The Dewberrys have been married for 15 years. They have six adopted children from Eastern Europe, Kolya 17 years, Angelica 17 years, Kristjan 15 years, Bogdan 11 years, Tania 8 years & Stopha 6 years. Kolya was adopted as a teen from Eastern Europe. The Dewberrys hosted him through a International Hosting Program. Tania, Stopha have the diagnosis of HIV. Nicole found Tania on RR when trying to locate an HIV child for a hosting program she volunteered for at the time. They were not looking to adopt at that point but God had different plans. When they found Tania they had just returned from Eastern Europe after losing a teen, Sergiy they went to adopt. They had hosted this young man but the pressure from his peers caused him to buckle. Joe and Nicole had used all their personal financial resources available to adopt Kolya & then Sergiy. There were no funds left to adopt Tania. Folks gathered around the Dewberry’s in the most moving & amazing way & helped raise ALL the funds needed to bring Tania home. When they were in country adopting Tania, Joe and Nicole could not figure out why funds were continuing to come in, then they met Stopha. Those extra funds along with fundraising brought home little Stopha. Stopha had a laundry list of medical issues along with his HIV but it was very clear with the right medical care he could have all his medical needs met in the US and flourish.
The Dewberrys over the years after Sergiy returned to Eastern Europe to adopt teens that they were lead to or reached out to them like a young man that sought Nicole out personally knowing she did mission work in Eastern Europe and advocated for teens. Each one was a massive loss as these boys buckled under the pressure or lies of others. There is much rejoicing in these losses as there has been redemption and relationships mended and the Dewberrys are still in touch with all the boys they lost. Gods word does not go void nor the love you show. Each loss was a hard hit to their family but they focused on God and what he wanted them to do. They now had a dossier ready to go but no child with their last loss. So they decided to adopt a child with a special need (HIV). That is when they found Bogdan on Reece’s Rainbow. They had to choose to waste a whole new dossier or jump. They prayed and decided to make the move. Nicole and her oldest son, Kolya left for Eastern Europe not even fully funded too adopt Bogdan but trusted God to meet their needs along the way. He did and while in country adopting Bogdan, doing mission work and advocating for children they met Angelica and Kristjan. They wanted a family but after spending time with Nicole they said only if it was their family. God orchestrated such an awesome set of events in what looked like an impossible adoption God made it possible. During the adoption Nicole was short on funds as she remained in Eastern Europ for 4 months until she and all the kids could return home together. God met their needs literally daily. They would have one days money worth for food and a donation would come in. There were times when the kids would ask Nicole how will we eat tomorrow. She would respond God will provide as He has and He did. They prayed for God met the need. And once gain the hands and feet of Christ, you all gathered around the Dewberrys to see them all home. Once they arrived home a grant had just arrived to cover all the remaining adoption expenses they owed. God is good! Good is faithful.
The heart and passion of the Dewberry family is to serve others no matter where they are at & where God leads whether is be with teens, special needs or our servicemen. Joe & Nicole together have been working with at-risk youth for a combined 22 years. Joe works as a Network Engineer. Nicole retired from her dog-training center to be a stay at home mom & foot solider for God. Nicole and her children go back and forth to Eastern Europe doing missions work reaching out to teens to teach them about Christ, show them love & advocate for the ones that want a family. In this past several years Nicole & Joe have witnessed the spiritual battles for these teens like no other time in their life in Ukraine and here in the United States. The Dewberrys know God does not make any promises when He calls you to seek after His children, the orphans but they do know He does call you to make a move. Even if it I just praying for a family adopting. Prayer can and will move mountains. God never gave up on the Dewberrys so they believe they have no right to give up on anyone. They know it is not about them but about being Christ centered & in the service of others.
How did the Dewberrys meet Daniel and Bo? Bo is nicknamed Banana by a joke he told Nicole thinking she would walk away. It did not work, Nicole made a wise crack back at him. The two of them connected at that point. Nicole and Kolya would go to his soccer games and cheer Bogdan and Bo on. Bo and their son, Bogdan were best friends. The last times Nicole was with him he called her Mama across the yard in front of all the school and staff, then a couple days later said he hoped for a family to come for him and he wanted to be adopted. Nicole wanted to adopt him but wanted to make sure if was Gods calling not her own so she knew the best way was to advocate for him and see the family God would bring fourth. For over 9 months she advocated for him with many families wanting to adopt him but no one fully jumped. Daniel, Nicole met him through a young man that is very dear to their family as this was his little brother. Nicole had no idea the plans God had for adopting Daniel as many had inquired as well to adopt him, but no one jumped. But over the 9 months of advocating for him, the last 5 months as the family was praying over the remaining boys they were advocating for and they felt lead they were the family for him as God impressioned Daniel deeply on their hearts like Bo. Daniel had told Nicole he wanted a family, and told his brother to relay messages to Nicole over the months that he still wanted a family and would do anything to help them. He would work or clean, just to have a family. But as tradition goes with the Dewberrys, they knew they needed to push the boys back out there and let God lead. Then The Dewberrys were all brought together as it has been 9 months and they knew it was time to jump for these two boys that mean so much to them. They are ready to see them home.
Our family thanks you for all your prayers and support & helping us bring home our children that have made it home & the ones that have not. We know the Lords word does not go void nor does the love given. He will always be glorified no matter the outcomes!
6/20/15—APPOINTMENT JULY 20
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at andthisonematters.blogspot.com