Love Comes Instantly

By First Dallas Staff

“I came and visited one Sunday, and that was it,” recalls Brandy Brinkley. She hadn’t even left the parking lot before receiving a personal phone call from John Bernard, the Minister of Outreach and Connections, thanking her for coming. She says, “That’s what got me.”

Since becoming a member in 2014, Brandy has been an active volunteer, serving in Worship Production, Prison Ministry, Student Ministry, and Kids Worship Arts. Little did she know that the Lord had placed her right where she needed to be. In 2016, during one of her leadership meetings, volunteers came together to pray for three siblings who were about to go into foster care—Elizabeth, Renee, and Brenden. Because she has been a social worker for Child Protective Services for 17 years, Brandy was asked to reach out to the family to see if there were needs the church could help with. Since that day, Brandy had been praying for these children; she just didn’t know that the person she was praying for God to call was her.

Soon, the three siblings moved in with their grandmother, who was their assigned guardian, but soon found out she was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer. Upon her diagnosis, the grandmother approached Brandy, saying, “If something were to happen to me, would you take care of the kids?” Her response—”Absolutely.”

For the next couple of years, Brandy loved on the three children as if they were her own and found a house big enough for all five of them to live in, including their grandma. “It took four years, two months, and three days until I was finally told adoption would be possible,” says Brandy. Even in the most challenging times, Brandy said, “We are going to praise Him, and I know that doesn’t make sense, but that’s what we are going to do.”

In God’s perfect timing, on March 6, 2024, Elizabeth, Renee, and Brenden became a part of the Brinkley family! On adoption day, Brandy said, “It was important for me to have a village for these kids present.” There were 60 people in that courtroom, the largest group the judge had ever seen. As she looked to her left and to her right, she saw people from the church, the First Dallas Student Ministry, the Choir, and many others. She said, “Not a single person was blood-related, but we were all family because of the blood of Jesus Christ.”

Her oldest daughter, Elizabeth, says, “The adoption was so important to us! I loved seeing so many of the people who came from First Dallas.” As a senior this year, she reflects on her involvement for the many years in Worship Production, Student Choir, and the Student Ministry as a whole, saying, “My mom sacrifices so much for us, she loves us and taught us what unconditional love is. We would not have met if it wasn’t for First Dallas!”

As Brandy stood in the courtroom surrounded by her church family, she had tears of joy and a profound sense of gratitude. Looking back on her experience, Brandy says, “People said it was impossible for adoption and only permanent management conservatorship was as far as we would be able to go, but I reminded them God tells us to pray diligently and to give Him the desire of our hearts . . . and He answered.” 

Brandy says, “Adoption takes time, but love comes instantly.” From navigating legal battles to comforting her children through illness and loss, God used this time for Brandy to transition her three children into a safe and loving home. In the process of waiting, Brandy led two of her children to Christ. Brandy’s unwavering dedication to her faith has shaped Elizabeth and her siblings with a forever home. Elizabeth says her mom taught her that “Everything happens for a reason.” She wants to encourage other students her age, saying, “Don’t ever lose faith. We have had a lot of stuff happen, and I wouldn’t be where I am now. The hard times will not last.”

Brandy’s trust in God’s plan guided her every step of the way, and she is thankful to serve a God of the impossible. As they celebrate their adoption, she continues to cling to the comforting words found in Haggai 2:9b, “‘And in this place I will give peace,’ declares the LORD of hosts.”


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