When Kerry and Angela Brenneman became married, they knew that adoption had been a dream of Angela’s for a long time. As they prayerfully considered this decision, Hands of Hope was able to connect them to other families who had been through the adoption process. The Brenneman’s felt that God was clearly revealing to them that their family would be made more complete by moving forward with adoption.
The next few years required quite a bit of focus and determination to fulfill this dream. There is a lot of paperwork to complete throughout the process of international adoption. You need a completed Home Study for the US and then a dossier for international adoption. Additionally, all your paperwork must be notarized and apostilled (medical records, criminal background, psychological assessment, kids background checks, financial information). This must be redone if the adoption isn’t completed within a year. On top of all of this, you must be approved by the US government and the country of choice.
Once all of these steps have been completed, there is a lot of uncertainty and waiting. For the Brenneman’s, the waiting was very hard for their personalities. When asked about their experience they stated, “The best advice I can provide is to be patient, pray every day for your child and trust the right match and right timing will work out.”
Last year on May 17th, the Brenneman’s received the email they had been waiting for. It was their referral. Kerry beamed as he shared, “I logged into our agency’s portal that displayed a photo of a little girl with ponytails, brown eyes and a sassy smile. I knew right away that that’s my girl. I called Angela at work to deliver the news. After 3 years of hard work, uncertainty, frustration and determination, this little girl, Melanie, would be our daughter!”
A few weeks later, they were able to have a conference call with Melanie. The family had so many questions and were nervous at how she would react. Would she be worried about moving to another country? Would she be bored being on a conference call? How will we become a family?
All these concerns were dispelled for Angela and Kerry the moment Melanie ran into the room to talk with them. The time went fast and all three left the call eager to meet again and to be a family. A few months later, the Brenneman’s were on an airplane to Colombia to finalize the paperwork, go to court, and bring her home. Finally, together.
The Brenneman’s wanted to share their story to encourage other families that might be considering adoption. As Kerry shared, “If you are considering adoption you need to know there are challenges with adopting a child. Adoption is not for the faint of heart. These kids have been through a lot in their little lives. Emotionally they are dealing loss, change, abuse, and abandonment. However, we serve a mighty God who loves these kids and will bless you and perform miracles in your life that will help your child’s healing process.”
Are you an adoptive parent or considering adoption? We want to support your journey. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org