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The story of our family expanding through adoption likely begins back in 1993, in a Romanian orphanage. It’s symbolized by a brown ceramic Mickey Mouse tile that has traveled around the world, calling us toward a higher calling to hear God’s heart for orphans in a way we never expected. Noranne went on a short term missions trip and was gifted this tile by a sweet girl who insisted she take it with her back to America and remember to pray for her, which she did, and continues to do to this day. It wasn’t until our lives shattered in 2016 that we started to re-examine the meaning of that , or God’s calling from decades before.

In May of 2016, we were the proud parents of two beautiful boys, almost 2 and 4, exactly 2 years apart. We were on top of the world and felt like everything had fallen into place, in our careers, our parenting and our home. Rick had just commissioned with the USAF, after serving in the enlisted force for over a decade and we felt we were experiencing God’s blessings. All of that changed in one day, May 28, 2016, when our younger son, Theo, died suddenly and unexpectedly from a bowel obstruction. Everything in life as we knew it changed, stopped and we had to re-examine our own faith and foundation, as the bottom dropped out. How could something so horrific happen to “good” people and how do we ever move forward from that? The process and lessons God so graciously bestowed upon us as we worked through our grief could fill an entire book. In summary, we learned that answer to all of those questions, and so many more, is that “God is….” It is because of this answer, of Who God is, that our hearts were stirred to consider international adoption.

It took a while to discern if it was grief or a calling, but as we sought God’s face and trusted counsel, we felt a peace about the decision to proceed with the adoption process. Our mantra as a family has been that God is not finished writing our story yet.

Indeed, in this part of the story, our precious son Theo now has a perfect home in Heaven and it is because of our absolute faith and security in this Truth that we are able to open our home to an orphan. We recognize that God’s plans are higher than our own. He doesn’t necessarily call us to a neat, linear, tidy life, but instead lures us into a life sold out and committed to His purposes and plans for the world.  We believe that His purpose for our family is to expand again through the addition of a child or children from Bulgaria. And we have already started to decorate this child’s room, with a cracked brown tile that started its journey from a little girl in 1993 as a reminder that God is….

Emily Bell

We've been friends in the best and worst of times and I can't wait to continue this next chapter of life with you. Love you guys!

Amy Fowler

Jennifer Hiltebeitel

We are so excited to watch God bless your family! Praying with you and for you over your little girl ❤️

Kelly Wardlow

We are so excited to see this beautiful journey.