Jumping Into The Great Unknown…November 9th, 2018
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Each year, the VanKoeverings celebrate “Gotcha Day”… the day they welcomed Christabel into their family. Christabel’s mom, Shannon shares their journey…
“When I think back to the start of our journey to bring her home, and our hopes and fears for our precious little girl, I find myself in awe of God’s amazing plan that not only brings children into families, but brings people together.”
God’s plan is, often times, bigger than what we can see or imagine… and God had a plan for Christabel to be a part of the VanKoevering Family.
Christabel was born with Spina Bifida and Club feet in a small village in Ghana, West Africa. At 4 years old, Christabel’s mother passed away. Naked and alone, Christabel was surrounded by a village of people unwilling to care for her because of her disability.
Christabel was alone for nearly 30 days before she was rescued and taken into the care of a small foster home. Shannon remembers the feeling of hearing about Christabel for the first time…
“We fell in love with her beautiful smile and while we felt 100% unqualified to parent a child with this type of disability, we jumped into the great unknown and let God take care of the details.”
In partnership with Show Hope, the Tim Tebow Foundation was blessed to assist the VanKoevering Family in bringing Christabel home…
“In May of 2014 we received the call from TTF letting us know about the grant we had been awarded. I cried a lot during the adoption process… mostly tears of joy & this day brought a flood of joyful tears. In May, we celebrated four years of being a part of the Tim Tebow Foundation Family.”
In January 2015, the VanKoeverings traveled to Ghana to bring Christabel home. In order to correct her clubbed feet, Christabel was casted from upper thigh to past her toes. In early May 2015, Christabel stood on her flat feet for the very first time….
“Christabel was soon exploring her world in a whole new way… no longer hopping and dragging herself on the ground. She soon was able to get rid of the cables and traded her walker in for forearm crutches. You can now find her walking, running twirling and dancing through each day and always sporting her big, beautiful smile.”
Christabel and the VanKoeverings are still in the process of overcoming some hurdles including Christabel’s vision and cognitive impairment, but they trust God in His plan and with the details.
Christabel’s most special accomplishment has been becoming a big sister! Christabel and the VanKoevering Family welcomed her little brother, Simeon home from China in November 2017. Simeon also has Spina Bifida & lower leg abnormalities. Shannon shares…“The two of them share a special bond. It hasn’t taken long at all for them to become siblings.”
This story is a perfect example of God’s bigger plan, the one we do not always see. In their fear of being “unqualified,” the VanKoeverings could have delayed or withheld from adopting. Instead, they were obedient to the calling on their hearts, which led them to adopt a second time. God always sees the bigger picture and is in the details. Sometimes we just need to trust and jump!
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