Danny & Charity Pedraza are the proud parents of two bundles of personality - Natalia and Nicky. They are active members of their church, Bible study leaders, homeschooling parents and volunteers in their community.
The kids love swimming, going to Build-A-Bear and collecting eggs from their backyard chickens. Anyone who has met this sweet young family has felt their loving kindness....they are truly gentle friends and would give a stranger the shirt off their backs.
My husband and I met the Pedrazas about five years ago and instantly we knew the warmth of their presence and felt their generous natures. They were always willing to help lessen the load of life for us. They would offer to sit at the kids end of the table to help cut food and swooped up crying babies when we were knee deep in a diaper change. They were not only kind but did it in a way that felt like they were welcoming us into their family. I personally am very honored to share the rest of this story with you.
Years ago, they felt the undeniable pull on their heart to add to their family through adoption. Adoption seemed like the natural extension of who they are as people....always opening their heart and home to those in need. Danny was born in Bolivia and has a unique viewpoint of seeing how truly rich we are in America and how we have so much to give. Both he and Charity are walking examples of generosity....both in things and in love. And when they talked about adoption, they said it felt like someone in their hearts was still not home yet.
Knowing that the adoption process is expensive, they faithfully put the funding in the hands of the Lord. They knew that if they were meant to receive an amazing gift and honor of raising up another child, that the money would fall into place. Through budgeting, sacrifices, taking on more jobs and applying for grants, they were able to save enough to move forward.
Their adoption process itself had so many obstacles...medical paperwork delays, job and schooling changes, and even watching their first agency dissolve and all their progress lost. During those months of frustration, it was so easy to see those speedbumps as defeat....but they patiently waited, continued to pray and always said that they felt like the Lord was using every day to prepare them for this next adventure. They often said that they were clinging to the word "abide" - which in the Bible means to continue on even in the face of defeat and despite lack of progress....in today's words....to keep on keeping on.
In their paperwork, they had said that they were open to sibling groups, any gender, and even children that were in need of medical support...not knowing what to expect meant that they were preparing their hearts for ANY possibility! In their prayers, they prayed for their son or daughter and the birth mother and even the foster parents. They prayed for the doctors and for the judges and even just prayed for a blanket of hope and peace over everyone involved.
Last week they were matched with a sweet little boy named Zane and everything fell into place. You can imagine that we all celebrated, cried and felt overjoyed at the idea that this baby would be part of all of our lives. On Friday they were told that this 11 month old handsome boy was chosen to be their son by the birth mother and that on Monday morning, they would need to be in Florida to meet him. The entire Pedraza family was ECSTATIC! They would finally be meeting the one they had waited for! They would finally be able to meet the one that was in their hearts for so long.
On the way to Florida, their van's transmission broke down. Danny and Charity were able to travel the rest of the way with a rental but this unexpected expense is the main reason for this GoFundMe campaign. Right now Charity and Zane are in Florida waiting for the repairs to be made to the car so that they can return home and their family FINALLY can come together! (selfishly....I also want them home so I can snuggle the new little guy!!!)
The total expense of the car transmission is $3,700 and the additional living expenses while in Florida are $300 (food, diapers, etc.). As you can probably guess - their savings have been depleted with the expense of the adoption and so this additional burden feels like the very last hurdle!
We are very happy that so many friends and family members have been able to donate to their adoption and we know that everyone is on a budget so we didn't create this campaign to pressure anyone to donate. The Pedraza's even said that they didn't do it themselves because they have seen so many other worthy causes that they didn't feel like they 'needed it as badly'.
I am hoping that any donation isn't only about the car being fixed. I am hoping that by giving even a single dollar, that you feel invested in this little boy's journey. That you will be willing to pray for them. That you will know that you played a part in their love story....however small it is. Because that is truly what we are doing in this life....playing small roles to make miracles happen. To be part of someone else's happily ever after is a profound and beautiful gift. And I know the power of the smallest gestures....as I personally have felt that overwhelming love when someone gives me heartfelt gifts.
Thank you so much for any support you can give. Most of all - thank you for praying for this sweet family and their new son. It means the world to them and to us. Our plan is to print out the messages from any donation to put in an adoption book for Zane to read one day - we would love for you to make sure your name is there and where you live as well as any message you would like to put in for him to read as he gets older. Thank you again and virtual hugs and kisses! xoxoxoxo
- Rebecca Rust
- Angela Ronk
- Haley Tlustos
- Susan Cunningham
Organizer and beneficiary
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