Minnesota residents Neal and Jeanne Binsfeld are making a few detours on their road trip with eight children before dropping off their eldest child this week for her freshman orientation at the University of Arizona in Tucson.
The Binsfelds, parents of three biological children and five adopted children with special needs, are visiting 15 western states this summer to share their "successful, but ordinary adoptive family" story in hopes of recruiting prospective foster and adoptive families.
Since their send-off July 30 from St. Cecilia Church in St. Paul, Minnesota, the Binsfelds have traveled to North Platte (Nebraska), Colorado Springs, Denver, Salt Lake City, Reno, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Scottsdale, (Arizona).
Besides sharing their story with media outlets at each destination, the Binsfelds participate in regional adoptive family events to capture attention with their story to "make some connections" for the 134,000 U.S. children in foster care waiting for permanent families.
'Something beyond us'
"Our Catholic faith has really been a strong influence in this whole process of adopting children and also talking about how adoption works," said Neal, 47, a disability specialist for Allina Hospitals.
Married in 1984 after they met working at a residential treatment center for teenage girls, Neal and Jeanne faced the prospect of childlessness when doctors told the young couple it was unlikely they would ever have children of their own.
Investigating adoption, the Binsfelds visited the Children's Home Society in Minneapolis where they saw a bulletin board of photos of international children, including a little Korean girl born with spina bifida. [snip] The Tidings (L.A.)