Our Adoption Story
I think it is important to first mention that ever since I was a little girl, I knew I would someday adopt. I would tell everyone that I may WANT my own children but I NEED to adopt children. Like any parents who couldn't wait for their daughter to have her own children my parents would say, "But you have to have you own too!!!" Can't blame them for wanting a mini me :). Not that I was ever against having my own, like I said I WANT my own, I just always had this feeling that maybe God put this desire in my heart because one day I would find out I couldn't have my own and I would find comfort in the fact that I always knew I was meant to adopt.
When Clint and I started dating (like seriously our first date), before I ever told him I planned for adoption, Clint mentioned he wanted to adopt. I am not kidding when I say this, that was the exact moment I knew he was the one. A man (and a hot one at that) who wanted to bring children into his home and love them as if they were his own, is truly hard to come by. I knew I found a keeper! We were engaged 3 1/2 weeks later and married in 4 months. When you know, you know :).
Before we had started dating, I was accepted by International Language Program to go to Ukraine to teach english to underprivileged children. I had tried to go the year before to China but the trip was cancelled because of the Sars (have no idea if I spelled it right) outbreak. As an aspiring social worker, I always wanted to serve in other countries who were less fortunate and kept trying to find a way but something always seemed to prevent me from going. Clint encouraged me to still go but I couldn't get myself to leave him for 3 months right after we first started dating. I told myself it would happen someday.
After 6 years of trying to find an opportunity and almost giving up, I was lead to the Forever Young Foundation. I was working at the Anasazi Foundation (next door) when I met Jenn Maygren and she told me about her trip to Ghana at the Forever Young International school. I thought, what the heck, I will go next door and see if they could use a social worker. And that was that, they told me they would love to have me go over and do therapy groups at the school and they would even pay my way. This was big seeing how not being able to afford it always seemed to be what kept me from going.
I was super excited and went right to work planning my groups. I felt really inspired to put together a group for children dealing with grief from the deaths of their parents or other family members. When I finally made it to Africa, I knew why. In this group I met the 3 most amazing children and from my first group with them, I knew I loved them. I called Clint to tell him all about my African adventure and found myself only talking about Isaac, Emmanuel, and Rhoda. A crazy thought came to my head and I just blurted out, "What if we adopt them." From the moment I said it and heard Clint's response of "Alright, lets figure out what we need to do and do it," I had this surreal feeling come over me and I knew, nothing ever felt more right. As crazy as it seemed for us to adopt a 12 year old, a 10 year old, and an 8 year old, I knew inside there was nothing crazy about it. I loved them and they loved me and I knew Clint would feel the same and of course they would love Clint and that is all that mattered. Jenn had raised money the year before so Isaac could board at the school but the 2 younger children were staying with their aunt and she was really struggling to take care of them because she had her own children to feed. When I asked the aunt about adopting them she was so excited. She told me how the kids would come home from school and talk about how this angel "Madam Calli" has come into their lives. I was so excited to tell the kids that what had already started to feel like a family was going to last forever. Although it breaks my heart now, I will never forget the smiles and tears in their eyes when I told them they were going to join my family in America.
The next part of our story is hard for me to put in words. I hurts to even think about and to this day it surprises me that after almost a year since I left those 3 angels in Ghana, it still hurts just as bad as it did when I first heard I was not going to be able to bring them home to America. After returning from Ghana and starting all the paperwork, fundraising, and unbearable waiting, I got a call from the friend in Ghana helping us with the adoption. He told me the children have an uncle in Italy who has found out about the adoption and is trying to stop it from happening. Needless to say I was heart broken. I called the uncle right away to find out why. He told me he didn't feel comfortable making a big decision with his family like this when he was not there to talk to them in person. He said he would be going to Ghana in 6 months and then the family would decide together but not to worry because everyone wanted to adoption to happen. It tore me up inside to have to wait that long to find out if I would ever be able to bring them home but I knew I needed to honor his wishes. So I waited wondering if the kids were okay and if they understood why I hadn't come for them. Then on February 1st, 2012 we got the call we were both anticipating and dreading but unfortunately the news was not what we had been hoping for. I couldn't believe it, it was like a nightmare. I had tried to remain positive for the last 6 months and spent everyday imagining how wonderful our lives would be as soon as this wait was over and we had our children. I was not prepared to hear the words "we have decided against the adoption". Clint and I did have the talk about how we know we are still meant to adopt and there are other children who need homes if this adoption didn't work out but I honestly never thought it wouldn't.
Even though I know Clint and I will always think of Isaac, Emmanuel, and Rhoda as our children in Africa and if the uncle ever changed his mind we would come get them in a heart beat, we know we couldn't spend our lives waiting and wishing. During the whole adoption process we became friends with someone who was adopted from Ghana named Christian. He has truly been a blessing and tried to do all he could to help us with the adoption by being our translator. After we got the bad news Christian said to us, "I know you will need time to grieve your children but when that day comes that you are ready to adopt again a women named Janet who helped my family adopt me knows lots of children in Ghana who need homes and would love to help you".
We took some time to think and pray but realized we both knew adoption has always been our answer and because of Isaac, Emmanuel, Rhoda, Christian, and all the other amazing people we have had the privilege to meet, Ghana would always have a special place in our hearts. We contacted Janet and decided to start the adoption process again. Right away Janet called us and told us she had found 2 little girls who had just lost their mother and their dad left them with their grandparents because he was unable to take care of them. I was nervous to let myself love these children because of how bad it hurt to loss the others and in a weird way it almost felt like betrayal but I knew inside that we were meant to be parents and as confusing as it all was, it was right. I worried my heart was broken and I would never love other children the way I loved Isaac, Emmanuel, and Rhoda but when Janet emailed us the pictures of the girls, I looked into those sad little adorable eyes and knew from the moment Clint and I hold those beautiful girls in our arms they will never wonder if they are loved.
At the beginning of this story I had mentioned that I wondered if God placed this desire in me to adopt because I might never have my own children. Well, just 2 days after getting that picture of our girls I went in to the doctor for a follow-up after an exploratory surgery to see why I was having so much pain in my lower stomach. The doctor told me he removed a large part of both of my ovaries and it would be difficult for us to ever have our own children. I know I should be sad and I am sure there will be a day it will hit me that I may never experience pregnancy or the joy of a newborn but for now I feel blessed. I know God has always had a plan for me and now more then ever I know we were meant to find our Children in Ghana.
The one part of adopting that is difficult, other than the waiting, is the expense of it all. Our adoption expenses including document preparation and translation, hiring of attorneys and other professionals in the U.S. and Ghana, travel, hotels, passports and more will cost around $20,000. I know this sounds like a lot of money (and it is) but we have faith that through a lot of hard work and the generosity others, our family will be blessed with the addition of 2 beautiful little girls. We have been amazed at all the help and support we have already received.
If you'd like to find out more about how you can help bring our daughter's home you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also check out the Forever Young Foundation's website where they have so kindly agree to accept donations towards our cause for those who would like to make a tax-deductible donations through a non-profit organization. You can make a check out to Forever Young Foundation or just click on the "donate" button on their website but please make sure to indicate that it is for the Probst family Adoption Fund. This money will be used toward adoption expenses. All contributors receive a tax receipt for their donation.
Feel free to call or email us with any questions you may have regarding our situation. We are happy to talk about this wonderful adventure.
Thanks for all your help and support,
from all of us in the Probst family
(801)368-3310 Calli Probst
(801)368-6215 Clinton Probst
If you plan on sending a check you can write it out to Clinton and Calli Probst and we will put it directly into our adoption account or you can write it out to Forever Young Foundation and I will take it in to them to make sure you receive a letter for tax deduction purposes. Please mail checks to
1501 E Mineral Rd