Jared and Crystal have been married for six years and have five awesome kids! Ashlyn who is 10 is Crystal’s from a previous relationship but she calls Jared “daddy”, Grayson who is 4 was adopted from Eastern Europe this spring, Callen who is 3 was also adopted from Eastern Europe out of the same orphanage Grayson was in, Kaeden who is 2 was adopted domestically at birth, and Savannah who is 1 was also adopted domestically at birth.
From the very first date they shared Jared and Crystal knew adoption would be in their future. Crystal’s father was adopted at the age of 2, and Jared has volunteered and ran fundraisers for Child Advocates, which is a domestic organization to help children in foster care and be those children’s advocates to the courts. Crystal is a stay at home mom and Jared works for a non-destructive testing company as a manager, and also does training on the side.
After the adoption of their two youngest domestically Crystal kept being drawn back to the beautiful faces on Reece’s Rainbow. In the summer of 2012 another Reece’s Rainbow family posted on Facebook about a girl from Eastern Europe needing a host family for the summer, they thought this would be a great opportunity and excitedly agreed to host her. They fell in love with this thirteen year old girl and started making plans to make her their daughter; up until this point Jared had not really been on board about going overseas for adoption. God had even bigger plans for them; they both felt someone would still be missing from their family. After much prayer they found Grayson and knew he was meant to be theirs as well. God still was not done in his plans for this family. The 13 year old girl was not able to be adopted by Jared and Crystal due to some extended family that she still had, and even though this devastated them they believed it was in God’s hands even if they could not see the plan yet. Just as God had led them to Eastern Europe he had then led them to Callen who was in the same orphanage as Grayson. They lost a daughter on that trip but gained another son.
They talked about going back for the girl if her circumstances were to change, but as the days went by they realized that the circumstances were not going to change even though they did not share their realizations with each other. God’s plan started to present itself right after court for Grayson and Callen when a little girl that Crystal had been a Guardian Angel for received a donation. This same girl Crystal had shown Jared several times before, but he would not listen at those times since they were already committed to a boy and girl. Jared knew that another year and a half of fundraising and saving would be too difficult with two new children being added and would take away from the bonding time that they needed with their new kids. After Berkeley received this donation Crystal mentioned what her account was, and little did she know that Jared was working behind her back already with Reece’s to check more on her and asking other people what they thought Crystal’s reaction would be after having just been devastated over the girl they had originally came for, and he was informed how Crystal had been inquiring about her non-stop, so Jared approached Crystal about her, and like he had been told she was ecstatic. They both knew that they would need to move fast on this and God had done his part of making that easier to do, and now it was up to them to take yet another leap of faith. The night before Jared was scheduled to return home they talked and decided to commit to Berkeley on one condition. That condition would be if their current kids were on board. When Jared arrived home he spoke with Ashlyn, and right away she began begging Jared to go get her, and bring her sister home. Ashlyn thought she would never have a sister close to her age after the 13 year old could not come, and as Jared discussed Berkeley with her she became very excited.
They thought at the time that God was leading them to Eastern Europe to adopt a 13 year old, but they now believe God was leading them there to find 2 boys and eventually open the door for Berkeley and her Guardian Angel to be united. He used the 13 year old as the vehicle to bring them there and open Jared’s eyes to what Crystal had been seeing all along. They are now ALL very excited, especially Ashlyn to be adding Berkeley to finish out their family.
7/16/13—HOMESTUDY in PROCESS
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at buildingourfamilythroughlove.blogspot.com