About Us

What “Gotcha” Day might look like ;o)

On Christmas Eve, 2007, Chris and Leyla thought they were going for a simple check-up, but 24 hours later, on Christmas Day, Makenna was born. Anyone who has met Makenna knows she is a bright and energetic social bug who loves to make people laugh. She goes from 0 to 60 in seconds, and never lays down for a nap. She loves to cook, play “family” with her dolls, draw, and most importantly, Makenna is ready to be a big sister!

Leyla would like nothing more than to stay home with her daughter (and son) and home-school, but with the looming costs of adoption, she is currently working as a part-time Pharmacy Technician at Wal-Mart. Leyla is originally from Bentonville, Arkansas, where she worked for Wal-Mart  for over sixteen years. In 1998, she spent nine months as an associate in missions (AIMer) in Hong Kong, where she fell in love with the Asian culture. Leyla has always had a desire to adopt an Asian child.

Chris is a children’s minister for the United Pentecostal Church International ​and Editorial Designer for Word Aflame Publications, designing Sunday School literature for the organization. He is originally from Mahomet, Illinois, and before meeting Jesus, worked as a radio personality, musician, and promoter.  As evidenced by his testimony, Chris knows that with God, all things are possible, and through this adoption process, the Anderson’s faith is being put to the test!

Why are we adopting?​

​​ Without going into great detail, natural childbirth would be considered high-risk. While pregnant with Makenna, doctor’s informed Leyla that she has Sjogren’s Syndrome, a little understood condition of the immune system. Doctors have warned that if she becomes pregnant again, the disease could attack the fetus. Instead of taking the risk, we decided it would be better to fulfill another dream–to adopt a child!   ​​

​Why New Beginnings?

Once we decided to adopt, Leyla went into research mode, scouring the Internet. At the time, New Beginnings was nowhere on the radar. All we knew: we wanted to adopt from Asia.  We had narrowed it down to 2 countries.  South Korea and China.  South Korea was going to be a 2 1/2 year wait and China almost 18months.  We were just about to decide on an agency, when Chris ran into Stephen Drury quite by accident at the bank. He suggested we contact Victoria Kilpatrick of New Beginnings, because some new doors had opened overseas in Taiwan. Immediately, the presence of God overshadowed Chris, letting him know that this was His will. When Leyla talked to Victoria, everything just clicked. Again, when we met with Tom Velie at the New Beginnings campus, we knew we would be adopting from Taiwan through New Beginnings.

James 1:27 Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you

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