By Kristen Fritz
They say a mother’s love is irreplaceable and undeniably pure, but being told that you are unable to have children can be heartbreaking and create emptiness. You want to fill a desire that cannot be met. Fortunately, for a Santa Rosa Beach, Fla., couple, their wish came true.
After adopting their first child; Ethan, Kristin and Will Banker hosted a boys’ choir from Kenya through their church. They fell in love with them, and their “eyes were opened” to the bleak outlook for the large number of orphans in the area, the couple states in a Northwest Florida Daily News article. They found 7-month old Tariku through their adoption agency and read his story and browsed through his photos. The moment the Bankers saw Tariku, they knew he was their son.
Kenya does not have an international adoption program, but Ethiopia does for 5 million children without families, Will said. Kristin felt a calling to adopt, and with time Will did as well.
“When God tells you to do something, you just do it,” Kristin said.
A new policy in Ethiopia requires prospective adoptive parents to make two trips. The extra cost and time required for travel seemed too much for them. They started to switch their paperwork to a domestic adoption, but after experiencing a multitude of “signs,” Kristin was convinced she was meant to adopt an Ethiopian child.
After regretfully turning down a little girl, they came across Tariku and instantly fell in love. International adoption in Ethiopia must be approved by local courts with the prospective parents present. After 13 long months, their adoption finally passed and they were able to go get their child.
They finally made it back home in early January. Their new life as a family of four has been an adjustment for everyone, but they’re settling into a new kind of normal. Their adoption journey was long and full of ups and downs, but the Bankers said they would do it all over again.