My wife and I are the blessed parents of two wonderful children. My 19-year-old son is a young man of integrity and our 5-year-old daughter is a bundle of energy. Both are great sources of pride, joy and love. Both are also miracles. Let me explain.

I remember the day well that I got the phone call from my physician with the news I dreaded to hear; I was not able to have biological children. Only those who go through infertility understand the pain, loss and unfounded shame that plague you in that moment. While I was blessed with my son already at that point, there is still a loss for your future children.

At this point, someone is thinking “Wait! How can you have a son if you can’t have biological children?” You guessed it … adoption. I met my son when he was 7 months old and have enjoyed a father/son relationship with him ever since.

That’s why adoption was such a natural choice for my wife and I when we wanted to bring another child into our family. I could not imagine a stronger bond than what I have had with my son, so we had no concern adopting again.

However, this time we would be adopting through the “system.” A whole new world of avenues were before us, including fostering to adopt, domestic adoption and international adoption. While the roads were plentiful, we found to roads to education in each were limited.

We went through the education to foster to adopt, we had an adoption agency to navigate paperwork and we had others who had been down their own roads of adoption but there was still something missing.

To make things even more complicated, we were feeling led to an international adoption. This means dealing with the systems of two countries, including a foreign country where the laws were changing every time the wind changed direction. We would get phone calls, emails and documents flowing back and forth from different agencies while wondering, “What was that last thing I signed?”

The other challenge was the financial obstacles of international adoption. My wife became a fundraising machine. I was amazed how family, friends, and even faces I did not know, got involved in events to help us raise the finances to bring our daughter home.

It was a dizzying time, but one that came to complete peace when they laid my daughter Emily in my arms for the first time. We met Emily when she was 8-months-old in a baby house in Urolsk, Kazakhstan. Since then, our daughter has been raised in a loving home full of family, faith and fun.

We do not know if God will lead us to adopt again. We continue to pray through that one. However, we are very passionate about helping others be able to find their children the way we have. We desire to help others have a path that has more support and education what we had. The question was, how?

That’s when I came across a group called “Adoption Discovery,” out of Georgia, when I was at a national pastor’s conference. Joining forces with this ministry, I was able to be educated and certified to help families with support, tools and education through the adoption process. With this partnership, we are now able to start offering an “Adoption Discovery” group in Marion.

“Adoption Discovery” is designed for those considering or going through an adoption of any kind. We are here to provide you an avenue to answer questions, clear information on the different options available to you, self work that will help prepare you, and a support group of others who are or have been where you are.

There are many who have in their heart to provide a loving home for a child who do not forward because of the unknown that they assume are walls (example: Did you know you could adopt a child for as little as $0?). Adoption Discovery is here to help dispel these misunderstandings and help families find each other.

We will be starting our first group this July through The Shepherd’s Fellowship in Marion, Ohio. To find out more information about this group, feel free to contact us at 740-382-3500 or click the “Adoption Discovery” link at

About Tom Hypes

Tom Hypes is an ordained Pastor who has served in churches and the camping ministry for over 25 years. He currently leads at The Shepherd's Fellowship and volunteers at Leapin' Outreach (clothing ministry), Marion County Citizen Circle (helping clients with transitions from prison to community), Kirkpatrick Food Pantry, and ministers in the local nursing homes. He has also contributed to Group Magazine, CBA Marketplace, and Youth Worker Magazine. He serves in his ministry in the partnership with his family; wife Jenni, son Ryan, and daughter Emily.