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"We are a family of 5 living in Crofton, MD.  We have three children ages 12, 10 and 7.  We’re happy to share our story because it amazes even us how we ended up where we are right now.  


We are a family greatly committed to each other and our faith.  As parents it is our utmost goal to form our children into people of integrity, generosity and compassion.  Five years ago we began discerning the call to homeschool our children.  This was never something that we had considered before, but through much prayer we found ourselves confident that God was calling us to go in that direction.  We have just begun our fifth year of homeschooling and we haven’t once regretted that decision because it has brought about tremendous growth in our relationships with each other and our personal growth as individuals and we’re confident that this decision was God’s will.  Looking back on it now, I can see how the process of discerning our calling to homeschooling prepared us for an even more unexpected calling yet to come. 


When our youngest child was around the age of 3, we started to consider the size of our family and what God intended for us.  We spent much time in prayer and discernment and eventually came to the conclusion that having another baby did not seem to be what God was calling us to do.  However, we still felt that He had more in store for our family in some way.  


In the meantime, we had begun hearing about Kidsave Summer Miracles from another family in our area that was in the process of adopting a child from Colombia.  I was drawn to the idea because I considered what a wonderful experience it would be for our family to be able to serve someone in need while learning about and experiencing another culture and language.  I studied Spanish in college, am a former Spanish teacher, and had been attempting to teach our children Spanish over the past few years, so the opportunity to have that sort of cultural experience was attractive to me.  Overall, our hearts were moved by the compassion and opportunity being offered to children who had been forgotten and the thought crossed our mind to maybe considering hosting one day.  Yet each time that thought surfaced we would push it aside by somehow explaining away why we couldn’t or shouldn't do it.  


However, over the course of 2 years the thought kept cropping back up to the point that we finally decided to simply look more into it by talking to Kidsave and past host families.  From that point we decided to just keep taking the next step forward to learn and discern.  Little by little we became more comfortable with the idea and more convinced that we were being called to host.  How could we say no to helping a child in need when we have been blessed with so much? So we began the process of selecting our host child based on the options presented to us by our agency.  


We were originally thinking that a girl around the age of our daughter or a bit younger might be a good fit.  After learning about a few girls, and even 1 boy, who were available, we didn’t quite feel that we had found a child who would be a good fit for our family and we started to question whether this was really something we were being called to do.  


Then Esteban showed up.  He had previously been matched with a family in another area but that family changed their mind about hosting and he was placed back in the pool of kids in need of a host family.  Our agency presented his information to us and we were almost immediately drawn to him, even though he was not of the original gender or age that we were considering.  Looking back now I can see that he was meant to be with us.  Our Skype call with him 5 days before he arrived is a moment I will never forget.  All five of us were gathered around the computer awaiting the call and then it connected and he appeared on the screen.  My heart was immediately jolted and I teared up.  There he was on the screen with a huge smile and a look that showed just how excited he was about seeing us.  Our conversation went fairly smoothly thanks to my somewhat limited ability to communicate in Spanish and we left that call feeling overjoyed about his impending arrival. 


From that moment on, through 5 amazing weeks having him in our home, we felt a tug in our hearts to welcome him into our family permanently.  After he left we spent time in prayer and discussion and ultimately decided to take the step to trust what we felt God was calling us to do.  Throughout the past few months, while he's been back in Colombia, we've struggled with moments of doubt and fear but through continual reliance on our faith we've been able to remain committed to this calling.  A few days ago we were finally able to have a Skype call with Esteban and, just as it had happened the first time, as soon as we saw his smiling face on the screen our hearts were moved with love for him and our desire to bring him home and our confidence in God's calling and providence have been strengthened.


We now find ourselves being proactive about promoting adoption.  Through the Kidsave program we met many wonderful children in need of families and we keep them in prayer, that they would be placed with loving families who can give them the care and support they so desperately need and deserve.  We feel strongly that every child does indeed deserve a family because there's nothing like a loving family to form and develop children, and ultimately adults, who know the love of God because of their experience of receiving love from their family."

-MELANIE BRADY, Crofton, Maryland

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