Our family has been serving in the ministry for over 25 years, and we are now serving God and Country in Kodiak, Alaska as a Navy chaplain family. God has blessed our family with five beautiful children throughout our 28 years of marriage. Our two oldest children are married now with children of their own, our third child is in her first year of Christian college, and we have our last two children at home. We have had a longing to have more children, and had been considering adoption. With our constant moves every few years and dealing with deployments, it seemed that God was indicating that it was not time yet. About one year ago, God impressed upon us that it was time. We began looking at different Christian adoption sites online and found Nightlight Christian Adoptions in Kentucky. We began to pray about a child and looking through the waiting children on Adoption Bridge. We had narrowed our choices down to 3 children, but God kept bringing us back to one specific child. As we continued to pray and read the Bible, God continued to show us special portions of Scripture with a word that would follow that Scripture. It was the word "Selah." It meant that something important and special was just mentioned and needed to be meditated upon again, and considered again, and not passed by so quickly at first glance. The little girl we had been considering in prayer had had many people look at her page, but after reading about her special needs, had passed her by. We couldn't get her off of our minds and hearts. I (Chad) thought to myself, "I have been in combat zones, willing to serve our military members as a chaplain, willing to risk my life in defense of our country." Then I thought, "I wonder if anybody has ever been willing to sacrifice and fight for this little girl with so many needs. We made up our minds that we will be that family to fight for her. We will do whatever it takes to adopt her, so we can love her and provide for her needs." We ran into many obstacles at first. We were told she had been removed from the list because she had been waiting so long. We had difficulties getting her approved for medical clearances for our military assignment location. But God!!! He worked it all out through prayer and now we are in the process of adopting our precious new daughter. Please pray for us and consider helping us out financially in our adoption journey to bring Selah Faith home soon.
Since the beginning of our marriage, adoption had always been a desire tucked away in the back of our minds. While we didn’t know the timing or place, it was always coming up in conversations or in plans for the future. In late August and early September, we began researching the different options available for us as a family. We have seen beautiful stories of adoption that have taken years and years to unfold, so we decided that we would go in with no expectations, trusting that the Lord would open the doors in His time. After the meeting, we were anxious to research even more.
In November, we received an email about an update on the “Waiting Children” List. This process is slightly different from the normal adoption process because these children are approved by the government for adoption and simply waiting on their forever family. Long story short, when we looked at the list of children from this specific country, we fell in love with a little boy with the same eyes and smile as our 9 month old son.
Just out of curiosity, we sent an inquiry and received additional information on him for the next few weeks. This healthy and smily boy the same age as our son had been found abandoned when he was one day old. Of course our first response was to jump on a plane and go get this sweet little one. However, we slowed down, talked, prayed, and waited.
Not wanting to act on emotion was a big thing for us. This is a child’s life–not something that we wanted to take lightly. The timeline that we had in our head was formed from watching others walk through this process. We have seen others wait 2-3 years or more for their little one to come home. Hearing that our timeline was going to move a little more quickly was shocking, but the Lord continues to call us to trust Him. We asked questions, prayed, waited, and asked more questions. Finally, right before Christmas we were officially “Matched” with this little one and started the process to bring him home!
The two of us desire to give this boy a forever family–a Mommy, Daddy, and brother–that will love him unconditionally. We desire for this little one to know that he is made in the image of God–that he is so much more than an orphan. But most importantly, we desire for this little boy to ultimately be adopted by his Heavenly Father, to become his disciple, and reach others for Him.
So, we covet your prayers during this time. We are not expecting this to be easy–in fact we are expecting it to be an emotional roller coaster. We covet your prayers spiritually, mentally, and financially–that we will continue to trust the Lord and hold fast to His promises.
Al and I met 7 years ago and have been married for 5. Soon after we were married we became pregnant with our first. We had an easy pregnancy and delivery and enjoyed watching our daughter grow up. After she turned 3 we decided to start trying for baby number 2, month after month we would see the lonely pink line and became frustrated. We tracked, we researched and researched but the result was the same….nothing. We looked into fertility treatments and did the recommended testing, based on the test results the doctor recommended IUI. We thought this was going to be a for sure thing…..we went through a whirlwind of medications, doctor appointments for ultrasounds, bloodwork, procedures and after 3 months we were still in the same spot…..nothing. We were physically and emotionally exhausted. Fertility is hard but our dream of having another child never left us.
We both feel blessed by the time we have had to lean on God to get us through those dark days, weeks and months because our marriage is stronger, our family is stronger and our relationship with our Savior is stronger. God's grace has poured over us and our lives in such an incredible way and now He is asking us to step out in faith. We have learned over the last year that God makes beautifully things out of brokenness and pain, and we are so excited to watch this part of our story unfold as we set out on this adventure to bring our baby home!
That being said, we’d really appreciate your support in the following ways:
First, we would really appreciate your prayers. Please pray for the process, for the baby, for the birth family and for us. The love and sacrifice required to place a baby for adoption is both heartbreaking and beautiful. So, please pray for the birth family and the birth mom as goes through this journey. And please pray for us as God prepares our hearts, our family and our home for our new baby.
Second, we could use your financial support. Adoption is quite expensive but we are confident that God will provide, as He always does. Lastly, we would love it if you could share our story with others who you think may be interested in supporting us. We know there are so many people out there with a heart for adoption, and we would love for them to share in our story!
Thank you all so much for your support and love!
Al and Bre
Al and I met 7 years ago and have been married for 5. Prior to us getting married we had discussed adoption however we agreed that we wanted to have biologic children first. Soon after we got married we became pregnant with our daughter. Once she turned 3 we discussed trying for baby number two. Month after month we saw one lonely pink line. I researched different methods to increase our chances to become pregnant, tracked for 6 months and still we weren't pregnant. We decided to look into fertility treatments. After we did the initial testing our fertility doctor recommended IUI to which we agreed to and thought that it would for sure get us pregnant. After 3 failed rounds of treatment I told my husband I couldn’t continue fertility treatments. The toll it took on me physically, mentally and emotionally I knew I couldn’t go through it again.
Our dream of having another baby never left us. We are excited about growing our family through adoption, to give this little one a home, a family and to call him or her ours.
In these last 2 years our faith has been tested, stretched and strengthened. God's grace has poured over us and our lives in such an incredible way and now He is asking us to step out in faith. If there is one thing we've learned in the last 2 years, it's that God makes beautifully exquisite things out of brokenness and pain, and we are so excited to watch this part of our story unfold as we set out on this adventure to bring our baby home!
Many of you have asked how you can help with our adoption journey. We want to first thank you for your support and for your desire to be a part of our story. I'm sure you are aware that adoption is quite expensive, so we are asking for your help! Any amount we receive through donation will be such a huge blessing, but if you are unable to help financially, you can still help by sharing our story and joining us in prayer!
Specific things to pray for:
1. Pray for patience as we go through this journey. Pray that we continue to place our faith in God and His plan for us and our future family. It’s easy to get distracted by all the things we “have to do” and by the financial obligations that are tied into adoption.
2. Pray for our birth mom who is choosing life and making such a courageous decision in allowing us to be the family for her baby.
3. Pray for our baby and that the pregnancy and birth go smoothly.
4. Pray that God uses our story to bring hope to others and that God is glorified through our journey.
We are so thankful to have you as a part of our journey and cannot wait to keep you updated and to someday introduce you to our precious baby.
Al and Bre
P.S. Please feel free to follow our adoption journey on our blog www.lovebuiltourfamily.blogspot.com
At a Christian concert we heard first hand the story of an orphan getting a forever home. We talked about it and prayed about it ad felt God directing us to pursue giving a child a forever home. We started found an agency and started the process. Just as we were beginning the home study my appendix ruptured and I spent 3 months recovering from multiple complications. God still had plans for me. We resumed the journey as soon as I was well enough to do so. We hosted a young girl in over the summer. We expressed our desire to adopt her and her younger sister. That did not come to pass. Looking back I see God's hand pointing her in a different direction. She was not "our" child. After a time to move past that disappointment, we knew there were other children that need forever homes. Enter 2 teen sisters needing a forever home. We believe God has a perfect plan and perfect timing. We trust that by his plan he will make a way for us to bring these girls to their forever home. We appreciate all who would partner with us on this journey, be it with prayer or financial gift.
Matthew 25:40 "The King will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'
To any biological family member or foster family...
We are thinking of you. We are thinking of what you/your child are going/ have gone/will go through during this entire process. Know that all of these things are not taken lightly by us. We give you our word that we will work every single day to be worthy of such sacrifice. We'll try to tell you as much about us as we can here:
Our names are Cory and Natalie. We've been happily married for thirteen years. We have an eight-year-old biological son, Austin, who is sweet, smart, funny, and has more energy than should be humanly possible.
Originally, we are from the Midwest and Northeast (respectively), but have called South Carolina home for over a decade now.
We always meant to have more children, we were able, but time just got away from us. We believe in things happening when they’re supposed to, though, so we’re sure we’re here at the time we’re supposed to be to meet the child we’re supposed to meet. Natalie’s sister (who we’re all close with) is adopted, so adoption has always felt very natural and comfortable for our family.
We have a great gift of a rock-solid, loving, forever family to give to a child who, in turn, could give us the gift of becoming the family of four we've always dreamt of being. We have enough guys in the home, LOL, so we are looking for a little girl. The ages we are open to are four through ten.
As for what we're like personally?
We are a very active family. We have a lot of energy and like to explore the world around us.
Austin is a bookworm who loves school, riding his bike, playing video games, playing basketball, and reading and writing. He is currently in the third grade. Austin has always wanted a sister. He talks about it often. He'd like his future sibling to know that he's very nice, smart, and that we have two cats. He doesn’t want her to know that he’s obsessed with his hair. But we think she’ll be able to figure that out pretty quickly...
Cory works at an insurance company and is big into history, gardening, and volunteers at a cat shelter. Natalie is a voice actor and writer and is into all things "artsy". These jobs are great for family time. Natalie works normal hours from home, so she’s there after school. Cory works 9-5 Monday - Friday at a building just a few miles away.
We live in a four bedroom, single-family home (so our second child can have their own room!) in the suburbs.
We have a small pond out back with fish in it, so we can fish out there, there's a fire pit out there we don't use nearly enough, too.
Our community has a pool, so we spend a lot of days there in the summer. We're on a cul-du-sac, so it's great and safe to play out front.
We have a pretty structured routine, but we're not overly strict people. We’re weird, silly, and very loving people.
As parents, it’s important to us that our children learn to love, how to be loved, to be good people, the importance of an education, and to be self-sufficient adults. We will do everything in our power to nurture and support their natural passions, talents, interests, and goals -- whatever they may be.
If there is an active, inquisitive, little girl out there that you think we would be a good fit for, we’d love to hear from you! Thanks so much for taking the time to read this, we're excited and greatly appreciate it.
Best, Natalie, Cory, and Austin
Sitting on the hilltop behind the elementary school my husband attended, he and I were playfully talking about how many kids we wanted. Seven. Both of us said seven and thought it sounded so doable, so simple! We fell in love fast. One of the things I loved most about Jackson was his tender heart. He had served a two year mission for the LDS church in Albania and it was evident that he loved an cared for the people there with everything he had. I knew he would love our future family that way too. That night on the hilltop was two months into our dating and then we got married 6 months later! We finished school and then decided it was time to start a family, but a year went by and nothing. Two years, three years, four years all went by and then five. Last year we had our 6 year anniversary and decided it was time to do IVF. After several other infertility treatments, we were told this was what we had to do next.
We had moved to Seattle, but had a doctor and clinic we were attached to in Utah that we decided to do our IVF through. It made for some difficult time apart from each other as I went back and forth for weeks at a time while Jackson continued working. But, we were hopeful and encouraged by the amazing results we had from our "batch!" 13 healthy embryo's were created and we were thrilled. All things seemed to be working perfectly for us, we even had positive results from our first attempt where we had implanted 2 of those embryo's. It was during Christmas time and we waited until we were with our families for Christmas to tell them the happy news that I was pregnant! It was such an exciting time as both of our families had been praying for us for years. But then I woke up one morning and it was over.
We were discouraged, but many of our friends had to do IVF a couple of times to get pregnant. Our next cycle, we did it again. Two embryo's and the trips back and forth to Utah. A nerve racking 10 day wait and I was pregnant! This time with no bleeding and I felt amazing. Again, it was such a happy time. I was at lunch with my girl friends talking about when my due date would be and how my pregnancy would line up close to theirs. Walking back to the car, I suddenly doubled over in pain. My left side of my abdomen felt like it was being stabbed from the inside. I went home and tried to rest, but it was getting worse. I called the doctor and they told me to get to the hospital and I was hitting my leg the whole way there to stop myself from passing out. Jackson met me there and held my hand as the technician did a 45 min. ultrasound without telling us anything.
I'm so grateful for the doctor that day who advised me to terminate the pregnancy immediately, but respected that I had worked so hard and let me have a little more time to do some blood work to confirm that this was an ectopic pregnancy. When the results came back a few hours later, I was ordered to go to the ER and to get an injection of methotrexate. It was over and I was broken. We cried for a long time and even though we had so many embryos and the clinic was already making plans for us to do a third round, we couldn't bring ourselves to even think about it.
We will never know why pregnancy has been an issue for us, but I'm so grateful. I know that sounds weird or crazy, but I'm so grateful for the perspective and thoughts and love and experience it's given me. It is the reason why we are here. There came a point even before we attempted IVF where I began to think that there had to be a child out there who wanted a mom & dad as much as we wanted him. There were so many signs along the way that added to mine and Jackson's realization that this is how we want our family to come to us. We wanted to adopt. We wanted to make that choice intentionally. Not because we ran out of embryos or because we had exhausted every resource to get pregnant. No, we want our child to know that we made this decision because we felt and believed that there was a child out there meant for us and who we would love and who would love us to. We believe in eternal families, that we can be together forever and that because of Jesus Christ we can love an adopted child as our own.
We began our adoption journey shortly after that difficult time with a lot of prayer and research. After about a month or two we felt undeniably sure that we wanted to adopt internationally from the country that Jackson spent two years of his life serving in. Over the years of our marriage, Jackson and I have traveled to Albania and I too fell in love with the people and the culture. So much hope and potential and goodness in the people there and it's stunningly beautiful with a rich and complex history. We also considered the unique opportunity we would have to build a strong connection to our child's heritage because Jackson knows the language and can speak it fluently. It's our hope to teach our child about where they are from and that they can develop a sense of pride for their heritage and a love of their personal adoption story.
May 1, 2017 was the day we officially began and on September 8, 2017 we were sent a photo of a darling 10 month old boy and the rest of his file came shortly after. Jackson and I are overjoyed to announce that we were matched with this sweet baby boy just this past week! He already has our hearts and we carry his photo with us wherever we go. We pray for him daily and together we pray for him nightly. We ask God to watch over him and to protect him, to keep him safe until we can get there. I can't explain the love I feel for this child that I've never met and only know so much about! I have one photo to hold, but it's the first thing I'd save if our house caught on fire!
Thank you for letting us tell our story. It's one we love and that we want to share because we believe with our whole hearts that this little boy is our miracle. We don't know yet when we will be able to go to Albania to meet him and bring him home, but we are preparing in every way we can. Anything you can offer to give helps us so much and fills our hearts with gratitude.
Jackson & Emily Owen
My husband and I are both stay at home parents with 5 children of our own. As 4 of them get ready for college we have a 9 year old still at home looking for a new brother or sister. We live on the beach in a nice house with a pool, little Chihuahuas, and even a pot belly pig named Lola! Our family has a lot of love to give and now that my husband is retired from the USMC we have all the time in the world to give all the love we have to a new addition to our family!
We have been married for 25 years. Since the beginning we have both had a strong desire to share our lives with children and have a house full of love, laughter, and teaching. First Lorrie gave birth to our oldest boy, then another boy and then a daughter– three altogether. These three brought so much joy it can’t be articulated in this brief write up. But Lorrie’s pregnancies while beautiful were also very difficult for her. We longed for more children to share the love of our growing family that God had given us. This led us to pursue an adoption of a little girl from the Philippines. In January of 2010 we were so blessed with another beautiful daughter Naomi. She needed us and we needed her –she brought another beautiful melody into our home. And later with Naomi’s enthusiastic blessing we went back to the same orphanage and adopted her best friend -Jacob - in 2012. You can read more about Jacob's adoption by visiting our blog emptytheorphanage.blogspot.com
Jacob and Naomi brought so much life and love to us. We camped, climbed canyon walls and had adventures all over Colorado. In 2014, Jacob was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. It was devastating news. We came together as a family and walked with Jacob through a deep valley. Sadly, he passed away on January 3, 2015. Jacob was only 14.
Adoption is our family’s story it's who we are. What we’ve (the whole family) found is that we have even more room to love now and we want to share it with others. We’re not finished loving and providing a family to orphans. We found out about a sibling group of three brothers ( ages 9,8 and 7) who have spent their entire life in an orphanage in the Philippines. So, after talking with the children and much prayer, we have decided to pursue the adoption of these three brothers. We are in the process of bringing them home to join their forever family.
This will make the third adoption for our family. 25 years ago when we married, we had no idea what the future would hold and how blessed we would be simply because of adoption.
We have been talking about adoption since we got married in 2008. Over the last 9 years, we have had 3 biological children, moved overseas, come back, talked about adoption, lost our sweet 4th child before her birth at 18 weeks with Down Syndrome, and have felt God finally confirming the timing for us to pursue adoption. Because we have lived among the nations and felt particularly drawn to South Asians, India was a natural and exciting fit for us.
We have completed our home study and hope to be registering in India for a 2-4 year old girl with mild to correctable special needs - but we are open to God's leading! We will be waiting for our paperwork to be approved by the US government and when that comes back (probably around mid November) we will need to have raised $6500 to get registered as a prospective adoptive family in India. When we do get matched with a child, we will need $6000 at that time. This could be very quick, if our child is on the waiting child list.
So our fundraising goal is $12,500 by December 1st! We would love if you would prayerfully consider being a part of our adoption story. We can't wait to find out who God has in store for our family!