We are Keith & Salem from Ohio. We knew even before we were married that adoption was how we wanted to grow our family.
In 2007, before we started our first adoption, we fostered a baby boy with special needs. Parenting that sweet baby really solidified our desire to adopt children with special needs. The idea that there are children no one wants to adopt simply because of their age or special needs troubled us deeply. We knew that someday we would provide a family for children like these.
After our foster son went back to his biological family (healthy and now thriving!) we started the adoption process. We requested a waiting child under age 3. We were open to a very long list of special needs (including HIV) and no one was more surprised than we when we were referred a healthy toddler. Our son was waiting simply because he was a toddler age boy in a country from which few people were adopting. The process was long and unpredictable at that time, but our little guy was worth it! After many exhausting months, our two and a half year old son came home in the summer of 2010. Mayer is now an amazingly joyful, sweet and comical five year old.
While we were in-country adopting Mayer we met a baby boy, Benjamin, who stole our hearts. He had many special needs. We soon heard about another waiting baby with special needs, a little girl named Jovia. After much prayer and counsel, we committed to adopt Benjamin and Jovia at the same time and were able to bring them home in October 2011. Benjamin has cerebral palsy, microcephaly, a heart defect, Pierre Robin sequence, hearing loss and global developmental delays. While our sweet boy will always have challenges, the Lord has faithfully enabled him to do more than doctors ever believed possible. He has made amazing progress and brings our family so much joy! Our daughter, Jovia, was born a congenital quad amputee – simply put – she was born with out arms or legs. However, this beautiful girl doesn’t let her physical disabilities slow her down! She does many things a typical three year old can do. She drives her own wheelchair, attends preschool and inspires people wherever she goes. Mayer is in love with his two younger siblings and is a fabulous big brother. Parenting children with special needs has come so naturally to us, it’s just one more confirmation that this is what God has called our family to do.
We are now in the process of adopting again! Our new daughter is 11 years old and has special needs. She is a double orphan and lives in an orphanage in Africa. She has such a sweet personality. She dreams of being a nurse someday and is so helpful and loving with the younger children in the orphanage. She and Salem bonded quickly and, as with Benjamin, Salem knew immediately that this little girl belonged in their family.
Our family has prayed and sought counsel for each adoption, and we are moving forward in faith that God wants this young girl in our family. Starting a fourth adoption in less than four years hasn’t fazed our high-energy family and extended family circle, but it certainly has taken its toll on our savings. Any donations to our new daughters adoption fund would be greatly appreciated. Our need is $14,000.
Follow along at http://sisterhaiti.com/