Have you ever heard the expression, "One hand washes another?" In other words, when folks work together, both parties’ benefit. Such is the case with Gibsonia residents Roger and Stephanie Poorman and a team of volunteers who, on June 3, helped a friend with a home improvement project. The group stained the deck and painted lawn furniture for Patti Navilliat, also of Gibsonia. Navilliat is a widow; she and her husband, Joe, were married for 35 years before he passed away in 2015.
The refurbishing initiative was also a fundraiser coordinated by Both Hands. A family organizes a group of volunteers, and Both Hands coaches them on implementing the project. The goal is to help Christian adoptive families fund their adoptions by coordinating a service project fixing up a widow's home.
The Poormans are in the process of adopting a baby. They began the long and arduous journey in October. "Two different doctors said that a biological baby for us would essentially be a miracle. We lost the only baby we ever conceived naturally due to ectopic pregnancy in August of 2021. We decided to pursue a domestic infant adoption. We were told to prepare to pay around $50,000. It is overwhelming," said Stephanie.
The first step the couple went through was a home study process; they had to submit a wide range of documentation and were interviewed by a social worker. The Poormans also had friends and family members write letters of support on their behalf.
The couple has held numerous fundraising efforts; a major one was a puzzle project, in which each puzzle piece sold contributed $25 to their adoption fund. The project wrapped up in April. Stephanie's cousin is compiling a list of contributors. The completed list and the finished puzzle will hang in the baby’s nursery as a loving reminder of those that donated to the cause.
The couple's church, St. Thomas Anglican in Gibsonia, has also helped them in their fundraising efforts. They have received grant funding from Both Hands, Lifesong for Orphans, and Anglicans for Life.
The agency that the Poormans are contracting with for the adoption is Christian Adoption Consultants (CAC). Since Pennsylvania adoption laws are challenging, the couple works with Florida, Utah, and Arizona agencies.
They have to present a profile to the prospective biological mother; she decides whether or not to accept them as the parents of her infant. It is estimated that around two million couples are waiting to adopt, which is challenging.
The Poormans hope to be matched with a birth mother who is further along in her pregnancy so that they can be present for the birth of their child. Once the child is born, they must remain in that state until they are approved to return to Pennsylvania with their newborn.
For more information on the Poorman's Both Hands fundraiser, visit www.Bothhands.org/poorman-10385. For email inquiries, contact: email@example.com.
By Paula Green