Sunday, September 20, 2015

Meet the Stacey Family: A Beautiful Story of Faith and Adoption


This month, I am interviewing several families who are adopting children profiled on Reece's Rainbow and sharing their stories on the blog. 

Have you heard of Reece's Rainbow?


Reece's Rainbow is an amazing foundation that helps to raise funds to bring waiting children home from overseas. There are many families wanting to adopt special needs children, but the overwhelming cost can be a barrier. 


To learn more, click here


This week I am interviewing the Stacey Family. I literally got chills reading their story! Get to know them and check out their amazing testimony below. 




First of all, I'd love to hear a bit about your family!

We, Jared and Tera Stacey, are the parents of four biological children. We have two girls: Portlynn, age 7 and Maddalyn, age 6. We also have two boys: Jarod, age 4 and Bennett who is 2.

It started with just the two of us; we were young and ready to take on the world. We had our first child Portlynn during the first year of our marriage, she is now 7 years old and the military moved us to Germany when she was just a few months old. Wow, what an eye opener it was to live in another country at such a young age! We endured two deployments during our time in Germany and this is when Tera really found her faith. Jared had grown up in a faithful Christian home and Tera grew up with basketball games and tournaments as her faith. Our differences were dramatic, but our love for each other and willingness to lean on the Lord was strong enough to endure the hardest trials.

Jared served in the United States Army on Active duty for 12 years and deployed 4 times in support of OEF / OIF, he was recently medically retired from injuries incurred in Afghanistan. Tera is a Nursing student and will graduate in December.



Who are you adopting?

We are adopting a little boy with Down syndrome from Eastern Europe. He is listed as "Sheldon" on Reece's Rainbow. He turned two on August 21st and had surgery on August 17th in his country. We had trip 1 in July and he really needs to get home as soon as possible for healthcare reasons. We have volunteered to pay for his healthcare in country so that he would not have to suffer. His name will be Andrew.



Andrew

What led you to adopt? Did you feel called to Andrew?

Tera had always believed in God and as a young girl she can remember praying often, even though there was no religion in her home. She began attending church faithfully after she met Jared and really started to grow in her personal relationship with Jesus. She found herself praying non stop, multiple times a day for the safety of her husband, for peace while he was deployed, and for her small children’s hearts who were hurting so badly to have their daddy home. When she was pregnant with Jarod, at 27 weeks, she had a vivid dream or more an encounter with God himself. He had given her some clear answers to the path she was being led on and about the possibility of Jarod being born with Down syndrome. He didn’t give her all the reasons as to why they were being chosen to be his parents, but he gave her enough to keep her interest and to continue to follow his lead. 


Jarod
When Jarod was born, we were so shocked to find out he had Down syndrome, but at the same time we kept referencing the “dream”. We knew he had been placed in our lives for a reason, but we wanted God to give us the whole reason and we wanted it right then. Jared was home on leave from Afghanistan and would need to return in just two short weeks, leaving Tera to grieve and try to process this all on her own. We turned to prayer. We asked others to pray with us and for us. To pray that Jared could return early. We prayed for strength and health. We prayed for guidance and we prayed for our girls to be understanding and compassionate. 


Bennett
Jared returned home a couple months early and we were relocated a few more times on military assignments. Later on in 2011, Jared deployed again, for the fourth time. Jared states that his relationship with Jesus grew stronger each day as a soldier. He found himself praying most of the day while on missions and praying for his safety. No training is enough to keep you safe in a time of war, the higher power is necessary to shield you from the line of fire and give you protection. He says there is no way that there is no God, when you have walked through what I have walked through in the line of fire, you know that God is protecting you. His testimonies are endless and he would love to openly share them with anyone who is interested. 


Maddalyn
In 2011, he was injured in Afghanistan. People would ask why God would allow an injury, but it was all part of God’s plan. A plan that we didn’t always know what was in store, but we are blown away in amazement at what his plan has been for us so far. He was with us as Jared recovered and he gave us strength to get through it all. Sometimes things that seem bad happen because God wants to use you in a special way. It led us to a path where Jared was medically retired permanently from the military.



Portlynn
Prior to Jared’s medical retirement we had spent numerous hours praying for orphans, specifically the ones on Reece’s Rainbow. We had a special part in our heart for the children with special needs that were waiting for their family. We hadn’t felt like the timing was right yet and we were waiting for a clear sign for us to jump in and bring one home. We instead spent time advocating for them and fundraising for friends who were pursuing adoption. In our hearts we knew that we personally would not be able to add to our family while living the military life; specifically we wouldn’t be able to pursue adoption. 


After Jared was medically retired and granted a permanent retirement, we felt strongly led to pursue adoption. We felt that God was waiting for us to be able to be a complete family without the distractions and trials of deployments and trainings. Tera had done a lot of research on countries that we could pursue adoption in with Jared’s medical conditions. We then came across a little boy on Reece’s Rainbow that was in Europe and had Down syndrome. We prayed faithfully for God’s guidance and his will. Our hearts were in it fully and we could clearly see our path. We committed to him just a few weeks after receiving Jared’s retirement recommendation and we asked for family and friends to begin praying too.


What stage of the adoption are you in right now? How can people help?

We leave in less than 8 weeks!

We are pretty desperate to raise the rest of our funds! We have volunteered for Andrew's medical costs and this will make us very tight financially. We are praying that God will lead us in the right direction for funds. Jared was retired very fast in January after his injuries and we are still waiting on the VA to pay our benefits. Our savings has dwindled and any and all help is a huge blessing.


Right now we are $3200.00 short. We have a fundraiser going right now, and it's a big one!

We are giving away three prizes: a beautiful quilt, a iPad, and a kindle.


A $10.00 donation gets you an entry into a raffle. Three names will be drawn, and then the first winner gets first pick of prize, and so on. Tax deductible donations can be made here. Please e-mail your receipt to Terastacey@gmail.com


Check out the Facebook event for more details!



Thank you Tera and Jared! My prayers are with you and your beautiful family as you bring home your new son.

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