‘A calling from above’

Local couple raising money to adopt child

By JOHN RISHEL

jrishel@lockhaven.com

AVIS — Joe Hopkins, pastor of the Avis United Methodist Church, and his wife Kacie have started their journey to adopt a child.

The Hopkins family are “already well into the process,” having chosen a domestic adoption program through international agency Bethany Christian Services.

“We haven’t been matched to a child. The process allows for the birth mother to choose us. It will be a child in Pennsylvania or West Virginia,” Kacie explained. “There were several trainings where we learned a lot, and we did a home study. We have to raise money as the process is quite expensive.”

The Hopkins will host an adoption fundraiser event today from 4:30 to 7 p.m. at the South Williamsport United Methodist Church, 409 Main St., South Williamsport.

Joe and Kacie will share their adoption testimony at 6 p.m.. Additionally, another adoptive family will share their story and adoption advocates will share more information about the process.

Tickets will be available at the door at $10 for adults, $5 for children under 12, and children under age 2 will be admitted for free. Baskets will be auctioned off and there will be a special adoption puzzle that is slowly coming together, they said.

“Visitors can stop at the baked potato bar, shop homemade gifts, hear adoption stories, come support, eat dinner and learn,” Joe said.

Donors can also find an online fundraiser at adopttogether.org and search for Kacie and Joe Hopkins.

Kacie, 28, and Joe, 31, have no children of their own, just two cats.

“We talked about it about year and a half ago. We naturally wanted kids of our own, but realized that adoption was what God was calling us to,” Joe said. “We know of a lot of people who decided to adopt due to infertility issues, but that is not our story. We just felt a very natural realization, that this was God’s calling, similar to how I sensed my calling to ministry.”

The Hopkins said they would prefer an open adoption where the birth parent does not have to “give up their kid,” and noted that their adoption plan is very intentional in empowering the birth parents into making a very hard decision in life.

“That is the cool thing about the domestic process,” Kacie said. “It allows for letters or some sort of relationship.”

The Hopkins said that they have no preference in gender, but would prefer a child at age 24 months or younger.

Joe said that they have considered further adoption or sets of siblings, as they would not want to break up families.

“There are a lot more twists and turns to the adoption process than expected. We have had a lot of support. Bethany has been fantastic and we couldn’t recommend them enough to folks,” Joe said. “It has been a long process, a lot of unexpected bumps in the road, a lot of ‘hurry up and wait.’ You get something done and then not hear anything for a couple of weeks. We started the process in April last year. One of the hardest things was going public, being open to talk about it, and asking for help.”

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