BILLINGS — November is National Adoption month and Saturday many adoptive families gathered at the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd to celebrate not only past adoptions but also the newest member of one Billings family.
Saturday was a day to remember for Ryan Young and Julie Beicken. It was the culmination of a process that started back in 2019 and almost eight months ago they met their new daughter for the first time.
"One amazing day we got a call saying that in 24 hours, a baby is going to be born in Whitefish. They said that she was pretty much perfect, and she definitely is," said Ryan Young, adoptive father.
Ryan and his wife Julie waited for National Adoption month to officially adopt their new daughter Victoria, because for them the moment is "about more than just their newest member of the family."
"I think it’s great to be able to celebrate and it’s not just about any one individual baby or family. It’s a whole community of people that are supporting this process for the babies and their futures," said Julie Beicken, adoptive mother.
National adoption month is a celebration of families that have adopted or fostered. As well as to raise awareness for the more than 140,000 children waiting to be adopted. Phillip and Sara Reintsma have been doing their fair share to help the cause by both fostering and adopting, and today they were celebrated.
"Originally when we went into foster care it was not for adoption. It was for it to be a safe place for kids who needed their families to be healed and have their parents make some different choices. When we realized that that wasn’t going to happen for our (adopted daughter) Marley, then we had to discuss whether adoption was something we were interested in. And we knew we were supposed to be Marley’s forever family," said Sara Reintsma, adoptive mother.
Marley was the first adoption after fostering for the Reintsma’s and it was a moment that started a journey that would double their family.
"It’s been an amazing thing just to watch our family grow. It was Sara’s idea and from the get-go and I was 100% in. It can be challenging at times but it’s rewarding at the same time. Seeing the changes and watching them grow and be a part of our family and becoming one family," said Phillip Reintsma, adoptive father.
The Reintsma’s have three biological children and have fostered six, four of which have become members of the family. They mentioned that it "can come with its challenges."
"There are definitely days that are hard, but parenting is hard regardless of whether it's biological, foster, or adoptive. And there are challenging days but there are amazing days as well," added Sara.
And they say they wouldn't have it any other way because it provides a chance to make a difference in a child’s life and provide a permanent and loving home.
"I would encourage anyone that’s out there, that’s thinking of fostering or adopting, to do it. It’s rewarding and you won’t regret it," Phillip added.