Carrie has a passion for caring for kids. She has served as a special education teacher for 27 years, empowering children with significant disabilities.
In 2019, a child in her classroom, Addison, required homebound instruction. Every day, Carrie would visit Addison in her community living home and the two began developing a bond. Shortly after, the parental rights of Addison’s biological parents were terminated and she needed a forever adoptive home.
“Recently taking on the role of being a single parent and having two grown boys, I kept telling myself I’m just me. I want to do something, but I’m just me,” Carrie recalls. “One of my good friends said to me, ‘You can do this and it’s not just you. You have a team of friends and family members, and God is also with you. If He brings you to it, you’ll be able to do it.’”
Carrie decided to become licensed to adopt Addison. But COVID-19 began impacting Iowans around the same time, and she needed to attend all her licensing training classes with LSI Foster Care and Adoption virtually.
“It was a challenge to be all virtual, but it was neat to hear other people’s experiences and their ‘why.’ Everyone has a story,” Carrie says. “I had liked LSI’s Facebook page just to hear people’s stories and the number of children in need of homes. It gave me an opportunity to pray for the children and families impacted through foster care and adoption. It also opened up my mind and helped me realize how many people have a connection to someone who has been adopted.”
In the meantime, Addison’s community living home needed to close its doors to all visitors and family to keep residents safe. Carrie spent the time working hard to complete her trainings and just before school started last fall, she was able to reunite with Addison.
Her adoption was finalized last December. With COVID restrictions still in place, the adoption was not held in the courtroom. Instead, Carrie got on a phone call in her school principal’s office.
When Addison’s sister, Angel, was also in need of a forever home, Carrie decided to step up. The family recently celebrated Angel’s official adoption in September. Carrie’s school principal and special education director helped out by watching her students so Carrie’s fellow classroom associates could go to the adoption and cheer on the family.
“When they say it takes a village to raise a child, it really does. I had family and friends to help and if God does place it in your heart to do this, He’ll take away and give you what you need,” Carrie says. “If adopting is in your heart, know that there are so many children out there with so many different needs, and you’re not going to be in it alone.”
P.S. Carrie shared with us a portion of the prayers she wrote for her daughters for their adoption days. Read the prayers below!
I pray you know how beautiful you are. I pray you know how wonderfully made and loved you are. Addison, I pray that you, my daughter, know the depth of God’s love and fully trust that He is always with you.
“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” Psalm 139:14
God’s blessings are so bountiful, look around and you will see how God is at work. Today we are extremely blessed to add Addison’s younger sister, Angel, to our little family. God brings each new day to life in a way that we could never predict. He opens our eyes, gives us the first breath of the morning, and gives us the gift of the ones we love. Angel, God has intentionally placed you in my path and my heart is blessed to now call you my daughter. Your sparkling and full-of-energy personality has been perfectly designed by God our Father. I want to embrace and celebrate the beautiful ways your different abilities have made you into the girl you are today. I also want others to see and know how your special needs have blessed so many and changed others for the better, including myself. Angel, days can be hard and learning new things can be hard. But remember, hard is not bad. Doing hard things helps us to grow, become more patient, more loving, more understanding, and more like our Heavenly Father. Angel, as you wake each morning with your spunky personality, share it with others, as you are a blessing to all those in your path.
1 Peter 4:10 “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.”