Statistics show that there are more than 100,000 children awaiting adoption in the United States. In 2014, an Oklahoma father felt called to reach out to a child in need and soon a little boy named Matthew found his forever home. It was a birthday wish come true and a dream fulfilled for his new family.
(Broken Arrow, Oklahoma)
An afternoon commute like this brought Oklahoma father Adam Heare to a life-changing crossroads in 2014.
Adam Heare, Foster Dad: "I just was praying in the car and said, 'God, I feel like you want more from me. What is that?' And it was probably the most profound spiritual moment in my life. And, I felt like the Lord said, 'You have a son that you've never met, and he needs your help now.' And I just pulled over on the side of the road and wept."
Those tears quickly turned to joy and laughter as Adam and his wife Kate and their three kids began to welcome foster children.
Adam Heare: "After we got approved and everything we got a call that, 'There was a little boy named Matthew and he needs a home, and we'll be there in 3 hours.' And they said, 'His birthday is tomorrow.'"
A year after that memorable celebration the Heares adopted Matthew through the United Methodist Circle of Care ministry.
Adam Heare: "And then we got our daughter Tasha. And she was 9 at the time. We adopted her."
Tasha Heare: "I love them very much. They're amazing."
Kate Heare came from a large family herself.
Kate Heare, Foster Mom: "I was all for it. Adam came home and he just said that he's been thinking about foster care. So I was really excited 'cause I like having kids in my home."
The Heares get lots of support from First United Methodist Church of Broken Arrow, where Adam is a music minister. The whole family volunteers in the church food pantry.
Kate Heare: "Just people praying for us and taking care of our kids at church, without our church family I'm not sure it'd be possible for us to keep this up."
There are challenges in raising children with a past of abuse and neglect.
Adam Heare: "My son, when we first got him, he would have nightmares like, you know, some of my friends who have post-traumatic stress disorder. He had that. It wasn't from a war zone per se, but it was from a war zone of where he lived."
Adam Heare: "You just have to be patient, and you have to be loving. It's not easy. It's hard. But it's so worth it. You know, my children deserve to be treated with dignity and love and respect and patience. Like God is patient with me."
Kate Heare: "I think Adam and I are much stronger in our marriage. Because we have to really come to each during times that have been a little bit rough."
Gwen Heare "We know how to just be supportive and help each other out through our life 'cause, I mean, we're brothers and sisters."
Adam Heare: "It's amazing how God can put families together, whatever that looks like. I'm not saying everybody should do this, but there are a lot more people that are needed to do this."
Kate Heare: "My kids make me crazy but I love them very much!" (laughs)
This video was produced by United Methodist Communications in Nashville, TN.
Media contact is Fran Walsh, 615-742-5458.
This video was first posted on January 23, 2019.