On Thursday night 10News reached out to our viewers via our Facebook page asking for you to share your adoption stories with us.
What a great response!
The news that Russian President Vladimir Putin intends to sign a bill banning United States' families from adopting Russian children got us at 10News thinking about all the kids in Tennessee waiting for their forever-homes.
Many of you emailed to share the joys of both local and international adoptions.
At 10News we have a long standing history of bringing attention to children in our community looking for homes and wanted to share one story tonight.
According to Adoptuskids.org, there are 9,017 children in Tennessee's foster care system. One thousand seven hundred and seventeen of them are waiting to be adopted.
We spoke to one family whose adoption story spanned 11 years and seven children.
The Brasfields hope sharing their story will inspire others to open their homes as well.
Andy and Jill Brasfield recently celebrated 25 years of marriage.
Their house is full of joy and kids. But they weren't always sure that was meant to be.
They suffered several miscarriages and applied to be foster parents in 1993.
While in the process of adopting their first foster child, Daniel, they became pregnant.
Then weeks away from giving birth, they got the call.
Daniel's birth mother was having another baby. Did they want him?
"We went to the hospital, big and pregnant. And we got a brand new baby and walked out still pregnant," recalls Andy.
They went from having one child to having five children within 15 months.
"We didn't sleep," chuckles Jill. But she says they'd do it all over again.
"It's scriptural principal. When you welcome one of these little children in my name, then you welcome me," says Andy.
Jill says they briefly contemplated international adoption, but quickly decided it just wasn't their solution.
"We felt like there were children here waiting that needed homes," says Jill.
It hasn't always been easy. All at once they had three kids in diapers, two taking bottles.
Their youngest is now eight.
"I've been called to the principal's office," says Andy. "And not as a student, as the dad."
However they say the adoption process wasn't one of their challenges.
According to Creatingafamily.org the cost of adopting a child from public foster care averages at around $2,200.
They report the cost of adopting a child internationally averages around $44,000.
In the Brasfield's case the State of Tennessee covered most of their costs, as they do in special cases such as in sibling adoptions.
"So many people are seeking some kind of fulfillment. What am I here for?" says Andy. "We believe this is what we're here for."
They hope other families will open their hearts and minds to the possibility that there is a child waiting for them.
"Our whole goal in the beginning was to be somebody's parents. And that happened," says Jill.