MerrinJonathan and Elizabeth Smith recently became parents through adoption! Earlier this year, they welcomed Merrin Elizabeth, who is now 6 months old, into their family. The Smiths have been waiting to adopt for almost three years following the approval of their home study. They’ll tell you it was well worth the wait! In some ways, however, the process began even longer ago than that…as a child, Elizabeth attended an AGAPE banquet with her mother to hear radio and TV personality Art Linkletter speak. “Something about that experience clicked,” Elizabeth says, and she has wanted to adopt ever since. 

The Smith family lives in Red Boiling Springs, where Jonathan is a teacher, and Elizabeth is a homemaker and author. When reflecting on their adoption process, Jonathan and Elizabeth say they learned to be content and trust in God’s timing. They’re also grateful for some of the experiences they had while they waited for an adoption match that wouldn’t have been possible with a small child. It’s during this time that they now see how God was shaping them to become Merrin’s parents. 

“Sometimes the process can feel long and discouraging,” Jonathan says, “but keep faith in God to do what is best because the end result is absolutely worth it.” 

As any first-time parents can relate, the initial transition to having a newborn was challenging at times. “Even though we prepared for years, we felt somewhat overwhelmed by our tiny little baby who needed us 24/7,” Elizabeth says. “It is a major life change in which you basically have to drop everything and reshape your entire lifestyle. It’s worth it though! We wouldn’t change a thing.” 

AGAPE caseworker Lovette Gaston had the privilege of walking alongside the Smiths in their adoption journey. 

“Jonathan and Elizabeth Smith are two of the most gentle souls I have ever met,” Lovette says. “Through their three-year adoption journey, I have admired their faith that God would bless them to become parents and their diligent efforts to do so. My prayers for them were answered when the birth mother selected them; it was amazing to see how God placed things in order to make this placement go smoothly. Seeing Jonathan and Elizabeth with their beautiful daughter is one of the things I cherish most – they are so loving, nurturing and thankful to be parents.” 

For information about Elizabeth’s work as an author, visit

Oct 15, 2020