Columbus family shares their international adoption process

Columbus family adopts boy from Africa
Published: May. 23, 2016 at 10:29 PM EDT|Updated: Jan. 10, 2017 at 3:42 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - New research from the U.S. State Department shows international adoptions have been on a steady decline over the past decade, but Georgia ranks fifth in the country for receiving children from overseas.

The U.S. Council on Foreign Relations has counted at least 70 armed groups controlling and terrorizing communities across that country. One Columbus family says God drew them to the conflicted African nation to change the life of one child, and now, it's forever changing their family.

"The first moment I saw Muntu, he ran to me and we hugged and hugged. There was an immediate connection," said Beth Brown as she described the emotional moment for her and her husband Michael Brown.

After three years of paperwork and hold ups, their adopted son Muntu was coming home.

From adjusting to new food, to figuring out modern conveniences like escalators at the airport, 8-year-old Muntu has a lot on his plate. With French and Lingala under his belt, he's now on his way to becoming trilingual.

In just three weeks, he's learned to swim, ride a bike and fly a kite

Perhaps it's the overwhelming love from his new family in Columbus that has given him the courage to tackle so many new things.

Brother Noah and sisters Mary Claire and Hannah Beth, have been showing him the ropes.

"I was getting out of the car to go to school and he said I love you," said Mary Claire.

The process hasn't come without questions and skepticism for the family. Beth Brown explains how she answers those who ask, "Why not adopt a child in the U.S.?"

"It's a calling. A total God thing to send us to Africa. There is a need here but I think the number in Kinshasa, or is it the DRC, is three million orphans. That's really hard to grasp," said Beth.

On top of that, Muntu was the oldest child in his orphanage. While services in the states care for children until 18, Muntu could have met a much different fate. With no living parents or family to take him, once the orphanage needed space, Muntu would have been on the chopping block.

"It is scary to think when he would have rotated out and he would have been on the streets. We saw a lot of that," said Beth.

"We saw countless kids that are still in those conditions, and are still looking for the opportunity at having a loving family or just having some of their basic needs met," said Michael.

With those needs met, Muntu now has the opportunity to be a kid...a feeling of freedom that has no language barriers.

Copyright WTVM 2016. All rights reserved.