My dear friend, Nick Runyon, joins me on the show today! He and his wife, Whitney, live right here in Austin with their three beautiful children who recently joined their family through adoption. Last year at this time, Nick and Whitney were living in the Congo waiting to bring their children home forever and today he shares a lot about how that journey home has transformed him forever. 

Nick’s story starts out like many of yours, in a small town in Michigan. He was blessed to know what he wanted to do from a very young age in life, and he did just that. He started flying airplanes at age 13 and had his pilot’s license by age 17. He was a commercial airline pilot for 8 years until he and his wife encountered the story of a little boy named Archie, who was being adopted from Bulgaria. Little did they know at the time, but it was Archie’s story that would ultimately be the birthplace of their eyes being opened to the global orphan crisis and that knowledge would change the trajectory of their lives forever. 

It was Archie’s story that led, Nick and Whitney to start The Archibald Project, a nonprofit organization that documents inspiring real life stories of orphan care all over  the world. The mission of The Archibald Project is to see the orphan crisis eliminated. This would eventually lead them both to quitting their full time jobs in order to pursue storytelling full time, as a means to help spread awareness and see people inspired to action. Their heart is to bring people along the journey they go on, and that it might encourage people to want to know more in the midst of a controversial and difficult subject. 

It was after a storytelling mission to the Congo in 2015 that their personal lives would change forever.  Two short years later, when they were asked to return to the same organization, they learned about a sibling set of 3 kids who were in need of a forever family to step up quickly due to a failed adoption with a previous match. Something stirred in Whitney’s heart wondering if they might just be the ones to call these children their family forever! Having just stepped away from their full time jobs, Nick didn’t see how it was even possible for them to consider adopting, but Whitney still felt strongly, so conversation continued! Today, Nick walks us through the fears he personally engaged, the control he fought hard to maintain and the sense of comfort he had to let go of before coming to a place where he was ready to embrace the unknown and embark on the journey of bringing their precious children home forever! 

Nick provides some really tangible and honest insight into the beauty and challenges that have come along the way throughout their journey. He shares a lot about what is was like to walk through the adoption process alongside Whitney while simultaneously experiencing very different emotions and reactions to the idea of growing their family through adoption. I am very humbled by Nick’s willingness to share so openly what the experience was like for him and how he learned to hold space for Whitney, without dismissing his need to process conflicting opinions at times.  He shares a lot of wisdom about how being wired differently and having different strengths ultimately makes us stronger, even when it is extremely challenging. It’s a conversation that I can really relate to, because Dave and I have a tendency to land on opposing sides of the fence at times and listening to Nick was such a welcomed reminder that it is the journey of figuring out how to find each other through the fence that actually serves to help us become stronger and make better decisions together. 

Nick encourages us to lean into the unknown and just take the next right step! There’s obviously wisdom in planning your life, but at some point in life, you’ll have to take a risk and put yourself out there. I hope you learn as much through our conversation as I did. Also, be sure you check out the Movie Nick and I talk about and be sure you subscribed to their YouTube channel for more incredible stories about adoption, foster care and what people around the globe are doing to help end the orphan crisis forever.




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Speak Life with Taylor Nichols is a podcast committed to keeping it REAL and RAW — real people, real stories, and real life. Be sure to subscribe so you never miss a conversation! {You can listen to the show right HERE and to make sure you never miss an episode just hop on to your favorite podcast app (ie. iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify) and subscribe today! I hope you will consider sharing the show with your friends and if you have a friend with a story you think we need to hear, please nominate them right HERE!}