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Brians overcome odds; rely on faith, family
In Dec. 6 Issue
By Kim Graham
Russell County News Reporter

Recently, the Brian family complete with 6 kids, moved to Russell County from Evansville, Ind.

Dr. Bill Brian, a board certified emergency room physician, received an offer to join Westlake Regional Team Care  at the Casey County Family Practice.

He was in need of a change of pace from the stress of working in the Evansville Trauma Center for 9 ½ years.

“He prayed for a job he could enjoy, serve people and share his faith,” said Emily Brian.

“Our move has been fairly smooth and the kids are adjusting.”

High school sweethearts, Bill and Emily Brian, dreamed of getting married and having six children.

By 1999, the couple was married with 3 children, Chloe, William and Amelia.

However, after their third child, Emily needed a hysterectomy.

So began the Brian’s adventure in the miracle of adoption.

In January of 2002, the couple traveled to Coatepeque, Guatemala to adopt their son Chase.

Their adoption agency had asked them if they would mind being interviewed by the press about their adoption experience and the couple agreed.

They thought they would be met at the airport in Indiana by local media.

Instead, they were featured on the Discovery Health Channel’s adoption stories.

That was only the beginning of their adoption story.

Ben, also Guatemalan born, was welcomed into the Brian family in 2004.

Emily said each time the family approached the prospect of adoption with much prayer and forethought.

Each time they had adopted young, healthy babies and in 2005 they prayed again for a healthy baby girl.

When the adoption agency called in October of that year, they offered the Brian’s a 4 month old baby girl with some serious health issues.

She had 2 holes in her heart and pulmonary stenosis, a congenital defect of the pulmonary valve.

Emily said as a physician, Bill would not consider adopting a baby with such a serious heart condition knowing that she would require surgery and could quite possibly die.

Knowing the child had been turned down already by 2 other families, Emily said couldn’t take her mind of the baby girl.

 “I prayed for her to find a family,” said Emily Brian.

She still wondered if they could be the family for the sick infant.

Finally, Emily says she went to her Bible study and asked that they pray for God to send a definite sign showing them that adopting the baby girl was right for her family.

She said at Bible study, a lady prayed for a clear sign from God.

That day, the Brian’s oldest daughter Chloe was sick and at home from school.

Emily said, “I can still hear her in her little 10 year old voice saying, ‘Mom, I was laying on the couch while you were at Bible study and Jesus spoke to me.

He said tell your mom and dad to adopt the baby with the hole in her heart and He will bless her and she will be fine.’”

Emily said they had told their children about the sick little girl in need of a family but not with any detail about her condition.

When she told Bill about Chloe’s statement, Emily said he told her that it was the sign they had been praying for.

The Brians asked the adoption agency for a picture of the baby and to send medical test results so they could get the opinion of a Pediatric Cardiologist.

The Pediatric Cardiologist confirmed that the baby girl’s condition could require serious surgery and possibly could be fatal.

Emily, strong in her faith, was not discouraged by the news and the family began the adoption process.

“We trusted in God because God said she would be okay,” said Emily Brian. “God’s plan was for her to be with us.”

In January of 2006, Dottie Jo, at 7 months old could not sit up and turned blue when she tried to eat due to her heart condition.

The Brians adopted Dottie Jo in the spring and when they took her in to visit the Pediatric Cardiologist, she was fine.

“He called my husband and said, ‘I’m not sure why we were so concerned but her heart is fine. The valve is fine and the holes are gone,’” said Emily Brian.

Physical therapy helped the child to overcome the affects of her illness early in life and soon she began to sit up, walk and talk.

Today, Dottie Jo is just as rambunctious as any other 3 year old asking questions and busy exploring her world.

Since adopting the Guatemalan children, Emily has located all their birth families.

“They are all very loved by their birth families,” said Emily Brian.

“They each had different circumstances but they are in a third world country and couldn’t feed another child.”

Emily arranged to meet Dottie Jo’s biological family on a mission trip to Guatemala and was able to show them pictures of the little girl and let her biological family know that she is doing just fine.

 “It’s important for them to know their (adoptive) mom and dad love their birth families,” said Emily Brian.

She plans to go back to Guatemala on another mission trip in January and while she’s there, meet the biological families of their other children.

“Everybody has their gifts. I was called to be a mom,” said Emily Brian.

“I know God has a plan for Dottie Jo and all six of them and I’m just glad to be a part of it.”

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