News

Honored to Adopt

by Office of Marketing | April 20, 2012
Five years ago, baby Melody came to live with the Clark family. She was two days old, and in a beautiful, divinely-inspired way, she fit in perfectly, despite a different DNA and slightly darker skin. Her life has since inspired this incredible family to dedicate their lives to loving children and supporting those who choose to go through the adoption process.

Five years ago, baby Melody came to live with the Clark family. She was two days old, and in a beautiful, divinely-inspired way, she fit in perfectly, despite a different DNA and slightly darker skin. Her life has since inspired this incredible family to dedicate their lives to loving children and supporting those who choose to go through the adoption process.

Ralph ’93 and Naomi “Amy” (Aucion) ’85 Clark knew that they would adopt someday. ItHonored to Adopt was something that they talked about even before they were married. So when the time came, they went to the Department of Children and Family’s Western Regional Adoption Unit in Springfield, Mass., to learn their options. Foster families who house children from this program are asked to commit to potentially raising a child for life. The Clarks were willing to take the risk, knowing full well that the process could be heart-wrenching.

When they took little Melody home, she fit perfectly into their family. “Melody is loving and smiley and huggable,” Amy says. Her non-stop energy is contrasted by an unhealthy medical diagnosis, however, which has made the Clarks protective of their precious daughter, and has given them an empathy for families who raise children with special needs.

Eighteen months later, in 2008, Melody officially became a Clark.

Ralph and Amy continued to foster “holiday babies,” taking them in for emergency placement until the family could take them back. After a while, Amy decided that she wanted to work with children outside of their home, and was hired at Thom Springfield Infant Toddler Services. She currently works as a Child Development Specialist assisting high-risk, developmentally delayed, and disabled infants and toddlers and their families.

She also serves on the board of a ministry called Wings of Love (www.wingsoflovene.org), a non-profit organization started by Evangel Assembly of God in Wilbraham, Mass., where she leads a foster/adoption support group and partners with community agencies to support foster/adoptive families.

Last spring, the Clarks were named Adoptive Family of the Year for Western Massachusetts by the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.

Both Ralph and Amy are credentialed ministers with the Assemblies of God. Ralph has served as the Associate/Youth pastor at Evangel Assembly of God for the past 10 years. Their two boys – Noah (15) and Zachary (12) are great big brothers to Melody, nd Ralph and Amy continue to find joy in encouraging their friends to make the decision to adopt, a decision that, for them, has been significantly special.