Our Stories Archives - The Dream Village

An Adoption Story || Bringing Gray Home || Video

Here is a glimpse into Joe and Regan’s first moments with Gracyn.

Pray for them as they finalize everything in Delhi this week and then adjust to a new life with Gray! I’m sure the next few weeks will be exciting and trying.

Grab some tissues before hitting play…


Our Stories Archives - The Dream Village

An Adoption Story || Bringing Gray Home

The first time I spoke to Regan and Joe was less than a month ago. Little did we know then that the money to cover my expenses to travel to India would be raised in just a couple weeks and we would meet each other on the other side of the world! You guys… your support gave this beautiful family a priceless gift. Their first moments with Gracyn were hard and holy. How do you explain to a 2-year-old what is waiting for her when you’re taking her from the only people who have loved her? That girl was so brave and so scared. You can see it in the photos. One day, Regan and Joe will be able to show her these photos and tell her stories of the day they met.

By the second day, Gray was a new girl! Smiles and sass all around! She has her daddy wrapped around her finger already and she and mama are going to be best friends.

Enjoy the photos of their first few days together. And THANK YOU. To those of you who supported me for this trip whether through donations, discounted sessions, or prayer, I am so grateful. Your gifts were God’s message to me that this is his purpose for me. Thank you will never be enough…


Our Stories Archives - The Dream Village

An Adoption Story || Meet the Beech Family

I was headed to Mississippi a few months ago to document an adoption day for a family. The woman called and asked if there was any way I could meet with a friend of hers to document her family’s adoption story, too. Well, of course I said yes!

Although I wasn’t able to be there for the actual adoption day for the Beech Family, we spent a few hours at the park and they shared their story with me. They were so gracious and sweet. It was a hot (and I mean HOT) day in Southern Mississippi but we found the coolest, shadiest spot we could find and their story spilled out. It was so heart-warming to see them with their two little ones and even sweeter to see their 16-year-old with his siblings.

The thing I love about adoption stories is that every single one is different. Every family has a unique story. Their motivation is different. Their family situation is different. Their children are different. But as different as they are, every story touches my heart in the same way. My hope is that they touch you, too.

Enjoy this little snippet of the Beech Family.


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Skylar's Adoption Story // Video

When God connects the dots...

Recently, a friend of mine tagged me in a post on Facebook because her friend was looking for someone to document their adoption day. Ashli and I connected and I knew immediately this was something God wanted me to do.

I drove to Mississippi and spent a few days getting to know the Hernandez Family. Alonso and Ashli made a huge impression on me. Their hearts for foster care and adoption are evident in everything they say and do. And Skylar is the most adorable, sassy, lovable girl you’ll ever meet. She ran in and out of the room as we were filming and every time she climbed in Ashli or Alonso’s lap, I felt the overwhelming reality of God’s grace and love.

Skylar is SO loved. As one of her great grandmothers says in the video, she was created to be in this family. I was so honored to be a part of their adoption day as well as the celebration day! A longer version will be coming soon, but for now, watch the highlights of this special adoption story.

Ashli can be reached for speaking engagements via her Facebook Page.

Original music for this video written by Terrance Quaites. (www.therealtq.com)


Our Stories Archives - The Dream Village

My Son's Meeting with His Birth Mom -- An Adoption Story

An Adoption Story submitted by Founder, Trisha LaCoste

“When can I meet my birth mom?”

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this over the last several years. Jayden has always known he’s adopted. We’ve always talked openly about his birth mom. I even have a photo on my dresser of her holding Jayden as a baby. I always tell him how lucky he is to have three moms who love him… a birth mom, an adoptive mom, and a step mom. 

So after talking to Jayden’s dad and step mom, we decided a meeting was long overdue.

Jayden was very quiet when we got to the meeting spot and I could see his wheels spinning. He anxiously watched the door waiting for her to walk in. He leaned over to get a better angle of the door every time it opened.

And then she was there!

The question of the last decade was answered: When can I meet my birth mom? Today, baby. Today is the day. This is Alicia. 

I made the introductions and we chatted for 2 hours. Alicia’s step mom (who was an integral part of Jayden’s adoption) was there, too. I was grateful for her because she carried the conversation when I got lost in my own thoughts. Jayden answered any questions that were asked of him with a soft, “Yes, ma’am.” He was very reserved compared to his normal rambunctious, 12-year-old self. But every once in a while his typical grin would erupt from the recesses of his over-processed thoughts. 

I saw the joy in Alicia’s face just being in his presence. She watched his every move without making it obvious. She was just a child when she had Jayden… but seeing the adult version of her made my heart soar. She’s a mom. She’s a hard worker. She’s learning all the things life teaches us as we age. And it made me so proud to be in her presence. 

What do you say to the woman who gave her child to you?

A woman who made the hardest decision of her life to make sure her son had the best one possible? How do you convey the gratitude in your heart for one of the greatest blessings of your life? A blessing that was only made possible through her painful sacrifice? 

There’s no way to thank her for my son. There’s no way to express the magnitude of the gratitude in my heart. But I know the LEAST I can do is let her know him, too. Allowing her into Jayden’s life isn’t a threat to me. She will never replace me and I will never replace her. We each have a place in his life… and there’s enough love to go around! 

I don’t know what the future holds, but I do know that Jayden no longer has to wonder what Alicia looks like or what her voice sounds like. He can now say that he has his birth mom’s smile. He knows. He’s seen it! The unknown is now known and I’m certain Jayden has a peace that I could never give him. And for me, that is PRICELESS.


Our Stories Archives - The Dream Village

Vincent's Adoption Story // Video

May 8, 2017… the day Vincent joined his forever family. Watch how quickly he warms up when he meets them!


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Avi's Adoption Story // Video

After just a few months at home, Avi was a completely different girl. Watch her transformation below!

 


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Maia // China

Kristinjoy and Tim had been told that Maia was at an orphanage further away than the other kids and would more than likely be arriving last. We walked through the doors of the colorful room and they decided to settle in for some waiting.

It couldn’t have been ten minutes before a care taker walked through the door with a beautiful little girl. Her wide eyes looked confused as she scanned the room. Kristinjoy looked up and said with excitement, “Is that her? Tim! It’s her!” Tim’s “WOW” was followed by some scurrying to grab the treats they had brought and then they timidly walked over to their daughter. As the care taker handed Maia to Kristinjoy, her sweet, round face scrunched into a ball of tears. Tim and Kristinjoy knew they had their work cut out for them in earning this little girl’s trust but they were up for it!

They sat on the couch with Maia and gave her a red sucker and her tears let up. She sat in her mom’s lap as Kristinjoy spoke sweet words in her ear. Tim sat next to them in what looked like disbelief. The daughter they had been loving and waiting for was finally in their arms. The joy filled the entire room.

See some of Maia’s first moments with Tim and Kristinjoy below.


Our Stories Archives - The Dream Village

Avi // India

Avi was three years old when Hal and Carey met her in an orphanage halfway across the world in India. The sterile, white-walled building was all she’d ever known.

The orphanage required parents to visit the orphanage for three days so their child could become a little familiar with them before leaving. This way, when they left, mom and dad would be familiar faces and Avi would cling to them. Avi never warmed up much during those three days. She was fascinated with the nail polish Carey had brought, but other than that not much interested her about her new mom and dad. She was old enough to know what was about to happen next and she was probably terrified and sad.

The goodbye ceremony at the orphanage was emotional for every one in that room. Prayers were recited, songs were sung, scriptures were read and then everyone kissed Avi goodbye. The orphanage director handed Avi to her mom as she cried and screamed. We jumped into waiting cars to head to Cochin so we would be near the airport for our flights the next day. Avi cried herself to sleep on the drive. The next morning she was still somber but she clung to Carey just like the orphanage director said she would.

This sweet girl has been home for almost five years now and her transformation is incredible. Her sad eyes have been replaced with joy! Take a look at her first few days with her mom and dad and then take a minute to watch her video. You’ll be glad you did!


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Lucy // China

There were nervous smiles on the faces of all the families picking up their children that day. Everyone had the same tight-throated laughter and tried desperately to distract themselves while they waited for their child to be brought into the colorful room. When Lucy’s caretaker brought her into the room, Josh and Amy’s faces lit up like a Christmas tree. The care taker handed Lucy to her mom and she began to cry. Amy, who came prepared with a bottle, quickly gave it to her daughter and the tears eventually subsided. For Josh and Amy, those first moments seemed to be filled with excited anticipation mingled with uncertainty. There was obvious relief that they were finally holding their baby girl… but there was also a heavy blanket of sorrow for this child who had lost so much for her 18 months of life.

No family every knows how a child will react when he or she meets her forever family. Although Lucy cried, she clung to her mom and didn’t let go of the bottle she had brought to comfort Lucy. It was almost as if time stood still in that little room in Zhengzhou, China. Four families met their children that day and nothing else mattered.

Get a glimpse of Lucy’s first few moments with her mom and dad below. You can also read more of Josh and Amy’s adoption journey here.


Our Stories Archives - The Dream Village

Vincent // China

Adoption has always been a part of my life… almost for as long as I can remember.

I have three adopted siblings, an adopted son, an adopted nephew, adopted cousins… the list is long. In 2014, April (my friend/business partner/sister from another mister) and I traveled to India to document an adoption and I made it a goal to travel as often as possible with families who are adopting. Adoption is so dear to my heart.

Let’s rewind for a minute. I spent my first 9 years of life in a tiny town in northeast Ohio. Minerva was the home town of both my parents and it seemed like we were related to everyone! Bree was one of those relatives — our grandparents were siblings. I moved off to Wisconsin and then later to Alabama so the last time I really remember seeing Bree we were somewhere around 8 or 9 years old. We may have crossed paths at some point after that but my memory is horrible.

Thank goodness for Facebook, right? Somewhere over the last 10 years, we became friends on Facebook. I watched from my corner of the world as she and her husband had a baby, adopted a daughter from China, moved to Denver, etc.

Then one day a little over a year ago, she messaged me. She and Cody were adopting from China again and she wondered about the possibility of me tagging along to document the day they would meet their son. Well… long story short… the details worked out and April and I went to China in May.

There is no way to describe the feelings involved in adoption.

It’s something you just have to experience. Even if you’re just a bystander, the emotions in the air are thick. It’s heavy and happy all at the same time. An orphan is connecting to strangers he’s never met. He’s supposed to call them “Mom” and “Dad” but he’s never even seen them in real life. He’s about to leave everything he’s known for a place he’s never seen and every child responds differently. It was amazing to watch Vincent warm up so quickly.

Grab a tissue! Here is a glimpse of the days leading up to Vincent’s “Gotcha Day” and the moments when Cody, Bree, Lucy, and Landry met Vincent for the first time.