Sun Prairie Family Adopts 10 Children, Advocates For Adoption

Date: 2008-11-03
Source: Channel 3000

Family Opens Adoption Ministry
November 3, 2008

SUN PRAIRIE, Wis. -- November is National Adoption Month, and in the United States, about 51,000 children were adopted in 2006, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

With this in mind, one local family shared their adoption experience they said in hopes of encouraging others to do so, WISC-TV reported.

Ten years ago, Reed and Sharon Leonard adopted their daughter from China.

"On the plane ride home, my wife said, 'Well, we have our daughter, we're done.' I said, 'No, I think we'll be back,'" said Reed Leonard.

"I said no way," laughed Sharon Leonard.

The Leonards said that they went on to adopt two more children and thought their family was complete.

"When we asked the girls what they wanted for Christmas –- four years ago she (Hope) said she would like 11 sisters from Ethiopia," said Sharon Leonard.

The family compromised and instead, began collecting underwear for Ethiopian orphans, something Hope said she had wanted the most when she was in an orphanage. Instead of shipping the collected items, the Leonards opted to deliver them in person.

"I was at work and she sent me the pictures and said, 'What do you think of this group?'" "I said, 'I think those are going to be our children," said Reed Leonard.

"It kind of snowballed from there," laughed Sharon.

The Leonards adopted seven Ethiopian children. Now, the Leonards are taking their experience and starting an adoption ministry at Living Waters Church in Sun Prairie.

"Every child needs a home and a family and the sense of belonging is so innate in every human being that we just don't function right without a family," said Gerald Clark.

Stay tuned to WISC-TV and Channel 3000 for continuing coverage.

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