Boekell Family Adoption

For: All donations go to bring our daughter home from Uganda
Huntington, WV
Organizer: Paul & Sarah Boekell
Boekell Family Adoption (All donations go to bring our daughter home from Uganda)
of $48,000 goal
100% Complete
Raised by 196 donors
This fundraiser is closed. Thank you for your support!

The Story

More info at

I believe we have a daughter in Uganda.

Can I be so bold as to say that? Ever since Paul & I married in 2008, adoption has been something we have talked about, something we have deeply considered. It’s a long story, but, also, it’s not. We feel drawn to the plight of the orphan. We feel called to intervene. And it’s an inescapable calling. An irresistible, terrifying, delightful, beautiful calling.

No that we are in the actual adoption process and contracted with an agency, etc, everything is starting to feel real-ish. Closer. There’s a very high likelihood she’s already been born. And abandoned. Relinquished. I think of her often, though it’s vague and blurry. But it’s also incredibly distinctive. I’m not even sure that makes any sense. But when I kiss Abe’s soft little neck, right under his cheek, I wonder if anyone is or has shown her affection. When I give Ezra that extra treat because he’s adorable and persistent, I wonder if she has ever had the luxury of a treat. Or if she, too, currently is begging but maybe for a meal. And I think of her when Isaiah crawls into bed with us every night. He has bad dreams sometimes. I bet she does, too. I know this sounds like crazy, dramatic babble, but it has been burning at me. At us. I just simply can’t imagine the hunger of not having a family. 

While we’ve received unbelievable support thus far, ultimately some people flat-out don’t get it. And some just don’t want to. Adoption most certainly is not for everyone. I get it. This is going to be heartbreaking. Nearly impossible and almost crazy. But. Our potential daughter is not the only one in need of rescue . I am embracing this, we are embracing this as a family, because, quite frankly, I/we have gotten too comfortable with easy. With feigning empathy. Trusting incompletely. Loving cautiously.

A seed was planted. Our hearts flew open.

And now it’s time to bring her home.

So. YOU, specifically YOU, can be a part of this. A tangible part of uniting us with our child, whoever and wherever she is. From orphan to beloved daughter. It's going to cost a lot. Our daunting overall anticipated amount (which is around $50,000). Guys. It’s not always easy to ask for money. It’s humbling and scary and convicting. But this is such a beautiful thing, such a worthy investment. It has very little to do with us; it’s so much bigger. Join us? Pretty please?

More info at

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on August 21, 2015

Posted on August 21, 2015

The New Plan A

She wasn’t there. If you have been following along with our adoption journey on social media (and thank you, if so), you probably read our latest update in which we announced we would not longer be pursuing an adoption from Colombia. Essentially, while we were on vacation, we received word from our agency that the specific pilot program we were signed up with in Colombia was going to be terminated. Just to be clear, Colombian adoptions are still ongoing, just not the program we were enrolled in (I will gladly explain the whole situation in detail to anyone who might be interested). I initially dealt with some pretty intense feelings of disappointment, deep confusion, and uncomfortable restlessness. And, honestly, embarrassment. I felt naive and foolish in my confidence. I boldly proclaimed that I believed we had a daughter in Colombia (of course, even then I acknowledged the uncertainty of it while simultaneously believing it was an actuality). I was learning Spanish. I put a map of Colombia on the wall near my side of the bed, and I would look at it periodically wondering where she might be at any given moment. And then, just like that, she vanished. But she was never anything more than a concept. We never had a daughter in Colombia.

We spent the remainder of our vacation non-committed to any particular decision except that we were going to soak up our fleeting time together. Understandably, this unexpected turn of events prompted us to pray for direction while diligently researching possible alternatives and reaching out for advice/guidance from those we trust. And our hearts kept turning over for Africa . Africa, after all, is where my heart originally resided in the beginning of this crazy adoption adventure, but once presented with just how seemingly “perfect” the Colombian option was, we moved forward with South America. Not having ever been to Africa (or even close), this seemed/seems particularly unfamiliar and frightening – the distance, the potential instability, the unknowns. But, basically, we prayed for guidance and discernment, and we feel the Lord provided. We are very drawn to and extremely excited about this big leap. God has stirred our affections for and fixed our eyes upon a “new” international adoption destination some 7,348 miles away from the original…UGANDA. And now, my heart is hungry for everything Uganda. We are absorbing all we can about this beautiful place, saturating ourselves totally. He’s turned my sorrow into dancing.

We can rejoice. We can be thankful. He even worked it out that we would lose minimal time and finances in the paperwork process (He didn’t have to). A fairly smooth transition. And after having digested all of this, my prideful heart in admitting I was mistaken about our family geography has dissolved. I don’t feel any regret for embracing Colombia and attaching myself there. So many doors opened. So much was learned. Our hearts were softened so uniquely. Our faith was increased dramatically. And now we move forward. Expectantly and excitedly. We are relinquishing what control we somehow still thought we had. We are eager and anticipating whatever God has planned. I have no predictions. And honestly, if we came out of this adoption process daughter-less, He is still so, so good. His timing is perfect. His plans cannot be thwarted. I can be confident. And this was His plan all along, not some back up on the fly. We are living out His Plan A.

“…The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” Job 1:21

Posted on May 6, 2015

Posted on May 6, 2015

Can I be real with whoever decides to take the time to read this?


Do I believe we are called to adopt? Absolutely. Am I excited about this? To the point I could burst. Do I daydream about our life with her in it? Cars and trains…and doll babies?? Constantly. Do I believe this is really going to happen? I do.

I believe He equips those whom He has called according to His purpose.

But. So. Here’s the catch. I’m a doubter, among other things. I have this natural inclination to believe The Worst Case Scenario is looming around the bend. This is a struggle that needs recognition as it colors the way I do life. What does that have to do with the adoption process? Well, turns out, a lot.

Declarations like “we’re adopting” and “from Colombia” and “a daughter”…are very scary for me. Because in all reality, while I do believe these things to be true, I don’t really knowwhat this is going to look like. What if we say these things and prepare in this way, and then it doesn’t happen? What if we don’t pass the next step? What if we don’t qualify? What if the funds don’t come in? What if…

These thoughts and doubts are nothing new, of course. I have experienced them with my other children. I have not celebrated things fully in the past because I was timid, and the notions seemed fragile. Maybe too good to be true. Or maybe I didn’t want to be embarrassed and look like a fool when my dreams didn’t quite pan out. Like I ever had any control over them.

So. In this process, just like anything else in life, I have no real prediction of what lies ahead. All I know is what’s in front of me today and the direction I feel lead to go. And I’m not missing anything this time. While this journey is anything but predictable, I am choosing to sell out to the here and now. If the plans change, so be it. I will love our newest one regardless of geography or need or…or…

And if God closes this door all together, He is still good and worthy to be praised. If He called us here solely to stir in our hearts an openness, an exposure, a vulnerability…and we come out of this with no baby to show for it, so be it. These past few months have broken my heart. Held a mirror to my nose causing me look deep into my own sin. Brought me to tears (hopeful, happy, and heavy). Stretched me out of my comfort zone (and over again). Connected me with friends, new and old. And given me new breathe to read and write and create. I am thankful.

But. I DO BELIEVE WE HAVE A CHILD OUT THERE, and that He is working it out to bring us together as a family.

Now, excuse me, I’m off to Pinterest to finish decorating her room.

Posted on April 14, 2015

Posted on April 14, 2015

We are pursuing adoption for several reasons, but the primary reason is our belief that God, through the finished work of Jesus on the cross, has reconciled a beautiful group of people to himself from wildly diverse backgrounds and from the ends of the earth. As children of God, we have been adopted into His family. And Jesus traveled far and paid a high cost to make that adoption a reality. Caring for the orphan is not just a biblical command, it is a reflection of the very image of God.  In Jesus we are called and equipped to bear the image of God as worship to His infinitely valuable name and we do that by reflecting the diversity of His large forever family in our little forever family and by caring for the widow and the orphan. This is our primary joy and motivation in our desire to adopt.

There are many other reasons. Family is one of the single greatest gifts we have ever known, and we believe our family will be enriched by the addition of another sweet face. We desire to stretch our own understanding of what it means to love unconditionally. We desire that our current children know that the bond of family is not determined by blood or even by race or geography or history. We desire to raise awareness among our family and friends and others for the desperate need of forever families for so many orphaned children all over the world. 

We are currently part of a Colombian adoption program and hope to bring a child home to our forever family in 12-18 months. But the adoption journey is anything but predictable and there are bound to be curves and bumps in the road but in the midst of it all, we feel an overwhelming sense of joy and peace and we’re beyond excited for everything that lies ahead whether it be bitter or sweet and likely both.

We’d love for you to travel with us on this adoption journey.

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