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New Horizons Agency receives a wonderful gift

South Dakota senior brings lots and lots of items for adoptees

By Chuck Hunt - Editor | Nov 15, 2020

Pictured above is Marlys Ubben, director of New Horizons, left, Brady Fergen, center, and his grandmother, Audrey Fergen, right, with all the items he brought.

It is not quite Christmas yet, but New Horizons Adoption Agency in Blue Earth still received a very nice early Christmas gift recently.

On Saturday, Nov. 7, a young man from South Dakota, along with his grandmother, arrived at New Horizons with a van-load of hundreds and hundreds of items for newborn babies.

Brady Fergen is a senior at Menno High School in Menno, South Dakota.

“I needed to do a senior project in order to graduate,” he explains. “It’s called a Capstone Experience and it helps prepare us for future careers and for college.”

Fergen says he wanted to do something for adoptive families who have newly adopted children.

He knows something about that kind of situation. He is the second oldest in a family of now six children. The youngest two are adopted.

“I have a biological older sister and a biological younger brother and sister,” Fergen relates. “About four years ago my parents told us they had decided to adopt. When we heard that news, we were shook at first. We really did not know what to think about it, but I knew I was excited about it.”

The Fergen family was working with New Horizons Adoption Agency in Blue Earth, which is licensed to work with adoptions in Iowa, Minnesota and South Dakota.

The family, however, found a child to adopt in Wyoming.

“We worked with the Fergen family,” says Marlys Ubben, the executive director at New Horizons. “Another agency worked with the birth mother. That is not an unusual situation.”

Fergen says about seven months after the decision had been made to adopt, they learned about the birth mom and that it was really going to happen.

“In September my parents learned the birth mom was going into labor, so they packed their bags and went to Casper, Wyoming,” he says. “The next day we got to see our new baby sister on a Facetime call. My grandma took us all to see her the following day.”

Charlotte Amanda Fergen was born on Sept. 7, 2016. Brady Fergen says he didn’t realize this “little red-headed firecracker” would change his life forever.

Then in December of 2018, the family learned the birth mom was pregnant again, but this time she planned on keeping the baby.

Calliope (Callie) Grace was born on April 8, 2019, and three months later the mother decided she was not ready or able to raise her and wanted a better home for her.

The Fergen family stepped in. Chrissy Fergen, Brady’s mother, had kept in touch with the birth mom and told her they would like to adopt Callie, too. Within a week, it was all set.

“So on July 18, 2019, my parents’ wedding anniversary, all seven of us went to Casper in two vehicles to meet our new baby sister,” Fergen says. “I can say these two girls have changed my life. I cannot picture my life without them, and I thank God for their presence in our household.”

Once again, New Horizons Agency in Blue Earth helped the family make the adoption happen. And, that is why Fergen decided to work through them for his senior project idea to help other families adopting children.

“I decided to contact our local businesses, local churches and the people in the area and ask for donations,” he says. “They really responded and were bringing in multiple items. I was getting lots and lots of items.”

Not bad for a community of 700 people.

So Fergen and his grandmother, Audrey Fergen, loaded up a minivan with tub after tub of items and hauled them all to Blue Earth.

“This is a very wonderful thing he is doing,” Ubben says. “We always need these kinds of items, and we keep a closet full of these kinds of things to give to our new adoptive families.”

There are so many items that Ubben says they will ship a lot of them to the orphanage they help sponsor in Liberia.

“With COVID, they are not getting the amount of supplies they need at the facility in Liberia,” she says. “This will really help them.”

She adds that the orphanage is not getting the number of children adopted as in previous years.

“Foreign adoptions are not able to happen right now,” she says. “We normally do about 25 adoptions each year, on average, with half of them domestic and half foreign. But foreign adoptions are not happening much since the pandemic started.”

Back home in the midwest, Ubben says they still have clients who get pregnant and need help from New Horizons Adoption Agency and families who are looking to adopt a child.

They are an independent, non-profit Christian agency that has been around since 1987.

“We are not stopping what we are doing, just trying to do whatever we need to do and stay safe doing it,” she says. “November is National Adoption Month, and we want people to know what a wonderful thing adoption is, and how placing your child with an adoptive family is a very loving, sacrificial act.”

It can be a blessing both to the birth mother and the adoptive family, as well as for the child.

For more information on adoption, persons can contact New Horizons Adoption Agency at 800-314-3370, or text 507-383-1190, or email support@newhorizonsadopt.com.