By The Braddock Family
We are the Braddock Bunch! We currently have 4 children: Jakob, Hunter, Genesis and Karter. After Hunter and Karter came to live with us in 2017 I thought our family was complete, then one night while searching through the Reece’s Rainbow group for a family to bless I saw the photo of a little boy that just made my heart stop. I knew that [my husband] Ronnie would think I was insane and would talk me off the “ledge”. I showed him the photo of the little boy and instead of talking me off the ledge he said “only one?” So much for being talked down!
We signed our commitment papers and were approved for three after 2020’s longest homestudy! We quickly knew who our other two boys were meant to be and happily added them to our commitment. Now we are working hard to bring them home from Eastern Europe. It has not been an easy journey, navigating the adoption world during a pandemic, but God has brought us through every challenge we have faced, from our house being struck by lightning (and not being covered by insurance) to being laid off from our jobs due to the pandemic.
We have always known that we wanted to adopt, I (Holly) spent most of my life being moved between foster homes and different family members. Being a foster parent and a safe place for children has always been a part of my life plan. Ronnie grew up in a family that adopted many children. We both found ourselves in careers that were training us to be the best special needs parents we could be. Ronnie works as a Teachers Aide in the Special Needs class and I am a Direct Support Professional. I care for adults and children with all manner of disability. Hindsight is 20/20 and I can now see how we have been preparing for our boys our entire lives!
During our adoption process, I found out first hand how very little help is available for families in the beginning part of the adoption process. That’s when many families need help and support the most. That inspired me to look for ways to help us now, and find a way to sustain that help for all the families coming after us. I also knew that I was going to need a way to work while being able to have my children with me once the boys come home. Two of them are profoundly disabled and will need round the clock care.
In 2019 and again in 2020 our community survey showed that the community wanted a thrift store. I prayed on it and God presented me with the opportunity. In November we opened Braddock’s Boutique. Right now we are using the store as a way to educate about all types of adoption, and once the store begins profiting we will be using the profits to provide grants to families at the beginning of the adoption process. I do not know a single family that doesn’t have room at the table for one more child, but I can only think of one or two families that have $5000 in their checking account to start the process.