Paul and Kim have been married for 18 years in August and tried getting pregnant right away. Paul had two children from a previous marriage so they decided to have only one child. They tried for two years to get pregnant, had 3 miscarriages but finally had Laura in October of 1998. Their family was perfect. They had 2 girls and a boy, they had custody of Paul’s 2 children. Life was filled with college for Aaron, dance classes, softball, church youth groups, jr high school, preschool and birthday parties. Then our world fell apart, in October of 2002. Aaron was killed in a car accident. The next three and a half years were like a bad dream that they couldn’t wake up from. They were all living in the same house but their family was broken. They went through life day to day hour to hour. Kim tried to keep normalcy for Caprice and Laura. They continued with the sports, dance, youth group, and school activities. Paul barely existed. He went to work, was put on anti-depressant medication and when the medication didn’t work he turned to alcohol to numb the pain. Caprice decided to go live with her mom which made the hole in our hearts even worse. Nothing seemed to be bringing their family back together at this point not even counseling.
Until the night Paul was driving and wrapped his car around a tree he had been drinking it was the anniversary of Aarons death. The police officer that had arrived on the scene first at our son’s accident arrived first at Paul’s. He said his biggest fear arriving on the scene with Paul hanging out the window was that he would again have to come to our house and tell us of the death of yet another member of our family. This was Paul’s turning point. Paul survived the accident with only bumps and bruises. Their lives changed after that night. They started going to a Christian counselor, their friends invited us to go to Cross Creek church and they started going and even started volunteering there. Life slowly got back to the “new normal”.
Friends from their new church were foster parents so they decided to honor Aaron’s life by helping other children. They started taking foster care classes and became foster parents. They have helped 9 children over the last 6 years ages 2 months to 15 years old. They have watched them come into their home scared and broken and leave happy, secure, healthy and most of them with Jesus in their heart. They see the children and keep in touch through visits, calls and cards and are so happy that they were able to help them along the way. This is one of the reasons that they would like to adopt because they would like to help a child permanently.
Another reason is, their families have adopted. Kim’s dad and mom adopted 3 children from Korea, her brother adopted a boy from Russia and her sister a boy from New Jersey. Paul’s sister adopted 2 children from Korea also. Their families and the love they have for these children have been a tremendous inspiration.
Finally one of our biggest inspirations besides their son are a couple in our church who adopted a little girl with down syndrome last year. We never thought about adopting a “special needs” child until they introduced us to a picture of “Conner” on Reeces Rainbow. We fell in love at first site. “Conner” has Hodgkin’s disease and went through 6 rounds of chemotherapy and is now in remission, he is also close to aging out. We are his last hope.
So although they were not expecting especially financially to adopt from Eastern Europe God has led them to “Conner” and they can’t wait to give him a forever home that he deserves. They also cannot wait to show Conner the unconditional love of Jesus Christ as they have shown all the children who have come into their lives. They have been shown that his is the GREATEST LOVE of ALL!!!
9/28/14—TRAVELING OCTOBER 31
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog vanaukenfamilyadoption.blogspot.com