Meet The Family Who Brought Back Our Most Popular Tee
Juli Anna Vonderharr always knew she wanted to adopt.
From the time she was a little girl, she felt there was a child who grew in her heart instead of her belly who she would get the privilege of someday calling "daughter" or "son."
But her life was full.
With three young superheroes and a very busy physician assistant husband (who traveled outside the country several times per year), life had happened, and she assumed adoption would be a dream she supported for some other family.
Until, that is, her husband brought it up.
"What do you think about adopting?" Mark asked after an especially poignant sermon about being the hands and feet of Jesus to widows and orphans around the world.
She didn't even have to blink. The answer had ALWAYS been a resounding YES.
This courageous couple poured hours into the discussions that followed.
Domestic or international?
Special needs or "healthy"?
Younger or older?
Boy or girl?
After many hours of research, discussion and prayer, they began pursuing the adoption of a little girl from Bulgaria, one who would fall inside the birth order of their children and one that would fit what THEY believed their family needed.
But they completed their homestudy.
They submitted their paperwork.
They waited and waited and waited, and no referrals for young girls under the age of their youngest came through their adoption agency doors.
"Why?" they began asking themselves. It hadn't been just months; it had now been two years.
And still, no available young girls for them to adopt.
That's when they delved deeper.
"We began to ask each other if we were being too picky. Or too closed. And God said, 'Open your hearts. Just a little wider. And listen. And watch,'" Juli Anna said.
And that's when God spoke.
They opened their age range. They opened their hearts. They opened the parameters they had put on what God might do. And in searching for "their girl," God showed them H1S.
An older brother-sister pair began appearing everywhere around them.
On advocacy sites.
On emails from adoption agencies they'd never even heard of.
On materials they hadn't even intended to read.
In their dreams.
"I'd wake up in the night with them on my heart. I could NOT stop thinking about them," Juli Anna said.
And then they showed up in the only place this growing-more-courageous-by-the-minute couple could actually learn anything about them.
IN THE HANDS OF THEIR VERY OWN ADOPTION AGENCY!
They prayed. They cried. They prayed and prayed some more.
And they came to the same conclusion.
Most families aren't running after teenagers, much less TWO of them.
Who would want to adopt two nearly grown young adults who deserved more than anything the chance at forever family but who had hardships and histories that could create unintended challenges in everyday family life?
And they knew.
Mark and Juli Anna Vonderharr have now been officially matched with this precious, perfect sibling set. Luke and Danni are 14 and 17 years old.
If he hadn't met his forever family for the first time in July, this young man would have aged out of the Bulgarian adoption system altogether.
After two and a half years of waiting to meet the children God placed in their hearts before He placed them in their hands, the Vonderharrs traveled to Bulgaria to meet the duo they will soon legally call "daughter" and "son" this summer.
They played with them.
They hung out with them.
They got to know their histories, and they got to know their hearts.
And in the next three months, they will bring them forever HOME.
The Vonderharrs started this journey planning for one adoption.
They are now completing two.
They planned to bring home a young girl.
They are now bringing home TWO TEENAGERS.
Their costs to complete both adoptions and to travel to Bulgaria twice, once this past summer and once more to officially bring them home to the United States in the next three months, are great.
And it is our privilege to lighten their load.
Sage Harvest is bringing back the popular Steadfast and Immovable shirts, the same shirts we designed for a little boy who, in a surprising turn of events, actually became our son.
Because we can't think of a family more steadfast and immovable in the face of a three-year adoption process and the call to embrace two teenagers than this one.
Reclaiming hope for the fatherless is not for the faint of heart.
Thank you, Vonderharrs, for your immovable conviction that these teenage orphans living abroad in Bulgaria are not statistics but beautiful, invaluable, priceless ones of H1S.
PURCHASE YOUR STEADFAST + IMMOVABLE TEE HERE