By MARILYN TINNIN
LOVE CAME HOME:
The Adoption Journey of Missy and Will Hopkins
Missy and Will Hopkins are the quite official and very devoted parents of William Alan Hopkins, Jr. (formerly Zechariah and occasionally called “Zech.”) Even the most unobservant bystander will notice immediately they don’t look like they would belong together. Here are two Caucasian adults and their African American nine-year-old with a personality that matches his enormous smile. Add in one rescued mutt, a dog named Samson, and you have the cast of characters in a story only God could write.
There is a backstory as you can imagine! When Missy Crosby and Will Hopkins met eight years ago, she was a career-minded young professional who was married to her work. She was comfortably single. Her Ole Miss season tickets mattered more to her than a serious relationship. Will was a successful sales rep, a likeable guy who had never quite gotten his life together. He worked hard, played even harder, and had spent his young adult years in one kind of “debauchery” (his word, not mine) after another. Their friends thought they made an odd couple warning that their relationship would never last.
What others failed to see was how much they brought out the best in each other. They married six months after their first date.
In addition to Will’s job as a furniture rep, he had developed a side business crafting custom furniture. Carpentry was his art—a talent that he likely inherited from two grandfathers who were master carpenters as well. Through word of mouth, he was building quite a customer base. As he told someone in an interview a year or two ago, “Give me some keys and I will come back with a car.” If a customer can sketch it or even describe it, Will can build it.
Since Missy had the marketing and business skill set, they decided to open a retail business stocked with Will’s designs a few blocks off The Square in Oxford. The business grew to the point that Will quit his “real” job representing another furniture line, hired some help, and began making custom furniture.
There is something symbolic in the fact that although Will can take a new piece of wood and do something phenomenal with it, he and Missy have a special attraction to reclaimed pieces that get new life in Will’s skilled hands. Do check out their website at thegreendoorco.com.
When the Hopkins began to talk about having children, they explored their options. They had missed the prime years of their twenties and early thirties when most couples are having babies. With eyes wide open—or so they thought—they chose the adoption route. When a friend of Will’s called and said there was a baby born in a nearby hospital—to a mother who had no intention of keeping her baby and had also had no prenatal care—and would he and Missy be interested, they jumped at the chance.
What followed were several months of thinking they had a baby. Part of that time was spent in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis. The day the doctors released that baby boy to Will and Missy was a joyous occasion. Their elation was short-lived because the father, who had not known in the beginning of the boy’s birth, chose to claim him. It was gut wrenching and painful and the hardest thing they had ever confronted in their lives. Both Missy and Will went into a period of indescribable grief. But the good thing is this grief did not drive them apart—instead their relationship was stronger for it.
As Missy says, “We fell into a black hole for a while. But finally, we kind of raised the manhole and thought we might try adopting a dog!” Samson Hopkins is that lucky canine. His name is perfect. With his unkempt shaggy hair and his affable personality, he is obviously an orphan dog who is just delighted to be loved. He gives that love right back to anybody who reaches out to pet his disheveled head!
Samson was the first step back to the world. One morning when Will parked his car on The Square to grab his usual early morning cup of coffee at High Point Coffee, he noticed the sign above a store front—Mississippi Department of Human Services, Foster Care and Adoption. He took a deep breath and decided to go inside.
A few weeks later they got a call about a sweet little seven-year-old boy who was in foster care in Houston, Mississippi. Were they interested?
The rest is history. As Missy says, “If our vision, the way it was, had played out, it would be very different. This was not our plan. We walked in this huge room and he was scared, and he was behind this huge desk. We were probably more scared than he was. But within seconds, we knew we wanted him so much.”
A seven-year-old? Seven. Seven? In the scriptures, seven is the number of completion and perfection. For the Will Hopkins family, it has certainly proved true.
The Hopkins worship at the Oxford University Methodist Church where Alan, Jr., absolutely loves being a part of the children’s choir.