August 1, 2008

Elizabella Ball to recognize families who have embraced adoption

By Mary Ann Wyand

St. Elizabeth/Coleman Pregnancy and Adoption Services logoAdoptions made possible by St. Elizabeth/Coleman Pregnancy and Adoption Services in Indianapolis ensure that children have the right to a loving, healthy family and enable married couples to experience the joys of parenting.

The 22nd annual Elizabella Ball on Aug. 16 at the Indiana Roof Ballroom in Indianapolis will celebrate and benefit the pro-life ministry as well as honor two families and a construction company with Courageous Heart Awards for their part in furthering its mission.

WIBC 93.1 FM news anchor Amber Stearns will serve as the master of ceremonies for the Elizabella Ball, which also includes a “Dancing With the Stars” competition based on the popular ABC network show.

During the first six months of 2008, St. Elizabeth/Coleman staff members served 63 pregnant women, completed 23 adoptions, fielded 152 search inquiry calls, conducted 17 new searches, completed 20 reunions and received assistance from 81 volunteers.

Courageous Heart Award recipients are St. Pius X parishioners Paul and Terri Brumleve of Indianapolis; Matthew and Tricia Rausch of Camby, members of St. Thomas More Parish in Mooresville; and St. Jude parishioner Dave Clifton and AACI Company Inc. of Indianapolis.

The Brumleves adopted their son, Eric, from Chile in 1997 through Coleman Adoption Services before the agency merged with St. Elizabeth’s Pregnancy and Adoption Services, an archdiocesan Catholic Charities ministry.

They said in a videotaped interview that will air at the ball that their decision to adopt Eric when he was a baby and their third child was older has “sealed” their family.

The adoption agency was “a great resource for us,” Terri Brumleve said, “because they guided us through all of the steps that we needed to take” with the legal requirements for an international adoption.

They met their new son on Thanksgiving Day in 1997 in Santiago, Chile. He was 14 months old.

Recently, the Brumleve family visited Chile so Eric could meet his foster family.

“I was really, really happy because they’re the ones who took care of me when I was a little baby and who helped me get to where I am today,” Eric said. “It had always been my dream to go to Chile because I was born there. I started my life there.”

Terri Brumleve said she has “always felt that family was who you loved, who you were part of, and that you did not have to be biologically connected.”

Eric said he has learned that “being a part of an adoptive family is the greatest thing in the world.”

St. Thomas More parishioners Matthew and Tricia Rausch of Camby adopted their daughter, Clare, and son, Will, in open adoptions with the birth families.

“There’s really no way we can ever thank them enough for helping us to build our family,” Tricia Rausch said. “… We feel truly blessed. … They have helped us through God to … build our family.”

Clifton and AACI Company Inc. employees renovated St. Elizabeth’s and built friendships with staff members after the buildings sustained structural damage from a tornado on Memorial Day in 2004.

(The Elizabella Ball begins at 6 p.m. on Aug. 16 with a silent auction followed by dinner at 7 p.m. then the program. To purchase tickets or for more information, call 317-787-3412 or log on to the Web site at before the Aug. 4 deadline.)

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