CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WTVR)- Happy sounds and holiday cheer fill the air inside the Redmon's busy household. The family just got a lot bigger after a year long adoption process.
It began when Chesterfield police officer Mike Redmon, his wife Rhonda and their three children hosted a student from the Ukraine for five weeks.
They made an instant connection and all fell in love. After learning that the student named Otto lived in a boarding home orphanage, they vowed to help him come back to the United States.
"We had no intention of adopting, we were trying to get him a student visa. The U.S. Embassy denied it three times," Rhonda explained.
No one, not even Otto, realized he had four other siblings living in orphanages in the Ukraine. That fueled the couple's mission even more. The Redmons wouldn't rest until they could bring all of the children together.
It took a while, but eventually the plan would come together. The family says the are convinced this adventure was all part of God's plan for their lives.
With the help of their church and people in the community, the Redmon's raised some of the money to help with the adoption expenses. They held car washes, spaghetti dinners, yard sales and more to pull in around fifty-five thousand dollars.
It doesn't cover the expenses but the couple says it has been a great help. Co-workers even donated time so that the couple could spend time abroad trying to adopt the 5 children who were housed in 3 different orphanages in various parts of the Ukraine.
"It shows how wonderful God is. There's just no way we could have been able to do this on our own" mike said.
Thursday night, there was a wonderful homecoming at Richmond international airport. The family finally made it to home, sweet home.
It's the happy ending they all prayed for. "It’s a blessing to be here with all of my kids. Our prayers were answered and this is the best Christmas gift ever," Rhonda said with a huge smile.