The Dispenza family’s story begins well before Patrick and Lindsey were married. Lindsey grew up with childhood trauma of her own. Her personal experiences paired with the heart the Lord has given her have allowed this family to care for so many vulnerable children in need.
This family has such a heart for vulnerable children that they decided to first become foster parents in Louisiana before beginning their adoption process. To this day, Patrick and Lindsey have had over 35 foster placements and have even adopted one of the children that was placed in their home. They have a biological daughter as well who is the biggest supporter of their journey. Throughout their experiences as foster parents, the Lord began stirring international adoption in their hearts.
The Dispenza family started in Lifeline’s Bulgaria program in the middle of COVID-19, and they experienced many challenges throughout their process. Every time they thought their story was going one way, the Lord would quickly redirect them to a different path.
Liana was not the child the Dispenza’s started the process for, but she was meant to be theirs all along. During their process, the little girl they thought was for them was matched with another family. After they pursued three different waiting children, they decided to switch from a waiting child list to the traditional route. After hearing that most kids with Down syndrome are not advocated for on waiting children lists, they knew it was God’s calling for them to pursue. They received Liana’s file, a precious little girl with Down syndrome. They learned that seven other families had turned down the file. The Lord led them to be matched with Liana.
“God knew she was our daughter well before we even did,” Lindsey explained. “She has needs that are way more complicated than we thought we could handle and that were not on our initial checklist. Yet, God equips those He calls and here we are with the biggest blessing we could have missed out on. We are so thankful we listened to God’s calling and now this sweet girl is forever ours.”
When it came time to pick her up, they weren’t sure if they could board the plane the day before they left due to COVID-19 restrictions, but God made the impossible possible. The Dispenza’s flew to London, Germany, and Bulgaria to get to her and then through Amsterdam on the way home. Through five total countries during a global pandemic, they finally held their daughter in their arms. “We did a ‘virtual trip’ to meet Liana, so we had never actually seen her in person,” Lindsey said, “yet she felt 100% ours from the moment she was placed in our arms.”
Despite challenges in-country and travel difficulties as well, this family finally made it home with their baby girl.
“We had been praying for God to prepare her heart even at 2 years old. We knew the grief and trauma she may have experienced,” Lindsey explained. Liana has fit so well in the Dispenza family since the moment she walked through their doors – it’s like she has always belonged. “She is 100 times over our best yes,” Lindsey said.
Upon arrival to the United States, they immediately found themselves in the hospital with Liana as she was having major medical challenges. One year later and despite all of the odds stacked against her, Liana is doing great and thriving in the Dispenza home.
In July 2022, this family began their second adoption process from Bulgaria. “When God called us to begin the process again, he reminded us of everything he had previously done, and this time would be no different,” Lindsey said.
They are now matched with two young boys with medical special needs. This will be their third adoption in three years and they continue to see the Lord’s goodness. The Dispenza’s prayer for people who feel called to adopt is to fully trust His plans because when full surrender happens – you see the Lord work the most.
The Dispenza’s are excited for their upcoming trip to meet and eventually pick up their sweet boys. They will have a big family of seven once the boys are home – ages ranging from 3 to 11 once they are all together!
This family’s ultimate desire is that others only see Jesus through them. They realize that none of this is possible without Him and His guidance and provision. Lindsey claimed that the Lord “saw her as worthy when she was not,” and that He “sees these kids as worthy also.” When the days for the Dispenza family are hard or they feel like giving up, they are reminded that His grace is sufficient and that they have their hope in Him.