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A Labor of Love

Jessica Tanner
Leader Assistant Editor

Bear River High School students in Gene Wilcox’s and Van Park’s health classes had the opportunity to hear stories from local parents who have made the choice to adopt. Wilcox hoped this class would help students realize the options out there and how important adoption can be.
This is subject close to Wilcox’s heart because his wife, Shelley, was adopted. Her biological mother found her about 10 years ago and wrote a book, which Wilcox reads to his classes and asks them to voice their opinions. He said, “In our health classes we talk about adoption because we feel it is an important issue.”
Teresa and Jeremy Woolley already have five girls but felt someone was missing in their family. They are in the process of adopting a baby from the Congo in Africa. Teresa said, “The longer time went by the more we thought there is a little boy out there we need to bring home.”
About two years ago they began looking into the adoption process. However, it was not serious until they interacted with a local family who adopted. As they talked, Teresa felt an overwhelming reaction. She started crying and told her girls they needed to adopt. When she told her husband, he agreed.
The Woolleys began researching international adoption agencies and scanned through photos of children who were waiting to be adopted. Finally they found him. She said he had the biggest smile and looked like Tarzan in the jungle.  They wanted to adopt Lambert.
He is three and a half years old and they will name him George after one of Jeremy’s mission companions who was from Africa.
They started the adoption process in November 2011, and should have him in about three months. To begin, they filled out a 10-page application, along with three background checks, one through the community, a child abuse background check and an FBI federal background check.
Other steps followed, including a home check to see if safety precautions were in place. Their adoption costs were about $25,000 plus another $5,000 for travel. However, there are options for grants and loans.
The advice she gave was for individuals to, “Follow your heart and listen to the feelings you are having. It is important and will help lead you to the goals and decision to make life better. There has been heartaches and good times but it is a really exciting time in our lives.”
Greg and Sherri Madson had three children by the time he was 24 years old. After their third child, the doctor told Sherri if she had another baby she would die. However, as time went on they had a feeling that there were more children out there that could to be a part of their family.
They did foster care and thought they would eventually adopt through that. When their daughter was 12, they began looking into adoption just before Thanksgiving 1997.

(For the rest of the story pick up a copy of the paper at the Leader or call 435-257-5182 to subscribe.)



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