Our Story

Hi!  I’m Kelly.  I’m so glad you stopped by my blog and decided to read my story!

Paul and I were married in 1992.  We experienced some difficulty getting pregnant.  But in 1999, God blessed us with our first miracle, Elliot.  He was a healthy little boy with an easy-going, happy personality.

We immediately began trying to have another baby, not knowing how long it would take us this time.  During these months of trying to conceive, we were overwhelmingly moved toward adoption.  We had always had a desire to adopt, but we thought we would have two or three biological children and then adopt two children.  But God made it clear to us that we were to adopt then, before having any more children.  Because of my years teaching school at a racially-mixed school and because of our years in inner-city ministry, we had a heart for racial reconciliation and desired to adopt transracially — probably African American or biracial.  After making the decision to adopt, we quickly found the perfect agency to help us.  Bethany Christian Services was less than a mile from our home in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  The case worker there was thrilled to learn of our desire to adopt a black baby and rushed our application process.  During the process we also decided that we would be open to other issues that make a baby hard to place in an adoptive home:  health issues, drug use, etc.  Within 6 weeks, we had completed the paperwork, the blood tests, the home study, and the interviews.  The day I was to turn in the last of our paperwork, I took a pregnancy test to put my mind at ease — I had been feeling a little queasy.  It was positive.  I was pregnant!

We were stunned and devastated with the news of my pregnancy.  We were so sure that God was telling us to adopt, but this pregnancy really made us question that.  Had we not heard God’s voice after all?  Our friends rallied around us and encouraged us that adoption and pregnancy were both in God’s plan for us.  What a surprise!

About a month later, when I was 3 months pregnant, we brought Zachary home.  He was 3 and a half weeks old, was 10 weeks premature, tested positive for cocaine, and had suffered a stroke at birth.  He was released from the NICU at just under 5 pounds as a well-baby.  We all instantly loved him and couldn’t get enough of his tiny little body in his tiny little preemie clothes.

Six months later, Chloe entered the world the day after Christmas in the middle of a blizzard.  She was a beauty, and was a healthy little girl.  But three weeks later she was hospitalized with a urinary tract infection.  And three weeks after that, she had another infection and another stay in the hospital.  Doctors began running tests to discover what was causing her infections.  Over the next months, we discovered that Chloe only had one kidney and that her bladder didn’t work.  She was hospitalized later for low functioning kidneys and had her first surgery at four months.

That year was a year of discovery in both babies.  Zachary’s and Chloe’s health issues surfaced over the next months as they fell farther and farther behind in their development.  Zachary was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy at 9 months, with damage on both sides of his brain.  He was diagnosed with asthma when he was 1 year old and with anaphylactic allergy to peanuts when he was 13 months.  Both babies had glasses before they were one year old.  Chloe underwent lots of testing and several surgeries while doctors struggled to find answers to her puzzling health issues.  Before Chloe was a year old, we moved back to Fort Worth, Texas to be closer to the support of our families.

Today at age 8 and 7, both Zachary and Chloe are miracles!  Zachary shows hardly any signs of CP.  He runs and jumps and plays football.  He still struggles with fine motor skills and oral skills and faces some behavioral struggles caused by the CP.  He has ADHD and some sensory integration issues and a seizure disorder (complex-partial and absent seizures).  Chloe continues to progress way beyond what doctors predicted.  She is learning to walk; she signs lots of words; she reads and writes, and understands everything you tell her.  Doctors have decided she has “Chloe Syndrome” since they can’t determine what genetic syndrome she has.  She has hypotonia, static encephalopathy, low-functioning bowels, and swallow dysfunction.

All three of my children are blessings from God!  Our life is full of struggles and trials dealing with Zach’s and Chloe’s special needs.  But more than struggles and trials, our life is full of energy and thankfulness and expectation!

37 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Mary on October 5, 2009 at 9:29 PM

    I am so proud of you! Because I am your mother ,I know so much about your day to day life and just how FULL it is. You are amazing! I can’t know what you are like on the inside but outwardly you are always so calm and relaxed ,and that results in a certain amount of serenity in a household that could always be in chaos. I am excited about your blog. Can’t wait until tomorrow! Love you,Mom


  2. Posted by Daile on October 5, 2009 at 10:03 PM

    Your mama made me cry because that’s just what I was thinking! Kelly, you are an awesome woman, and a great friend, and I’m so excited to hear more about your “ordinary” life. Love you….


  3. Posted by Sandra on October 10, 2009 at 9:50 PM

    Kelly, I love the blog!!! It is so great to get the back stories and history of everything! Not to mention, keeping up with those awesome kids of yours! 🙂


  4. Posted by Selena Hubbard on October 11, 2009 at 9:23 AM


    Thanks for the insight into your daily lives. You and Paul have been special to me since the days I met you. I will share this blog with two of my friends who have special needs children of their own. As for me, I’ll just keep reading to keep up with the daily hustle and bustle.

    Love y’all



  5. Posted by Ronda C on October 12, 2009 at 10:14 PM

    Kelly, this is an awesome blog. I love reading the day-to-day stuff and the successes! Your poise in the face of huge challenges has always impressed me. Way to go!


  6. Posted by Randi on October 31, 2009 at 12:03 AM

    Kelly. I’m glad I have found your blog. You are a blessing…..Love you!


  7. Posted by Elaine bonham on November 13, 2009 at 6:01 AM

    Hi Kelly,

    You are awesome! I had no idea about your whole story – amazing. love the blog. It is a total inspiration! miss all you guys and the texas sunshine love elaine


  8. Oh Kelly! You are definitely blessed with 3 wonderful children. God only gives us what we can handle, so He thinks very highly of you and your husband! I’d love to talk with you more in depth and what therapies your children are in right now. I am a special needs teacher in Georgia and work with children with bipolar disorder, CP, ADD, ADHD, on the Autism Spectrum, and more. I’d love to get ideas from you! You can email me at jillian.mazz@gmail.com.

    Thanks and God Bless!


  9. Posted by cigi on February 23, 2010 at 4:45 PM

    Hello Kelly! Thank you for your visits to and comments on my blog. Your story is inspiring. I will be back to read more about you and your beautiful family. Best wishes.


  10. Posted by apfmd on August 14, 2010 at 1:00 PM

    your life is full of miracles and god blessing…gr8 u r a blessed mom


  11. Posted by Marie on September 28, 2010 at 8:31 AM

    I loved getting to hear your story. I already knew you were an amazing woman, but it was great to learn more about you. I love that you laugh easily and seem to have amazing grace in difficult circumstances. I am praying blessings for your beautiful family.


    • Aww, thanks, Marie! Thanks for reading and for commenting. I do agree that God has given me amazing grace — it can truly only come from Him. He is good all the time! Hope you were encouraged by reading . . . . 🙂


  12. What a beautiful story on the miracle of adoption. You MUST add it to our Adoption Blog Hop!


  13. My husband & I have always been open to adoption, but have some reservations since we don’t have our own biological children yet; we’ve been waiting patiently to see if God will bless us with a child. Thank you for sharing, you are an inspiration!


    • Wow, Kristi. Thanks for commenting. I will pray with you that God’s plan becomes your plan — whatever that may be. Meanwhile, feel free to ask any questions here. . . . 🙂


  14. Kelly,

    I’m so glad that Angel posted the link to your blog and to read your story! You probably don’t remember me, but I am inspired by your daily life.

    Katie Sciba


    • Hi, Katie! Thanks for reading and for commenting. I have such a terrible, terrible memory — you can ask Paul! But I do remember y’all a little. . . I think we had dinner at your little house. Didn’t ya’ll maybe move into the Alsups old house? Or was that a different house. It’s a vague memory, but I’m impressed I have it at all! I just peeked over at your blog, and it’s lovely! Where in TX are y’all?


  15. I have needed to find a christian Mom dealing with some of the issues we ourselves face.


  16. Posted by Arlettia Sharp on November 14, 2011 at 1:16 PM

    Kelly, I remember when I was pregnant with my daughter Magyn and your mom said if she was a girl then she was going to try go a girl too. And sure enough God blessed your mom and dad with you. And what a wonderful blessing you are. I have often wondered about your life and am very blessed by your blog. God is good all the time and know that his grace and mercy rests on your family. You were blessed with wonderful parents and brothers and I know He continues daily to give you what you need to meet each challenge as it comes. You are truly an inspiration to me. Perhaps one day I will be able to meet you and your awesome family. God bless and keep you in his care.


    • Wow. Aunt Arlettia? How in the world are you? I have such a terrible memory, I must admit I don’t remember much at all, but I of course recognize your name and all! I wish I had a better memory for stuff like that! Thank you so much for commenting on my blog. I’m glad you found it. Yes, God is more than faithful to me and my family. He proves Himself over and over! I could not walk this journey without Him! Bless you!


  17. I really wish we were neighbors.


  18. We are also adopting through Bethany Christian Services, but we are doing MN Waiting Children adoption! Did you like working with them?


    • Hi, Katie! Glad you found our blog! Yes, we LOVED Bethany! What a great organization! I pray that your experience is a great and smooth one and that God brings your little one(s) home to you quickly! Please keep me updated!!


  19. Hi Kelly, what a great blog. How lucky your children are to have you as a mom! I have daughter with CP and I’m so glad to hear someone else acknowledging how special these little people are. Maybe we can both play a part in changing peoples perspectives about special needs kids.

    Ann 🙂


    • Hi, Ann! Glad you found us! Thanks for your comment. Look forward to spending some time checking out your blog and getting to know you! 🙂 Bless you in your journey!


  20. Posted by Billy Farrell on November 1, 2013 at 7:01 PM

    I’m so proud of being your “overseas” brother. 😘


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