Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Zeren Family ~ 31 Families of HOPE: Day 28

Meet the Zeren Family!: William & Michelle Zeren, Anthony, Benjamin and Henry. The Zeren family is in the middle of their adoption journey to bring home a sweetie from India.

Michelle, what first tugged on your heart about the Fatherless?

I have felt called to adopt every since I was a little girl. Learning about abortion, and orphans-especially all those commercials about sending pennies a day to feed a child-all of it hit me so hard as a teenager and I wanted so much to be a parent to one of those kids. My husband has not always been as aware of orphan care ministries, but after going to the first meeting with me and talking about adoption before we were even married, his heart opened and we now have a small bit of money saved and are starting adoption paperwork for a sweet little girl we had the joy of learning about. 

Tell us one unique thing about your family/ministry.

We are currently adopting a special needs little girl from India. We have been very involved with orphan care ministry through our church, and through a special needs orphan care group we learned about Sarah’s Covenant Homes in India ( and met our sweet little girl and just fell in love, so we are now in the middle of adopting her to our family. We love college football, Lego building and with the fall season, one of our favorite activities has been to jump in leaves! Will works in construction and Michelle stays at home and works as a freelance Search Engine Optimization web writer. 

What was one challenge either before, during or after your child(ren) came home?

We haven’t been able to bring our little princess home yet, so our big challenge now is coming up with the money to pay all the bills for different aspects of the adoption. It does break my heart that adoption has to be so expensive, because I know that for years that held us back from starting the process-and if we had not had God bring this sweet little girl into our lives, we probably would still be waiting for the time when we “had enough saved” to start-now though, we have just jumped in and are hoping and praying that we can win some grant assistance. We have also had yard sales and Michelle has started babysitting another child to earn money for the adoption. We are also selling t-shirts through the Show Hope grant organization at :

If you could tell a family that was considering adoption one bit of advice what would it be?

Don’t wait, if you are being called, there are so many ways to fundraise and earn the extra money-don’t let the cost hold you back. We don’t know how we are going to afford it, but we know that we are being called to bring this little girl to our home. We have studied and prepared for the worst case scenarios with her condition and needs caused by neglect and lack of a family-be prepared and learn everything about your child’s condition, don’t let those things scare you either. Go to adoption support group meetings, read every book possible, and when you discouraged, focus on your child and the end result, the massive amounts of work involved are completely worth it. 

What verse was especially encouraging to you during your adoption journey?

John 14:18 “ I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you” and Psalms 68: 5-6 “Father to the fatherless, defender of widows-this is God, whose dwelling is holy. God places the lonely in families.”  I love these, and somehow, whenever I am feeling overwhelmed by the paperwork we have yet to do, or the bills we need to pay for her adoption, I find these verses (or even hear them in homilies at church) and they get us refocused. 

Share one blessing that has happened because you said YES and followed God on this journey.

We have actually met another family that is adopting a special needs little girl from the same orphanage our little princess is at-and we have been blessed to become close friends and supporters through all the work our families are doing to get our girls to us. (and in a fun turn of events, our little girls are close friends) We have also greatly been blessed with gratefulness for our lives and in our children’s lives. Having our children already have a heart for orphans and the needy is a blessing in and of itself, when this whole world tells us we need and deserve the newest iphone gadget. The journey to bring our princess home to us has put everything in our lives into the correct perspective. 

If you could share one other thing that is meaningful to you on the topic of adoption/orphan care, what would it be?

Not everyone is meant to adopt ... there are many ways to care for the Fatherless.  Sponsoring children and adoption are two other very important ways to be involved.  

Thank you, Zeren Family, for sharing HOPE with us here at Reaching Hearts!  Be sure to check out their family blog for more information about their adoption journey.

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Be sure not to miss the rest of the "31 Families of HOPE" series:

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