This week I'm doing something a little differently...I'm featuring TWO families! When I started doing the featured families again, I e-mailed our AW Yahoo Group to see what families would like to be featured on our blog before we go to Ethiopia and I had more volunteers than I had weeks, so we will double up.
The first family I'll feature is Bryan and Laura Unruh. Laura is the eldest of 8 children in her family, 5 of whom were adopted at birth domestically and are all African-American. When Laura and Bryan got married, Laura figured that Bryan surely knew that adoption would be how they would grow their family as well (though Bryan told her a few days ago that they had never actually "talked" about it. Oops!). They just felt that if they were going to be Pro-Life, they needed to be Pro-Baby as well...finding homes for ALL babies (not just healthy Caucasian babies)! They birthed two children, Malachi who is 6 and AnnaKay who is 5, and then started their (what is now a longer-than-they-had-ever-anticipated-or-planned) adoption journey! They chose domestic adoption first because they knew there were women in crisis pregnancies who needed a choice. Their hearts have always felt such love and compassion for these women who have so sacrificially chosen to put their baby's needs above their own! Addison was placed with them in November 2007 and then Isaiah in March 2009. At that point, they thought they were DONE. *Their Plan* was 4 kiddos, 2 boys, 2 girls, that's it. But then they read a book by Tom Davis called "Scared"...and they both bawled (yes, even Bryan who is NOT a crybaby) through the entire book! It is a fiction story but based on true situations/stories about what life is really like for an orphaned 9-year-old girl who is HIV+. They knew that God was calling them to adopt...again. They started the process adopting from Rwanda. After their dossier (the stack of gold...I mean papers...that they had worked SO hard at getting just right) had been in Rwanda for six months, God stirred their hearts to something new...and they switched to Ethiopia and are desiring to adopt 2 kiddos aged 3-6 years old who have special needs. They are SO excited to be in this place and so thankful that the Lord has them here! While this journey has never been easy, they know that God is Sovereign and in control. When they started this process they started selling t-shirts to raise funds , which was the first time they had to do that for adoption. The t-shirts have an Ethiopian cross on them with the word "Gutora" which means "to choose" in Kinyarwanda (the language in Rwanda). They are choosing to do this, choosing these kiddos, not because they feel like they HAVE to but because they really WANT to. You can see their t-shirts and follow their story on their blog. One of Laura's favorite quotes is "My friends, adoption is redemption. It's costly, exhausting, expensive, and outrageous. Buying back lives costs so much. When God set out to redeem us, it killed Him." Derek Loux
FAMILY #2 -The Bice Family
Polly and Shawn Bice are from Birmingham, Alabama and have 7 biological children who Polly home schools. Their journey began last January when they felt the Lord leading them to adopt and on January 17, 2010 they knew that they were going to adopt from Ethiopia. At that time their youngest son was still an infant and so they had to wait until he was 6 months old before they could apply. On May 3, they sent the application to AW for the Ethiopia program and were approved on May 20! Of course they then started their dossier and worked on it all summer and fall until they were DTE on December 17, 2010! They are officially requesting a baby girl age 0-12 months and have been waiting for a little over a month! For a fundraiser, they have t-shirts to sell! The shirts are gray and on the front they say "BREAK OUR HEARTS FOR WHAT BREAKS YOURS" in red with the outline of the world in black. The number of orphans is listed on every continent. On the back are the names of many children who are no longer orphans because a mommy and daddy adopted them and then in red is the verse John 14:18: "I will not leave you as orphans, I will come for you". They have adult sizes small to 2X and youth sizes S, M, and L. The adult shirts are being sold for $20 with $4.95 S&H and the youth sizes are $15 with $4.95 S&H. They need to sell about 100 shirts so order them today! Check out their blog and follow as well!