Unable to have biological children, Charles and Jane Sebesta’s decision to adopt seemed natural. “It wasn’t a hard choice at all,” says Jane. Having cousins who had adopted and parents who were supportive of the process, she says, “It didn’t bother us, the fact that we wanted to adopt children because we couldn’t have any (on our own).”
They began the adoption process with Buckner Children’s Home in Dallas, Texas. “We just placed it in God’s hands because we couldn’t do anything else about it,” says Jane. Charles, who was district attorney in Burleson County, was familiar with the legal process associated with adoption, so they were able to move through it with relative ease.
They adopted their first child, Pamela, as an infant. Recalling their excitement, Jane says, “When they put her in my arms, she just had these big blue eyes, she just looked at us, and it was perfect.”
Two years later, through a providential set of circumstances, Charles and Jane found themselves in the sanctuary of First Baptist Church in Temple, Texas, to pick up their second child, David. They had arranged to meet the adoption agency at the church, which was an hour from their home in Caldwell, Texas, because they were unable to be at the hospital in Dallas on the day he was born. Recognizing God as the provider of children, it seemed only fitting that the Sebestas brought David into their home after meeting him in the Lord’s house.
With each child, Charles and Jane felt an instant connection from the moment they held them. “When they placed those babies in our arms, they became our babies, and we raised them as such,” says Jane. From the beginning, they openly shared their adoption stories with Pamela and David, but they never considered them anything but their children.
Charles was extremely grateful to have these gifts from God. Realizing that no one wants anything bad to happen to their children, he went the extra step to take care of them. “I may have been overprotective early on,” he jokes.
Charles considers adoption a win-win situation for both the birth mother and the adoptive parents. Growing up, he remembers the stigma associated with young girls becoming pregnant outside of wedlock. While not condoning this behavior, Charles is thankful that his children’s birth mothers chose adoption.
“The one thing we’ve come to appreciate is that there are two girls out there who got pregnant; they had other options, but they had enough family support and understanding and love for the child to realize that child would be better off with someone else.”
Over the years, Charles has used his legal background to help several families with the adoption process. When one family he helped offered to pay him for his services, he asked them simply to send him a Christmas card each year with a picture of the daughter they adopted. The family has been faithful to send a photo of the now eight-year-old girl every year, which gives him great joy.
With their children now grown, the Sebestas see how God has used their love and faithfulness to provide a legacy for the next generation. Seeing their children have children of their own has become one of the most rewarding experiences of their lives.
“People always said how much fun it is to have grandchildren,” says Jane, “but people never explained to me how much fun it is to watch your children with their children.” Pamela has two daughters under the age of three, and David has twin two-year-old girls.
Not only have the Sebestas invested in their own family, but their generous spirit has also overflowed to Southwestern Seminary. They have been members of the Southwestern Advisory Council for more than 20 years, and Charles once served as its chairman.
By partnering with Southwestern on a variety of efforts, including building projects and endowed scholarships for music and missions, the Sebestas are providing the next generation of men and women with the tools they need to bring the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ to a lost world. Southwestern is grateful to Charles and Jane Sebesta for their ongoing investment in Kingdom work both in their home and in the seminary.