A Sunrise Foster Parent Shares Her Journey


The Murch Family

Pictured back, left to right: Nolan, Gary, Deana, Ethan, Eric McElroy, Dakota, and Sunrise Foster Care Specialist Tammy Burns
Pictured front: Victoria

So how does someone know when it’s the right time to pursue adoption? Sunrise foster parent Deana Murch has an answer: “You’ll know. I mean, I knew when those little kids came. It was just a different feeling. Not that I didn’t want to help all of them that I had over the years, but there was a connection.”

The “little kids” she mentions are Victoria, Nolan, and Ethan. Deana and her husband, Gary, adopted this charming threesome on March 15, 2017. When they entered the Murch home, three-and-a-half years ago, they were two, three, and four years old. “They were just precious little kids,” said Deana. “They were very young; they were pretty easy going.”

Deana continues to share praise of her three little ones: “They are so great. They are so balanced. They are just so happy. We have learned a lot just from having them versus them learning a lot from being with us.” And there are more members of the Murch family. “I do have two older children that are 29 and 25,” said Deana. “And then Gary and I have a 14-year-old together, Dakota. And then, of course, we have Eric.”

Eric was Deana and Gary’s first foster care placement. He was 12 when he entered the Murch family. Today, he is 19 years-old and has recently graduated from Southwestern High School in Somerset. Graduating from high school was a big accomplishment for Eric. He was the first one in five generations of his family to graduate.

“He didn’t want to be adopted legally due to the fact that he wanted to have that high school diploma with his old last name on it,” shared Deana. “But now that he graduated, he wants to go down to the courthouse and pay $25 and change his last name to our last name. He’s our kid. No matter what, he’s ours!”

The Murch family is truly one big happy family. According to Deana, they all get along exceptionally well. It is not uncommon for Eric to help take care of the kids when Deana is out running errands. And they all enjoy their family vacations together.

It is obvious that the foster parenting experience for Deana has been very rewarding since beginning her journey with Sunrise in 2011. But it will soon come to an end. “We are actually making a move,” said Deana. “We are moving to Wisconsin. We’ve talked to Eric and explained it, and he also wants to come; so we will be leaving Sunrise, probably in August.”

Sunrise is so thankful to have been part of this beautiful family’s foster and adoption journey. We pray for God’s richest blessings upon Deana, Gary, and all of their kids as they continue to laugh, play, love, and grow together . . . as a family.

Written by David Lyninger, Sunrise Children’s Services Associate Director of Communications

Kait Flora