When Pam and Gary envisioned their future, they imagined being an active family involved in church, sports and taking vacations. But Gary became ill before they could realize their dream of becoming parents. They focused on his health for a decade and prayed for God’s healing. They were beyond grateful once he was finally well but grieved that conceiving children would not be possible.
They sensed adoption would be their path to parenthood, and Pam even had an encounter with God and heard the Lord tell her to pursue adoption. At the same time, their church was starting a Foster Care and Adoption ministry, and Pam also heard a radio ad from AdoptUsKids about the need for more families. This all felt like confirmation for the couple. It was scary and exciting, and they knew it was God’s plan.
Soon, Pam and Gary heard about a teenage boy who was available for adoption. The timing wasn't right, but his story piqued their curiosity. Their quest to learn more led them to PCHAS.
Gary and Pam worked with PCHAS to complete the background check, training, paperwork and assessment steps for approval as adoptive parents. After they completed a lot of the process, they became respite caregivers (babysitters for long-term needs) to help other foster and adoptive families. In 2021, they agreed to care for a teen boy, Elario, for a weekend. Gary says the weekend was full of activities. They played soccer, hung out in the neighborhood and got to be the active family they had always wanted to be.
Around the time they completed the process, it became clear that Elario needed a forever family. The timing seemed perfect. His team decided Pam and Gary would be a great match, and he joined their family five days after their approval as adoptive parents. Elario moved into their home and became a permanent member of the family. In February 2023, Pam, Gary and Elario celebrated as the judge finalized their adoption.
Free to move forward as a family of three, they went on a road trip to visit extended family in Virginia and North Carolina. Elario met his cousins and saw the ocean for the first time. He taught Gary how to play Pokémon, and they took part in the international tournament in Ohio. Pam became the sports mom she dreamed of, cheering on Elario at football, track and wrestling.
Pam and Gary’s parenting journey started later than they planned, but their dream of becoming a family was alive and well. With faith and commitment, they took it one step at a time and credit PCHAS for helping them along the way. In God’s perfect timing, they met Elario and became a family.
Is the desire to become a mom or dad still alive in your heart? Are you an empty (or an almost empty) nester who doesn’t feel done raising kids? PCHAS Foster Care & Adoption Guides are here to help. Call 281-324-0544 or Join An Online Info Session to learn more.