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Dexter, Chelsea Families Celebrate National Adoption Month with Stories of Love

Two local families recently joined the growing list of couples adopting children from foreign countries.

National Adoption Month has a special meaning for Chelsea residents Craig and Jennifer Morr, who hope to bring their new son home from Ethiopia in a few months.

The couple began their journey to adopt a child as a sibling for Gabe, 10, Natalie, 8, and 4-year-old Audrey when Jennifer Morr felt a calling to care for orphaned children in Africa. After much prayer, she went on a mission trip in May 2011 to Lola Children’s Home orphanage in Ethiopia.

“The trip changed my life,” she said. “The children I met were treasures and I realized they were just like my children at home, but with a difficult past and likely a more challenging future.”

The Morr family began the adoption process in March 2011. The dossier was submitted in July, and in September, during a two-day adoption fundraising yard sale, they received a call from their adoption coordinator who emailed them information about a 9-month-old boy.

“We were overjoyed to say the least,” Jennifer said. “We have two trips to take to Ethiopia to complete the adoption, the first to meet and formally adopt him and the second a few weeks later to bring him home. God willing, we hope to have him home next spring.”

Their new son will enter a family that is deeply involved in the community and active at Chelsea First United Methodist Church; while previously living in Dexter they were active members of Peace Lutheran Church.

Craig, director of quality at NSF International in Ann Arbor, coaches Gabe’s flag football and baseball teams. Jennifer, a stay-at-home mom, is a Brownie co-leader for Natalie’s troop, and is volunteer sponsorship coordinator for Lola Children’s Home orphanage.

Morr family adopts son

The Morrs are among several area families who have welcome children into their family or are excitedly waiting to do so.

Chelsea residents Paul and Sarah Sauers became a foster family in 2003 through the Washtenaw County Department of Human Services, when their birth children were 8, 11, 14, and 16.

“We felt our family was in a position to love a child who needed a family, even for just a little while,” Sarah Sauers said.

Their first placement was a 7-month-old bi-racial boy who legally became the couple’s son three years later.

“It was difficult at times wondering about his future but we tried to just live and love one day at a time, trusting the Lord, knowing we were doing what he wanted us to do at the time,” Sauers said.

Their second placement through DHS was a newborn girl, Anna, who returned to live with her aunt and siblings three months later.

“This was a very difficult time but the right decision for Anna’s future,” Sauers said. “We began to feel an increasing desire to adopt another child needing a forever family and providing Caleb with a sibling of color to share his heritage and adoption.”

The couple met with Adoption Associates in January 2008, and five months later, adopted Joyanna, a 7-month-old African-American child, in a quick and smooth process.

“Our family’s journey of adoption is a calling to fulfill the command for Christians to care for the orphans and fatherless throughout scripture and a second step in our pro-life belief to offer women in crisis pregnancies an adoption plan for their babies,” Sauers said. “We’re now actively involved in an adoption community in the Ann Arbor area and learning much about being a trans-racial family. We are blessed.”

For more information on National Adoption Month, visit www.childwelfare.gov/adoption/nam.

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