Having difficulty getting pregnant early in their marriage, the Yeatses experienced feelings of inadequacy. Some wondered what was "wrong," since they adopted children instead of having them biologically.
"Many people want a sense of biological succession," Yeats said. Angie admits that she had difficulty with it as well, wanting to be able to bring the baby home from the hospital.
Angie said she prayed, "I'd just like to know one way or the other whether we should adopt." After a complicated tubular pregnancy that ended in surgery, doctors told them in-vitro fertilization was their only option for getting pregnant, but they did not consider this an ethical option. Through these events and continued prayer, they realized that God wanted them to adopt and began the process. Less than a year later, they brought their first daughter, Briley, home and finalized the adoption.
When they moved to Texas and Yeats joined Southwestern Seminary as a professor a couple of years later, they felt like the Lord was leading them to adopt again. During a meeting with Hope Cottage, a Texas-based pregnancy and adoption center, Yeats asked, "Do you ever get sibling groups?"
With a stunned look in her eye, the representative said, "We never have people ask that question, and we never have sibling groups, but we just got our first." Six weeks later, Cadie, an infant at the time, came home with them, and then six months after that, they adopted Sean, her biological brother who was a year older.
In 2007, they received a phone call from Hope Cottage informing them that Sean and Cadie's birth mother had recently given birth to another child. Although they thought they were finished adopting children, they surrendered themselves in prayer again.
Yeats recalls, "The overarching issue was asking, 'Where will this child be in 15 years?' We have a responsibility as believers on some level to bring him into a godly home." A couple of months later, they welcomed Jackson into their home, and the adoption was finalized in June.
The Yeats family has also had to work through the challenges associated with transracial adoption, especially misperceptions from people they meet. They've endured all of the random questions and false assumptions, but they see them as opportunities to educate people about adoption.
Even their children have begun to notice a difference in skin color from Mom and Dad. "As Briley has gone to school, it is interesting to hear her talk about kids 'with skin like mine' and those who have 'skin like yours,'" Yeats said.
"We have always used age-appropriate terms and concepts to reinforce positive values of their heritage. One of our kids' favorite picture books is a book by Sandra Pinkney called "Shades of Black." The book talks about the variances in skin color, hair textures, and the things that make each person unique.
"We have to work to make sure that we, as parents, stay up on aspects of a culture that is foreign to us so that our children can engage in the history and heritage of their own ethnic identity," Yeats said. "Most of all, we pray that our kids will find their true identity in Christ, which supersedes all earthly divisions.
"We are careful to try and place our children in arenas where they have exposure to people from all over the world. We also have close friendships with families who have also adopted transracially."
The Lord has blessed the Yeats family with a church that includes several families who chose adoption. Several children in their kids' Sunday School classes are adopted and reflect a variety of ethnicities.
"As our kids age," Yeats said, "we will continue to expose them to more aspects of their own adoption story as well as how it works to be a part of a transracial family. We know that there will be difficulties ahead, but we work to stay prepared and surround ourselves with a community that reflects the beauty of God's creation.