Brandon and Melissa Cotter

Children: Autumn (7), Brooklyn (4) and Caidyn (2) – Not pictured is our foster son Tristan (3)

Church: Galloway Full Gospel Church, Springfield, MO

Tears of joy and tears of grief.  Adoption is born out of both, brokenness and love.        


Going back to our adoption day video, 2-year-old Caidyn was handed to us by a cheerful nanny who had been our son’s most beloved caretaker in Tianjin, China.  While our eyes were fixed on Caidyn easily coming to his mommy, the camera was recording.  The camera captured the grief and pain written across Ms. Ma’s face, knowing she would never see Caidyn again.

As a foster family ourselves, we are familiar with the grief when a child leaves the last time.  This transition is bitter sweet, we see the transition involving the broken and the loved.  This was one of many motivators in our pursuit of international adoption and for our sweet boy, Caidyn.


Nearly 20 years ago a seed was planted in my heart to adopt.  I experienced the pain of a wrecked family along with the desire to adopt from an orphanage in China. But I first had to meet an age requirement.  Fast forward to my 30th birthday, my husband Brandon and I were pushing through the paperwork as our adoption story was finally unfolding.  The dream of the 13-year-old girl was being fulfilled.


After having two daughters, Autumn and Brooklyn, we were certain another girl would be in our future.  After six months of working through the paperwork for our international adoption, we experienced a difficult situation in our fostering world that forced us to let go of a baby boy to a biological family member.  This turned us from seeking another girl to letting God lead us to the right child.  Within days we were directed to our son’s profile.


We forfeited a considerable amount of money to switch agencies to continue our path toward Caidyn. There were moments when financial stress weighed heavily above us, but we stood firm knowing God would provide.  Those who spoke to us with Katelyn’s Fund offered such genuine support through prayer, the monetary help was secondary to the spiritual support.


God made provisions with each and every step we made and we are certain God heard all the prayers on behalf of our family.  God uses so many aspects of our lives to draw us closer and to teach us lessons.  Adoption is one that continues to teach us that you can find purpose in the pain, that there is healing amidst the wounds, and that love truly can conquer all.


Caidyn has transitioned so well in the couple months we have been together.  Caidyn loves hugs and kisses, especially when it means he can tackle his sisters in the process.  He is a quick learner.  He loves to be ornery when his speech therapist is around.  His favorite activities are laughing and eating!  His smile is contagious.  There is no doubt he is spreading love and joy wherever he goes, and we are blessed to have his love and joy in our home.


Cotter, Brandon - Melissa, familyCotter, Brandon - Melissa, Caidyn2