There are more than 1 million adopted kids in the country. Getting these children home is the challenge.

Heather and Jimmy Fisher know that better than most of us. Their first attempt to adopt an infant failed when the birth mother decided to keep the baby girl. The couple had already compiled a picturebook to introduce themselves to the woman and had been deeply immersed emotionally, readying their home and their lives for a newborn. The physical act of giving birth versus bringing an adopted child home has the same excitement, the same fears and joys, Heather Fisher said.

The biggest difference was investment: adoption can run hopeful parents tens of thousands of dollars, only a portion of which is returned should the birth mother change her mind. Imagine a slice of $30-$40,000 getting refunded because someone had second thoughts.

So members of the Fishers’ DeSoto County Mennonite church decided to pitch in on another adoption action. They’ve donated stuff for a huge yard sale, they’re running a fleamarket/craft sale later this month and plan a giant spaghetti dinner in April. These proceeds get poured back into adding one small person to the Fisher clan, which already includes a 7-year-old daughter and her parents.

“Great people, very supportive,” Heather Fisher said of membership at Pine Creek Chapel along State Road 72.

To expand their family, Heather and Jimmy Fisher had chosen an adoption consultant to point them in the right direction, Heather said. The idea wasn’t new: Jimmy’s family had members with kids adopted from outside the U.S. But the couple didn’t expect or anticipate the woman they had placed their faith in to birth a child would ditch them, especially with so much time, passion and financial commitment.

“It’s an emotional rollercoaster, for sure,” Heather said of the process, holding off on any criticism of the mother, perhaps understanding the bond as a parent herself.

Rather than dwell on what they didn’t have, the Fishers looked ahead. “We trust the Lord has a plan for us,” Heather Fisher said.

Which is great … but cash was an issue. So the church circled the wagons, said Bunny Copeland, a Pine Creek Chapel parishioner helping organize yard, flea and craft sales and the spaghetti spread to fund costs for the Fishers. The church, she said, is “loving, loving people that care.”

Copeland discovered another version of the church’s commitment to themselves many years ago. While she was off giving birth, Bunny Copeland’s husband one morning headed to work as a cluster of women stood at the door with cleaning supplies. The women had volunteered to care for Mr. Copeland, mending clothes, scrubbing and preparing an evening meal. He returned to a sparkling home, he told his wife.

The joke upon Bunny’s return with an infant: “He told me to go away more often,” she said, laughing at the memory as she and a dozen or so volunteers loaded a trailer of stuff for a yard sale to benefit the Fishers.

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