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MOST INTERESTING PEOPLE: ‘Family’ takes on new meaning

December 28, 2012

Photo contributed The Petrosky family hopes to continue growing through an adoption of a child from China. Pictured, from left, are Melina, 2, Amanda, 31, Gerik, 6, Caydra, 7, Dustin, 37 and Natalie, 6.

Editor’s note: The following is the fourth of a six-part series.

COLUMBIA CITY — Dustin, 37, and Amanda, 31, Petrosky are the parents of a growing family in Columbia City. They are expecting for the fifth time — from China, that is.

The Petroskys have built their home around children adopted through the state’s foster program and now through an international adoption.
“My heart is breaking for orphans in China,” Amanda said.

The couple has been married for 11 years and has two biological children, Gerik, 6, and Melina, 2. Two other daughters round out the kid count to four. Caydra, 7, and Natalie, 6, were introduced to Amanda and Dustin through the foster system.

The two girls are sisters and have been a part of the Petrosky family since they were toddlers. Now the girls are older and able to attend school, which Amanda homeschools.

“Each stage is wonderful,” Amanda said. “It is sometimes hard to see how fast they are growing up, but I am so glad that I get to be a part of that.”

Dustin and Amanda juggle work schedules in order to be the primary caregivers for the children.
Amanda works second shift at Parkview Whitley Hospital while Dustin works more traditional hours.

“Dustin and I tag team it,” Amanda said. “We wanted to be the ones to spend the most time with the kids. Homeschooling means we get to have a bigger part in their lives and how their education is delivered. It’s a lot of work, but with God’s help, we have the strength to do it all.”
“God’s help” is going to come into play as the Petroskys look at adopting a child from China.

“He has some special needs, but it doesn’t matter. This is the child for us,” said Amanda. “We were introduced to him through a video and online. As I saw him, I told Dustin ‘I think this kid belongs to us.’”

There is a financial need that is weighing on the adoption. International adoptions can run anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000 and take up to two years in some instances.

“We don’t know how we are going to afford it, but we are trusting that God is going to come through for us. He introduced this child to us, He wants us to make this child a part of our family and I know He’ll work out the money,” Amanda said.

As foster parents, Dustin and Amanda have watched children come in and out of their home. In fact, when the couple fostered Natalie and Caydra, it was 15 months before adoption was an option. During that time, there was a possibility the sisters could be removed from the Petrovsky’s home.

“Being a foster parent is not for the weak at heart, but what they need is for you to invest 100 percent into them,” Amanda said. “You are broken hearted if they have to leave, but all you can do is be thankful you had them in your home for the time you did. I know seeds are planted in the hearts of those children who were in our home, even if for a short time.”

For a more in-depth look at this story, see the Dec. 28 issue of The Post and Mail. Don't have a subscription? Call (260) 244-5153 or subscribe to our e-edition. For breaking news, sports updates and additional coverage, bookmark the homepage and find us on facebook.

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