Stories about international adoption.

A Journey of Love.

“God was working in our family all along.”

Tony and I had been happily married for eight years but had also faced the heartaches that come with infertility and the unfulfilled desire to raise children. After a miscarriage, we began to read about orphaned children who longed to be part of a family. We heard God's voice and began our journey to adopt. We contacted Bethany and felt comfortable with the staff, which provided us with education and support.

Having lived outside the United States, we were open to an international adoption. We started looking in Ukraine, partly because sibling groups were available there. Our journey soon took us to Kiev, Ukraine. The first file we saw had a photo of three siblings—Lena, Artem, and Anastasia. We were drawn to them instantly. Words cannot express how wonderful it was to meet these precious children.

Our delight turned to doubt as paperwork stretched our five-week visit to three months, and we feared the loss of these children with whom we had already fallen in love. Then God strengthened our faith as never before, and the staff at Bethany walked with us every step of the way. We see now how God was working in our family all along. For us, this is like a dream come true.

-Risa and Tony Hoffman, Oregon


“We wanted to help a child ... in a country where a child's life could be over by age 5.”

We already had two children when we decided to grow our family through adoption. We were motivated to adopt because we felt that with so many orphans in the world it would be selfish not to share our family with a child in need. Our church's orphan care ministry encouraged us to serve widows and orphans as a biblical commandment, and that was an important motivation too.

At first we were afraid of the financial implications. We also wondered what kind of child to adopt—a child with special needs, a child of another race? Different countries have different requirements, and that became a challenge too. We were forced to rely on God, because we knew we couldn’t do it alone. And He did provide, including taking care of the finances. With various sources of help, including tax benefits, the cost has not been a burden at all.

Eventually we decided we wanted to give a child a chance who would have little chance otherwise. We wanted to help a child who lived in a country where a child’s life could be over by age5. We sought a child from Ethiopia, and God has confirmed that decision to us over and over again.

Bethany helped us every step of the way. They prepared us for every possibility, from bonding with the new child to helping siblings adjust. Ava has adjusted really well. She just jumped right in and is very comfortable and has bonded with her two brothers. We see life differently now. We didn’t save her; she has saved us. She has rescued us from a life of complacency, of just chasing the American Dream.


—Kim and Chris Forehand, Pensacola, Florida



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