea of faith and believing, it has to be crazy. But I think that’s what makes faith so powerful and so amazing, too. That what makes God so amazing. He can make these incredible stories all weaved together in ways that we, as humans, couldn’t even dream of.

Heart open. [Church bells]

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