We live on a small farm in Missouri, and love being able to enjoy life in the country with our eight children. We do everything together as a family, including milking our dairy goats. We believe animals are a wonderful source of therapy for children with special needs. Rick enjoys his job as an electronics Technician where he is able to work four days a week, allowing him to have more time to spend with our family. I, Chante, am a licensed nurse, but have chosen to stay at home with the kids, and homeschool them. This allows me to make individual education plans for them that meet their unique learning needs. Outside of school hours the kids also learn a lot about living on a farm, and often have baby pigs and goats to bottle feed. Our oldest son is 15 and is very involved in his homeschool group where he loves the challenge of learning Latin. He wants to be a pilot and a missionary to China someday. We have two 13 year olds. Our son was adopted from Haiti and loves football. He has played for 7 years, and dreams of playing for the NFL someday. Our 13 year old daughter is from Ethiopia and loves fashion and design, and spends most of her free time, sitting on the tree swing, with a notebook and drawing pencils in her hand. Our 11 year old daughter is a cowgirl at heart. She enjoys working with her horse trainer to teach her mini horses’ tricks and her riding lessons. We have a horse riding arena and she is working towards competing in barrel racing. We have two eight year old sons. They like to tease people that they are twins, but since one of them was adopted from China, I don’t think anyone believes them :) They love to be boys, ride bikes, get dirty, play with the farm animals, and collect the eggs. One of our eight year olds has poor muscle tone due to his CP, but his brother is always right there to help him keep up. They both have a love for animals and cars. Our 6 year old daughter has Downs syndrome, but that does not slow her down. We tease that God gave her and extra dose of sugar and spice. She fills every room she enters with her contagious joy! She loves anything “princess” and likes to be called by her nickname “Tinkerbelle” Our youngest daughter is 4 and she also has Downs Syndrome. She touches the lives of everyone who meets her. She loves to give hugs and kisses, and brightens everyone’s day. She’s a little spoiled by having so many big brothers and sisters, and she knows it, you can tell by her adorable grin. She is mostly non-verbal but that doesn’t stop her from communicating her feelings through ASL and her adorable facial expressions! Our home is filled with laughter and joy, never a dull moment, and we thank God for bringing so many amazing kids into our family. We would love to share the love and joy of our family with more children in the future. We know that not every family is in a position to offer a child with special needs what they need. We know there was a time when our own family would not have been prepared to care for children with special needs the way we are now. We admire parents that choose to give their babies life even though they are not in a position to care for those needs. That’s an amazing statement of the unselfish love you have for your child!! All of our adopted children are told of that amazing love and hold a very special place in their hearts for their birth parents. We know you are not making an easy choice and may even face a lot of negative pressure from those around you, but please know we are praying for you and we are proud of you for your brave decision to give life to your baby!
Our Desire to Adopt:
We have adopted five children with special needs, and they are each amazing. We believe God created every child with a unique and incredible purpose and we want to help them to become all that God has created them to be. When we first began our adoption journey, we did not know what our lives would look like today. We never imagined being blessed with these amazing children. We realized that what we had once thought of as “disabilities” were actually just different abilities. One of our daughters does not yet have the ability to communicate verbally but she communicates love and joy in such an incredible way with her actions that everyone who’s live comes in contact with hers is changed. We have found that parenting children with different abilities has changed us the most. We have learned to see life in a new way, and we are thankful every day for what they are teaching us. When a new child is added to our family they not only are adored by us, but by so many brothers and sisters. I love seeing the older kids praise the accomplishment of each little one. Our eight year old son said to us about his four year old little sister with Downs Syndrome, ” Mama, I’m so glad God gave us Yixi, because that would be so sad if we didn’t have her. She’s so perfect” It reminded me of the ability of kids to love people for who they are and not what their diagnosis is. We’d love the opportunity for our family to shower another little one with that same love.
We both are born again Christians and desire to bring glory to God in all we do. Our Christian faith is the center of our lives. Our family is very involved in our local church. Our older children love to be involved in areas such as the dance team and teaching younger kids there. We love that our church values each of our children and encourages them. Our faith in God, and church involvement are very important to us and provide a solid foundation for our family. We believe every child was created with a unique purpose and we want to help them to become all that God has created to be. We feel so blessed to have a family made up of children with all different abilities, including Downs Syndrome and Cerebral Palsy.
Dear Birth Mom/parents:
We know that right now you are facing one of the hardest decisions in your life, and even though we have not yet met you, we are praying for you, as you face all of the unknowns. We admire your strength, even though you may feel weak. As you choose to give your child life, you are choosing to give the world a beautiful, incredible gift. A gift that we know is a part of your heart, the hardest of all gifts to give. We know as you do this you grieve, but we pray you may feel peace in knowing that this beautiful child of yours has been given the gift of life, that he or she may know what it feels like to be loved, to be treasured. In this decision your life will become intertwined with ours and we look forward to your friendship. Today as we pray for you, we pray that God’s peace may cover you and heal all of the areas where you feel so broken, that you may see the incredible plan and purpose He has for your life that you may know how much you and the child you carry are loved.
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