Kingsley Family Story
"Our adoption story:
From four to seven all in a year. Only God can move mountains like we have seen. Some would call it a miracle. The completion of our family has been a marathon and a sprint all wrapped into one.
Our endurance, fueled by love, will carry us to the finish line, and bringing home sweet Levi will be our reward.
Our family recently completed the Eastern European adoption of two older teenage sisters, Maliya (17) and Mira (16), after God led our family to the girls through an orphan hosting program. Maliya and Mira joined Natalie (11) and Nolan (10) and made our family six.
But God wasn’t finished with us yet. Just when we thought His plan was complete, God showed us a sweet boy from the other side of the world that tugged on our heartstrings. Our family was perfect, we thought, in every way. Our daughters were settling in and all the children were forming bonds, laughing, and growing as individuals. This sweet boy that starred at me from my computer screen had Down syndrome. I knew no one with that condition, had no experience with it, and yet his sweet smile kept sneaking into my mind. I could hear his little laugh, I could see his chubby hands in mine. I could see his need for a mother and father. We could give that. But…Down syndrome. “We couldn’t do that, right God?!”
Growing up with a brother who had special needs and is now my angel, I knew there was something special about Levi when I saw his sweet face. There was more to him than a label. I wanted to show the world that he was capable, that he was deserving, that he was worthy, strong, and able! It rang deep within me, the need to bring him home. I knew he was my son, but I couldn’t bring myself to share my desires with Aaron. He had already made it clear that the last adoption had drained his energy and our finances.
I had been praying for months that Aaron’s heart would open to Levi, but I kept my desires quiet. I knew there was no way. If it was God’s will, I knew He would do the hard work. I did not mention it to him, as I knew he did not want to adopt again. I had “jokingly” prayed to God that this gift of opening Aaron’s heart would be the best birthday present, which was coming around the corner.
After months of silence, on the evening before my birthday, Aaron saw Levi for the first time as his little face popped up on my computer. Without my prompting, he insisted Levi should be a Kingsley. What a miracle! God delivered on a miracle that was previously presumed to be out of reach. But isn’t that what He does! He was paving the way for our beautiful family! Aaron was sprinting forward to bring Levi home before I could even think through his response. He didn’t bat an eye at the label, didn’t think twice. Only God, I kept thinking.
Building a longer table and not a higher fence was our motto, but were we taking on too much, I wondered. Were we capable of raising one more? Was a child with Down syndrome out of our league? After much praying, it became clear we were not equipped, but that God had indeed called us, and so with our faith, we knew He would equip us!
Weeks later, we committed to Levi on his fifth birthday and have been on a sprint ever since. Filling our days researching, completing paperwork, visiting GiGi’s Playhouse, and meeting with families of children with Down syndrome has been our new normal…and we are loving it!
We feel so blessed to be bringing Levi into our family. In 5 short weeks we will be hopping on a plane to snuggle up to his warm cheeks, wrap him up in love, and bring him home. Would you please consider helping us close our last funding gap to do this? "
- Gretchen Kingsley
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