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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Power of Prayer

Monday, May 30, 2011

The entire Reyher family stands outside their rural Terre Haute home. Danny is pictured holding Kinsey, Brittney is holding Gabriel and big brother Kainen is in front. [Order this photo]
* Local family's four-year wait pays off

Danny and Brittney Reyher believe in the power of prayer.

"If it weren't for prayer, I don't believe our family would be together right now," Brittney recently told The Brazil Times. "The plan that we had for our family was not at all what God had planned for us."

Excited and filled with anticipation, friends and family members were waiting for the "whole Reyher family" to arrive home from Guatemala in March.
Danny and Brittney are the proud parents of their 8-year-old son Kainen, but secondary fertility problems kept the family from growing.

"We started Kinsey's adoption in April 2007," Brittney said about going to Guatemala to adopt one of the many children in need from on of the privately run adoption facilities. "It was an average of a 6-month wait at the time."

For many parents, nine months seems a long time to wait before bringing their child home. For Brittney and Danny, it's been years.

On March 16, 2011, Danny Reyher, with Kinsey sitting on his shoulders, and Brittney got the best news: Guatemalan authorities finally cleared Kinsey's passport.
"We prayed that God would move our case through quickly," Brittney said. " But He had other plans."

On Jan. 1, 2008, Guatemalan officials ratified inter-country adoption reform legislation, Hague Convention on Adoption, to protect children and their birth parents from exploitation, thus taking over the adoption process.

Although approximately 5,000 adoptions filed prior to the new legislation were allowed to be "grandfathered" in under the old laws, the process was hampered by political gridlock without appropriate government agencies and protocols established to help families understand what steps and issues needed to be resolved in their cases

Knightsville resident Charlotte Reyher spent time with her new granddaughter Kinsey during the "Welcome Home" party at Danny and Brittney Reyher's rural Terre Haute home in April. [Order this photo]
Approximately 900 children remained in orphanages while their adoptive families struggled with inexplicable delays, new legal and procedural requirements, multiple field investigations and birth parent interviews.

Brittney and Danny, along with some family members when they had time, made 14 trips to visit with Kinsey, appeared for two court hearings, struggled through a change in lawyers and went through eight different agency coordinators to try and finish the adoption process.

"There was delay after delay," "So many people were out there praying for us. And we could feel the prayers. This process brought our whole family closer together."

On June 17, 2009, Brittney and Danny and the other 402 waiting families waiting for their children to come home, along with their supporters, marched on Washington to bring about public awareness to the Guatemala 900.

The couple said they found strength and hope among the other families struggling with the same problem.

"We know each other," Brittney said about the friendships developed through the experience. "We supported each other."

The family also organized fundraisers to cover the expenses of traveling to Guatemala to keep in touch with their daughter.

During the long wait for Kinsey to come home, Kainen also suffered from the separation.

"The worst part for us was when we would have to leave her in Guatemala," Brittney said. "Every time our plane would fly into the air, as we were leaving, he would cry, saying 'I miss Kinsey.'"

Brittney said her son's emotional prayers at the dinner table often ended with "Please bring Kinsey home."

Kainen would build Lego houses of the hotel the family always stayed at during their visits.

"Kainen could tell you everything about the adoption and the delays," Brittney said. "At ages 5-8, he should not have had to do this. It was hard to hide our emotions from him. It was very hard to see him struggle with the stresses of seeing his parents upset."

Brittney admits it was a frustrating time, but faith got them through it all and helped them realize God had other plans and a small surprise.

"We prayed that He would reveal His plan for our family, and boy did He ever," Brittney said. "If Kinsey came home when she initially was going to, then Gabriel would have never entered our family."

After three years of waiting for their daughter, the Reyhers had quietly started a domestic adoption and prayed that a baby boy or girl enter our family when the time was right. The paperwork was filed in January 2010.

"At the time, we were not sure if Kinsey would ever come home," Brittney said. "We prayed she would, but we were still waiting to see what God's plan for us was."

The family was expecting a long wait.

However, five months after turning in the domestic adoption paperwork, a birthmother chose the Reyher family. The call came June 4, 2010, with the court paperwork finalized in September.

"WOW! What a shock," Brittney said. "And we had to tell our families, whom did not even know we were thinking about adding to our family again. It was an exciting time. We needed to pick up our son the next day."

Once Gabriel was home, the family quickly got another surprise.

It was time to schedule the last trip to Guatemala. Kinsey was finally coming home.

After experiencing the ups and downs of the journey, Daniel's parents, Charlotte and Frank Reyher, Harmony, Brittney's parents, Kim and Garry Orman, Brazil, and their extended family and friends were ready to welcome Kinsey home.

Charlotte joined Danny, Brittney and Gabriel on the trip.

"It was such a joy to be able to be there with them," Charlotte said. "This has brought me and Brittney together and made our relationship much closer."

On March 18, the family arrived in Indianapolis to a large crowd of supporters.

In April, the family had an open house at their Terre Haute home to introduce Kinsey to her new community. Another Indianapolis family, who brought their daughter home the same day Kinsey arrived home, attended the event with other local families attempting to adopt children from Guatemala.

"It was special," Brittney said. "Having them here, knowing they are still waiting, hoping for the day their child comes home. We support each other, and we celebrate together each time another family becomes whole."

Since then, the Reyher family is settling into a routine.

"Going from a family of three to a family of five in nine months has been a big adjustment," Brittney said. "The language barrier was a bit rough at first, because she was speaking toddler Spanish. We communicate well now and she is picking up English good. It still amazes me that she is here, and walking through the house saying "Mama" and "Papa." It was such a dream for so long."

Both Brittney and Danny have returned to work, Kainen is playing baseball, Gabriel is crawling and Kinsey is sleeping in her own bed through the night.

It's a lively household.

"Now that Kinsey is home, it's like she has always been here," Brittney said. Kainen doesn't want her getting into his things and they fight like siblings. I have got to experience some sibling rivalry already. It might be a zoo at times, but it was so worth the wait."

While the Reyher family enjoys their lives together, Brittney and Danny stay in touch with the families still waiting for their children to come home from Guatemala.

"I would like people to know about the remaining 300 cases that are still in limbo in Guatemala," Brittney said, adding there are at least two other families from Indiana who are waiting for their child to come home from Guatemala. "One family is from Farmersburg and the other Greencastle. We are all friends and a huge support to one another. Even though our adoption is complete, we won't feel complete until all the children are with their forever families."

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What a wonderful and heartwarming story! I had no idea about the extent that the new legislation in Guatemala had hampered potential adoptive parents. This story brought me to tears and my heart feels so much for both this family and all those still waiting. May the Lord bless you greatly now and in the future with your beautiful new daughter!

-- Posted by karenmeister on Tue, May 31, 2011, at 12:43 AM

What a wonderful story that is just beginning. To this family I would just like to say I can honestly relate to what you went through and that Gods plan is always better for us than our own even when we feel like he has turned his back on us.

-- Posted by Ninesy on Tue, May 31, 2011, at 7:56 AM

What a wonderful story! Keep the faith as you obviously have and may God continue to bless you.

-- Posted by Proud of My Country on Tue, May 31, 2011, at 9:56 AM

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