Today I have the privilege of introducing you to one of my personal heroes, Jordyn Glaser. Jordyn is married to my cousin Brian. Together, they are saying yes to the hard things God calls them to, stepping out in faith without waiting to see how God will provide.
Here’s a glimpse into the heart of this woman whom I’m honored to call my cousin. (Be prepared—her passion is catching. And her story will make you shed a few tears.)
Interview with Jordyn Glaser, author of Battle Cry
Gretchen: You were your parent’s rainbow baby–you came after loss. And yet, they soon learned that you had the exact same heart defects that had taken the life of your sister when she was just ten days old. HOW was your perspective of life shaped by your medical issues? What was it like to face open-heart surgery at seven years old?
Jordyn: I learned at a young age that God doesn’t make mistakes. Even though I didn’t exactly understand why my heart was built the way it was, I knew with 100% certainty that God—the Creator of the heavens and earth, the Designer of vibrant flowers and complicated animals, the Artist who painted the sky with stars—did not make a mistake on me! I might not understand it all, but I can rest in the fact that I was designed exactly how God intended. It has now been 25 years since my open-heart surgery, and I am humbled by the fact that I was gifted 25 years of life that I wouldn’t have had unless I had my scar. There is beauty in the brokenness.
You and your sister Linsey shared an overseas backpack adventure like no other. What did your friendship with your sisters look like as you were growing up?
I am blessed to have sisters I would choose as friends even if they weren’t family. My sisters, Linsey and Taryn, are my best friends. I look back now and laugh at all the antics we put our poor mother through (like telling Taryn that the dog food was Cocoa Puffs or daring Linsey to jump from her bed into our fort constructed of chairs, which resulted in a broken arm) but we grew up in a happy home and it was the building ground for our friendship. We now are blessed to walk through motherhood, ministry, and life together.
You mention in Battle Cry that you both felt the call to adoption even before you were married. We also get a glimpse into how you met your husband Brian. Can you tell us a bit more about what helped you sense that God had called the two of you to serve Him together, through adoption and wherever He might lead you?
I believe that God puts burdens on our hearts which lead us to our callings. Brian and I were created with a burden on our hearts for adoption and honestly, I am so grateful we were. I can’t imagine our family without Esme and Abel. We could have missed all this if we had chosen comfort over calling. Always choose calling.
God brought you through two high risk pregnancies. I loved the fact that you baked cookies and brought them to every appointment to share with the hospital staff. What advice can you give to those who have friends in those hard spots of waiting–be it a risky pregnancy or a similar situation?
Oh, the cookies! I think we should always care for those people in our village—and we need a village. Sometimes it is difficult to know the right words in hard situations. We may not have the words to say “thank you” or “I need your help” or “I’m here for you” but we can show it through our actions. The important part is that we just come along side one another in these times. Don’t try to say the perfect thing, just be present—and show up with cookies!
You are emphatic that, while adoption is expensive, it’s truly just another opportunity to see how the Lord provides. What practical advice would you give to couples who have a heart for adoption?
Get ready to put your head down and hustle! Yes, God will provide but that doesn’t mean it will be easy or that you are just going to win the lottery. It means that we must say yes to God in faith and then watch how He provides, not wait for Him to provide and then say yes. We applied for adoption grants, we had yard sales, Brian worked overtime shifts, and I even learned to hand stamp jewelry and opened an Etsy shop. Say yes in faith and then get ready to hustle.
Based on your experience as a two-time adoptive mom, what advice would you give to those who have friends who are adopting? What are some of the best ways their family and friends can support them throughout the adoption process?
The best advice I can give is to ask God to lead you to your child. We adopt not because adoption is a plan B or even as a rescue—we adopt because we believe God has a child for our family through adoption. You are seeking your child, the specific child that God created for your family. Ask God to lead you. Ask God to close the wrong doors and open the right ones.
Our older kids have a better understanding of adoption than most adults because kids tend to not complicate things that don’t require it. The way my kids explain our family to people who ask is that, “Esme and Abel were always meant to be a part of our family, they just got here differently.” It’s that simple. We are a family and family fights for one another.
Your family found themselves in the midst of an adoption process, only to have those doors closed in your face. And then, you were approved for another option, only to get an email with news that threatened to end it all again. What truths did you learn through these times?
I discovered that every speed bump and road block that I considered a disaster was actually just rerouting me to my children, the children that God intended for our family. We didn’t want adoption; we wanted our children. It didn’t really matter how we got to them or how long it took; we just needed to keep going.
When you first started actively pursuing adoption, your youngest biological child was 9 months old. Yet you wrote that your prayer was that your children would see you “giving the value of a life and the value of following Christ a higher priority than chasing comfort.” How have you seen God shape your older children’s hearts through adopting their siblings?
I know I will get a lot wrong as a parent. I do not pretend to be perfect or even close. But my hope is that my children will look back and see that their parents were doing their best to chase after Christ. Children see what we pour our time, our energy, our money, and our hearts into, even if they don’t talk about it or even fully understand all the details. I hope they will know we did our best to pursue Christ with all that we had.
You’ve been a NICU mom not once but twice, you’re a two-time adoptive mom, and you’ve bonded with a baby who wasn’t even comforted by human touch. What would you say is one of the most important things you’ve learned about motherhood throughout your journey?
Grace. Grace. Grace. Motherhood is beautiful but it is also very hard. We need to have an abundance of grace for ourselves, our husbands, our children, and our village. Cling to God, pray continuously for your people, and learn to ask for help.
Being the wife of a law enforcement officer must lend itself to a lot of “solo parenting,”which would be even more challenging when you throw adoption into the mix. What have you learned that keeps you going when—as you so aptly put it—“you cut their sandwich into squares instead of triangles” and it’s been another rough day?
This is a tough one. If I’m being very honest, law enforcement is not an easy career on families. That being said, I am incredibly proud of my husband and his service. We have been a police family for almost a decade now. I say “Police Family” because that’s what we are; it is a team effort to make the job possible, and even a team sacrifice at times. Brian currently works the night shift, so we have developed tools that help our family stay healthy. Yes, it is a lot of solo parenting and sometimes that results in “mommy breaks” in my closet eating a treat that I don’t want to share. But mostly it is about keeping my priorities in check. I make it a priority to get up before my little people to have my prayer time and a hot cup of coffee. For me this makes all the difference. I’m also learning to ask for help; it’s humbling but healthy. We need our village, so find your people and love them well!
What does life look like now?
Our life is beautiful and busy. A lot of medical appointments and therapy but also a lot of giggles and growth. Our journey to become a family might have looked a little different but we are just a regular family—the kids fight in the backseat because someone looked at them weird, I have smashed goldfish crackers in the bottom of my purse, and no one in our family wears matching socks (because seriously, who has time for that?!).
Battle Cry isn’t your first book. Can you tell us a bit about your children’s book?
I started writing stories for Davis and Rory when they were really little. It was a fun way to be creative in a season of life that didn’t offer much time for hobbies. I would come up with little rhyming stories in my head and write verses on the back of napkins or receipts and then piece it all together. The Little Fawn and Her Stolen Spots was always my favorite because it speaks to a mother’s heart. The story is about an adventure the little fawn goes on looking for her missing spots, but the true heart of the story is about a mother’s love for her child. Our children grow up, but they will always be our babies (insert tears!).
What are some of your favorite books to read to your children?
My kids know that their mother adores books and I’m trying to foster the same love of reading in them. Books let us explore and take adventures from anywhere—kids need that! Adults need that, too. Every night before bed Esme picks a stack of books to read. We also read as a group every evening, and have recently read and loved the first four Harry Potter books (we will read the later books when the kids are a bit older), Anne of Green Gables, Hank the Cowdog, and American Girl books.
I know being a Noonday Ambassador is something you’re passionate about. Can you give us a glimpse into your heart for Noonday?
Noonday Collection is an organization close to my heart. I have always believed in their mission and the difference they are making around the world. But after our second adoption last winter I now have a different sense of urgency in supporting Noonday. I have walked the halls of the institution where my son once lived, I have seen firsthand the effects of neglect and malnutrition—I have experienced the intense trauma and I know without a doubt that children should never live this way!
I can’t adopt all the children in the world (my husband told me so) and I can’t save everyone from poverty and human trafficking and hunger, but supporting Noonday is something I can do right now. Noonday is keeping families together, getting women out of trafficking, putting food on tables and getting children in school.
Your story is all about saying yes to God in faith. What can you tell us about the opportunity you’ve been given to serve with IJM?
We are big believers in doing our best not to choose comfort over calling, so this summer we will be deploying with International Justice Mission to serve in Cambodia for a year. I can’t share a lot of details because of the nature of the work but Brian will be working with a law enforcement team fighting human trafficking.
The crazy part of this adventure is that the same day we got the call from IJM was the same day we signed the paperwork to buy our house. We had applied to IJM several months previous and had not heard anything, so we assumed this was not the plan God had for us. We started taking steps to purchase a little bank owned farm house on 5 acres. It was/is a true fixer upper and we poured our savings into the purchase and remodel plan. We found ourselves again in a place of 100% relying on God to provide. If we were going to go, then we couldn’t do this on our own.
Right at the moment that the property we had dreamed of for our entire marriage was in reach, God asked us if we would still go. We could have the life we thought we always wanted but God was asking us if we would still say yes to the call. Would we still choose Him?
As I wrote in Battle Cry, I am more afraid of missing God’s call and God’s blessing than I am afraid of doing the hard things. Comfort is a tool of the enemy; don’t let it fool you. So, look out Cambodia, the Glasers are headed your way!
If you’d like to support the Glaser’s ministry in Cambodia, you can shop Jordyn’s Noonday Collection or donate directly via MissionStream. Follow along on their journey via Jordyn’s Instagram @JordynGlaser. For more, visit JordynGlaser.com.
“I know sometimes I feel overwhelmed by all the great needs of children in this fallen world–adoption/foster, sex trafficking, abortion… Jordyn’s story reminded me we can’t fix everything, but if we’re surrendered, He’ll show us His individual calling on us in taking part of the rescue. If the people of God were moved to be His hands and feet and join the fray, what could happen?”
“Riveting. This inspiring story of difficult pregnancies and adoptions highlights God’s love. The crisp, clear writing made the story come alive, and I didn’t want it to end.”
(Rachelle Rea Cobb)