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Meet the families of the 2nd-Annual Adoption Rally

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Lipscomb Athletics will host its 2nd-Annual Adoption Rally this Saturday, March 2 in conjunction with its basketball games against North Florida. The women play at 6 p.m. at Allen Arena. The men follow at 8:15 p.m. Nine families in the process of adoption will receive 100% of the single-game ticket sales on Saturday. Here's a little bit more about each family:  

Terry and Carissa Barga - U.S.

We have been married for 12 years. We have two biological children. Elijah is 8 years old. Ezra is 5 years old. We had always thought that we would adopt someday and add to our family, but did not know the plans God had for us. We took in Luis and Ariana as foster children a year and a half ago. Although we knew it could be a short-term placement, we fell in love with them instantly. When we realized it was not going to work out for them to be returned to their biological family, we knew we wanted to adopt them. AGAPE is currently assisting us as we move toward adopting them. Ariana and Luis are fun, loving and smart. They have been a great fit for our family.

Adam and Sara Bryson – U.S.

Adam and Sara Bryson have been married nine years. They have already adopted twice. They brought Natalie home when she was two weeks old. She is now 3 ½. They brought Violet home when she was two days old. She is now 1 ½. Both girls were born in Mississippi. The Brysons are adopting again because they feel like their family isn’t complete. Once again they will be adopting a child from the United States. Adam is the assistant principal at Lakeview Design Center in the Metro Nashville Public School system. Sara serves as children’s education coordinator at Berry’s Chapel Church of Christ.

Jeremy and Kelli Johnson – China

We are currently in the process of adopting our daughter from China. We have one biological daughter, and she is truly a blessing.  We don’t feel that our family is complete. During the past few years, God has confirmed that adoption is where our journey is taking us. We know there are many children in China who do not know a mother or father’s love, nor do they know about our wonderful God who is crazy about them. We are thrilled to have this opportunity to love our daughter with an unconditional love, and we consider it such a privilege to be able to share with her to know the unconditional love of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  

Adam and Amy Kaufhold – Ethiopia

We have a four-year-old biological daughter named Harper. God knew that our family was still somehow incomplete so he placed it on our hearts to adopt. Adam is the minister of Aspen Grove Christian Church. Amy works at Vanderbilt Children's hospital as a child life specialist.  We have been happily married for 12 years. In that time we have been deeply involved in ministry, especially to kids, teens and orphans (10+ mission trips to orphanage in Ecuador).  We are currently waiting on a referral of a child from Ethiopia.  It is hard to say exactly when, but we prayerfully hope that our family will grow by one by the end of this year. In this process there are many reasons for concern and worry (financial, health/developmental, attachment), but God is faithful and so we live thankfully in his providence.

Kevin and Muriel Lewis – Congo

Morgan is our biological son and we always looked forward to having more of our very own.  After years of trying to conceive with no success, we turned our focus to adoption. Our pastor, David Foster, who was called home to Heaven earlier this year, always urged us to "get up out of our La-Z-Boy & dare to dream a big, hairy audacious dream." God’s message kept getting louder and louder.  As we got more serious about adoption, the more fearful we got.  God sent yet another messenger in our lives, a guest speaker at our church said "fear only gets louder, when you start doing something that matters." It is beyond words what it feels like to be adopting two 3-year old twin brothers from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Africa. It is clear that adoption is part of God's great big plans for us. HIS timing is perfect and we anxiously wait for the day when our sons will finally be home wrapped in our arms.  

Trevor and Janie Lubiens - U.S.

At the age of 8 months, Jamie was diagnosed with a Wilms Tumor, a type of kidney cancer.  She underwent emergency surgery and 14 weeks of chemotherapy.  The Lord had his hand upon her and she has always loved to tell the story of God’s faithfulness to her from the beginning. After four years of trying to have children, it became apparent that the reason we couldn’t conceive was due to Jamie’s cancer and treatment so many years before. This was a hard pill to swallow, but ultimately led to our choosing adoption. We will never forget the night God confirmed our decision at the ShowHope production of “Cinderella” to benefit adoption.  As we left the Schirmerhorn that night, we knew for certain that adoption was God’s plan for our family. On January 27, 2013, we got a call that there was a brand-new, beautiful baby boy waiting for us if we would have him. Two days later, we wrapped up our precious gift and brought him home for the first time. The timing was not at all what we had anticipated, but we cannot believe God chose us to be Kellom’s forever family. Thanks be to God for His unfailing love and faithfulness!

Jonathan and Shawna Sheahen – Madagascar

Jonathan and Shawna have been married for 13 years and have been blessed with three boys, Silas (9), Eli (7) and Cooper (7).  They love God with all of their heart.  In response to God's grace and love they are hoping to adopt a little girl from Madagascar.  For the past few years this family has been praying and talking about adopting, but it wasn't until recently that they decided to step out in faith and begin their adoption journey.  As of right now they are waiting on approval from USCIS and will then send their dossier on to Madagascar. They hope to be united with the sweet little girl that God has chosen for their family before the year’s end.  They have already seen God's faithfulness and provision poured out abundantly on their journey. They know that whatever His plan is for their family, they will continue to trust in Him, no matter what. Jonathan is the principal at Lipscomb Academy’s elementary school.

Brian and Melissa Snow - Ethiopia (adopting three)

We’ve always known we wanted to adopt. Then, after losing two children to miscarriage, the Lord showed us that the time was now. When we first started our adoption journey we were going to adopt domestically and only one child because that's all our savings would allow. But the Lord had other plans for our family. Our beautiful daughters are from Ethiopia and are biological sisters. We saw our girls on a special needs waiting list and we couldn't get their beautiful faces out of our minds. They needed to be chosen quickly or they would have to be split up to make them more “adoptable”. From the moment we saw our girls’ pictures we have continually prayed for them and from the very first call to inquire about them we knew they were meant to be a part of the Snow family. We now have three handsome little boys, three beautiful daughters and a total surprise baby due in September. God is so good! For more details visit our blog at http://mel-snow.blogspot.com/

David and Melissa Willmarth - U.S.

We are David and Melissa Willmarth and we have been married for almost 20 years. We are unable to have children of our own and we are excited to grow our family through adoption. In 2008 we began our adoption journey. Since that time we have had a few failed adoptions along the way. It has not been an easy journey but we know that it will be worth it when we get to bring our child home. Our adoption will be a domestic adoption here in the United States.