View Kyle & Jared receving their birthday present from "Ahma & Ahgung"

Our son, Jeff, met Robin while pursuing a degree in K-12 teaching at Missouri Southern State University in Joplin MO. (Robin is the daughter of Dwight & Diane Brennfoerder, friends of ours from College Heights Christian Church in the same town.) They were married following Jeff's graduation and lived here in Taichung, Taiwan for about seven years. Jeff was the Elementary/Middle School P.E. teacher at Morrison Academy. Jeff & Robin and their kids moved back to Joplin, MO in the summer of 2002, purchased a home and put down roots in the Midwest. They have four active children, Emilee & Danae (6 years old) and Kyle (4 years) & Jared (3 years). Their eldest daughter, Emilee (Wan-Ting, in Chinese), was adopted by them five years ago.

A little bit about Wan-Ting (Emilee):
Wan-Ting was born with multiple birth defects, and was in the care of Christian Salvation Services in Taipei, Taiwan until a Community Church elder and his wife, Mike & Linda Birge, took her into their home to provide foster care. Under their loving nurture, Wan-Ting blossomed in every way. Although she had to go through several surgeries and procedures while in their care, she began to grow into a bright, cheerful, confident little toddler.

The Birges, who are "our age", made it known when they left Taiwan several years back that they would not be able to adopt Wan-Ting. It was then that Jeff and Robin began praying about bringing Wan-Ting into their family. The Birges worked with Jeff & Robin to bring about a smooth "transition" for Emilee. Danae and her sister-to-be visited in each other's homes and Emilee even had a "sleep-over" or two! Robin was able to be with Linda and Wan-Ting at the hospital when Emilee had her first surgery to close her cleft palate. Over the years before and after Emilee's adoption became final, Danae and Emily grew into best "buddies" and soul mates, and now they are sisters! It is impossible to imagine our their family, and ours, without Emilee's irrepressible good nature and mischievous smile.

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