According to recent data released by the United States Department of Health and Human Services Children's Bureua, in the United States, 423,000 children are currently living without permanent families. Of the children currently in the public foster care system, 115,000 are eligible for adoption, but nearly 40 percent of them will wait more than three years in foster care before ever finding a home.
About two percent, or 1.5 million, of all the children in the country are products of adoption. In 2011, the public foster care system had 401,000 children enrolled. While 51,000 children were adopted domestically (from within the United States), the public foster care system gained 252,000 new children in 2011. In North Carolina alone, 2,234 children are without homes and are waiting on their forever homes.
Annually, the United States adds 20,000 newborns to the list of children needing a home. Macon County natives April and Tyler Moore have devoted their lives to becoming parents, and after not being able to have children of their own, they began exploring other avenues and have now found themselves on the threshold of becoming parents.
“I have wanted to be a mom for as long as I can remember,” said April Moore. “Even as a little girl, when someone would ask me what I wanted to be when I grow up, other than answering like every little girl would about being a singer and dancer, etc… I would always answer that I wanted to be a housewife and a mom.”
April and Tyler met when they were just 20 and 21 years old. “We knew from the start that we were meant for each other and only three months into dating, we got engaged,” said April. “Tyler and I were engaged for six months and on March 22, 2008, we got married. We were young and as much as I wanted to have children right away, we decided to wait a year to grow our still pretty new relationship.”
Tyler said that after watching friends of theirs have kids so easily and, frankly, sometimes by mistake or sheer carelessness, he figured that when the couple decided to have children, it would be a quick process. “After a little less than a year we decided to stop preventing ourselves from the chance of having a child,” said Tyler. “I figured it would be months at most. Shortly thereafter we moved from Franklin to Missouri. After our time not trying to prevent pregnancy proved fruitless, we decided to buckle down and start actually trying, following April's cycle, using a basal thermometer to try and narrow down the best time to try, etc. That was a really stressful time in our marriage, as the pressure to conceive was high (which we placed on ourselves) as was the disappointment at the end of each month. I remember one time specifically where 51 days passed in a cycle, we were so sure that we had finally been successful, only for day 52 to come and April just came up to me and started crying, at which point I knew we were unsuccessful.”
Despite taking the advice of friends and family and even trying fertility treatments, Tyler and April were unsuccessful month after month. “A year came and went. Two years came and went. We were doing everything right, taking all the advice that we could from our parents, but still nothing,” said April. “When my best friend, who had been married about two years less than we had and was not even trying to have a child got pregnant, I knew that there must be something wrong with me. I was on the fertility drug, Clomid for at least eight months before giving up on that altogether. Every month we would get our hopes up and just ‘know’ that this time it worked only to have our hearts broken time and time again. It seemed like every time I would talk to my family or look on Facebook, someone else was pregnant. It got very depressing. We spent thousands of dollars on tests done by a fertility specialist, only to be told that everything was normal.”
Tyler and April gave up the hopes of starting a family of their own and started to explore the world of adoption. “Tyler and I have always had a heart for adoption although we both admitted to thinking that our adopted child would come after having a few of our own first,” said April. “About six months ago, I was listening to a sermon by one of my faith heroes, J.D. Greear that was about disappointments in life that lead to unbelief in God. I blamed God every month for not giving me a child and for giving who I believed were ‘undeserving parents’ children. I asked ‘why them and why not me?’J.D.’s sermon reminded me that God has a plan bigger and better than anything that I could ever imagine and that, contrary to what I had been feeling and believing for so long, He does want what is best for us. I realized at that time that no matter how long I have to wait for my child, it is going to turn out better than I could have planned myself. So after much prayer and research, we know that God has called us to adopt.”
April and Tyler reasearched and studied up on many agencies online and finally decided to contact Everlasting Adoptions to begin the process. “It was free to put in an application, which was unlike many other agencies,” said Tyler. “We thought it would be a long time before we were considered, being as that agency only takes six families in the entire country a month. The Thursday before last we got a call from the agency that we had been accepted into the program, which came as a massive surprise to the both of us.”
Taken by surprise of being accepted into the program when they accept so few families a month, April and Tyler were overwhelmed to hear from the Adoption consultants. “Honestly before I was pretty skeptical of adopting our first child,” said Tyler. “I wanted to have one on our own before we adopted. The phone call that we received brought a sense of reality and excitement that I had never felt before. I was going to be a father!”
After years of trying to have children, and month after month of heartbreak and dissapointment, April and Tyler were elated with the news that they were so close to becoming parents. As part of Everlasting Adoptions program, April and Tyler have to pay $9,700 in consultant fees for the agency to find a birth mother of a newborn from within the United States. “After we received that call reality also set in that we would owe $9,700 to the agency to be accepted into the program,” said Tyler.
“At this point, we do not know where the money will come from,” said April. “We have been blessed with amazing friends and family who have been helping us with fundraisers and raising awareness for our cause. We are trusting that God will provide everything that we need.”
Despite the uncertainty with having to raise the large amount of money on such short notice, April and Tyler have decided to move forward with the process and are working hard to be able to provide a loving home to a child in need. “Now we have to sign their two year contract and send in a payment. The full amount of $9,700 was supposed to be due at the end of this month, but they are letting us do a payment plan. $2,000 due the end of this month, $3,850 more due on March 22 and $3,840 more due on April 26,” said April. “As soon as we mail in our first payment we can start the process of our home study and putting together our profile that will we send to the birth moms to look over and decide if they want to let us adopt their child.”
The couple posted a Facebook status about their excitement of the possibility of becoming parents, as well as the struggle they were having to secure the funding to get the process started, and quickly saw friends and family ready to help.
“April wrote a lengthy message spelling out our situation and posted it on Facebook,” said Tyler. “What happened next was so amazing. People I had not seen in years, friends, relatives have been donating, some a little, others more than I could have imagined. I have never cried as much as I have over the last week. So much kindness has been extended our way it’s overwhelming.”
The couple is also working on fundraising opportunities to help secure the monies as soon as possible, which will allow the process to be expedited. “Right now we are focusing on fundraising. We have several different fundraisers in the works like a spaghetti dinner at our church along with a silent auction,” said April “A couple friends are doing online and catalog parties (like Thirty-One and Pampered Chef). We are sending support letters to friends and family as well.”
In addition to raising the monies for the adoption, which only start with contracting with Everlasting Adoptions, and will continue with attorneys’ fees to finalize the process, the couple is working to learn as much as they can about being adoptive parents.
“I have bought a couple books on adoption and how to be prepared emotionally for the process as well,” said April.
“As it sits we are a little over one-fifth of our way to our goal,” said Tyler “We have a ways to go, but God's will in this has been amazing an extremely encouraging. As we look into our future that used to be filled with so much doubt child-wise, the hope that God and our friends and family have given us has been life changing.”