Finding My Family: Brad Carpenter’s Story

Brad Carpenter’s Story

What I remember early on as a young guy is that Mom wasn’t around much. As a single parent in Washington State, we became a family that depended on welfare. What I didn’t know is Mom’s dealing with that was to turn, unfortunately, to the alcohol.

We didn’t see a lot of Mom. It got to the point to where my mom one day said, “I can’t deal with you anymore,” and she picked up the phone and she called the sheriff’s department. I remember standing in the parking lot that day and the police officer loaded me into the back of the car and that would be the last time that I was ever in my home. I was placed into a Christian boys’ home and that was the beginning of the journey for me that changed my life.

Finding Christ

My decision accepting Christ took place at Mid-High Camp. I remember sitting in chapel a couple, three times a day because that is what you do at camp. But I remember an overwhelming emotion coming over me at the end of the service, and I remember the invitation was given. I went down and I knelt on a concrete chapel floor and invited the Lord Jesus into my life. And I just remember getting off the concrete floor feeling different. I couldn’t really explain it and describe it but a sense of freedom was just absolutely incredible. I can’t even put into words what having the whole package, if you will, meant to me.

Finding Family

The directors of the boys’ home that I had been sent to (while I was a part of the juvenile system there in Washington State); I was seeing a family operate of what I thought a family should look like. And so that led to a conversation of me asking the director of the boys’ home would he adopt me. And so, in August of 1974, Brad McFarland Jr. no longer existed. I was now Brad Carpenter. I took on the last name of Mom and Dad who adopted me.

My Birth Parents Come to Christ

Early in my military career, I was returning from overseas and I discovered that my biological dad lived in Hawaii. We met at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel in Honolulu, Hawaii. I remember my dad embracing me, and we both wept after not seeing one another. That led to the reconnection not only with my dad but my birth mom and my siblings.

You probably know there is no greater challenge, I think, than trying to share the love of Christ with your family. I just had a desire to be like Jesus to them. And my birth mom started coming to church. And I remember on a Sunday that she invited the Lord Jesus into her life – the tears were coming down her cheeks. Christ delivered my mom from a 50-year addiction to alcohol.

That then began to lead to conversation with my birth dad about sharing Jesus, but he convinced himself he could not be forgiven for walking away from my mom, his wife, and five kids. I just kept sharing how Christ would forgive him. I can remember the day that my dad invited the Lord Jesus into his life. It was December 31, 2012.

A Family Redeemed

My mom invited Christ into her life. My dad invited Christ into his life. So now you have a totally broken family, a mom and five kids, who have not only been able to reconcile but all have made professions of faith. That is why we’re here. We are here to introduce Christ to as many people as we can.

You just need to be available. Say “yes” to God – to His way and to His will – and He will give you the opportunities to share, more than you can count.