Grunden Adoption

Grunden
Grunden Lititz, Pennsylvania

We were just a few weeks away from our son's due date when we got an unexpected email. The adoption agency that we used to bring home one of our children asked if I would call them right away.

My heart began to race as I dialed the number. We had a very good relationship with the birth mother we were matched with from that agency and just a few weeks before I reached out to them to see if they could help us find her. I went from regularly texting with her to finding that all of her numbers and social media accounts were turned off. Knowing some of the details of her difficult past, I feared the worst. My voice shook as I called the agency and explained who I was. However, I never expected what they had to tell me next.

My dear friend was pregnant again and due in a few months. They wanted to know if we were open to adopting the baby.

I was speechless. Not only was this dear girl ok, but she had found people who could help her and she wanted to get in touch with us again!

I quickly explained that we were interested but that we were already matched with a little boy who was due soon. I didn't know if that little boy would come home to us but we loved him and were committed to him and hoped he would be ours.

The agency gave me a list of people to contact if we were interested in moving forward and asked that we give them a decision within the week.

Our heads were spinning but our hearts were elated. We loved this girl who had already sacrificed so much so that we could be parents and we longed to help her gain a new start. But we also knew it would be easy for us to love her child as our own. As we prayed about the next steps and sought the wisdom of others we simply couldn't deny that we wanted to move forward to adopt this little girl.

We contacted our home study agency to see if we would be approved to adopt both children, should both adoptions move forward. And then we waited to see whether or not the son we were praying for would be ours.

Our son was born at the end of June and after spending a week in the hospital was released into our care. We spent the next three weeks in Michigan awaiting approval to come home to PA. Shortly after our son's birth we were asked to pay the first payment for our daughter's adoption. This was in conjunction with paying the balance of our son's adoption at his birth. Between those two payments we had exhausted our adoption and emergency funds.

We have always been able to pay for our adoptions from our personal finances. We made saving to bring our children home a priority and in God's generosity we've been able to afford to pay for the adoptions of our 5 older children. But this adoption was moving forward so quickly that we knew we would need to seek funding from other sources.

We have always loved inviting others on our adoption journeys. We know the prayers of the faithful are powerful and effective and we have often felt the prayers of others carrying us through the adventures to our kids. But this time, asking others to financially support us, has been a new and humbling experience.

We would love for you to join us as we bring home Grunden Baby #6. She is due at the beginning of November but the balance of the adoption funds are due on October 1st. We realize this does not give you much time to pray about joining us. We are sorry for that! We have already received two time extensions and a significant financial discount from the agency. But there are simply finances that are needed immediately to provide for the safety of our precious birth mom and our daughter.

Thank you for reading our story! It really does take a village to raise a child. Will you consider being a part of ours?


STRIPE charges an online processing fee (2.2% +.30 USD per transaction). Your donations will be decreased by this amount. You may also send a check payable to “Lifesong for Orphans”. In the memo line please write “Grunden 8015”, to ensure it is credited to our account. Please mail to Lifesong for Orphans, PO Box 40, Gridley, IL 61744.

Lifesong has been blessed with partners who underwrite all U.S. administrative and fundraising costs (TMG Foundation and other partners). That means 100% of your donation will go directly to the adoption.

  • In following IRS guidelines, your donation is to Lifesong for Orphans. This organization retains full discretion over its use, but intends to honor the donor’s suggested use.
  • Lifesong is a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization. Individual donations of $50 or more and yearly donations totaling $250 or more will receive a tax-deductible receipt. Receipts for donations under $50 will gladly be sent upon request.
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Raised to date by 41 people
 of  $18,000
40 days left

My Story

We were just a few weeks away from our son's due date when we got an unexpected email. The adoption agency that we used to bring home one of our children asked if I would call them right away.

My heart began to race as I dialed the number. We had a very good relationship with the birth mother we were matched with from that agency and just a few weeks before I reached out to them to see if they could help us find her. I went from regularly texting with her to finding that all of her numbers and social media accounts were turned off. Knowing some of the details of her difficult past, I feared the worst. My voice shook as I called the agency and explained who I was. However, I never expected what they had to tell me next.

My dear friend was pregnant again and due in a few months. They wanted to know if we were open to adopting the baby.

I was speechless. Not only was this dear girl ok, but she had found people who could help her and she wanted to get in touch with us again!

I quickly explained that we were interested but that we were already matched with a little boy who was due soon. I didn't know if that little boy would come home to us but we loved him and were committed to him and hoped he would be ours.

The agency gave me a list of people to contact if we were interested in moving forward and asked that we give them a decision within the week.

Our heads were spinning but our hearts were elated. We loved this girl who had already sacrificed so much so that we could be parents and we longed to help her gain a new start. But we also knew it would be easy for us to love her child as our own. As we prayed about the next steps and sought the wisdom of others we simply couldn't deny that we wanted to move forward to adopt this little girl.

We contacted our home study agency to see if we would be approved to adopt both children, should both adoptions move forward. And then we waited to see whether or not the son we were praying for would be ours.

Our son was born at the end of June and after spending a week in the hospital was released into our care. We spent the next three weeks in Michigan awaiting approval to come home to PA. Shortly after our son's birth we were asked to pay the first payment for our daughter's adoption. This was in conjunction with paying the balance of our son's adoption at his birth. Between those two payments we had exhausted our adoption and emergency funds.

We have always been able to pay for our adoptions from our personal finances. We made saving to bring our children home a priority and in God's generosity we've been able to afford to pay for the adoptions of our 5 older children. But this adoption was moving forward so quickly that we knew we would need to seek funding from other sources.

We have always loved inviting others on our adoption journeys. We know the prayers of the faithful are powerful and effective and we have often felt the prayers of others carrying us through the adventures to our kids. But this time, asking others to financially support us, has been a new and humbling experience.

We would love for you to join us as we bring home Grunden Baby #6. She is due at the beginning of November but the balance of the adoption funds are due on October 1st. We realize this does not give you much time to pray about joining us. We are sorry for that! We have already received two time extensions and a significant financial discount from the agency. But there are simply finances that are needed immediately to provide for the safety of our precious birth mom and our daughter.

Thank you for reading our story! It really does take a village to raise a child. Will you consider being a part of ours?


STRIPE charges an online processing fee (2.2% +.30 USD per transaction). Your donations will be decreased by this amount. You may also send a check payable to “Lifesong for Orphans”. In the memo line please write “Grunden 8015”, to ensure it is credited to our account. Please mail to Lifesong for Orphans, PO Box 40, Gridley, IL 61744.

Lifesong has been blessed with partners who underwrite all U.S. administrative and fundraising costs (TMG Foundation and other partners). That means 100% of your donation will go directly to the adoption.

  • In following IRS guidelines, your donation is to Lifesong for Orphans. This organization retains full discretion over its use, but intends to honor the donor’s suggested use.
  • Lifesong is a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization. Individual donations of $50 or more and yearly donations totaling $250 or more will receive a tax-deductible receipt. Receipts for donations under $50 will gladly be sent upon request.
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Moriah is home!

February 25, 2019

Hello again!

We want to thank you for joining us on the journey to our daughter!

Moriah was born on January 9th and Mom made it to her bedside shortly after she was born. Your prayers and financial support made this possible. Thank you so much!

Here is a little more of her story.

Rick and I just had a conversation about how we were feeling after our failed adoption. After praying together, we felt like we should contact the lawyer and let them know we were feeling up to receiving cases of potential adoption situations after the first of the year. 

We said goodbye to our visiting family on January 2nd and I, Kim, started to prepare my head for the inevitable pushback we’d receive as we started school the next day. I was mindlessly checking email when I received an urgent request to contact our lawyer’s office right away.

The email told us there was a baby girl due any day that needed a forever home. 

While we said we were prepared to receive situations after the first, we were still shocked to be presented with this opportunity so quickly! We were both a bit hesitant but the excitement on Rick’s face was undeniable.

We spoke to the lawyer the next day and found out a few crucial things. The birth mother and father were both involved in this decision, a first for us. They requested a Christian family, which gave us freedom to be more open with our faith. And they specifically asked for a family who had just experienced a failed adoption.

We’ve been around adoption for a while now, and this is the first time we have heard of a birth family who has made this specific request! The birth family, of their own accord, asked for this so that they could “bless a family who had recently experienced a disappointment.” This desire sent us over the edge into ugly cries and an overwhelming “yes!” to their request to tell the birth family we were an adoptive resource. 

I quickly wrote a letter to the birth parents and sent some photos (we didn’t even have a updated book to present since this happened so quickly) and waited to hear. We would be the only family presented to the parents and should find out in a few days if this was our daughter.

We found out 4 days later that they picked us! And just after midnight that day, we received a call that our expectant mom would be induced in the morning.

I jumped on a plane and landed just 20 minutes after Moriah Mae Sheibley was born. I was the first to change her and I had the privilege of teaching her birth father how to hold and feed her. 

I spent the day in the room with her birth parents before we were ushered to different rooms that evening. I hugged them and thanked them and told them I would see them soon as they graciously thanked me in return! 

I spent the next two days in a room with my baby girl and periodically checked on her parents down the hall. Her parents signed consents to terminate their parental rights and allow us to adopt her two days after her birth and we were all discharged at the same time.

Rick furiously prepared the rest of the gang to come to Florida – borrowing a van and a friend’s kids – and made the 13 hour drive in record time! Late, on January 10th, Rick met his daughter!

We spent the next week in an apartment that friends allowed us to use rent free, with lots of help from our teenage friends and lots of prayers from people around the globe.

When I boarded the plane to meet my daughter I didn’t have a place to stay, easy access to the funds we needed to take custody of her or any indication of how I would be received by her birth family. Rick didn’t have a vehicle that could carry our family or any idea how he would care for everyone if he could even get them to Florida. Within 24 hours the Lord had superabundantly provided everything we needed! 

And that provision came from the hands of you all! Thank you, thank you, thank you! 

You gave $25,000 that was crucial in paying for the costs needed to bring Moriah home. You gave us a place to comfortably rest as we transitioned to a family of 8. You gave us your children to act as helpers and your vehicles to carry us. You gave us meals and prayers, love and support.

We had to spend a week in Maryland waiting for paperwork issues to be resolved before we could return home – and you took us in, in the middle of the night. You took our children when they needed to taste a little bit of normal life. You prayed us through frustrating legal issues and you fought on our behalf when we had to appeal to legislators.

When we came home you brought meals, you held babies and you gave attention to our big kids who delight in their sister and yet have to proces the big emotions of their new normal.

I simply can’t find the right words to say enough thank yous. But please know we could not do this without you. Moriah would not be home without the army that surrounded us in love and support.

Living from grace to grace is difficult for me. I’d much rather help than be helped. But I’m grateful for this lesson you have all taught me – that being out of control can be sweet when we live this crazy life with all of you.

We love you! We are thankful for you! 

His, yours,

Kim for the Grunden 8

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Humble Happenings

November 17, 2018

Hello again,

It is with humility and a bit of shock that we share the next part of our story with you.

A little over a week ago I sent a quick email to our adoption agency before walking into my son’s school for an in-house field trip. Our bags were packed. Babysitting was arranged. Meals were frozen. We waited with much anticipation for the birth of our little girl. Just two days earlier we sat in church asking for people to pray for wisdom and discernment so that we might know when to hop in a car and drive down to Florida. We wanted to make sure that we didn’t miss being by our birth mom’s side as she labored.

In the middle of the field trip I received a call from our lawyer. We had hardly heard from our beloved birth mom and we wondered if they might be able to help connect us with her doctors. She told us she was feeling miserable – up all night with heartburn and sleeping all day. We attributed the silence to being on different schedules. We wondered if we could help her by advocating for her with the medical personnel who were caring for her. 

And then, reminiscent of that phone call that changed our lives just a few months ago, we received news that would stop us in our tracks. 

The girl that had called me “Mom” for the last 2 1/2 years went into the hospital three days earlier without telling anyone. She delivered the baby and would be discharged this afternoon with her daughter. I was speechless. My mind was spinning with questions. What had changed? Was she safe? Was she mad at us? Where do we go from here?

The lawyer tried to call her room several times. Each time he called someone unkown answered the phone and hung up on him. I tried to call – to remind her that we love her; to see if she was safe. I was put on speakerphone while others in the background coached her through the hard questions I asked.  When I asked to speak with her off of speakerphone, just us, she said no one else was there.

Stunned. Speechless. Sad. We cried out to God to tell us what to do next. 

Over the next few days we learned enough to know that this precious girl was surrounded by people who were leading her to make decisions that did not line up with the girl we knew. Most of these people had been in and out of her life for years – always leaving her to deal with the remains of their destruction in their wake. Our hearts ached for what had transpired. For the lies she had believed about us. For the danger that this family was left in. 

We made it clear that we loved her and would be here should anything change. Should she be left alone again, we would not go away. We are determined to show her what unconditional love looks like – if only she will let us. 

And we prayed that should her circumstances change, and should this still be our daughter, that it would be made known quickly. We waited. We prayed. And we remain in the silence of the circumstances. There will likely be no satisfying ending to this story anytime soon. We still cling to the hope that there will be happier endings in the future. But for now we are left without options in pursuing her.

We spent the next week trying to figure out what this meant for our future. We had only entered the adoption process so quickly because we believed the Lord was leading us to this child. And since we had just adopted, we found ourselved in need of taking new steps of faith to pursure this little girl. The major step being raising funds through this website.

Here is what we have learned. 

The lawyer will be refunding the money that we paid for his office’s services minus the funds that went directly to keeping the birth mom and baby safe. The funds that we gave her are gone. There is no way to get them back. We did know that these funds were at risk. But when we were reconnected this precious girl was living in a homeless shelter. We believe it was worthwhile, regardless of the circumtances, to help her to find some temporary stability by providing her with a an apartment, food and medical care. 

While we are blown away by how generous you have been to support our family, we strove to only raise half of the funds needed to being baby girl home. You can rest assurred that any of the funds you gave will go towards bringing another one of our children home in the future.That money is secure and will be given back to Lifesong for Orphans to be held in escrow until we adopt again.

While we did not plan to pursue another adoption right now, we have always wanted six children. While we feel no pressure to adopt right away we still feel led to adopt in the future. Thank you for supporting us as we continue to pursue our children – wherever they may be.

Because of these complicated circumstances we will be placed on a “short-list” of sorts with the adoption agency. Should there be a child that is already born who needs a home, or a situation that would be “low-risk” the lawyer will contact us to see if we are ready to move forward at that time. 

We have always believed the Lord is sovereign over our family. We have seen how intricately He has woven our lives together with our babes and we trust Him to do this once again. This could happen next week or next year. Only the Lord knows where our child is and when we will get to meet him or her.

As for us, we are in no rush. We will continue to pray, to save and to trust that the story the Lord is telling is immeasurably more than all we could ask or imagine!

Thank you for joining us. We are humbled. We are thankful. We are blessed.

Love,

RicKim

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Extension

September 29, 2018

We had a fabulous weekend with our dear, birth Mom. And while baby girl was not feeling the photo shoot she is stunning. Our sweet girl is set to join us anytime now. While her due date is at the beginning of November she is showing signs of wanting to come a little earlier. We can’t wait to meet her, no matter when she arrives.

Would you please join us in praying that God would provide for us to be there at the birth of our daughter? If we don’t make it in time our sweet birth mom will be alone. We really don’t want her to be by herself during this incredibly difficult time. 

We learned that we have time to continue to fundraise and you can see that our deadline has changed. We continue to be humbled by your support of our family and our little girl. Again, thank you for joining us on this journey!

The Grunden 8

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Birth Mom visit

September 21, 2018

To say we are overwhelmed by everyone’s support is a huge understatement! Thank you for blessing our family and our little girl!

We are headed to the airport to reconnect with our birth mom and to show her some love. We will get to see our little girl on a 3D ultrasound and will spend some quality time with our dear girl in Jacksonville, Florida. 

Please pray for this sweet woman to see how much we and Jesus love her!

Thank you for journeying with us! We love you all!

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Comments

$25

Jaclyn

Nov 4, 2018

“Love you Grundens!! Love, Jack”

$100

Leilani

Oct 27, 2018

“Love you guys! This is for both Malakai and baby #6! Come visit us when things settle down! Hugs all around! -Leilani, Mesbah, and Rowshan”

$100

George & Linda

Oct 25, 2018

$460

Peter

Oct 19, 2018

“With love from the Steins”

$25

Kelly

Oct 17, 2018

$1,000

Hidden

Oct 8, 2018

$150

Matthew

Oct 4, 2018

“Molly and I are excited to meet your new family member!”

$100

Bryan

Oct 3, 2018

“Exciting!”

$100

Jodi Madeira

Oct 3, 2018

“Many blessings to your family. I'm absolutely thrilled for you all!”

$500

Justin and Erin

Oct 3, 2018

“All our Love and Praying Always!!!”

$150

amber

Sep 30, 2018

“Praying for you guys & wish you all the best!”

$500

Jennifer

Sep 29, 2018

$300

Michelle

Sep 29, 2018

“WE LOVE YOU!!!!”

$1,000

Offline Donation

Sep 29, 2018

$750

Offline Donation

Sep 29, 2018

$512

Jackie and Jeff

Sep 27, 2018

“Donation #8015 Grunden Adoption To: Kim and Rick Love: Aunt Jackie and Uncle Jeff”

$3,800

Offline Donation

Sep 26, 2018

$50

Brian

Sep 24, 2018

“Praising God for your hearts to care for the orphan!”

$25

Michael

Sep 24, 2018

“What a blessing to aid a family as it grows through His will! The Long Family”

$100

Hidden

Sep 24, 2018

“Beautiful family, picture of Heaven!! Wish you all abundant blessings, much love, joy & many precious memories together!!”

$400

Hidden

Sep 23, 2018

“Baby Girl~ We love your family and we love you! Looking forward to you coming home and meeting you. Praying for you all! xoxo”

$3,100

Hidden

Sep 23, 2018

“You don't know us, but we read your story and God put it on our hearts to give towards your adoption. May the Lord bless your family and these sweet babies He is bringing you as well as their precious birth moms.”

$50

Melissa

Sep 22, 2018

“Love you guys!!”

$500

Chris

Sep 21, 2018

“Love the Grunden family!”

$100

Franklin

Sep 20, 2018

“We love you. C3”

$500

Laura

Sep 20, 2018

$20

Brooke

Sep 20, 2018

“Praying for your family!!”

$10

Molly

Sep 20, 2018

$200

Trish

Sep 20, 2018

“What an incredible gift you are giving this child and what incredible people you are. You are both tangible examples of the good that this world needs more of.”

$500

Anne

Sep 19, 2018

$200

Mary Anne

Sep 19, 2018

“Can't wait to meet the next member of your family! Steve & Mary Anne”

$1,023

Lauren

Sep 18, 2018

“You guys are amazing! Praying for you.”

$100

Jodi

Sep 18, 2018

$50

Carleen

Sep 18, 2018

$1,000

Hidden

Sep 17, 2018

$25

Hidden

Sep 17, 2018

$250

Elizabeth

Sep 17, 2018

“We're praying for you!”

$200

Jade

Sep 17, 2018

$100

Alison

Sep 17, 2018

“How blessed this baby girl is to be adopted into your precious family! Al and I will be lifting you up in our prayers these coming months.”

$100

Abigail

Sep 17, 2018

“I'm so excited for you guys!!”

$50

Katie

Sep 17, 2018

“Love you guys and wish we could give more! But I'll continue giving through prayer!”