May 25, 2017
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Open adoption a blessing for all

Young mother, couple come together for baby



A Kenosha couple expanded their family this fall in an open, local adoption, bringing home their daughter, Ellie.

Daniel and Emilie Gaschke adopted the infant from Brianna Daugherty in September, in a way that kept Brianna and the community of people that know her connected with the new family.

Before the adoption was finalized, Stacy Seger, pastor of Lord of Life Lutheran Church, facilitated an “adoption blessing.”

“We offered a time of prayer, service and a blessing as Brianna kind-of officially handed Ellie to her parents,” Seger said. “It was our congregation’s way of showing our love and support for Brianna.

“It is a difficult decision to give your child in adoption to another family. It’s hard. We also wanted to bless Ellie with her new family and let them know that we love and support them as well.

“There isn’t an official service for this, so I actually wrote this service,” Seger said.

More than 85 people turned out for the ceremony, which included brightly colored sands mixed together — a representation of family unity and cooperation. The adoption was facilitated through Lutheran Social Services. Both families are Christian.

Daniel Gaschke said he was pleasantly surprised by the event.

“Originally, it was going to be just a small, private ceremony at the hospital,” he said. “It was a great, full of support.”

Difficult decision

Daugherty, 18, who plans to study pharmacology at Gateway Technical College this winter, said the decision to opt for the open adoption was difficult, but necessary. She didn’t want to raise the child alone and trusts the Gaschkes.

“I was too young and couldn’t giver her what she needed,” said Daugherty, a lifelong member of Lord of Life. “I knew I was doing the right thing, but it was hard, too, (with) all the emotions going on.”

Daugherty called the Gaschkes “lovely people.” To see if they were a good match, over the summer Daugherty and the Gaschkes went out for dinners and a Kingfish game.

“They are so open to everything and caring,” said Daugherty, who will still be able to visit Ellie. “We’ll set up times where we can all go out and do things together. We can see her and spend time with her.”

For their part, the Gaschkes are adjusting well to life with a baby. They’re just happy the “long and difficult” adoption process is over.

“We did a home study, lots of paperwork, interviews, background checks, medical and financial checks — all to show you’re capable of adopting a baby,” said Emilie Gaschke, who runs Kindermusik studio with her husband. “We’re glad Brianna picked us.”


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