Featured Families

Meet October's Featured Family: The Dispenza Family


#1. Tell us more about your family.

Patrick and I have been married for 12 years. We spent the first 5 years trying to have a baby of our own to no availability. During our 2nd year we began fostering and fell in love with a precious little boy. Although our hearts were open and we loved him his whole first year, another family member spoke up and he was placed with them. Our hearts were shattered and decided to attempt IVF instead. On our second attempt we got pregnant and shortly miscarried. Thanks to insurance coverage we were able to try a third time and were excited to be welcoming twin girls. However, at just 33 weeks we found out our girls had twin to twin transfusion syndrome and Lanie no longer had a heartbeat. We had an emergency delivery and after many weeks in the NICU we brought home our daughter Lexie. Lexie has many challenges but has overcome so much and her hospital stay encouraged me to become a nurse myself. I use my experience to help other moms going through one of the hardest experiences to bring hope and that God still uses even the worst of experiences for good. I have learned so much about the value of life.

 

#2. Tell us more about your heart for adoption. 

Our family is dedicated to serving the Lord and following the callings he has placed on our life including fostering and adoption. So, when Lexie got a little bit older, we began hosting exchange students. We hosted kids from countries all over the world. One day God spoke to our hearts and said it is time to help the kids in your own community. We soon reopened our home and have since loved 23 different kids. Although we are open and would love to adopt all our kids, that just hasn’t been the case for us.  Last August we got a phone call about a baby that was born severely drug addicted with multiple diagnosis including cerebral palsy that no one else wanted. We immediately said yes and after 15 months we finally gained guardianship of her.

 

#3. Tell us more about your adoption journey so far.

We still knew our family wasn’t complete though and at a conference this past year the Holy Spirit spoke to me and asked to trust him and be faithful to our calling of true adoption despite our fear of cost. We prayed and began the process for a little girl we saw on a waiting child site. We applied for her, but during our home study process another family committed to her. We were devastated. We prayed again and God clearing spoke to us and said don’t be discouraged, now there is not only one orphan with a home but there will be two. We continued our process and being a nurse and having two special needs daughters already I knew our family could love another child with different abilities. Our social worker shared with us the horrific outcomes for most down syndrome children and we immediately knew this was God’s calling for us. We are so excited to add another little princess to our family and we know God will be faithful to provide for every financial need. 

With me only being able to work part time, Patrick provides most of our income. This year has been a very trying year for all salespeople. Patrick’s income consists of a lot of commission and this year sales have been at record low. We are doing all the fundraisers we can within the covid guidelines and will do whatever we can to help bring our daughter home. So far, we have sold cards for a cause, pampered chef, t-shirts, cause-ology jewelry, photo sessions, puzzle pieces, and had 2 garage sales. We are currently selling chocolate covered strawberries and collecting items for an online auction. With just a  few months left though, we are really praying for a grant to at least help with some of the burden. We have applied for several, but so far, we have only heard back from one in which we were not chosen and another which our agency is not affiliated with and did not qualify. We are running out of options, and our friends and family have helped so much already with our fundraisers but bringing our girl home is far too important to quit. With church being mostly online this year, connect groups canceled, and basically minimal contact, social media has been about our only option. We have tried crowd funding through adopt together and recently started a Reese’s Rainbow page, but so far it has been minimal help. I know it’s a tough time for everyone right now, but my baby deserves to come home as soon as possible and not wait any longer alone and without her family due to financial strain. Our family has waited long enough.

#4. Tell us more about the child you are adopting.

Our daughter will be named Liana Faith Dispenza she is 2 years old and has Down Syndrome. We are so excited to bring her home and are currently praying for a quick court date and expecting to travel sometime in November.

Thank you so much for listening to our story and know one day we will share our adoption story of how God was so faithful and love really doesn’t count chromosomes. 

We'd love for you to partner with this sweet family in bringing their precious child home! You can donate directly to them through their Connected Hearts Ministry link, where 100% of the donation will be used for this family's adoption expenses: https://give.connectedheartsministry.org/campaign/dispenza-family-adoption-fund/c324357

 Meet September's Featured Family: The Burnette Family

#1. Tell us more about your family.

Hello! We are Joshua and Kate Burnette! We live in Columbia, SC! We are excited to become parents and grow our family through adoption from Taiwan!

#2. Tell us more about your heart for adoption. 

Kate teaches English to kids in China and feels very closely tied to China. In the Spring of 2020, she felt God leading her to adopt from China. Together we started praying about adoption. We feel strongly that children belong in forever families where they are loved, cherished, and supported to reach their potential. Kate was filled with an urgency to start the process right away, but she did not yet meet the age requirement to adopt from China (age 30). We started saving while we prayed for guidance about what to do. The feeling of urgency did not go away, so we started the process of adoption from Taiwan, Republic of China in November of 2020. We feel that all Believers are called to love and serve orphans in some way. We are excited to become parents and grow our family through adoption.

#3. Tell us more about your adoption journey so far.

We started our adoption process in November of 2020 with the urgency in our hearts that our child was out there waiting for a family. We liked that the Taiwan adoption program is very child-centered, helping place children in homes that are the best fit for them. It has been a joy to meet families who have adopted or are in the process. We have enjoyed learning about Taiwan. We were matched in August with a cute little boy, who turns 5 years old this month!

#4. Tell us more about the child you are adopting. 

We are matched with a boy who is celebrating his 5th birthday this month! He likes puzzles, dinosaurs, and blocks. We can't wait to meet him!

We'd love for you to partner with this sweet family in bringing their precious child home! You can donate directly to them through their Connected Hearts Ministry link, where 100% of the donation will be used for this family's adoption expenses:  https://give.connectedheartsministry.org/campaign/burnette-family-adoption-fund/c347324

 

Meet August's Featured Family: The Ray Family

#1. Tell us more about your family.

My husband and I have been married ten years this September. We have a son Caden that we adopted domestically so this time is different with an it being an international adoption. We live in Greencastle, IN and have lived here our whole lives, except for the six years my husband was in the Army and we were stationed in Fort Hood, TX.

#2. Tell us more about your heart for adoption.

We cannot have any biological children so we fostered and met our son. We soon realized adoption was definitely not a plan B to have a child but the best plan A and we wouldn’t want it any other way. I know some people do not wish to adopt because it is just not right for them but it is for us and we cannot wait to do it again, but so very different this time which is exciting, yet scary.

#3. Tell us more about your adoption journey so far. 

We are adopting from Burkina Faso, Africa because I from a young child have always been intrigued by this area and have a strong heart for the people. We are open to blood disorders in our little girl and want to provide the best care possible that she most likely would not be able to receive where she currently is. 

#4.  Tell us more about the child you are adopting. 

We actually have not been placed with a specific child yet but we do know she will be aged 4 or younger, the child will be a girl, and she most likely will have a blood disorder.(HIV, sickle cell, Hep C, etc).

 

We'd love for you to partner with this sweet family in bringing their precious child home! You can donate directly to them through their Connected Hearts Ministry link, where 100% of the donation will be used for this family's adoption expenses: https://give.connectedheartsministry.org/campaign/ray-family-adoption-fund/c343889

 

Meet July's Featured Families: Urgent Needs in Uganda!

This month we are partnering with Open Hearts for Orphans for

Families Feeding Families!

"Uganda is back on Covid-19 lock down for 42 days. Tighter restrictions were just placed on 6/18 and food shortages are expected among vulnerable populations. We're helping our partners stay ahead of the issue NOW, in hopes that no one goes hungry. 

Maria cares for eight grandchildren and two foster children (pictured). She has been relying on the support of her daughters and well wishers, but with businesses closed, they can no longer send money home to help her care for the children. They desperately need food support. 

Many children have been sent home from schools, meaning extra mouths to feed. Our partners are planning to reach families in slum areas, too, who already lost their livelihoods due to the pandemic and are still really struggling. The biggest needs are groceries, medical care, and child protective services so they can step in to receive children in crisis who are at risk of abuse and family separation.

$40 will feed a family for one month. We are hoping that your family will sponsor a vulnerable family across the world! Our goal is to provide food relief for 200 families between three key partners.

 

Feeding a family with your $40 gift will get you an entry into our Sweet Summer bundle giveaway - including a YETI cooler, a Tommy Bahama beach chair, a copy of the book "Extraordinary" and an OHFO custom cap (not pictured). There is no limit to the number of entries - every additional $40 donated gets you an additional entry!" *Giveaway ends July 16th!

Hurry and give today: https://give.openheartsfororphans.org/campaign/families-feeding-families/c344860

 

Meet June's Featured Adoptive Family: The Carlisles

#1. Tell us more about your family. 
Phillip and I met in college at Campbell University. We lived in relatively close towns, but didn't meet one another until we were in grad school. We quickly hit it off and began dating. We were engaged about a year later, and got married in my home town in Eastern North Carolina, where we live now. We have one son, Camden whom we adopted in 2018.

#2. Tell us more about your heart for adoption.

I remember one day in high school where a social worker came and spoke at our school about her work at Christian Adoption Services. I was struck by the impactful work that she did “helping place vulnerable children in Christian families.” I thought through what that might mean in my life, and entertained the idea of being a social worker, but later realized that maybe God was planting a seed in my heart to give consideration to later grow my family through adoption. A few years later, I was diagnosed with Marfans Syndrome, a genetic connective tissue disease. While this is mild in my case and only has minor effects in my day to day life, it is not encouraged to become pregnant because of the possible impact on the cardiovascular system as well as the genetic component of this disease that could impact any future children. I felt like at that point, God truly settled in me the plan to later adopt children into my family, instead of having biological children.

As I later met Phillip in college and we began to talk about the future, I was pleasantly surprised to learn he had always been interested in adoption as well. When we became engaged and later married, this was not a difficult decision for us to decide that adoption would likely be the route we would take to bring children into our family. We researched several agencies, searching for one that would be ethical and above all support the expectant mom and share the Gospel with her. We landed on Christian Adoption Services, a Christian agency whose mission was as I’d heard all those years ago “To Connect Vulnerable Children with Christian Families.” We met with the very same case worker whom I’d heard speak at my high school in 2017 at an informational meeting.

We adopted our first son, Camden, through CAS in 2018. We continue to be amazed by all the ways in which we saw God weave together Camden's adoption story from birth to present day and are excited to begin a second adoption journey to welcome another sweet little one into our family.

We were given so many “God Winks” as our agency calls them, throughout the course of our first adoption. We received donor milk from dozens of moms we knew who were willing to help feed our son. We received small financial gifts from friends and family that added up. We were supported greatly by our wonderful church body, through prayer, meal trains, and financial contributions. Our son was born in nearly the same city as dear friends of ours, so we were welcomed with a beautiful nursery and home cooked meals for his first two weeks of life as we waited for paperwork. We were blown away by all we saw God do during the months leading up to and shortly after Camden’s birth, and looked forward to the ways in which we would continue to see God work.

As the years have passed and we’ve spent this precious time with Camden, we’ve begun to feel at peace about growing our family again. We plan to use this same agency, Christian Adoption Services, because we saw first hand the support and encouragement that they provide expectant mothers, as well as the ministry they are doing in North and South Carolina. We know that God has our future planned out before us and as Ephesians 3:20 says, that “God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all we ask or think.” We are trusting in that promise as we open the door into the financial unknown of adoption yet again. It is our prayer that God will provide the resources for us to continue to grow our family through the blessing of adoption, and that He will use us in the lives of any expectant mothers we encounter to show His grace, love and mercy. We do not have a specific special needs placement at this time because we are not placed with a child at this point. We anticipate we will bring our child home within the year 2021.

#3. Tell us more about your adoption journey so far. 

We are choosing to adopt through this specific agency because it is through them that Sara was first introduced to the concept of and ministry of adoption. We have prayed about where God wants us to adopt from, and domestic adoption in NC or SC is where we feel like God is directing us. We do not have a specific special needs placement at this time because we are not placed with a child at this point. We anticipate we will bring our child home within the year 2021.

 
#4. Tell us more about the child you are adopting.
We do not have a specific placement at this time. We are seeking to adopt a younger child to keep the birth order of our family, as our son who we adopted in 2018 is 2.5 years old.
 

We'd love for you to partner with this sweet family in bringing their precious child home! You can donate directly to them through their Connected Hearts Ministry link, where 100% of the donation will be used for this family's adoption expenses: https://give.connectedheartsministry.org/campaign/carlisle-family-adoption-fund/c321209

 

Meet May's Featured Adoptive Family: The Singletons


#1. Tell us more about your family.

I’m mama to John and James! John came into my life when he was a teenager, and he is now a proud Aggie studying Psychology at Texas A&M. He is also the most gifted musician I know. His joyful spirit and beautiful voice can melt anyone’s heart, and he loves sharing the Gospel through his music. James is from China and has been home for a year and a half. He has since then undergone four surgeries that have saved his life and drastically improved his quality of life. He is the bravest and sweetest kid I know. He is sensitive, kind, and caring, and always makes sure that everyone is taken care of. James shares his brother’s love for music, life, and food! You would never know that they didn’t grow up together. We have a lot of fun and laugh a lot! We are all super excited to bring precious Noah into our family to love forever.

#2. Tell us more about your heart for adoption. 
About a decade ago, I went on an orphan awareness mission trip to Africa. I met my oldest son John at his huge orphanage in Rwanda, and that was when the Lord began to cultivate a boundless love for orphans and an unprecedented desire to adopt. It is God who works in us both to will and work for His good pleasure. He continues to be at work in me creating both the desires and the actions that are pleasing to Him. I was keenly aware of how I was once a spiritual orphan and subsequently overwhelmed with gratitude that my Heavenly Father graciously adopted me into His eternal family. Adoption is a tangible way to show our children how we have been delivered from sin and death so that we can now share life giving truth with others. Several years after bringing John home, I came across an advocacy post for James who was living in an orphanage in China. Again, my heart was flooded with immediate love for this child that I knew was my son. John and James bring me inexplicable joy as well as some serious and much needed sanctification. I truly believe they bless me more than I bless them.


#3. Tell us more about your adoption journey so far. 
Several months ago, I saw precious Noah's picture and felt God asking me to make room for one more. I know I am not married, not good enough, not rich enough, not strong enough, not anything enough, but God sees past my abundance of fears and failings and calls me to something way better than I could ever imagine. I am so excited to embark on this journey of adopting Noah. Children belong in families. I adopt because God commands us to take care of orphans and widows and because I myself have been rescued. I simply want to be a tool in my Master's hand.


#4. Tell us more about the child you are adopting.

Noah is about to be 8 years old and has hydrocephalus. As an infant, no one thought he would survive. But God had a bigger plan for Noah, and I believe part of that plan is to be in our forever family. Thank you for considering being a part of this with me. I’m excited to once again see how God does the impossible to bring His precious children into families. Psalm 68:5-6  says “A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families…”.


We'd love for you to partner with this sweet family in bringing their precious child home! You can donate directly to them through their Connected Hearts Ministry link: https://give.connectedheartsministry.org/campaign/singleton-family-adoption-fund/c333965

 

Meet April's Featured Adoptive Family: The Amigos 

#1. Tell us more about your family.

My wife, Brooke, and I have been married for almost 8 years. We adopted our first son, Samuel, from India two years ago. I've made a lot of wrong decisions in life, but the post best decisions I've ever made were marrying my wife and adopting Sammy. Although it hasn't always been smooth sailing, there is no one else I'd rather be on the journey with. When we brought Sammy home he had a rare heart condition called Holmes heart. Initially, they didn't believe there was anything they could do for him; his life expectancy was unknown but it would have been a blessing to get to double digits. The doctors put him on a experiential medication that raised his oxygen levels to a number that made open-heart surgery possible. His procedure was over 8 hours but when he was a huge success! The doctors essentially were able to re-wire his heart to operate how it should. It was a miracle and something we thank God for every day. 

#2. Tell us more about your heart for adoption. 

We are looking to grow our family and adoption is one of the ways to that God has put on our hearts to do so. Recently, we felt the yearning to grow our family even more and God led us to adopt again. We're extremely excited, but no one is more excited than Sammy to get a little brother.

#3. Tell us more about your adoption journey so far. 

We are adoption from India. It's where we adopted from before. We were first led to India by the movie "Lion." At the end it had statistics about the number of orphans and at that moment my wife and I decided to adopt from India.

#4. Tell us more about the child you are adopting.

We are not matched with a child yet, but will be adoption from India a boy under the age of 5 (our son is currently 5). Last time we never actually got matched, my wife saw our son on a list as he wasn't adopted for some time (maybe due to his heart condition). So, truth be told we are open and really let God direct us in finding the child he has for us. It breaks my heart now just knowing he's out there somewhere.

 

We'd love for you to partner with this sweet family in bringing their precious child home! You can donate directly to them through their Connected Hearts Ministry link: https://give.connectedheartsministry.org/campaign/amigo-family-adoption-fund/c323858

 

Meet March’s Featured Adoptive Family: The Jones

 #1. Tell us more about your family.
My wife and I met 12 years ago on a blind date that our friends set up. We currently have no children but have know for some years that we planned to adopt. We live in a small home in Salt Lake City, Utah.

 

#2. Tell us more about your heart for adoption.
When Emily and I met 12 years ago, she told me that she knew she wanted to adopt a child ever since she was young. My wife and I had the opportunity to volunteer in a few orphanages in Thailand while we lived there for two years. After many discussions and much prayer, we made the decision to start the process and make this life changing dream come true.

 

#3. Tell us more about your adoption journey so far. 
Emily and I met so many incredible children while volunteering in the Thailand orphanages. Many of the children are older and are going to age out and therefore not be eligible for adoption. This broke our hearts and also made us want to help this particular age group. Because we are in the homestudy process currently, we estimate it will be one year from now until we are able to bring our sweet child home.

 

#4. Tell us more about the child you are adopting. 
We are adopting a mixed race older Thai child who is the product of the notorious prostitution problem in Southeast Asia. We have not been matched yet with the exact child but most of the children in this orphanage are a product of this terrible problem. We feel strongly that if we can break the cycle for just one of these beautiful children, it will be the most meaningful thing we will ever do.

 

We'd love for you to partner with this sweet family in bringing their precious child home! You can donate directly to them through their Connected Hearts Ministry link:  https://give.connectedheartsministry.org/campaign/jones-family-adoption-fund/c320684

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Meet February's Featured Adoptive Family: The Perrymans

 

#1. Tell us more about your family.

We met in High School. We have been married for 27 years been together 29 we have 3 beautiful Bio children & one beautiful special needs little boy from China. We live in Rader, Missouri on a small farm.

#2. Tell us more about your heart for adoption.

We have a heart for Down Syndrome/Special needs children. A few years ago God gave a tug on our hearts and we knew he was calling us to adopt special beautiful little souls. 

#3. Tell us more about your adoption journey so far.

My bride was looking on Reece's Rainbow at all the children that need forever families and came across a little face that tugged at her heart then she showed me her picture and I felt that was our daughter. So here we go again. We have a heart for Down Syndrome/ Special needs children. Not sure on time line just yet.

#4. Tell us more about the child you are adopting.

She is a beautiful little 5 year old with Down Syndrome-She's rocking an extra chromosome.

We'd love for you to partner with this sweet family in bringing their daughter home! You can donate directly to them through their Connected Hearts Ministry link: https://give.connectedheartsministry.org/campaign/perryman-family-adoption-fund/c311041

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Meet January's Featured Adoptive Family: The Bauer Family

 

1. Tell us about yourselves. 
We are Stacie & Sam Bauer. We've been married for 17 years. We live in southwest PA. We have one 4 year old little girl who we adopted domestically at birth. She is super excited to bring her sissy home.

2. Tell us more about your heart for adoption. 

 We always knew we wanted to adopt. We always thought it would be in addition to biological children but after struggling with infertility, we realized that biological children was not our calling. We are happy to answer the calling that God has given us.

3. Tell us more about your adoption journey so far. 

 We chose Bulgaria because the requirements aren't as harsh as other countries & the travel times aren't as long. We didn't really choose a specific special need. We felt drawn to the little one we chose & we choose to accept her special needs. Considering all goes as planned, we are hoping to bring her home April/May.

4. Tell us more about the child you are adopting.

 Not quite sure what drew us to her. We saw her picture & just felt she was "the one" & we knew we had to try for her.

 

We'd love for you to partner with this sweet family in bringing their daughter home! You can donate directly to them through their Connected Hearts Ministry link: https://give.connectedheartsministry.org/campaign/bauer-family-adoption-fund/c270416 

 

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Meet December's Featured Adoptive Family: The Waldens

1. Tell us about yourselves.

Hi! We are the Walden Family...Jeffrey, Jena, Jaret, JaLynn, Jackson and Jayla. We live in a small town in Illinois. Adoption is a common word in our vocabulary because 3 of our 4 children are adopted. Our oldest 2 children were adopted through foster care in 2017. We had them for 3 years before we were able to officially make them a Walden. In the middle of that roller coaster ride, we had our biological son, Jackson. We were certain our family was complete, but God had other plans. At the end of 2018, we started exploring international adoption and by October of 2019, we were home with our daughter Jayla from China. Jayla is a gift from God with an extra 21st chromosome! When we were in China, God started working on our hearts to one day go back. The goal was to go back when our kids were older, but again, God had other plans. When we saw our little boy's picture on an advocacy page we just "knew." So, here we are!! Jeffrey and I actually live in neighboring towns and knew of each other but never really knew each other. We were paired, last minute, to walk together in a wedding. At that time, we were both in relationships. However, a couple months later, situations changed and we started talking on MySpace...and the rest is history!

2. Tell us more about your heart for adoption.

We had a failed adoption attempt and a failed pregnancy early on in our marriage, so we decided to go the foster care route. Again, God knew what he was doing! From there, our love for adoption has blossomed and grown!

3. Tell us more about your adoption journey so far.

We chose China because that is where we went the last time and the time frame is pretty much set in stone. With our other kids, we want to be gone the least amount of time as possible. We chose Down Syndrome again, because Jayla has been such a blessing in our lives in just the year we have had her and we can't wait to have another homie with an extra chromie!!

4. Tell us about the child you are adopting.

The child we are adopting is a little boy, 2, from China. He has Down Syndrome and no other health issues that they know of. I saw his picture on an advocacy page and it just made my heart jump! We just knew he was meant to be ours!

 

We'd love for you to partner with this sweet family in bringing their son home! You can donate directly to them through their Connected Hearts Ministry link: 

http://give.connectedheartsministry.org/walden-family-adoption-fund

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Meet November's Featured Adoptive Family: The Kesslers

1. Tell us about yourselves 

We are Emily and Robert Kessler and we live in Ruston, Louisiana. We have two girls at home, LandryKate (5) and Cora (3). LK is doing Kindergarten as a homeschooler, which has been such a learning and growing experience for all of us! She loves dinosaurs, critters of all kinds, and her sisters. Cora has been mostly learning from her sister during COVID - amongst her new abilities is walking independently, and talking/signing lots more! She loves baths, salty/crunchy snacks, and keeping up with her big sister. Cora was born in China and joined our family in 2018, just shy of 2 years old. Her entrance into our family welcomed us into the wonderful worlds of Down syndrome and adoption! 

2. Tell us more about your heart for adoption.

If I'm trying to be brief, it boils down to this: our family grew by adoption when we brought Cora home. It took us a couple years to get to the place where we were ready to adopt but God worked it out that we got to bring home our girl! When we were in-country to pick her up, we took a day to visit her orphanage. Our time to visit was relatively brief but it impacted us in enormous ways. There is something about seeing the waiting children's faces that puts the weight of the NEED for families on your heart. There are so many children, especially with Down syndrome, who are ready for a family to say yes. We had room in our family and heart for another child, so we're stepping out in faith to bring another daughter with Down syndrome home from China! 

3. Tell us about your adoption journey so far. 

COVID. (Shouldn't that say it all?!? Just kidding! But it feels like it's affecting everything, doesn't it?) We began the process in September 2019, and an exceptionally long homestudy process had us on a slower path than we anticipated. But God was working and our paperwork ended up being at the perfect speed: processing through both countries at just the right times for COVID closures and re-openings. When we began the process, we'd anticipated having our child home over the summer of 2020. We've reached the point that the only thing we are waiting for is the approval to travel. It's been a long and crazy process, but we are grateful that we've gone as far as we can in this season. In God's timing, Callie will join our family!

4. Tell us more about the child you are adopting.

In March, we were matched with Callie, who turned 4 in July. She was one of the children waiting to be adopted when we brought Cora home two years ago, and she's never been far from my mind since then! I've prayed for a family to adopt her, and, in God's gracious mercy, He has given us the privilege of being that family! Callie also has Down syndrome and, according to her update, is healthy and growing. We are so excited to finally meet her and have her join her sisters in our home!

The exciting part about this month's featured family is that all donations will be DOUBLED! The Kessler's need $1,000 more to meet their matching grant through RODS (Racing for Orphans with Down Syndrome). Check out their page and please give so that we all can help them bring Callie home: https://rods.org/athlete/emilykessler-2250/!

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Meet October's Featured Adoptive Family: The Carosones 

1. Tell us about yourselves.

Hello! We are the Carosone Clan and live in Ankeny, Iowa. We have been married for almost 25 years and have 4 children: Alex (18), Eddie (14), Gigi (5), and Howie (3). Howie and Gigi were adopted from China in 2017 and 2018. We are currently in the process of adopting an almost 7 year- old girl who we are naming Evelynn Fei. Our heart is with her and we cannot wait for her to join our family. Currently we are only waiting on China to grant us travel approval-then we will be on our way!

 

2. Tell us more about your heart for adoption.

Shortly after the birth of our second child God planted a seed in our hearts to adopt. We were not able to have any more biological children but we still wanted to grow our family. At that time God brought to our attention the need for families to adopt internationally. We let the process and financial piece scare us – FOR YEARS. After praying "How, God?", "When, God?", and "Lord, are you SURE?" we finally gave in to His call and were blessed with our little Gigi who has been in our family for 3 years now.

Selfishly, as we look back, we just really wanted a daughter, but Gigi was the who and the what God used to show us His plan and desire for our family makeup. He used her and her adoption process to show us that He would, indeed, provide for her adoption and that we could, indeed, carry this out WITH HIS HELP. He used her adoption to teach us in yet another way what Gospel love looks like and what it means to live that Gospel love out on a daily, hourly, and sometimes minute-by-minute basis.

After being home with Gigi for a few months, we knew God wasn't done with this part of our lives yet. You see, once you put faces and names to the abstract idea of orphans, once you touch them with your hands, once you stroke their little faces with your finger - your life is changed forever. You simply cannot get the pictures out of your mind of those who remain without families.

We moved forward to adopt our little Howie on the one-year anniversary date of Gigi's adoption. We worked hard to complete the process and raise the funds needed to complete his adoption. Once again the Lord was faithful and blessed that entire journey. Howie was the perfect addition to our family and has been home with us for about a year and a half now.

After adopting Howie we just KNEW we were done. He was our "bookend" child. We had done our part, right? We’d adopted not just one, but TWO children in two years. End of the story. Period.

But then…God. To our surprise, the Lord has yet again another child planned for our family. This time an older child with more severe needs. But the Lord has graciously given us a peace and calmness and sense of rest with this adoption. We know he will provide and will carry us through the adoption process as well as throughout our parenting of this sweet girl, our Evelynn Fei.

The short answer to your question above? We are simply trying to be obedient by following God’s calling for our lives. As we said with the prior two adoptions: we may feel too old, our house may seem too crowded, and our finances seem to meager but THIS is His calling and we are to obey. His call for our lives may not be easy, or "convenient", but we find rest in that He has a reason and a plan. This is for His glory.  

  

3. Tell us about your adoption journey so far. 

We were led to China for our first adoption. During that journey we fell in love with the people and children of China. We honestly feel as if part of our hearts are on the other side of the ocean. China is a special needs adoption program. We didn't "choose" Evelynn based upon her special need (Cerebral Palsy), but instead God chose her for us. We saw her as our child and her needs go along with that. :-) We are only waiting for China to grant us approval to travel. At that point we will book our plane tickets and go! We are praying travel will open up in the next month or two.  

 

4. Tell us more about the child you are adopting. 

Evelynn Fei is almost 7 years old. God showed us her beautiful smile, gentle spirit, and kindness which is what drew us to her. She has Cerebral Palsy and will definitely benefit from medical care and therapies in the US but that is not our sole reason or driving force to bring her home with us. Our first and foremost goal is to give Evelynn the love of a family and to love her and show her the Gospel love on a daily basis so she might grow to love and serve Jesus.

 

Learn more about this amazing family and give directly to help them bring Evelynn home: https://give.connectedheartsministry.org/campaign/carosone-family-adoption-fund/c300506

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Meet September's Featured Adoptive Family: The Tings!

1. Tell us about yourselves:

We have been married for 8 years, our first 4 we spent living in Hong Kong and traveling Asia, which depended our desire to adopt internationally. We currently have 3 boys, ages 5, 3 and 1.

 

2. What led you to adoption?

We both were interested in adopting when we first met. While our children are still quite young, we feel so blessed that we both have work from home jobs that we can pour so much time in to our kids and bless another. Knowing that so many children grow up without a family has always pulled at our hearts.

 

3. What country are you adopting from and why?

We knew we wanted to adopt from Asia as we are a Chinese-American family. With three young children in our home already we either had to wait a few years or adopt from a country that we would be qualified for. Thailand met that and we saw that their were a lot of older children, which we already had a heart from. After seeing long listings of older children who due to their age were harder to find families for, we had such a heart for them. And after 3 boys, what a great fit to adopt a daughter! It will take 1-1.5 years for us to bring our daughter home! With each holiday and month passing we are more an more excited for her time to have a forever family.

 

4. What child are you seeking to adopt?

We are waiting for approval of an older girl. 

 

Prayer requests: Please pray that we will receive approval from Thailand to adopt our precious daughter and all the paperwork involved would go quickly. 

Check out their Connected Hearts Ministry link for more information and to donate to this sweet family: 

https://give.connectedheartsministry.org/campaign/ting-family-adoption-fund/c296477