Enos Adoption: How one family sets out to provide a loving home for children

Paul And Dotty EnosPaul and Dotty Enos of Rapid City have been fostering and adopting children for many, many years.

“We started fostering 14 years ago, and so we had 10 kids already of our own and had picked up another one, had 11. And in the middle of that, we started doing foster care and we probably fostered 30, maybe more kids,” Dotty said. “And we’ve adopted the 10 that live with us now.”

How does a family begin the journey of wanting to foster?

“So when our niece wasn’t going to be able to keep her kids, and Dotty said to me, ‘Don’t you think you should do something? Don’t you think we should do something about, you know, helping and taking these kids that need a home?’ And I said, ‘No,'” Paul said. “I said, ‘We have a lot of kids, still a lot of kids at home.’ And, you know, it’s no, hard no. And she never mentioned to me again, but I felt like, you know, God said to me a few months later, ‘Paul, you can’t do it, but I can.’ And so that’s how the journey began. And we adopted Sam and Selah, they are twins. And from there, it’s just, you know, snowballed. And it’s like, you know, we’re not trying to set a record, but it’s like every child that’s been brought to us, we feel like God’s delivered to us. And I mean, it’s just been so amazing that it’s not been hard. It’s been an easy load. Like we feel blessed that we’ve been given these children to raise. And it’s just been really, really incredible. So that’s really what got it all started.”

Enos AdoptionWhy take on more kids?

With already having 10 kids, Paul and Dotty have a response when people ask them that question.

“That spark when we said yes to those kids from then, it became so obvious that it wasn’t about us,” said Paul. “It wasn’t about that we could solve the world’s problems. It was just about being obedient. And it was so easy and so amazing. And I mean, the support and help, it feels like, you know, when God said, ‘Paul, you can’t do it, but I can.’ I mean, he’s kept his promise times 1,000, and all the finances and all the things that, you know, we concern with having more and more kids, like all the money, it’s like it just exponentially just grows.”

Paul and Dotty’s children have been supportive with every child they’ve added to their family.

What message do you have for anyone wanting to foster?

“Just do it,” said Dotty. “Hundreds of people said to me, ‘I just don’t think we’re called to do that.’ And you are called to do it and you can do it. First off, God will help you. Second off, is it hard? I mean, my husband said it’s easy. It is easy on the level. You have this chance to love these kids. You get a chance to be in the middle of their lives and get some stuff turned around before they get to adulthood. And then you’re with them through that. But there are is hard and it does change your family dynamics. That’s a good thing. It’s not just always about me, and whatever little inconveniences I have, they do not add up to the list of the gift that you’re giving to these kids. We’re going to stand in the gap, even if it’s hard. We’re committed to standing in the gap with these kids.”

John And Sarah EnosJohn Enos, Paul and Dotty’s son, and his wife, Sarah, decided to do the same.

John says adopting is one of the hardest things they’ve ever done, but it has absolutely been the most rewarding.

John and Sarah had one biological child when they adopted a sibling group of three children that John’s parents had been fostering. They then added two more biological children to the family, bringing it to a total of six kids.

“What I kind of tell people would be that, it’s really challenging, but we believe that God is guiding us through it. He gives us grace for the day,” said Sarah. “We’ve learned so much in our always learning.”

John was with South Dakota Kids Belong advocating for foster adoption in the Pennington County area. He says almost 95% of families he talked to were not financially ready, not physically ready, not emotionally ready and not spiritually ready.

“There’s always a reason to say no. There’s always a reason to say it’s going to be too hard, it’s gonna be too difficult,” John said. “And I would say you’re not even prepared, it is only by God’s grace for us that we were able to do this.”

 John and Sarah also received the 2022 Angels in Adoption award, given by  the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute  – demonstrating a commitment to improving the lives of children in need of permanent, loving homes.

Categories: ConnectCenter1-Family