Giving Hope and a Future: The Coetzer Family Adoption Story

Adrian and Jennifer grew up in families that consistently welcomed children in need.

So for them, they felt adopting a child wasn’t a question of “if” but “when.”

Like many Christian couples, adoption was something Adrian and Jennifer discussed early in their marriage. But then they had two biological sons and life got busier.

One day, their three-year-old son, Sutton said out of the blue, “I’ve been dreaming of a sibling coming, and he’s going to live here”—and Sutton started setting an extra place at the table for the sibling he was sure was on his way.

Only, Sutton had no idea Adrian and Jennifer had seriously started talking about adopting a child.

Watch this story to see the profound impact of adoption on the lives of Adrian and Jennifer’s family and community

They adopted Caleb first.

For Adrian and Jennifer, adopting a child was a process of consistently surrendering their expectations to God.

They planned to adopt an older child with a physical disability. But they received a phone call that they had been matched with a baby boy with no physical disabilities.

Adrian and Jennifer always felt blessed to be in churches that prioritized love and care for the vulnerable, whomever that may be.

Then, they learned firsthand how incredible their community of faith was at raising funds for Caleb’s adoption. 

Adrian and Jennifer set up a Lifesong mySTORY page.

With Caleb’s adoption, they needed to raise a lot of funds. So in addition to receiving the Lifesong matching grant, Adrian and Jennifer chose to use Lifesong’s mySTORY crowdfunding tool.

The mySTORY online giving platform offers a seamless way for individuals to share personal stories and raise funds for their adoptions. Users create personalized fundraising pages, share their stories, and connect with supporters to help bring their children home.

Many crowdfunding sites charge an additional 5–7% in administration fees. But Lifesong’s mySTORY doesn’t charge fees for usage, saving families hundreds of additional dollars.

So Adrian and Jennifer wrote a letter and sent it to friends and family with a link to their mySTORY page. And in Jennifer’s words—

“We were blown away by how many people gave.”

Not only did people give, but givers also shared the link to Adrian and Jennifer’s mySTORY page on their own social media, inviting others to participate.

They brought Caleb home.

Caleb was 16 months old when Adrian and Jennifer adopted him. And in their words, life just became crazy with three little boys.

One of their favorite memories was when Caleb and Sutton met, because Sutton had dreamed of another brother and finally saw it happen. Jennifer shares—

“There really was this instant connection between the two of them. I remember Sutton just wrapping his arms around Caleb and just hugging him like they had always known each other.”

But a while later, Sutton approached his parents again. This time, he was dreaming of a sister. Jennifer explains—

“He said in every dream she would get a little bit older. And he specifically said her adoption is going to be free. We didn’t really know what to do with that. I wondered if maybe we would adopt out of the foster care system. But we just let it sit in our hearts, wondering what it might look like.”


They decided to pursue adopting a child from the same orphanage in the Philippines.

“One day, unexpectedly, the orphanage asked us to pray for a family for this 14-year-old girl named Mhadelyne.”

According to Philippine law, children over 15 cannot be matched for adoption. So finding a home for Mhadelyne was a race against the clock.

Jennifer and Adrian hadn’t considered adopting a teenager, so they agreed to pray about it. And they did pray. Over the next months, they kept asking God to help Mhadelyne find a family.

“But the more we prayed for her, the more we realized that she was our daughter.”

So Adrian and Jennifer began the process to adopt Mhadelyne.

But during this time, Jennifer’s mom was diagnosed with two stage four cancers. It was a devastating time for Jennifer—

“We didn’t have a lot of money to fund an adoption. And I had quit my job in order to help care for my mom. So we really didn’t know how in the world we were going to make it work.”

Yet, they knew God was calling them to trust Him.

They applied for a Lifesong matching grant, set up another mySTORY page, and waited for the call. But when they received the call, it wasn’t what they were expecting—

An anonymous donor who had never met Adrian or Jennifer decided to fully fund their adoption.

According to the giver, “I just knew I was being nudged and needed to obey. I knew without a doubt that God was calling me to this beautiful story.”

Adrian and Jennifer got the phone call about the anonymous donor on Mhadelyne’s 15th birthday. In the Philippines, Mhadelyne was concerned the clock was running out, but on the other side of the world, God was giving hope and a future

“It felt like the forces of good and evil were competing on the same day. But God won. What the enemy meant for evil, God turned and used for good. And this anonymous giver decided to make it possible for us to bring Mhadelyne home so her story wouldn’t end the way she feared it would.”

God provides.

He provides families with the courage and perseverance they need to step out in faith and pursue children in need. He provides givers with finances to bless families, and He provides entire communities with resources and creativity to lend support.

And each person is needed to bring children like Caleb and Mhadelyne home through adoption, changing their lives, and giving hope and a future.

In Adrian’s words—

Why are we surprised that God came through? We knew it would happen somehow. And you know, as hard as it was, it’s incredible to think back about the lessons God taught us in those moments. If God calls you to do something, he’s going to take care of it. 

And in this story, God used people like you to make it happen.

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