We are Tim and Renae. We have been married almost 33 years, and we just celebrated the first anniversary of the adoption of our daughter Lara. Our adoption journey began over 16 years ago in 2003, when we traveled to Russia and adopted our daughter and 2 sons (ages 12, 10, and 5). They became siblings to our biological daughter, who was 11 at that time. We call this our first adoption story and thought it would be our only adoption story. As we were eyeing an empty nest and future retirement, God showed us a different plan. He was calling us to adopt once again, but this time children from foster care through Child Protective Services.
As we started this process, we were led to Gladney because of their long-standing reputation for being passionate about finding the right family every child deserves. Gladney led us through every step of this process until we were matched with our daughter Lara, who was 17 at the time. Just a couple of months later, we would also meet 13-year-old Gwen, who became part of our family last November. This second adoption story has barely begun, but we see a bright future with both of these young ladies. The past year has been full of ups and downs, through which Gladney has been very supportive. Our girls both understand they need a new “normal” and that it takes time to find and trust that normal and unlearn behaviors and beliefs from their past. I am thankful they both understand this to a large degree, and God has given us patience and resources to see the process unfold at the proper pace. I am proud of them for taking a chance on us and being open to joining our family. We are thankful for all 6 of our kids and the things they have already accomplished in their lives. Our family formed in a unique way, but we are a true family, who supports each other and knows we are on the same team trying to live out what God has planned for us.
If you are considering adopting a child or supporting adoption, do it prayerfully and find those who can help you along the way. We did not know what we were doing either time, but with God’s guidance and Gladney’s expertise, we were matched with the perfect girls for our family. Even when we had doubts and tried to walk away because of our own insecurities and fears, the doors remained open, so we could take that leap of faith.