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Thurlby Family Adoption

“Would you go to China and adopt my best friend, Liang? He is 12. ”  – Our Adopted Neighbor, Josh (10)

I could fill a few pages here, but it’s really not overly complicated.  Most importantly, our family is united in our efforts to try to do just that.  We see this as the next part of the story God is writing for our family.  We celebrate the possibility, and we rest in the fact that The Lord can close the door at any time, just as He has in our two attempts to adopt Haitian children. We are so grateful for your friendship, love, and support.

Our adoption application is in.  There is a lot of work ahead and not much time.  We invite you to enjoy and engage on this adventure with us …

Jesus writes the best stories.  We don’t want to miss them.  We can’t wait to see what’s next.

We love you!

The Thurlbys

To DONATE BY MAIL, please send your check* to:  

ABBA Fund-Family Adoption Fund, PO BOX 868049, Plano, TX 75086-8049

(*Please DO NOT write the name of the family on your check. Doing so will invalidate it as a charitable contribution by IRS guidelines as explained below. Instead, either print out this page to include with your gift or write a separate note requesting that ABBA Fund preference your gift to this particular family.)



Thurlby-Family-PictureWhen we (Trace & Kristin) married in ‘94, neither of us thought of adoption as a way to build our family. When Kristin got sick a few years later, our hearts opened.  Better health brought Hannah and Carolyn, still, we couldn’t shake a couple of questions.  What was that adoption idea about?  And, now that we could have biological children, why wouldn’t we still adopt?  God was about to give us a lesson in His family.

In October of 2006, I found myself face-to-face with sixty orphans sitting in a cinder-block cafeteria in southern Haiti waiting for someone to love them.  A few months later Kristin and I walked The Great Wall on Sunday and were handed our third daughter, Elliese, on Monday.  We thought Elliese would just fit in as our Asian-skinned, American daughter.  While that’s true in many ways, God has also used Elliese to catalyze friendships (dozens of them) and experiences we never imagined.  We’re so grateful.

In early 2015, Kristin has been watching the fifth adopted child of family friends each day.  Josh, 10, is about the happiest, smiley-est child we now know.  He is very grateful for all small things.  He loves having a forever family.  He also seems to think all American families adopt children from China. This led him to ask Kristin this question (translated by Shumon, our neighbor, and one of many friends who speak Mandarin): “Would you go to China and adopt my best friend, Liang? He is 12. ”

God used this little boy’s question to once again awaken our hearts … and so, we’re prayerfully and obediently seeking His will.



If Liang becomes our son, we plan on calling him Liam. He will soon be 13.  If he’s not adopted by the time he’s 14, his adoption window closes.  He lives in an orphanage with 400 other children. He seems to be a leader and the life of the party …

He also is visually impaired. From his report:  He is enrolled in a school for the blind, studies Chinese, math, microcomputer, PE, music etc. likes microcomputer class best, gets along well with classmates, has great adapting ability, can look after himself in his life, teachers speak highly of him.  He can read braille, and he can see some, to the size of a pen, his report says.

Liam has congenital dysplasia of both eyes.  He had a surgery when he was young that gave him some sight; then he got no more care.  We don’t know if US doctors will be able to help improve his sight. No one probably really knows that if/until he gets here.  Of course we will try our best, but our hopes (and Liam’s hopes) don’t rest on restoring his eyesight.  Jesus sees Liam just fine.

Right now, we have no expertise related to the visually impaired.  We don’t speak Mandarin.  We are unqualified on those levels and many more.  In fact, as John Moore said at a recent conference, “there are 1,000 reasons not to adopt.  The only problem is none of them are in the Bible.” (

Using the online form on this page automatically submits a request to preference your gift to the family profiled on this page as part of ABBA Fund’s Christian Family Adoption Grant Fund. ABBA Fund administers this fund and maintains full control and administration of all donated funds. We also strive to honor our donor’s preference requests in accordance with IRS and Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) guidelines.

The IRS allows donors to state a preference of how their contribution is used and request that the gift support a particular family — and it allows the charitable organization (ABBA Fund) to fully consider that request as long as the donor understands and acknowledges for charitably given tax-deductible gifts that the ultimate authority regarding the disposition of your gift is at the discretion of the charitable organization. By using this online form, or other method described above, you are acknowledging an understanding of those IRS guidelines.

As required by IRS regulations, any tax-deductible donation is made to the charitable organization (ABBA Fund) and not the individual (family) — otherwise it is a non-deductible gift and should be given directly to the family. Every gift into the Christian Family Adoption Grant Fund is helping reduce the financial burden of adoption for families that have qualified for adoption assistance from ABBA Fund.

ABBA Fund is grateful for each donation given to the Christian Family Adoption Grant Fund, and broad participation in the fund helps ensure that ABBA Fund is able to assist each approved family with the grant and loan funds preferenced to reduce the financial burden of their adoption. ABBA Fund, a 501(c)(3) ministry, has provided more than $5.7 million in grants and interest-free loans to help 979 orphans become sons and daughters in 854 Christian families since 2004 (as of early 2015) — with more adoptions being assisted every month.

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