Sarah's Story: Why I Started Project 2713
Tears stream down my face as I write this, thinking of my grandfather in the hospital again. A couple weeks ago, on a dreary Sunday morning, I received a text message telling me that my grandfather was back in the hospital. He had gone to the ER twice in a matter of hours throughout the previous night and early morning. He was recuperating by the time I received the message, but it still caught me off guard. I sat down to pray, but that morning my prayer was different than usual. Towards the end of my prayer, I started weeping at the thought of ever losing my grandfather—especially before my husband and I ever have a child. I have a selfishness in me that just wants at least my first child to get to know their great-grandfather, whom I hold so dearly in my heart.
I can’t help but be proud of who I am and where I come from. The fact that I, Sarah Workman Haug, am the granddaughter of Billy Don Workman may not mean much to most of you, but to me it’s the most important and interesting part about me. I’ve shared my grandfather's story with many friends—how he was adopted by his step-grandfather—and he is the reason I’ve ventured out to start both a for-profit graphic design business and this non-profit, Project 2713. This has all been to honor him and the man he was raised to be. If you haven't heard that story, you can find it almost anywhere on the Project 2713 or Workman By Design websites.
So, how do I honor the man who has made such an impact in my life? Other than God leading me down a path of trust and faith, he is the sole reason I have started Project 2713. I honor him by letting people know what kind of man and advocate of God’s love he is. During one of his recent hospital visits, I was sitting with him and my grandmother—visiting with them for a long time. He had an amazing, helpful nurse who shared with us about her family and also interpreted the "doctor lingo." I remember my grandfather asking her, “How do you work and take care of your family with all that you do, with four children and a husband?” Her reply was, “Lots of Jesus and coffee.” My grandfather smiled and just before we left said, “You’ll be alright as long as you stay with Jesus.” She gave a big smile and said, “Yes sir.” Even when not feeling well, my grandfather will always encourage others to follow Jesus!
I get shy in front of people and I don’t always like big crowds, but I have stepped out in a leap of faith to advocate for adoption and show how adoption also mirrors what Christ did for us. I still stumble and get choked up when I know I should tell someone something, and that day in the hospital with my grandfather I realized that no matter the circumstance, God has to be our center. We are here to spread the Good News to all the earth and share the joy we have with others—to help those who are stumbling rise up and stand in the freedom that God offers us.
I choose to do that through Project 2713. Just as my grandfather's life was impacted when he was adopted by his step-grandfather, I want to help show others that adoption is powerful and speaks directly to how Christ loves us. He came and died so that we would no longer have to live in sin, but could be forgiven of our transgressions and have eternal life in heaven. Christ has adopted us into His kingdom as children of God and we will never be left behind, shaken, or homeless.
I was raised by my biological parents with three older siblings. But I support adoption and specifically have a heart for local and inner-family adoptions like my grandfather's because I've seen how the impact of adoption goes far beyond the immediate adoption. It affects the people and family down the road that may not have known life as it is today. I wouldn’t be the woman I am today had that adoption never taken place. I wouldn’t have grown up with Workman as my last name and I wouldn’t have known the unfailing love of our God and the importance of adoption.
Through adoption, a child is chosen by his or her parents—just as Christ CHOSE all of us. I, for one, am extremely honored that George Workman chose to call my grandfather his son.