Friday, December 22, 2006

Eight children in one household is OK

Family opens home and hearts to orphans
Tish and Justin Naville adopt Liberian trop. bringing brood to 8
Schultz, Cynthia. Louisville Courier-Journal, Dec.28, 2005.

Rose pleaded with her big brown eyes wide open. "Mammaaaa ... I need food," the 5-year-old said as Tisha Naville scooped homemade granola into a bowl and smothered it with milk.

It was early afternoon and Rose already had eaten several times - something to which she isn't accustomed. She has only known Naville as her mother since September. That's when Rose and her siblings, Skylar Ruth, 3, and Elijah, 2, were adopted from a Liberian orphanage, Acres of Hope, by Naville and her husband, Justin, of Floyds Knobs.

The Navilles have five other children, Kevin and Kala Smith, 15 and 13; and Kylie, Kamron and Kendall Naville, ages, 7, 5 and 2. But Tisha, 35, who was pregnant with her sixth baby last spring, was haunted by what she had read in Above Rubies magazine and the book, "When Little Ones Cry" about children suffering in Africa.

"I started reading about the need in Africa (for adoption); I was touched," she said. "I prayed about it."

Picture no electricity and thousands of homes without toilets. This West African nation is gripped by poverty and a raging 14-year-old war that has left thousands of orphans in its wake.

Tisha Naville wanted to adopt a baby so she could nurse it along with her biological one. She miscarried in May, but her vision remained strong as did her conversations with Justin, 39.

"In all reality, when Tish first told me I was like: 'You gotta be out of your mind! We've got five kids,'" said Justin, a supervisor for Strohbeck Construction. "But she told me the Lord was moving her in that direction, and she cried herself to sleep."

Eventually, Justin agreed. After all, they had a 4,000-square-foot house that he built, and his wife is a devoted homemaker.

After reading about Acres of Hope, Tisha Naville contacted Patty Anglin in Mason, Wisc., who had founded the Liberian orphanage/adoption agency with her husband, Harold, in 2003. Naville was told to get a home study done by an adoption service.

In May, Naville hired Childplace in Jeffersonville to conduct the required international home study. The agency's adoption supervisor, Nicole Stone, interviewed the family three times to determine whether they were able to care for a child. The results were sent to Immigration Services in Indianapolis, which reviewed the information and forwarded it to Acres of Hope.

"It's tons of paperwork," said Stone. A home study can take weeks to months. The Navilles, who paid $1,800 for the study and met all the criteria, called Acres of Hope in July.

Tisha Naville wanted a baby or maybe twins, but Anglin had a trio of siblings that desperately needed homes. Seeing their photo was all the Navilles needed to say yes, Tisha Naville recalled.

Rose's adoption cost $6,000; the others $4,000 each - a lesser amount because the Navilles were taking two other children.

Money was a concern from the start. In addition to the home study, there were passports, visas, airfare for Justin Naville and his wife's sister, Tina Rufing, who went along to get the children and bring them back in September.

Justin Naville said the sad conditions at the orphanage were heartbreaking."There were about 35 toddlers and 10 babies," he recalled. "They were all crying with their hands up when they brought the three children out. It was sad for the other children. They knew that people came who were going to take some children home. They sang a song, "Someday, They Will Come For Me,'" which was emotional, he said.

They stayed a week to complete the details. Tisha Naville, who home schools and nurses Kendall, stayed behind to take care of the family.

The Navilles had to pay an attorney to get them through the adoption process in this country. The costs totaled $36,000.

But money flowed from several sources. Tisha Naville tapped the $10,000 she had saved for her children's future. Family and friends donated and lent money. The Navilles' church, Greenville Christian, raised $7,000 at an auction. Kevin, who wants to be a veterinarian, lent his mother $3,300 that he earned from raising Doberman pinchers.

Anglin, who met the Navilles at the church auction, said: "They are doing what all of us should do: reach out to children in need."

At home on this day, Tisha Naville was cuddling Elijah, who was whining for a nap. Kendall wanted to nurse. The rest of the younger children, who have bonded like biological siblings, were drawing pictures. Kevin and Justin were deer-hunting. Kala was helping her mother.

"It's really hard getting them all ready to go someplace," said Kala, peering out a window at the family's 15-passenger van.

"They're sweet kids," Justin said earlier of his adopted children, who already call him "Daddy." Still, "It's a lot of work, mostly for Tish."

"It's been hard, but I wouldn't trade it for anything," Tisha Naville said of the additional laundry, meals, expenses and even some health problems the children suffer as a result of malnutrition. "If I could, I would adopt more. The fuller my house is, the happier I am. It's God's work."

Christmas may be slim this year when it comes to gifts, she said, but looking into eyes of her adopted children puts the season into perspective. "These kids could have starved. This is our Christmas."

To adopt: Babies and children in Liberia up for adoption can be seen at

To donate: The orphanages needs money for medical supplies and formula. Checks may be sent to Acres of Hope, 29525 Four Corners Store Road, Mason, WI 54856.

Information: (715) 765-4118 or e-mail Patty Anglin at

Tisha and John Naville posed with their eight children at home in Galena. The children are, from left, Rose, 5; Kendall, 2; Kevin, 14; Kamron, 5; Kylie, 7; Skylar, 2 1/2; Kala, 13; and Elijah, 2.


Post a Comment

<< Home