2020 Adoption Story
The McNeil Family
We are Steve & Victoria McNeil and we along with our three children currently reside in Elizabethtown, Kentucky. We met when we were in college and dated for three years before we got married in 2004. We have always wanted to adopt since we were first married but we wanted to have biological children first and then wait till they were older to adopt. Very much to our surprise we found out we were expecting our fourth baby back in the spring of 2019. Unfortunately, we miscarried in the beginning of June and we were brought to our knees. We looked to God to give us grace and strength that only He could provide. Not only did God comfort us in our time of grief, but He also spoke to our hearts and we realized we have more love to give. It was only a month and a half later that Victoria joined a private Facebook group to follow some college friend’s adventure of hosting an orphan from Colombia. Little did we know how much that Facebook group might change the course of our lives. We started researching the hosting organization (Project 143) thinking that might be our first step to hosting an orphan in the summer. However, we were continually drawn back to those photos posted of this 10-year-old boy that did not have a family of his own. We decided to step out by faith and started re-imagining our lives with an older adopted child. We started our adoption process Labor Day weekend and we are now that sweet boys chosen forever family. We should be able to bring him home in the next few months. Our children are our greatest blessings and we count it an honor and privilege to add another sweet boy to our family. We love all four of our babies with all our hearts and we know that God has great plans in store for every single one of them. So many doors have been opened throughout our adoption process and now we can’t wait to tell him how much we love him and hug on him forever. Our friends and family are our constant support and they already love him like their own. The adoption agency is Holt International. We can’t give Mary Kendall Adoption program (where our social worker is from) enough praise!! They have represented our family so well and went above and beyond for us. We are forever grateful for their love, dedication, patience & support they have shown us throughout our entire adoption journey. We are all called to love the fatherless. Here are some encouraging words that spoke volumes as to what Christ has done for us and who we are in Him.
Redeemed. Sealed. Chosen. Blessed. Forgiven. Free.
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2019 Adoption Story
The Lopez-Gandarilla Family
Natalia and Andres “Tito” met in 2013 when Tito came to visit his brother in Maryland. Names were exchanged but that was about it. Life went on until May 2015 when their paths crossed again in Puerto Rico at Tito’s brother’s wedding. They talked, flirted, danced and the rest is history. They like to think God put them together when they were ready for each other not a single minute earlier. In April 2017, they got married in a beautiful winery wedding surrounded by their family and friends. Together they raise a beautiful, smart and fierce 8-year old daughter named Hope and their 9-year old Siberian Husky, Elektra.
Since then life has been full of up and downs, including 4 miscarriages, which lead them to where they are right now…adoption. There are many things that moved them to adopt. First and foremost, their hearts are full of love and expectancy for a child that they are yet to know. Since a young age, Natalia has had a heart to serve and love kids like no other. She has always wanted to be a mother, however struggled with infertility. They have prayed many times to expand their family and believe adoption has been planted in their hearts by God. They want to be able to give a child a loving, caring, fun, and God loving family. Also, they have experienced first-hand the miracle of adoption, as their extended family has welcomed two precious boys via adoption.
Their adoption journey started in September 2018 while working with Faithful Adoption Consultants and they are in the official waiting period. They firmly believe that God is in control and that His plans abundantly exceed what they can hope and imagine. They are excited about what God has in store for their family and are so grateful for the continuous support and love of their village.
“May the God of Hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the holy spirit.” Romans 15:13
“And anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming me.” Matthew 18:5
You can follow their journey on Instagram at @gracefuladoption.
2018 Adoption Story
The Linehan Family
Justin and Jaclyn have three beautiful girls and are now growing their family through adoption. Justin and Jaclyn are high school sweethearts and adoption has always been apart of their hopes and dreams. They attend Centerpoint Church and love the spirit of adoption in their church. They began their official adoption process in January 2018 with the Barker Foundation and hope to bring their child home from South Korea in 2019. They are in the official waiting period. They believe and know that their child has been ordained specifically for their family and they are beyond excited to bring their child home. Justin and Jaclyn are so grateful for the confirmation and support they have felt during their journey and the support from their family and friends. You can follow their journey on their blog www.heartsandseouladoption.org
" The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy." - Psalms 126:3
2017 Adoption Stories
The Fargusson Family
Through Centerpoint Church, Love Gives, and watching the Reynolds and Sanchez families go through the adoption process, the Fargusson Family felt God's call to help children find a home. What started with the intent to foster, ended turning into a call to adopt. They say the great need for families to adopt children with special needs, and felt God leading them in that direction.
On April 9th, the day that CP Annapolis moved into the new space, and also the day that Jay prayed on his knees for the first time at church, they found out that they were one of a few families being considered for a sweet 3 month old baby boy with significant special needs. Just a few days later, they were placed with sweet baby Ryder.
Ryder has a plethora of medical diagnosis, including septo optic dysplasia, optic nerve
hypoplasia, panhypopituitarism, hypothyroidism and hypoglycemia. These diagnosis cause Ryder to be completely blind (with the exception of seeing some light). Part of these diagnosis mean that Ry doesn't make many of the hormones that a healthy body makes, so he is on a variety of hormone replacement therapies to maintain healthy levels.
Despite these challenges, Ry is the sweetest little boy ever, and can't stop smiling! He has truly taught our family what unconditional, agape love means, and we couldn't be more blessed to have this sweet boy as part of our family.
We hope to have Ry's adoption finalized by 11/22.
Matthew 28:5 & Ephesians 3:20 are the Fargusson's adoption journey verses.
The Houseknecht Family
Chris and I met on Match.com long before it was trendy. Nineteen months later we were married. In the 10 and a half years and 6 kids since that infamous first date we have had our ups and downs. Chris saw me through nursing school and I supported him during his Air Force career and Chris still supports my Army career. We have parented together, we have parented apart. We have parented at home and abroad. In sickness and in health takes on a whole other definition when your husband delivers your child in the front seat of your van. Raising a yours, mine and ours family is not easy, but we always make it work.
We live on Maryland’s Eastern Shore with 5 of our children Abigail, 11, Jack, 8, Harper, 6, Sawyer 4 and Finn 2. Grace, is 16 and lives with her mom. I am a Lactation Consultant and work as a school nurse occasionally. Chris works from home. In 2011, Abigail was blessed to be able to take Chris’ last name. We talk frequently about her birth father and she has always been allowed to ask questions. What a blessing that Chris came into Abigail’s life and has raised her as his own. We are loud and loving family. My heart is full but it could always become fuller.
So why adoption, isn’t 6 enough? As I look back, adoption has always been a part of our life. Adoption was not in our original life plan. In April 2016, I went to a women’s conference with some ladies from church. I almost did not go because I did not want to be away from the kids. While the conference was not about adoption, I kept picking up the theme of adoption. I came home, saying well maybe adoption. I pushed it out of my head. Every time I did, it somehow snuck back in. (Duh it was God.) By September 2016, it all came to light. This adoption thing, yeah that’s what God wants me to do. We are supposed to adopt. We went to an information meeting, thinking, let’s just hear what it’s about. We left the meeting and looked at each other. We both knew. Neither one of us has been surer of a decision in our lives. When God tells you to do something you do it. We are now approved and we wait.
2015 Adoption Story
2016 Adoption Story- The Wise Family
From Marinda Wise -
We are the Wise family! God brought Scott and I together in a mission's training school over 15 years ago. Between the two of us we have traveled to nearly 19 countries.
We began in India, living there for one year as part of a church plant that is still going strong.
We had to return from India because our 2nd son Jeremiah was born with Down Syndrome and no esophogas. We took him to a world famous surgeon in MN and he slipped into heaven 21 days after being admitted to the children's hospital. During the 3 years following that God blessed us with another son, Isaiah and we purchased a single wide trailer in DE but soon realized God was calling us to Northern China.
We sold that single wide (we didn't know it at the time, but selling the trailer would be the starting money we would put into an Ethiopian adoption.) For 5 years we plugged away in China and learned a lot along the way! We had a house church that would regularly have over 60 people attend. We were beyond blessed to introduce Chinese friends to Jesus, take them through the Bible in one year, baptize them, teach English AND successfully adopt our daughter Jubilee, from Ethiopia.
Our family then grew again and we added another son, Aaron and a daughter Felicity, giving us 5. In 2012 we had some medical complications from a miscarriage and needed to return to DE, where we purchased a home. We were there for a year and decided to move to Thailand. In Thailand, we were able to work with other missionaries as well as the local Chinese community, start MOPS and teach English/Bible study classes.
In April 2015, after fasting for 21 days we knew God was heading us into a stateside move for a longer season than simply "visiting". We felt sure Jacksonville was the place because of the large refugee population. We moved here, my husband took an English job in a local middle school with a HUGE number of refugees and we have been creating roots here.
Over Christmas we decided to host an orphan through CCAI (which is similar to the largest orphan hosting program Project 143). A phone call from CCAI turned one orphan into 2 (a family had dropped out) and we prepared for their coming. Both had special needs and both were 10 years old.
Children who qualify for "hosting" are known as "unadoptable" children and because of hosting the stats for these children getting adopted have gone from less than 5% to over 70%. We blessed the boys as best as we could here, took them to the zoo, parks, museums, church, prayed over them, played with them. We prayed a family would step up for each one and because of social media a friend of a friend decided to adopt one of them.
This left Jia Wang, the harder of the two. He was abanadoned in a train station when he was 7 years old. After they returned to China we fasted and prayed for 21 days. We felt certain if we did not adopt this boy, no one would so out of an act of faith and obedience we have started this adoption journey. Friends have rallied behind us and our first agency fee of $4,400 was covered in 5 days. We can see how God is pulling together the pieces of our past and current situation. When we went back and looked over the dates we realized we were actually IN northern China when Jia Wang's family (or whoever) left this boy in a train station with one outfit and less than $1.00. Our 5 years in China allowed us to be fluent enough in Chinese to communicate with him. Losing our special needs son touched our hearts for those with special needs. Living in Jacksonville gives us open doors to wonderful resources like the Jax special needs school and a huge church that has a class just for special needs kids. Nothing is wasted!
We just received our US approval to bring an orphan into the country (big deal) and all of our paperwork (dossier) should be IN China within the next 4 weeks!! Once that is in China, we "should" be able to travel in anywhere from
6-12 weeks! So everything still puts us IN China before the new year! He knows his name will be Levi (meaning joined in harmony) and has started practicing it!
Are we nervous? Yes!! But we are willing and we know the one who calls is faithful!!
We were blessed to raise $10,000 to support the Wise's adoption. It fully paid for their final
travel expenses and the balance of their adoption! Levi will join their family any day now!
We'll provide updates, pictures & video on our Facebook page.
2015 Adoption Story
The Sanchez Family
Will and Christy Sanchez have always had a heart for foster care and adoption. They have 3 amazing kids and truly feel God has called them to grow their family through adoption. They originally planned on becoming foster parents but due to Will's job being based in Tx that door closed. They feel God led them to Bethany Christian services and after much prayer, felt led to start the adoption process. They began the process in January of 2015 and have completed all the requirements and their home study. They have been approved and are now in the "waiting" period. Will and Christy lead the youth group, Thrive, at Centerpoint Church and Christy is the church administrator. They feel so blessed by the support they have received from friends and family. They feel so thankful for all of the confirmations and provisions God has shown them along their adoption journey and are so excited to have this precious gift from God join their family.
‘For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition that I made to him.’ 1 Samuel 1:27
We were able to raise $25,000 to support their adoption.
UPDATE! The Sanchez famly has been blessed with a
baby boy, Joaquin! Welcome to the family!
2014 Adoption Stories
Meet the McClure Family
Greg and Ashli have wanted to be parents for as long as they can recall and truly feel called by God to adopt. It is their prayer to grow their family through adoption. Currently, working with Bethany Christian Services, their home-study has been completed and they have been approved to be adoptive parents! Their prayer verse- Romans 8:15 "for ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father."
Love Gives raised $10,000 for the McClure's adoption!
We are happy to report that after a long wait, the McClures have adopted a beautiful baby girl, Kenley!
Greg and Ashli have been happily married for almost five years, live on the Eastern Shore, have a love for God and their community. Ashli teaches third grade and Greg is a pre-school teacher at neighboring schools. They truly love being teachers.
Meet the Windland Family
June 2013. They are currently going through Bethany Christian Services and have completed their home-study and are 6 months into the "waiting" period. They have started an adoption blog on their website, ourlittlestadventure.com, in order to promote adoption awareness. They have found that the more resources that adopting families have, the more you realize you are not alone in this incredible journey. They are so thankful for the love and support that we have been shown by family, friends, and church. They still have a long road ahead but with such a support system and God, nothing can stop them!
Love Gives raised $10,000 for the Windland's adoption!
We are happy to report that the Windland's have adopted a sweet baby girl, Margot!
Tim and Caitlin have been married 5 years after dating a little over 8 years, yes years. They have had smooth sailings, tough go's, and exciting adventures along the way. Their hearts were directed toward adoption a little over 2 years ago
and they started the process in
2013 Adoption Story
The Patterson Family
It was our honor to join Jonathan and Kimberly and their little girls (4 & 2) in their adoption story. We raised $10,000 in 2013 to support them in their international adoption.
Take a second and read Kimberly's blog where she explains God's calling to adopt internationally thru Ethiopia a child age infant-4 years who is HIV+ You can also friend them on facebook and pray for them every step of the way.
Update- To their suprise Kimberly gave birth to, sweet baby girl Ruth Evelyn, in April of 2015. She recently let us know that after waiting for a couple of years for Ethiopia to reopen international adoptions, they are back on the list! They are excited and hope to give us the news of their newest family member soon! Please continue to pray for their child possibly yet to be born in Ethiopia.
2012 Adoption Stories
In 2012 we helped financially support 3 different families with three unique stories. The Esch family on the Eastern Shore of Maryland adopted 4 brothers and sisters who were living in separate foster homes. After an very trying adoption process with many twists and turns, the Levits were able to bring home their baby boy, Joshua. Then there is the Yost family who after many ups & downs adopted sweet baby girl Justice Faye in April of 2013 and recently added, to their suprise, a biologial daughter, London Kaye.
2011 Adoption Story
In 2011 we helped financially support the Halverson family adopt their second daughter from China. Kayla came to live with them in January 2012. We were honored to have them share their story at Centerpoint in September 2012 and meet Kayla ourselves.
The picture to the left is of Kayla running in our first Love Gives Kids 1 Mile Race to raise money our 2013 adoption story.
2010 Adoption Story
Love Gives Adoption began in 2010 with a conversation before church. It was when a couple of the leaders were talking about using their birthdays as opportunities to advocate for others rather than getting a new pair of socks that the idea of supporting an adopting family began. A few weeks later Centerpoint raised a little over $8,000 and gave it to the local Bethany Christian Services Adoption Agency in Crofton, Md. A couple months later we were told that the money specifically went to help a Maryland family adopt an older child from a group home in Michigan. That's when we knew this should be more than one year and more than one church.