This Thanksgiving holds a very special place in the hearts of one Bay area family.
- Family celebrates Thanksgiving this year with newly adopted son
- Schierer family celebrated first holiday with 2-year-old Lucas
- Family overcame multiple obstacles to be together
The Schierers celebrated the holiday for the first time with their 2-year-old adopted son, Lucas.
"There's nothing better in the world, no better feeling, nothing else that I can be thankful for than just spending everyday with him," said Amanda Schierer.
Lucas was just a baby when he came into the lives of Amanda and Erik Schierer. And he was in pretty bad shape.
"He had his chin against his chest, didn't move at all," Erik Schierer said. "He had no movement of his arm, his legs or his head."
Lucas and his birth mom didn't have a home either. The Schierer's provided them a place to stay. Then one day, Lucas' birth mom left without him.
"She just walked in and said she was leaving the state and she wanted to sign papers," Amanda Schierer said. "She was done."
The Schierers decided to adopt Lucas, but they couldn't believe how expensive it would be. They paid $18,000.
The Schierer family celebrated their first Thanksgiving today with 2-year-old Lucas.
"The cost was not planned and we were not prepared for it," said Amanda Schierer.
They applied for a grant with the organization Gift of Adoption Fund.
Loreen Spencer runs the local chapter. She said the expense of adoption is hard for some families to take.
Gift of Adoption Fund helps to ease that burden.
"It's remarkable to me to see some of the families that we have helped and the sacrifices that they make to raise the money that they are able to raise to do their adoption," said Loreen Spencer of Gift of Adoption Fund. "To see that they just need a little bit more to complete the adoption and to see that we can play a small part in helping make a family is a gift for us that is really pretty special."
The grant allowed Erik Schierer to stay home after the adoption. And that was very special for the family.
"It actually allowed us to be a family under the same roof every night," said Amanda Schierer.
And as for Lucas this Thanksgiving...
"There just aren't any words for how thankful we are," Amanda Schierer said.
The local chapter of Gift of Adoption Fund has helped more than 250 children in the Bay area. The group has raised more than $750,000 to help ease the financial burden for families who want to adopt.
The non-profit will hold a one-mile walk in St. Petersburg at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 30 to draw attention to National Adoption Month.
For more information on the walk, go to http://giftofadoption.org/flmile/