11/06/02 - Adopting Special Needs Children

It's a touching story of a Heartland family, built with the love of two parents. The couple says adoption was a mission, a calling for them, but their's is no average adoption story. They have 3 kids, two with special needs.
Dennis and Bonnie Cepulak say it hasn't been easy raising three girls, but they would never change the decision they made, 12 years ago, to adopt.
Bonnie says, "When we became foster parents, we weren't considering adoption because we had a son already in college, we thought two years." But two years, has turned into a lifetime for Bonnie and Dennis Cepulak to be Koren, Kimberly, and Kalah's parents. "It helped fulfill a need in my life to mother, we couldn't have any other children." Bonnie says. "I had always wanted girls," Dennis Cepulak says. "I discovered you have to be careful what you pray for, I not only got one, but I got three."
The couple adopted 17-year-old Koren when she was five. A few years later, they adopted sisters Kimberly and Kalah. Kimberly who is 14 now, was almost two at the time, and 12 year old Kalah was 14 months. They've always been a happy family, but it hasn't always been easy. Kimberly and Kalah suffered from fetal alcohol syndrome. "That's what they told us with these children, and their special needs, do you know they'll probably get worse when they're older. I told them I understand that, but the Lord will equip me with what comes along," Bonnie says.
And a lot has come along. Kimberly and Kalah have overcome behavioral and learning problems. "They're all doing real well, making progress, overcoming their handicaps, dyslexia, anger management," Dennis says. "There's good times and bad times, but overall it's been good times," their daughter Koren says.
Bonnie's hobby of making puppets has given the family a lot of good times. She sends them to churches and schools around the world. And the whole family helps. Dennis Cepulak is a pastor and often times, at church, they put on puppet shows. Just one of the little things, the Cepulaks say they can't do without each other. And just one of the happy times, they've had since they became a family 12 years ago.
"You're not going to find a perfect child," Bonnie says. "You have to realize their God's child, they need a home, they need stability, and God will equip you." There are some big events coming up for the Cepulaks. Koren is graduating from high school next year, and is getting married in the near future.
Currently, there are more than 130,000 children in foster care in our country, waiting for permanent homes. You can go to the Adopt US kids website by clicking here.