Editor’s note: For more on the Amy Hood Adoption Endowment, see the Clarity column by Randy C. Davis HERE. Online contributions can be made at AmyHoodFund.org and selecting the Amy Hood Adoption Endowment Fund.
FRANKLIN — An adoption endowment fund has been established with the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board designed to provide funding for adoption expenses for Tennessee Baptist couples who desire to adopt children.
The fund was established with an initial gift by Randy C. and Jeanne Davis. Davis is president and executive director of the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board.
“To be pro-life means more than to be anti-abortion,” Davis said. “One of the strongest ways to be pro-life is adoption and foster care,” he observed.
The endowment is named in honor and in memory of Amy Hood, the late wife of Pat Hood, pastor of LifePoint Baptist Church, Smyrna. Amy Hood died on Oct. 30 of last year at the age of 57.
“Amy was a strong advocate for adoption,” Davis said. “They did not adopt until their nest (two sons) was empty,” he said, noting that the Hoods adopted their first child from China after Amy’s birthday.
The Hoods later adopted two additional children.
Davis met with Pat Hood over the Christmas holidays and shared his desire to begin the endowment to provide grants for families from TBC churches seeking to adopt a child. “Pat and his family enthusiastically blessed this endeavor,” Davis said.
“Our goal is to establish a $1 million corpus that will fund adoption grants for years to come. I can envision the day when a family from one of our churches wants to adopt a child, and that adoption will be financially supported by other Tennessee Baptists through the Amy Hood Adoption Endowment,” Davis said.
Hood expressed appreciation for the endowment in honor of his wife. Adoption and helping others to adopt was Amy’s passion, he said. “It was her cause. She gave her life to orphans and adoption.”
She was the driving force in their adoption of three international children, Hood said, admitting that he originally was opposed to the idea. “We married early and had our two sons early,” he recalled. After they left home, Hood acknowledged he was ready for the “empty nest.”
Amy, however, had different ideas, he recalled. She wanted to adopt a little girl from China. When Pat said “no way,” Amy did not “nag” him, he noted. “Instead, she went over my head and prayed about it,” he laughed.
His heart began to change while on a mission trip to India. He and Amy were with an IMB missionary “15 minutes from the Great Commission,” preaching in a small village. During lunch in a tiny hut, a two-year old Indian girl climbed into Amy’s lap, he said.
“When I saw that child on her lap, God spoke to me, ‘I want you to adopt that little girl from China.’ ”
Without telling Amy, Hood prayed for several months. Though he was coming up with good reasons to adopt, Hood said God kept telling him those were not enough. Finally, Hood said God revealed to him that his church (LifePoint) was primarily a white congregation.
“The Lord was telling me he wanted our church to be like His Kingdom — ethnically diverse with people of different backgrounds and color.” God also affirmed to Hood that He wanted his family to be an example of what to do at LifePoint, Hood said.
Hood still needed affirmation that he was hearing God correctly.
Not long after his revelation from God, Hood was in his quiet time when he received a phone call from Mary Beth Chapman (wife of singer Stephen Curtis Chapman) who wanted to talk with him about adopting a girl from China and even offering him a $10,000 grant from their foundation to help with expenses.
For Amy’s 40th birthday, he and Stephen Curtis Chapman developed a video informing her they would be going to China soon to adopt their first little girl, Jaden, who is now 16.
The Hoods later adopted Aly Kate, now 15, from Ethiopia and Isaiah, a special needs child from China, also now 15.
After their adoptions, Hood noted Amy became widely known as an adoption advocate.
“Since her death, so, so many people have contacted me and said they would not have their children had it not been for Amy’s help.”
Also since their adoptions, LifePoint is a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic church. “We also have a number of families in our church now with adopted children,” he added.
He is appreciative of the endowment, especially as it is occurring after the reversal of Roe v. Wade which means more babies will be born but that does not mean they need to stay with their birth mothers.
It will mean more babies will be up for adoption and more people need to be ready to adopt.
“This is one of the most relevant ministries that Tennessee Baptists can be involved with,” he stressed.
Hood acknowledged that adoptions are expensive. While not everyone can adopt, everyone can help children be adopted by a loving family through their gifts, he noted.
“We can say we not only fought against abortion, but we fought for babies to be able to flourish in a loving, Christian home.”
The endowment is a TBMB fund which will be invested with the Tennessee Baptist Foundation. Gifts should be sent directly to the TBMB. Only the income (interest) will be used for grants. The corpus (original gifts) will remain invested. B&R — Checks may be made out to Tennessee Baptist Convention and mailed to Bank Lockbox Service, PO Box Lockbox Service, PO Box 306339, Nashville, TN 37230-6339 indicating in the memo line that the check is for the Amy Hood Adoption Endowment Fund. Online contributions can be made at AmyHoodFund.org and selecting the Amy Hood Adoption Endowment Fund.