Dec 08, 2015
On their first date, Emily informed Drew that if there was to be a second date, adoption was something he would need to accept. Ten years later, the couple is married with three young boys they adopted through foster care.
“Most people meet their child in the arms of a doctor or through social workers at an adoption agency,” Drew said. “We met our son, Hunter, in a parking lot. He was 10 months old and in the arms of a child protective services worker. We loved him as our own right from the beginning.”
The fact that Bethany facilitates connections between children in foster care and their biological families (when possible) was essential for Drew and Emily to navigate the intricacies of foster-to-adopt programs. They maintained a connection with Hunter’s biological grandmother who was still part of his life, providing regular updates on his growth and progress.
“I think a lot of people are afraid to let biological family in because it can be messy,” Drew said. “But you have to embrace the messy. There’s so much you can’t control.”
As Drew and Emily were getting to know Hunter’s grandmother, Bethany contacted the couple about young twins who needed to be placed in foster care. They imagined the impending chaos of three children in their home under the age of 2, yet Drew and Emily held to their conviction to provide vulnerable children with a sense of place and permanency. They said “yes.”
Drew and Emily took the same loving and open approach with the twins’ biological mother. They opened their home, their church, and their lives to show just how loved the boys were. When the twins became eligible for adoption, they were already part of Drew and Emily’s family. Their adoption was finalized a few months after Hunter’s.
Drew and Emily feel strongly that foster care and adoption aren’t about finding children for parents but rather finding parents for children.
In the U.S., approximately 102,000 children eligible for adoption are in foster care, waiting for the permanency of an adoptive family. Many of these children have been waiting three years or more, and thousands age out of the system each year…without a family.
In May of 2013 Bethany Christian Services launched a nationwide recruitment campaign called No One Without (N.O.W.). The campaign specifically advocates for children who have been waiting the longest, and it encourages and enables families to adopt across state lines.
Hunter was just turning 2 when the couple bought a new house. When they turned the corner, Hunter exclaimed, “We’re home!”
“That did it for me,” Drew said. “That’s what Emily and I want to offer these children—a place they can call home.”
Bethany is grateful to our partner, Initials Inc., for supporting foster care and the N.O.W. Campaign. Proceeds from their popular YBL (Your Best Life) case help bring children and families together through Bethany’s foster-to-adopt program—83 children since 2013… and counting! Learn more at initials-inc.com/icare.