Well, these are all of our kids! All 6 of them! We started with one, then added another one, then added 2 more, then one more and then added the last one. We are very blessed to have them all and to have a very full house! My wife and I praise God everyday for choosing us to parent these kids. None of our kids have been officially adopted but all of their parents have signed over guardianship to us. Although, we are not their “real parents” we are the best parents they have ever had. So, take some time and meet our kids!
The first one we took in was Preaw, She was our first scholarship student who had many problems in her life. We sent her to CAA to live in a dorm and go to school without dealing with her problems. We soon realized that we had made a mistake by doing so. After a failed suicide attempt (Thank God!) and a lot of prayer, we decided that we needed to change our plan of action. We felt the Lord calling us away from the On nut 49 slum (where Preaw used to live) to move to Mae Teang, Chiang Mai, to take care of her and be close to the school. As we slowly became her parents we realized that she had not learned many things that are necessary for life, like Math, Thai and coping skills. We made the decision to take her out of school and home school her. She is happier but has to work much harder with home school than she ever had to work at school. We have also started taking her to a Christian counselor to help her deal with the problems that she has from her past life that we are not qualified handle.
Boot, is the latest child we have taken in. She is from Khon Kean (The town my wife is from) and was actually sponsored by a family from Michigan to go to CAA last year. Boot had many problems living in the dorms there, she struggled making friends and since she was a very quite kid she did not tell anyone when she didn’t have any money, she just stole from other kids. She was a loner and we noticed it from the first time we talked to her. We talked to the family that is sponsoring her and the leaders of the church in Khon Kean and all decided it would be best if she moved in with us and filled our last bed in the girls room. Since she has been here she has changed from a quite and shy girl to a loud boisterous teenager. She seems to enjoy her time with us and is sooooooo happy she is not living in the dorm again! We are happy we get to show her what a happy, well-functioning, large, Christian family looks like. At her home in Khon Kean she is an after thought because her mother remarried and her father and step-father do not really like her or want her. Her mother loves her and wants the best for her but being poor and married to a man that doesn’t, really makes it hard for Boot. Since the beginning of the school year she has not talked to her mother (repairing the relationships with family members is something we encourage). We are going to get her into counseling before her problems erupt into a volcano of emotions.
Nut, 15, is the first boy we have had and the second student that we sent to go to school at CAA. Nut is a very smart kid and he surprises me everyday
with all the things that he is good it. He is the kind of person that doesn’t have to study and can pass the test guessing. We are trying to change that and show him how successful he can be if he would just apply himself. Nut has been abandoned by everyone and has never been told that he is loved. As soon as we made the decision to send him to CAA he dropped out of the school that he was going to in Bangkok without telling us and went to go work construction. We were very upset at the time and very perplexed at what to do!?! Do we go back on what we said and not send him to CAA and hope he finds what he is looking for? Or do we go ahead and send him to CAA and hope that God works it out? Well, after much prayer we chose the latter and boy are we happy we did! He went from a high school dropout to a kid who wants to go to college and become an engineer. He needed a little taste of minimum wage work to make him realize he could be so much more. While he was in the boys dorm last year we saw that he was making all the wrong friends and questioned if we made the right decision. Since he has moved in with us we have been certain we made the right decision. He has been extremely helpful,a good big brother, and has a huge desire to learn and is very smart when it comes to the Bible.I have enjoyed having him here and having a boy to play, wrestle, and show how to be a man of God.
Ice is the oldest and probably the closest to our hearts. She is not one of our regular kids because she is my wife’s niece. She has a mother and father who love her and want the best for her. She graduated college in Feb 2018 and has come to live with us for a year to practice her English and learn the Bible. She wants to be a Christian and wants be to be just like her aunt Chitty. We are preparing her for her first year of college at Ramkhamheang University where she will be studying English and working with the Atwells at the F5 Climbing center, you can learn more about it here or visit their facebook page here. Ice is a very quite and shy young woman, since she has moved in with us she has started to develop her confidence in herself and in God. We are excited to see her grow this year and see her grow into a strong godly woman. We hope that she will decide to dedicate her life to God and one of her goals is to be baptized.
Daonin, 14, she is by far the craziest one we have! She is a ball of energy and loudness! She is always laughing and always has a huge smile on her face. When we were trying to find kids that we wanted to help we were told a story about how her and her brother wanted to go to church really bad but it was Friday afternoon and no one was there. So, what did they do? Just what any normal 12 & 13 yr old kids would do, they broke in the church and waited for everyone to get there. They didn’t break anything they climbed up to the second floor and went in through a window. That is the kind of craziness that I like! Crazy enough to do something that a normal person wouldn’t do, for God! When I heard that story I knew that I wanted to help these kids. When she heard about CAA she really wanted to go but her mom told her that they could not afford it, so Daonin started praying. Within a few months we were at her house telling her we wanted to support her going to CAA. She is an awesome little woman and we really enjoy being around her and living with her. Since she was baptized she kept telling her mom to read her Bible and to do the things that the Bible says. Her mother is studying the Bible so she can be prepared for baptism now. Daonin has never met her father and has a hole in her heart for her father. She is going to be an awesome worker for God and we are excited to see her grow in the Lord!
Sam, 13 is Doanin’s younger brother, from a different father, and is also our youngest. Sam is just as crazy as Daonin but in a different way. He is crazy creative, he is always playing by himself or with the dog thinking of some scenerio he has to fight his way out of, making costumes, making tools or guns and just having and good time. I was looking out the window as I showered the other day and saw Sam on his hands and knees walking to a calf. As he got closer I could tell he was trying to make friends with the calf and he started eating the weeds like the calf was doing. I started laughing so hard I scared him. He is always in a good mood and always wants to have fun. When he made his goals, he set the highest ones, his goal in life is to work for NASA. He is smart and there is not a doubt in my mind that he can do it, if he tries hard enough. When all the other kids heard his goal that laughed but it did not discourage him in the least. It will be awesome to see what God does with this little man!