Almost two years ago, Sean Martin, his wife Jill, and their eight children pulled up stakes in Simsbury, Conn., and settled in a small farm town on the outskirts of Dallas, Texas. The reason for this life-altering move?
Sean had accepted the job of Director of Partner Services at the pro-life organization Online for Life. Having served as a church pastor for more than 12 years, Sean immediately began using his ministry-honed skills by serving as the liaison with nearly 50 participating pregnancy resource centers (PRCs).
His ability to counsel, connect, and demonstrate compassion has allowed Online for Life to foster healthy and productive relationships with PRC directors all across the country…but his commitment to life doesn’t stop there.
Long before Sean came to work for Online for Life, he and Jill were already leading their own personal crusade to rescue abandoned children. Before they were even married, the couple had discussed adopting children someday. And then 15 years ago, after they had two beautiful biological children, Sean and Jill began to pursue adoption. Not sure what it would look like or when God would open the door for them, they attended their first adoption/foster care class and were gloriously ruined by how it transformed their lives.
“That’s when God really opened our eyes,” Jill says about that time. “We couldn’t believe the number of children in the foster care system [who were] waiting for families. That’s when we began [looking] for an adoption agency — not one that would find a child for a family, but one that would find a family for a child.”
Approximately three months after connecting with an agency, the Martins received their first phone call informing them about not one, but two beautiful boys awaiting their forever family. Both were prenatally exposed to drugs and alcohol and born prematurely. One of the boys had been diagnosed with Down syndrome and needed to undergo open-heart surgery in the immediate future. These children desperately needed a loving home…
With little hesitation, the Martins brought those two boys home with them and made them a part of their family. That was twelve years ago now, and since then the Martins have welcomed six more children with special needs into their hearts and home — two of them just within the past month — which brings their family’s head count to 12, including Sean and Jill.
“I don’t think it’s an issue of people not wanting these children,” Sean shares. “I think they’re just afraid. But these children are no different than anyone else…they just need a mom and a dad.”
To spend time with the Martin family is to be in the presence of life. They live on a thriving farm with various kinds of animals — many of which are cared for by the children — a self-sustaining garden, and an outdoor playground that would be the envy of any child. When they aren’t caring for the animals, homeschooling the children or cooking meals for their ever-expanding family, Sean and Jill are working hard to make sure their home accommodates the special needs of each child.
“You don’t go into parenthood knowing all the answers,” Jill reflects. “You go into parenthood learning as you go. We may have to ask a few more questions than the everyday parent; but in the end, we’re all just trying to do the same thing: Give our children the best opportunity to succeed in life.”
When Sean first started working for Online for Life, the pro-life nonprofit outreach was in its infancy and consisted of just four employees. Even so, it helped saved 430 unborn babies from abortion during that first year. Now, two years after Sean took that leap of faith and moved his family across the country to help rescue unborn babies, Online for Life has 23 staff members and has rescued over 1,500 unborn babies from abortion.
“Everything we do at Online for Life is just a reflection of what I try to live out in my personal life,” Sean says. “Loving others and making sure even the least of these know they are wanted — it’s what I hope to be remembered for.”
LifeNews Note: Reprinted with permission from Online for Life.