We Will Never Be the Same: David and Debbie’s Story
November 1, 2022 – Among the host of things that unite Debbie and David, the most significant may be their lifelong commitment to caring for children; whether theirs through birth or adoption. When they married, Debbie had a daughter, Laurie*, from a previous relationship, and David was quick to love her as his own child. Together they had a son, Nicholas*. However, when her doctor advised against becoming pregnant again, they became more and more aware of the need in their community for families willing to care for youth who, for no fault of their own, were removed from their homes and were unable to reunify with their birth parents. For them, this meant adoption.
They’re Just Our Children
This National Adoption Month, we’re sharing stories of children whose lives were impacted by adoption. Meet the Withingtons.
It’s not only National Adoption Month, but this month also marks the nine-year anniversary of when Chris and Nick Withington received placement of their twin daughters, Zoe and Ashley, in 2012.
Shannon and Tonya Clark already had 11 children when they met Jeremiah, who was 4 months old.
Tonya’s sister and brother-in-law were acting as Jeremiah’s foster parents, and Tonya and Shannon often had contact with him through them.
“We fell in love at first sight and bonded immediately as well,” Tonya said.
Shyenne had been bouncing from foster home to foster home, spending a night in each.
“When our caseworker called us and said they needed a home for a 9-year-old girl, we agreed to take Shyenne for the weekend,” Cliff Logan said.
He and his wife, Pat, had been foster parents for about a year at that time.
When Tiffany Crain first approached her husband, Nate, about adopting Keisha, he was concerned.
Keisha, now 4, had been shaken and her prognosis wasn’t good in September of 2017, when she was admitted to the hospital. Her brain had swelled so much that a permanent shunt had to be placed. Keisha’s airway was damaged, requiring a tracheostomy tube. She also suffered from weakness on one side of her body.
The sheet of lined, white notebook paper is wrinkled. It’s apparent that it has been ripped into pieces and taped back together; there’s a chunk missing from the top. A blue heart drawn in crayon occupies most of the page. Written in black marker, to the lower right of the heart, are the words, “WE LOVE YOU.”
So many stories and emotions are etched into that one sheet of paper, which is now framed and displayed in the Sam and Emily Wheeler home.
This year my husband and I will celebrate 36 years together! As a young couple, we had two biological children and thoroughly enjoyed our family. Yet as our children, Margaret and Victor, moved through the teen years, I started thinking of enlarging our family. We agreed we had been blessed in many ways, and Mark and I decided it was right for us to open our home to waiting children. We went through the needed classes and decided as a family to pursue adoption, not foster care. Looking on the Kansas adoption website (www.AdoptKSKids.org), a brother and sister caught our attention. We met Jerrod and Rhonda right after Christmas in 2004 when they were 13 and 9. Read More
My name is Stacey Cowan. My husband, Jerry, and I have 12 children, including his, mine and those we have adopted.
Seven of the children still live at home. Paul, 15, is Jerry’s son. Our adopted children are Marshall, 14; Alexus, 10; Hailey, 7; MaKayla, 7; Chance, 5, and Hayden, 2 1/2. Marshall, Alexus and Hailey are half-siblings. They are Jerry’s sister’s children. MaKayla, Chance and Hayden are also half-siblings.
We adopted Chance first in February 2016. Marshall, Alexus and Hailey joined our family through adoption in June 2016. MaKakyla and Hayden were adopted this month. Read More
My husband, Patrick, and I decided to adopt after becoming licensed foster parents.
I work as a chiropractor. A couple of my patients asked if we would be interested in doing the TIPS-MAPP class with them, because they wanted to adopt a child. We decided we would take the classes since I had never considered pregnancy. About halfway through our class the other couple decided to pursue private adoption. They finished the class with us, and we decided to become licensed foster parents. Read More
At the age of 11, through no fault of my own, I was placed in foster care. I often felt like no one wanted me, and I worried that I would never find a family who would love me. I felt lost and alone.
My social worker often checked on me to see how I was doing. I still vividly remember the day she came to tell me that three families were interested in adopting me! She let me read their profiles and pick my favorite.
Two of the families were big, with lots of children. The third, Robin, was a single woman with no kids. Robin also was a preacher. I told my social worker I liked Robin. The next time my social worker visited, she said that Robin was still interested in adopting me! I was so happy and excited to meet her! Read More
My husband and I are high school sweethearts. We met when I was 16 and was having a very difficult time.
In 2005, I was on a path of ruin. I entered the foster care system for the second time in my young life. I was placed in a foster home four hours away from my closest friends and family. But this separation turned out to be a blessing.
In a town where I knew no one, my husband, Tyler, and I found each other. He was a typical small-town boy and I was a city girl. We had completely opposite upbringings. They say opposites attract, and this was true for us. Read More
My name is Blake, and I adopted my kids in June of 2014. When I was growing up and in my 20s, I was very “success” oriented. I was driven and cared very much about going to college, getting a good job, and climbing the corporate ladder. Eventually, I obtained a master’s degree in business administration. I got a job I loved as a senior executive. Every few years, I moved, most recently to Kansas City. I fell in love with the area and bought a house. Not too long after that, I began to feel that something was missing. Read More
My name is Jayme Reid. Even before my husband Bilal and I married nearly two years ago, we knew that we wanted to adopt a child. I wasn’t sure how it worked, so I began surfing the web and requesting information. Bilal and I went to the local farmer’s market one day and someone was distributing information about fostering children. We read the information and decided to become foster parents. Read More
We are the Ostrom family. We were married in 2006 and have a blended family with Lon having twp boys and I, Kathy, having three boys.
I was adopted as an infant and always knew I was adopted. My mother was adopted as well. In 2001, I lost my youngest son to an accident at the age of 3. I was unable to have more children. A year after marrying Lon, who had taught elementary children PE for 35 years, we decided we wanted to be foster parents. Read More