Seven kids and counting, a family’s heart for children overseas

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MUSKEGON, Mich. - A family of eight is looking to adopt their seventh child internationally.

After adopting three kids overseas, the Wachters hope to bring home their fourth from China by the end of April.

They have three biological kids and they've adopted three from overseas, and pretty soon they'll get to bring home a seventh child from China they're calling, "Judah."

"I think after three everybody just sort of assumes you're crazy," said Joel Wachter, the father.

Joel and his wife Rabecca adopted their first child from Korea in 2009.

"For us, our hearts have been over seas," said Rabecca. "But I don’t know if I can really pinpoint why that is but that’s where our hearts happen to be."

Today, the Wachters have six beautiful children and they couldn't be happier, but after recognizing the need overseas for children to be adopted, Joel and Rabecca say they couldn't walk away without responding. Now, they're looking to bring home their seventh child from China they're calling Judah. A four-year-old boy with a chronic illness called thalassemia.

"It’s basically a genetic blood disorder where the body can’t produce hemoglobin," said Rabecca. "And it's so severe, he depends on regular blood transfusions."

Due to Judah's health and the current blood shortage in China, the Wachters are expediting his adoption.

Because adopting internationally is so expensive, Joel and Rabecca are raising money on, a free online fundraiser where anyone can give financial support.

They plan on raising $15,000 by the end of April, an ambitious goal but the Wachters know it's worth it.

If you would like to help the Wachters bring "Judah" home, just click the link.

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  • Daniel Rudd

    This is the first I’ve heard of this fundraiser, but when I saw this story, I wanted to leave a comment (with my real name). I have had first hand experience with this family through local sports programs. They are honest, unassuming, thoughtful people with a genuine desire to make the world a better place. I believe that all of the kids raised in this home will enrich this community. In many distinct ways, this situation stands apart from typical requests to help parents cover the costs of foreign adoptions. If you spend 10 minutes researching the medical condition, you will see that time really is of the essence. While the news story emphasizes more of an emotional connection, there are some practical reasons why this family is ideally situated to make a difference for this child. And while they are working with relatively modest resources they are prepared to make a substantial financial commitment. The $15,000 could make a huge difference right now, but it is a very small portion of what they have saved on their own, and what they have committed for the future. I hope West Michigan can take care of this amount within a day or two.

  • JB

    If they cannot afford the 15,000 for the adoption, how are they going to be able to afford the child’s medical treatments and care?
    oh, that is right, THEY are not.
    They seem awfully kind and compassionate I admit, but it seems like they don’t have the ways and means to support these children or their medical problems and are basically using them as charity fund raiser’s and are really relying on the charity of others “taxpayers, goodwill donations, the government dole , etc.” to support these kids and likely themselves as well.
    There are a lot of needy kids here already that could sure use that “good will”…but you don’t get paid to adopt those, I guess.

    • Daniel Rudd

      JB, what is your basis for these assumptions? Did you watch the interview? Are you familiar with the process? I don’t think they are saying that they can’t afford the adoption or that 15,000 is what the adoption costs. I believe that the money they are raising now is an effort to expedite the process because of the medical condition.

      It seems evident that they have planned for ongoing costs and have already demonstrated their ability to provide a stable home. Do you have some reason to believe that this family will not be covered by health benefits earned through consistent hard work and stable employment? I’m not sure how you arrived at the assumption that any of this is funded through the government.

      While I don’t think very many people adopt special needs children or open their home for foster care because it is lucrative, I believe that any government subsidies are more substantial and accessible in domestic special needs adoption. In this case, there seem to be some compelling reasons for this international adoption, and a good plan for making it work. But whether it’s domestic or abroad, we need more people to do what this family is doing. I don’t think there is any indication that they aren’t carrying their share.

      • JB

        The only “assumptions” I am making are that they want other people to pay for their charitable acts.
        And considering that they are indeed asking for money, it is hardly an assumption.
        Sorry I don’t like the sound of ” we are just so in love with adopting foreign children, we already have three and want a few more different varieties , would you please donate some money so that we can make our dreams come true because our hobby costs a lot and we cannot afford it?”
        And that’s is indeed what they are just isn’t worded so honestly.
        sorry if my opinion bothers you.

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