Featured Families

Meet Our May 2022 Featured Family: The Lefkof Family

1. Tell us more about your family. 
I am a single mom of 3 children, two who are in college and one 14 year old who lives in the home. We live in Frisco, Texas and our adult children go to school on the east coast, so we are a family of travelers. We have a dog named Gandalf who loves to play and hike.

2. Tell us more about your heart for adoption. 

I have had a heart for adoption since my oldest, who is now 22, was just a toddler. I read a magazine article (remember those?!) about a group who helped to fundraise for adoptive parents and they opened my eyes to orphans in other countries who were sick and dying in orphanages from lack of care. It showed me how essential it is for children to have homes and families. Ever since that time, I knew that adoption was God's plan for my life.

3. Tell us more about your adoption journey so far. 
As a single mom, I need to be able to work and with my kids being older, I thought we could provide a good home for an older child. I have felt a connection with Africa since my teen years and even planned to attend a mission trip there as a young adult until I discovered that I was pregnant with my son. I had a lot of trouble choosing one particular country, but was matched with a waiting child in South Africa. I like to say that the country (and the child!) chose us.

4. Tell us more about the child you are adopting. 
He is an 8-year-old boy with developmental delays. The introduction my agency gave me about him was that he is a talkative, happy, and sassy little boy. From just those few first words I suspected that he would be a great fit for my family, and as I learn more about him, I become more and more sure that this is true!

 

Prayer Request: 

My prayer is for God's provision for travel. I have recently learned that my trip to South Africa, while originally expected to be 4-6 weeks in country, is now more likely to be 3-4 months. As the breadwinner of my family, and the only income we have, this presents quite a dilemma in how to pay my bills while I'm gone. I have learned to trust the process, and that God has a plan for my family, but it remains a huge stressor for me. Pray for God to calm my anxious heart, and that I would allow myself to see Him working for our good.

You can follow the Lefkof's journey on Facebook!

We'd love for you to partner with this sweet family in bringing their precious children 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 by clicking here

 

Meet Our April 2022 Featured Family: The Romero Family

1. Tell us about your family.
Brent and I have been married for almost 22 years. We have been in the ministry our whole marriage, first as youth ministers, then group home foster parents at the Florida Baptist Children's Home in Tallahassee (we've had 258 foster children), then as a pastor and wife. 

2. Tell us about your heart for adoption.
During our time at FBCH we adopted our two boys, Nathan (15 - adopted at birth) and Micah (15 - adopted from Ukraine in 2012). We also took 2 aged out girls into our family (they are now 27 and 29). Micah is autistic and non-verbal, which presents challenges but he is the sweetest and we can't imagine our lives without him. 

3. Tell us more about your adoption journey so far.
We met Danil in 2019 when he came to our home as a host child during the holidays. We immediately fell in love. Shortly after he returned to Ukraine we decided to adopt him. However, COVID interrupted our plans. We finally were able to apply and complete our home study. During that time we found out he had a younger sister (11) and agreed to adopt her, also. We were approved as adopted parents by Ukraine on January 17th and anxiously awaited our appointment, which should have been at the end of February. When the war broke out, it was imperative that the kids be evacuated as they were situated in the Luhansk oblast. They were able to get to Lviv before it was too late. At that point, we went to Poland as we were under the impression they would leave Ukraine soon. They finally evacuated on 3/13 and went to Austria. We were able to visit with them (and meet our future daughter) for several days before returning home on 3/19. Now we are just waiting for the US and Ukraine to come to an agreement to allow children with American families to be moved to the US until it is safe for them to return or other arrangements are made.

4. Tell us about the child/children you are adopting.
Danil is 15 and has type 1 diabetes. He is charismatic and so caring. Radmilla is 11. She is very shy and I don't know much about her except that she likes rainbows.

 

 

Prayer requests:
-Please pray that children will be granted expedited medical visas so they can come to America soon!
-Pray for the caregivers of these evacuated children from orphanages, especially as they left their families and need wisdom how to comfort and care for these children as the situation unfolds.
-Pray that the Romeros will have all the finances they need so they are ready whenever they are allowed to adopt Danil and  Radmilla

 

We'd love for you to partner with this sweet family in bringing their precious children 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/romero-family-adoption-fund/c352152

 

Meet Our March 2022 Featured Family: The Stanton Family


#1. Tell us more about your family.
Patrick and I met playing tennis at Mississippi College in 2006. We have been married for 11 years and have 4 biological children ages 9,9,7, and 5. We currently live in Upstate South Carolina and enjoy hiking around the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

 

#2. Tell us more about your heart for adoption. 
We have had a heart for vulnerable children for years and have continually prayed for and sought ways to care them. I (Patrick) first developed a love for children and other cultures while on trip to the Ukraine in high school. Since then, I have desired to have a large family and to one day adopt. I (Audra) started thinking about starting a family while living in Quintana Roo Mexico. I loved the beautiful families there and began to desire my own. We both felt God stirring us to give Him control over what our family would look like and we were quickly surprised with our twins (Noah and Levi) and Rollins and Joseph soon after. After our youngest (Joseph) was born we began to talk about how we might care for vulnerable children who are in need of a family. Once I (Patrick) was finished with graduate school and we had moved to South Carolina, we got licensed as foster parents. We have had the privilege of caring for 12 children in our home through foster care in the past two years. Through foster care, we learned of the great need for families to step forward to care for sibling sets who are offen separated and for older children who often age out of the system without a family. We decided that if and when we did adopt we wanted to provide a family for a child or children who are at risk of being unadopted. We thought this would come later in our life, but God had other plans for us. Giving God control over our family has been the greatest, hardest, and most joy-filled blessing. We have learned to fully trust Him and the plans He calls us to. We feel completely humbled and undeserving to be used by God in this way, but we are eternally grateful and we can’t wait to see His work in this! 

 

#3. Tell us more about your adoption journey so far.
In May of 2021 we saw an advocacy photo of a 15 year old girl who strongly desired a family before she was to “age out”. We began to pray for her daily, and after a while our hearts were inclined to call Lifeline Adoption Agency about her. Upon calling, we discovered that she has a 13 year old sister. We knew we didn't want them to be separated, and after months of prayer and seeking advice we decided to say yes to what we believe God has placed before us. We are moving as quickly as possible in hopes of being able to travel and bring the girls home this summer.

 

#4. Tell us more about the child you are adopting.
We are adopting two teenage sisters who have been separated, but wish to be back together in a family.
 
We'd love for you to partner with this sweet family in bringing their precious children 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/stanton-family-adoption-fund/c386188

 

 

Meet Our February 2022 Featured Family: The Rouse Family

 

#1. Tell us more about your family. We met while Emily was still in college through her roommate. We were best friends for a year before even thinking about dating each other. Justin would come over to the apartment to cook once a week. We would all bring different ingredients to make a meal together. Once we went on our first date, we knew we were meant to be together forever. We currently don't have any children, but we have two fur babies-- two labradoodle sisters named Olive Francesca and Iris Ava. We live in Tulsa, Oklahoma where Justin is a registered nurse in the operating room at one of Oklahoma's largest hospitals and Emily is an English Language Development teacher at the second largest school district in Oklahoma.

 

 

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

One of the reasons why we feel so motivated to adopt a child is because we are two loving people who have an empty room in our home and an empty hole in our hearts. We have always known we would adopt a child from another country. We have such a deep love and connection to Asian cultures. We are fully prepared to take this next step in our lives to become adoptive parents. It is something we have talked about ever since we were dating. When I (Emily) was about 12 years old, my family started taking care of children in foster care. Over a span of 7 years, we had over 40 different children who had broken bones, burns and other medical problems. We loved each child from the moment we received a phone call to take them in to the moment they left our homes. I helped my parents take care of each child. It was always hard when the child left to go back to be with a family member or to be adopted by another family. I learned at an early age to help others in need. I learned to love and care for others, and I learned a lot about the harsh reality of the lives of some children. When I was 10 years old, my family hosted our first exchange student from South Korea. This was my first long-term exposure to another culture as she lived with us for a year. I remember being so fascinated by her, as I would listen to her talk on the phone with her family in Korean. I used this opportunity to explore her culture. I asked her questions about her family and culture and got to know her so well. She is one of the reasons for my deep love of other cultures. It was when I was around the age of five that a member of our family adopted a baby from South Korea, and then when I was eight, a different member of our family adopted a child from China. It was at this youthful age that I knew I would adopt a child from another country someday too. It always sounds strange when I tell people that I have always wanted to adopt internationally. I have thought about and hoped for this moment for many, many years. I also have several cousins who have adopted domestically, so adoption is something that is pretty big in our family.

 

#3. Tell us more about your adoption journey so far.
We are adopting from an Asian country because of the exchange students we have hosted and because it is just something we knew we wanted to do. It hasn't even been a question of IF we will adopt from an Asian country, but WHICH Asian country it would be. We are not sure yet how long it will be until we get to bring our child home, but we are counting down the unknown days!

 
#4. Tell us more about the child you are adopting. 
We are currently waiting to be matched to a child. 

 

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

 

Meet Our January 2022 Featured Family: The Abdelmalak Family

#1. Tell us more about your family.

My husband and I are both immigrants. We came to the United States as teenagers and met in high school. We had to overcome many obstacles along our journey(long-distance relationship for 5 years, doing paperwork for citizenship, all while studying in college). We felt blessed to finally be able to get married in October 2010. Ever since we were dating, we have dreamed of adopting a child. We now have three biological children and are adopting a 12-year old boy from Colombia we hosted this summer. 

#2. Tell us more about your heart for adoption. 
Four years ago we found out about a hosting program after seeing an emotional video online of an older boy being adopted from Colombia. Until we saw this video, we had always thought we would adopt a baby or a young toddler, but after learning about older orphans who are in danger of “aging out’’ of the system without ever finding their family, we felt destined to adopt an older child. We were eager to learn all about the program, but we weren't able to participate at that time. As the challenging year of 2020 was coming to a close, it had taught us to live in the moment and to not wait for the ideal situation because it might never come. And so we decided to pursue our dream of hosting with the ultimate goal of adoption.
 

#3. Tell us more about your adoption journey so far.
As soon as our boy left this summer, we all felt heartbroken. Our house felt empty and our kids still ask every day when their older brother is coming back. We are working on all of the adoption paperwork as hard as we can and are currently waiting for the USCIS suitability to adopt approval.

#4. Tell us more about the child you are adopting.
"J" brought so much joy and happiness to our family. We nearly instantly felt like we had always known him, and it was heart-breaking when he had to leave. We loved spending time together and he was adored by all. He seemed comfortable and bonded with each of us. He told us he had been waiting so long to find a family that would love and care for him. We want to support him throughout his life and make sure he achieves his dreams. We plan to always be there for him, care for him and give him the unconditional love he deserves.
 
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/abdelmalak-family-adoption-fund/c364856

 

Meet December's Featured Organization: Love Without Boundaries

About LWB

"Love Without Boundaries is an authentic international charity that provides hope and healing to vulnerable children, and their underserved communities, through its education, nutrition, medical, and foster care programs.

LWB provides life-changing medical care, runs well monitored foster homes, operates schools, and supplies quality nutrition to impoverished and orphaned children. Our programs work together to best meet the needs of the children entrusted to our care and are only possible thanks to your support."

Learn more about Love Without Boundaries mission here.

About LWB's Unity Initiative Fund

LWB’s Unity Initiative Fund provides surgeries and medical care for children from impoverished families in China who are unable to afford the medical care needed for their children. It is our goal to help keep families together and our desire to help many more impoverished families with medical care in the future.

 

This month we are partnering with LWB to help one precious boy and his family to receive the life-saving treatment he needs: 

"Curtis has an ASD and has been sickly throughout his young life. He was recently diagnosed with Kawasaki disease and his heart surgery had to be delayed until January. We now need to raise the remaining balance of funds ($2525) to pay for the surgery. In the event that additional funds are raised in honor of Curtis, those funds will go towards the next child needing heart surgery through our Unity Fund."

 

Please join us in raising the remaining funds to Curtis's heart surgery by donating at https://www.lovewithoutboundaries.com/sponsorship/medical-care-sponsorship-curtis/
 

 

Meet November's Featured Organization: Connected Hearts Ministry

History:

Connected Hearts Ministry was founded in 2013 by Brandon and Misty Hudson. In 2012 the Hudsons began volunteering with World Visions’ Artist Associates program. During that time they learned about the orphan crisis. They knew that God was calling them to adopt. However, when they stepped out to adopt they were shocked by the high cost of adoption. They quickly learned that many people who were interested in adoption never moved forward because of the cost. As the Hudsons began raising funds for their own adoption, they decided to start Connected Hearts Ministry to help other families who are in the adoption process. In 2013 they adopted their daughter, and helped raise funds for one other family to adopt their 2 sons from Africa. Today, Connected Hearts Ministry has helped raise over 1 million dollars to bring home over 300 children from 22 different countries around the world.

Purpose: 

At Connected Hearts Ministry, we don’t feel lack of funding should stand in the way of a family being able to adopt. We provide personalized adoption funding coaching, and help families fundraise, so they can adopt the child (or children)  God called them to.

 

Our mission is to raise funds and care for orphans who are most often overlooked for adoption.  This includes children with special needs, older children and sibling groups.

You too can partner with Connected Hearts Ministry! Donate today to help vulnerable orphans at https://www.connectedheartsministry.org/donate.

 

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