Thursday, May 3, 2012
Boynton United Methodist Church volunteers will serve pancakes, sausage and coffee to guests at a Pancake Breakfast Adoption Fundraiser for Gracie Long May 5 from 7-10 a.m. The event costs $5 for adults and $3 for children.
“We have 10 weeks to complete the adoption process and we are $2,500 short,” said Ringgold resident Johnny Long, Gracie’s soon-to-be proud adopted parent along with his wife Misty. “If 25 people could give us $100 or 100 people could give us $25 then we’d be done. If we don’t raise the remaining amount, then we will have another fundraiser.”
In 2011 the Longs learned from doctors that they could not conceive on their own, so they began taking adoptive parenting classes in August 2011. From October through December they filled out a 98-page application, were checked out by various agencies and opened their home for inspections.
“I myself am adopted,” said Misty Long. “It was new territory for Johnny. But one door opened and another opened.”
She said she was adopted at age 6 months by the late Troy and Faye Dyer, of Ringgold.
“My dad and I were very close,” she said. “I never wanted for anything. I had a great childhood. I was in the band and my dad came to my concerts and football games. Daddy wanted me to go to college and to excel.”
She said looking back she knows God knew she needed them and they needed her so they became a family.
Johnny and Misty Long said they now want the same happiness found through adoption that Misty experienced as a child. They have been married for eight and a half years.
“We are very excited,” said Misty Long. “Gracie is due July 6. There’s a good chance she could be born early, so we need to be ready by June 1. In the adoption process, Johnny and I were told, ‘You’ll know when it’s yours.’”
Eat to help
Boynton United Methodist Church is located at 4246 Boynton Drive in Ringgold. To learn more about purchasing tickets to the Pancake Breakfast Adoption Fundraiser, call 423-653-7828.
She said when the birth mother sent a list of three requirements, they knew her baby was the one to adopt. The list said the adoptive parents “must be a Christian family, a first-child family and not live in the state of Florida.” The birth mother also asked for a semi-open adoption including pictures of the child and letters telling how she is doing.
“We also felt the baby was ours because Johnny’s birthday is July 9 and the baby’s will be July 6,” said Misty Long. “We also started the process in October and nine months later is July. Gracie will be born in Florida and I was born in Florida. Her birth mother and I weigh the same amount, have the same color eyes and hair and both have fair skin. I felt like it was fate.”
She and her husband received word in March that the birth mother had selected them for the adoption.
“I wrote a letter telling the birth mother about my adoptive experience,” said Misty Long. “When she read it she cried and would not read other profiles. I screamed and cried at work when I got the call.”
Misty Long said it all started in April 2011 in the midst of her Walk to Emmaus, a spiritual renewal program intended to strengthen the local church through the development of Christian disciples and leaders. That’s when she said she felt God telling her to adopt. The Longs are now putting the finishing touches on Gracie’s nursery, decorated in orange and brown.
“Looking back it’s amazing,” said Misty Long. “We owe Gracie’s adoption process to the glory of God. He has led us and made it happen.”
The Long family plans to be at the hospital in Florida when Gracie is born. Misty Long plans to take six weeks off from work and her husband will take two weeks off to get acquainted as a family of three.