Greetings. We hope that this message finds all of you doing well. As many of you have heard, Jill and I have decided to expand our family through adoption. We have felt God’s influence guiding us down a path which we had never anticipated to travel. When we began this adventure, we were not quite sure where it was leading us. Yet, with each step that we have made, the way before us has been illuminated just enough to allow us to take the next step or two. God has given us the peaceful reassurance that we have indeed been following His will. I will describe a few of the highlights of our adventure thus far.
First, Jill and I have been blessed with a beautiful daughter. We brought her home the night before our first wedding anniversary. She has been a joy in our lives for almost seven years now. Jill and I have both wanted a large family, so we have tried to have another baby for about six years. The secondary infertility that we have experienced has been a tremendous drain on our emotions. Everything from natural remedies, vitamins, and supplements to months of working with an infertility specialist have left us empty handed. Then, a kindly stranger approached me and somewhat aggressively expounded the virtues of adoption. I presented the idea to Jill. We discussed the topic and felt very good about looking into it further. A variety of experiences led us to pursuing international adoption. We researched the adoption programs of different countries and both felt drawn to Ukraine . We were somewhat overwhelmed by the prevalence of orphans throughout the world who have a variety of special needs. We were very touched by their plight. As a missionary, I had provided service at a couple of different schools for special needs children. Jill has always had a natural affection for and talent with special needs individuals. Our discussions led us to concluding that we could and should adopt one of these special children of God. Actually, we hoped to adopt two children. A few days later, we met Valerie, whose family adopted a special needs son from Ukraine the previous year. One evening while I was in school, she introduced Jill to an organization that helps facilitate the adoption of special needs children from around the world. She saw pictures of several children from around the world, including Ukraine . When Jill said that we were looking for two children, Valerie felt inspired to recommend a set of twins (one boy, one girl) which were listed with this organization. The boy was born with cerebral palsy, while the girl did not have any significant special needs. As soon as she saw them, Jill felt that these were the children for our family. On my drive home from school, Jill called to tell me about these children. When she finished telling me about them, I was completely overcome with a flood of emotion. Tears streamed down my face as I realized that God was answering our prayers for more children in a unique and wonderful way. We made an adoption commitment to them through the organization and began calling them Keith and Katya. We began the long adoption process in earnest. We finally finished all of the paperwork (months of work) and sent our application package to Ukraine . It would only be a few more months before we would travel to get our children. We then received a heart-breaking phone call. Our adoption agent was informed that despite Ukrainian law forbidding it, our twins had been separated and Katya was in the process of being adopted by another family. A few days later, her adoption was finalized. Although we never met her, the sorrow in our hearts is that of parents who have lost a child. Despite this tragic news, our commitment to Keith has remained firm. Realizing their mistake, the Ukrainian government has agreed to let us adopt a second, unrelated child; a practice that they do not normally allow. We would never have traded Katya for another child. However, given the circumstances, we will try to find a little girl to adopt while we are in Ukraine . We have just recently been informed of our appointment date with the government agency in charge of adoptions. We will be traveling to Ukraine to meet with them on October 15. This appointment will be the first step of a month long process in Ukraine . Barring any problems, we will be home by Thanksgiving with two more miracles to be thankful for. Your assistance in the final leg of our adoption would be most appreciated.
First and foremost, your prayers on our behalf will help bring down the powers of heaven to bless us on our journey. As we seek to find a little daughter and bring her and Keith home, we will need all of the prayers that we can get. Second, your emotional support is a tremendous boon to us. Jill has been and will continue to keep a blog (http://www.foreverfamilyadoption.blogspot.com/) chronicling our adoption journey. Leaving comments on her blog posts are appreciated more than you may know. Emails, letters, and phone calls are also great ways to provide a sustaining influence. Finally, if you have the means and desire, a financial contribution is welcomed. International adoptions are very expensive (between $20,000 and $30,000). We will also need to upgrade to a larger vehicle after we return home. Loans will allow us to make everything happen. However, a smaller debt burden would make it easier to provide for the needs of our larger family. Tax deductible donations to our adoption fund are available through Jill’s blog. Contact us if you have any questions. Well, thank you for your time in reading this. We are glad to share our happy news with you. Feel free to pass this email on to others that may be interested in our story. We hope that you will continue to follow us on our journey and share the joy with us in our growing family. With love,
The Pierce Family
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