*All donations to the Marenya family are tax deductible.
Susan: I’ve always had a desire to adopt. I always thought I would adopt after having biological children. I couldn’t wait to become a mother. When I met Sylvester, I was so excited to see him become a father.
Sylvester: My dream has always been to be a father like the father I grew up with. My father was loving, caring, and protective. When I met Susan, I told my family that I knew that she was the one and that I looked forward to raising a family with her.
What Brought You Together?
Susan: We met playing pick-up soccer. After a year of playing with a group on Saturdays, I saw Sylvester and knew I needed to meet him. Not only was I impressed with how well he played, I was impressed with his positive attitude and friendly nature. We ended up talking at a housewarming party of a mutual friend. Within days, I learned that even though we were from such diverse backgrounds, we had much in common. We had similar goals and beliefs.
Sylvester: Our journey started playing soccer. We spent a lot of time together. Susan’s sense of humor and warmth won me over immediately. I knew she was the one that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.
Why Adopt Now?
Susan: Sylvester and I always wanted to start a family. We struggled with infertility for many years. We spent lots of time praying and hoping each month that the treatments would work or we would have a miracle. One evening while grieving another loss, I prayed for adoption to be in Sylvester’s heart. That evening he said that he would love to find out more about adoption. He asked me to start finding out about the process. The next day, a dear friend called to check on me. She then asked us if we would consider adopting a family member’s baby. It was everything we prayed about. Sylvester left a couple days later for training for his job. When he returned I gave him lots of information and stories and he said he was ready to start the adoption process.
Sylvester: After years of struggling with infertility, we spent a lot of time in prayer. We both felt led to adopting.
I am an elementary school teacher. My whole life has been working with children. I babysat throughout high school, volunteered in the church nursery, worked in daycares, and worked as a nanny while in college. I love to travel, learn about other cultures, play soccer, read, and swim.
I served active duty in the United States Army. I am currently in the National Guard. I also work in Law Enforcement.
I love playing and watching soccer. I enjoy traveling, playing the guitar, leading worship, and volunteering with the high school group.
We finalized the adoption on November 22nd. Such an amazing day! Anna has been ours since the day we met her. Now she officially has our last name. Adoption is so beautiful. I never knew how much love I could have for one person. Every day I thank God for bringing her into our lives. I also thank God for her birth parents for choosing us to be her parents. I have so much love for them for bringing us Anna.
Anna is 9 months old now. She is happy and very busy. She crawls everywhere, stands up, and takes a couple steps. Yesterday she started climbing stairs. I wasn’t ready for that. She loves music. Especially Ella Jenkins and Ziggy Marley. She figured out how to turn on the tv to listen to pandora. She will push the big button and start dancing. She has no idea that the tv is for anything other than music.
She is recognizing words on English and KaSwahilli. She also loves to eat. Her favorites are acorn squash, scrambled eggs, edamame, paneer, berries, and beans.
Anna loves watching the neighborhood children play. She also loves dogs. She is such a happy child. I am so thankful for our village of friends that are a part of her life. I also so thankful for all the people that helped make this adoption possible. We have almost completed our fundraising and are about to pay off our last loan. Thank you all for your prayers and words of encouragement!
Anna is 4.5 months old now. She is become so playful. She is still such a happy baby. She loves to be outside and loves books. She even tries to turn the pages. She is so curious about everything going on around her. She babbles and giggles a lot and loves listening to music.
She is meeting all milestones and is in the 23rd percentile for height and weight. She started solid food a couple weeks ago. So far her favorite food is sweet potatoes. Today she will try avocado.
We are set to finalize Anna’s adoption mid November. It is such an exciting time. We are getting closer to meeting our fundraising goal. Our deadline for funding the adoption is November 1st . We can’t wait to share pictures of her after finalization.
Please continue to pray for our family, the birth parents, and our fundraising efforts.
Anna is such a happy baby. She loves going to the pool, taking baths, being outside, music, ceiling fans and her doll Zawa (Zawadi is Swahili for gift). Anna is definitely our gift. She is our rainbow baby, our answer to years of prayers. Her face lights up when either of us walks in the room. Especially after Sylvester gets home from work. Her smile melts us every time.
Anna is beginning to look at the pages in books. We have already read over 70 books to her. She seems to like Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, Goodnight moon, and On the Night you Were Born (gift from her birth parents) the most. She loves listening to her daddy play the guitar, Hillsong music, and the Beatles.
Somehow she mysteriously ends up with glitter on her forehead. We joke that it is kisses from heaven. Today is was from face paint from a friends son. Took us a while to figure out where the blue glitter came from.
We are getting closer to our finalization date. Please continue to pray for us on our journey. Especially for us to complete the adoption fund.
Tonight I am watching this beautiful girl sleep. Anna is now 7 weeks old. She amazes us every day with the new things she does. Her smile melts us.
I gave her a bath tonight. She had the almost about to cry look and then she realized how much she liked it. She loves having her hair washed. Anna also loves listening to her Daddy sing and play the guitar. When he is at work and she is upset, I play recordings of him. She seems to calm down instantly.
Anna is loved by so many people. Adoption is such a beautiful thing. Two people that prayed every night for over 5 years for a child, now have their miracle. Our community of friends has been so giving and supportive. So many people have sent meals and checked in with us. She has so many cute little dresses and books. We especially love the handmade items given to us by friends.
Every night we read a book and pray as a family. We also continue to pray for her birth parents and share pictures with them. We hope to finalize the adoption in late November. We still need to do more fundraising before then.
Will you continue to pray for our family, the birth parents, and our fundraising process?
On May 14th, we received the call that changed our lives. The call we had been praying for multiple times a day for many years. Up until that moment, I would have been able to give you the exact number of months that we had spent praying. Our social worker/ adoption counselor called at 4:20 pm on a Tuesday. They never call that late in the day. I knew something was happening when I saw the call come in. A baby girl was born that morning. Her birth parents chose us in their birth plan. Would we be interested? I started crying.It was a yes for me but I still needed to talk to Sylvester. Sylvester was at home sleeping with his phone off. He was working nights at that point. The drive home to tell him took an eternity. Not only was it in Denver traffic, it was full of emotions. How could I tell him in the best way but in a way that was quick enough to be able to call the agency back. When I got home, he was still sleeping so I just blurted it out. It took a while to get him to respond before he realized what I said. He had to wake up and process the information. He was so excited. Then we had to work out details.
Sylvester went to work that night, I bought a carseat and started washing clothes. Everything I could find. I packed a suitcase with enough clothes to stay at the hospital for a week . We headed to the hospital Wednesday morning with such joy and excitement. I think I cried most of the way there. Then we met the incredible brave birth parents. I was able to see the love they had for their daughter. They spent the day watching us bond with her. We talked and share stories. They explained why they chose us to be her parents. They asked us to name her. The moment that we saw Anna Ruth, we knew our lives were complete. They will never be the same. They love we have for this 6 lb 13 oz baby is so incredible. She is everything we hope and prayed for.
It is now 2 weeks since we arrived home from the hospital. We are even more in love with her than we could ever imagine. Sylvester records messages for her while he is at work. I play recordings of him singing and playing the guitar. Every night we read a story and then pray together. We thank God for this miracle. We also pray for Anna’s birth parents that gave us the greatest gift.
Our community of family and friends has been amazing. Anna started out with a bassinet and 4 outfits. Within days, her closet was full, our house now has all the baby gear and things to make this transition easier. We have received so many kind words and messages. We are so grateful for everything. We are exhausted but are feeling so much support from all over. Thank you for being a part of our journey!
We are still fundraising for the adoption costs. We are waiting to hear back about another grant. Will you continue to pray for our family, Anna’s birth parents, and our fundraising?
We will be having a garage sale on May 18th in our neighborhood. It will be the same weekend at the Tallyn’s Reach (Aurora, CO) garage sale. So thankful for our friends that have been so supportive and generous helping us get ready for Saturday. Every week, people from our community group have brought us more donations for the sale. Thank you for all your prayers and help. If you live in the area, please stop by and say hi. Also check out the other garage sales in the Tallyn’s Reach neighborhood.
After months of hoping and waiting, we’ve reached an exciting next step in our adoption. Yesterday, while meeting with our adoption agency, we learned that we are finally ready to be an active adoptive family. Once we are active it means that we can be picked at any time by an expectant mom. This feels like such a huge step for our adoption journey after all the twists and turns we’ve seen.
It was also exciting to learn that we are getting a refund on our taxes and that we will be able to apply those funds to the next series of fees due to our adoption agency!
This will help cover a portion of the next fees due to the agency and we are working hard to come up with the rest.
Thanks to everyone who has given, prayed, and encouraged us this far! It has truly been a blessing to us.
Another snowy day in Colorado. I’m looking out the window and reflecting about all the exciting changes coming in our life. We recently moved to a town south of Denver. I spent a couple days trying to clear all the snow and ice from our driveway to get ready for the movers. The driveway wasn’t shoveled all winter and was very icy. I was exhausted and still needed to finish packing. All of a sudden, a group of neighborhood children showed up with their shovels to help. They didn’t do it for money, just because they knew I needed help. What wonderful children that our future child(ren) will grow up with.
We found out that the Show Hope organization is going to award us a grant toward our adoption expenses. At placement, they will send $5000 to our agency. We are so excited. We also found out that will be in the pool of families in the next couple of weeks. We also realized that the next part of agency fees will be due very soon. I’m excited and nervous. I also need to finish up our adoption profile book. How to you capture everything about yourself in a book? We also learned about making a book for our future child. Most parents make a baby book but this book will start much earlier. It will include our adoption process and their story.
Please continue to pray for our adoption process, our future child, and their birth parents.
Sometimes the adoption process is very discouraging. Other times, like this weekend, we feel even more encouraged. All around us are pregnancy announcements and people adopting. The process is long and the cost is high. A couple days ago, as I was writing another check, I wondered if this was supposed to be our plan. We had to pay another $500 to attend a 2 day adoption class. We are hoping to hear back soon about a grant we applied for. Luckily I had some birthday money from the week before. I wasn’t sure what to expect with the class.
We woke up Friday morning to a cold and snowy day. Our drive to the church where it was held took a lot longer to get to because of the snow. We walked in a room with 3 other couples. 2 had already brought home babies and were close to finalizing their adoptions, the other couple was in the home study process. The first day of the class seemed to go slow. By the second day, we both felt even more prepared and excited to adopt. Listening to a panel of families that had already adopted gave us more assurance.
Today we attended church. The sermon was based on Ephesians 1:5-6 In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. These words are so encouraging to us, knowing that we have been adopted into God’s family. This is even with our faults, and our past he has loved us and adopted us into his family. He gave us his name. This has motivated and encouraged us even though the process is hard, and there are some many unknowns. One thing we know is that at the right time, we will have the opportunity to welcome a child/ children into our family. As we continue to persevere in this process, please continue to pray for us, the grant we are hoping for, and our future expectant mother and child.
The baby we hoped to adopt was born three weeks ago. He is still in the NICU and there are situations beyond our control. As much as we hope to be able to bring him home to Colorado, right now we are praying that he will continue to grow stronger. We are still ready and willing if it is possible to bring him here. Will you continue to pray for this birth mother and her son? In the meantime, we are starting the self matching process and are on the waiting list for our agency.
We finished our last home visit a couple weeks ago. We meet with the social worker/ adoption counselor on Thursday to sign the home study. Wow, do they ask a lot of questions. She even met with each of us individually for over 2 hours. On the last visit we talked about some of the answers. I know that we are ready!
We found out a couple days ago that the baby we hope to adopt is a boy. So exciting to be able refer to the baby as a he or with the name we would like to give him. It is getting so close. The baby is due in December. So much to do before then.
A friend ask what will we do if we can’t bring home this baby. This is the question that so many families have. Adoption is a heartbreaking process. We pray every night for the expectant mother, the baby, and the extended family. Will you continue to pray for us and this baby boy?
We had our first yard sale fundraiser in Colorado Springs on 9/1/2018. Thanks to so many wonderful friends, we were able to raise $600.00 toward adoption expenses. The best part was that so many people took time out of a busy weekend to help or stop by to say hi! We felt so much love from our community!