John Fraley, 31, came to AGAPE when he was 10 years old. He spent a couple of years in foster care before he was adopted into his forever home by Doug and Michelle Fraley.
When John came to AGAPE, he met his caseworker, Mary Corwin. John credits Mary for everything and calls her his “first real mom.” He says she took a chance on him, and AGAPE gave her that opportunity. While John was in foster care, he met his best friend, Quinton, who was also adopted by the Fraleys. Doug and Michelle have one biological daughter, Melanie, and three adopted daughters, Maggie, Mikayla and Maria.
Growing up, one of John’s favorite memories was Michelle reading to him at bedtime. He said that was a totally new experience for him and that it made him want to become a better reader. Their family would also take “learning opportunities” or field trips that helped him grow in his experiences and sparked a desire to learn more.
John says the Fraleys often told him they loved him, and that helped shape him into who he is today. He sometimes wonders what things would have been like had he not been adopted and says, “Thank goodness I ended up with the Fraleys!” He used to think it was terrible that his parents gave him up as a child. He craved his birth mother’s love and affection even into his college years, but he realized he already had that with the Fraleys. They were always in his corner, and he had their love and support all along.
When asked what advice he would give to other children being adopted, John would tell them to never give up and to be patient. For a long time he thought no one wanted him, and once he was adopted, he still had trouble communicating the hurt he had been through. Doug and Michelle said, “When John joined our family, he was a frightened, lonely, angry boy. It was a delight to participate with God in healing him and breaking generational curses that he might become the son, brother, uncle, husband and father he is today.”
John received a full-ride scholarship to Austin Peay State University and played on the basketball team. During college, he participated in the Athletes in Action Christian organization to play basketball and do mission work in Beijing. After graduating, John played professional basketball in Leicester, England, but his season was cut short after a knee injury.
John is now married to his wife, Candace. They are expecting a little girl later this year and also have one son and two daughters. John works for the United States Postal Service as a driver safety instructor and says he loves his job and coworkers.
When asked about his future plans, John simply says he wants to raise his kids to the best of his ability and to love his wife and be a good husband. He wants his family to know they are loved and that they can always come to him. He plans to continue working hard and pay off his house and cars, and ultimately, enjoy this gift of life he’s been given.
We couldn’t be prouder of the man John has become, and we pray that the Lord will continue to bless all that he does!