Nothing is Random: An Adoption Story

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Nothing is Random: An Adoption Story

Nothing is random, and our recent interaction with a concertgoer during the NEEDTOBREATHE Caves World Tour proves it. As longtime supporters of For Others, NEEDTOBREATHE graciously shared our mission with fans and signed a Martin guitar for a giveaway. Any attendee who made a donation and tagged us on our socials was automatically entered to win this one-of-a-kind guitar. We received hundreds of responses (THANK YOU), so we randomly selected a winner using a number generator. The result led us to Chris, whose family recently adopted their daughter! Chris graciously shared his story with us, and we’re honored to share it with you, too.

Love at First Sight

Chris and his family’s adoption story begins with his brother and sister-in-law. The couple provided respite care for children transitioning into or out of the foster care system. A few years ago, they got word of a newborn in a nearby hospital. The baby girl, Ellie, needed a place to go once her health stabilized enough to leave the NICU. When she was discharged, Chris’s brother and sister-and-law brought her home at 11 days old.

Chris, his wife, and son soon met little Ellie, and it was love at first sight.

“She was so sweet and beyond adorable,” Chris says, recalling their first meeting. The family knew she belonged with them.

After discussing it, Chris and his wife decided to get licensed for foster care with the intent of fostering to adopt. They brought Ellie home when she was 9 months old. When the parental rights were terminated for Ellie’s biological parents, and the state completed its required search for next-of-kin placements, the family began planning for adoption.

“Our daughter was already part of our family,” Chris says. “I was Daddy, my wife was Mommy, my son was brother.”

Unexpected Trials

Shortly after, Chris and his family received worrying news: the state had missed a potential family connection in their search. A couple in Utah had adopted two of Ellie’s half-brothers, and they wanted to adopt her, as well. While the state usually tries to keep siblings together, Chris wasn’t sure this would be the best decision for Ellie.

“We were absolutely terrified that our 2-year-old daughter was going to be removed from our home and the only family she had ever known,” he says.

Chris’s family spent the next year and a half attending court dates and doing everything in their power to keep their daughter. In the beginning, Chris remembers feeling discouraged because everything seemed to be against them. However, their Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) stepped up in a big way. A CASA is appointed by a judge for the sole purpose of advocating for the best interests of abused or neglected children. She agreed that Ellie would be served best by remaining with Chris’s family.

After a long and emotional battle, Ellie’s adoption was finalized in April of this year! Despite all the challenges, the stress, the exhaustion, the tears, and the overwhelming sense of helplessness, they stand on the other end knowing they’d do it all again for their little girl. 

“She is our world,” Chris says. “She is the love of our life.”

Nothing is Random

From Ellie’s first days out of the NICU to Chris winning the signed NEEDTOBREATHE guitar, what seemed like chance encounters turned out to be divine appointments. Our seemingly serendipitous meeting with Chris reminds us that nothing is random. It’s an honor to be supported by amazing families like Chris’s and to give back to other children and families like theirs. To help make a difference for kids like Ellie, donate today!

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