In June of 2004 John and HollyAnn answered God’s call to begin the Sierra Leone,
Africa. On July 14, 2004 they received a phone call that would change their lives
forever. They were told that Addy had contracted Cholera and died before they
could get her the help she needed. Words cannot describe the devastation and
heartbreak that this news brought. Even though they had never held her in their
arms, she was their daughter. The grieving process began.
Over the next few days John and HollyAnn tried to make sense of it all. You can
imagine the questions that they wrestled with God about! In the end, the Petrees
knew that God created Addy for His glory (Isaiah 43:7). He would be glorified in her
death as well! As they mulled over this truth, John began feeling a strong call to
open an adoption agency, something that had been a dream of HollyAnn’s for a
Addy’s death brought to their front door the reality that adoption is a life or death
situation for so many children…..it’s not just whether or not they will have a forever
family, but whether or not they will live to see another sunset. John and HollyAnn
didn’t know anything about Cholera before that day, but soon found out that Addy
basically died from dehydration. Death from Cholera would never occur in America
since it can be easily treated with antibiotics and fluids. Her death seemed so
senseless, but God’s ways are higher than our ways! John and HollyAnn named
this agency “Addy’s Hope” because there are other “Addys” out there that will die
before they make it to the arms of a forever family. But for every family that they
can assist in answering God’s call to bring one of His orphan’s home, hope has
been given to those “Addys” that still remain on the street or in orphanages! Even
more important than saving them from a physical death is saving them from a
spiritual death by bringing them to Christian homes where they will be bathed in the
Word and taught of a God who loved them enough to die for them!
Additionally, the adoption of Eden Hope failed due to unethical practices of the
adoption agency we were working with. This has born a commitment in us to
adhere to the highest Christian standards. We know how it feels to have your heart
broken, and we never want to put any family through the torment we have endured.
We are dedicated to up-front communication, frank and honest answers, and
willingness to work through any problems in which we may encounter.
God bless you in your adoption journey!