Garrett and Kelli Bjork became foster parents with AGAPE in 2016. Since then, they’ve grown from a family of two to a family of six, so we caught up with them to hear more about their story.
Garrett and Kelli first met at a church in Colorado, aptly named “Agape.” Garrett is a Colorado native, and Kelli moved there to become a ski instructor. You could say the couple is pretty adventurous, as they were engaged on top of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Garrett and Kelli were married in June 2013 and relocated to Nashville to be closer to family in East Tennessee.
The couple says they always wanted to help children in need, and they found that foster care was a great way to do that. They took foster parent training classes in 2016, were certified, and accepted their first placement at the beginning of 2017. In total, they have fostered seven children and adopted three.
Garrett and Kelli are now raising four boys under the age of 5: Leo (4 years old), Asher (22 mos.), Titus (12 mos.) and Ezra (5 mos.). Leo was placed in their home through foster care in 2017, and they adopted him in 2020. Asher came into foster care as a newborn in 2019, and just 10 months later, Titus, who is Asher’s biological sibling, was also placed in their care as a newborn.
After facing infertility for 6.5 years, Garrett and Kelli found out they were pregnant with Ezra the very same week they found out that Titus was born and would be placed in their home. They welcomed their biological son, Ezra, in January of this year!
Ezra was born prematurely at 34 weeks, but this wasn’t their first experience with the NICU. Asher and Titus were both born prematurely, so the Bjorks have learned their way around three different NICUs in three local hospitals.
Kelli explains that each one of their sons is a miracle. “To know what our boys went through and survived, plus our own experience with two miscarriages, God took the brokenness from our boys’ lives and from our lives and made us a forever family. It’s so beautiful.” Ezra’s expected due date of February 26, 2021 happened to be the date that Asher and Titus were officially adopted into the Bjork family. Doesn’t God weave the best stories?
Garrett and Kelli are thankful to be a part of a community that loves and supports their family. They feel supported by their church, family members, and friends, as well as the AGAPE community of other foster parents.
One thing they wish others knew is that it doesn’t take a special person to be a foster parent. “People ask us all the time how we do it, and we tell them, ‘We just said yes.’ We take it one step at a time,” Garrett says. “With the right support system, you can absolutely do it too. There is such a great need, and it’s really not scary to jump in and be involved.”
For now, the Bjorks have closed the chapter on providing foster care as they turn their full attention to raising their four boys. They hope to return to foster care one day and be able to provide respite, while continuing to support other families on this journey.
Garrett and Kelli never pictured their story to turn out like this, but when they feel surprised by it all, Kelli reminds herself, “God is so faithful. He knew from the beginning that this would be our family, that we would be raising these four boys, and we’re so thankful.”
The Bjork family calls Southeast Nashville home and are members of Ethos church.
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