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What's New

Meet The Manbeck Family!

"Our house and our hearts are full."
Meet the Manbecks - a newly reconfigured family who affectionately refer to themselves as “The Sensational Seven.” When Chad and Jenna decided to adopt a sibling group of three, their sons Luke and Ethan were “all in.” The couple did not initially set out to adopt. Recognizing that they “had more love to give,” they attended a foster parent orientation simply to seek information. But shortly afterward, when Jenna received a “waiting child update” email from The Adoption Exchange, she felt an instant connection with the trio of sweet faces featured in the photo. She and Chad discussed the situation and decided to pursue adoption. And that is how Jordyn, now age 12; Trust, age 11; and Selena, age 5, came to acquire a permanent family with new parents and new brothers: Luke, age 13, and Ethan, age 10.

Asked about their decision to adopt transracially, Jenna explains, “Race and ethnicity never played a role in our choice. We felt led to adopt
this particular group of siblings. We recognized the importance of keeping them together and keeping that biological connection for them. Also,
we knew that agencies often have more difficulty finding permanent homes for older children.”

After having lived in foster care for over four years, Jordyn, Trust, and Selena are thriving in the security and enrichment of their new home. A
girl with a fun sense of humor and an artistic bent, Jordyn shows great sensitivity to the needs of others. Kind and loving Trust enjoys playing
flag football and video games with his siblings. Sweet and funny Selena loves playing soccer, dressing up as a princess in her favorite color
pink, and watching the movie Frozen.

Luke and Ethan have gone out of their way to make sure their new sisters and brother feel included and welcomed. They devote many hours
to playing flag football, basketball, and video games with them.
Agency professionals, close friends, and their church community have all encouraged and supported the Manbecks throughout the adoption
process, filling up the courtroom to celebrate the children’s adoption day. The main obstacle the Manbecks faced was the adjustment from
having just two children to suddenly having five. Adopting transracially presents challenges that the family works to overcome “through honest
conversation and willingness to learn.”

Jenna and Chad appreciate the governmental assistance that makes adopting multiple children do-able: Medicaid coverage, monthly Adoption
Assistance subsidy, and the Federal Adoption Tax Credit. They write, “We are very appreciative of the continued financial help.”
If they could offer suggestions for improving adoption, the Manbecks would ask policymakers to streamline the process, to continue to provide
Medicaid coverage post adoptively, and to increase the public’s awareness that adopting from foster care is affordable.
Jenna reflects, “Adopting has been one of the most challenging things we’ve ever done! We’ve all lived together for a year now and we are
still learning and growing. Our hearts and our house are full!”