Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Vol State Adoption Story: A New Beginning for Two Students

India Goostree and Karlee Marbry are both students pursuing a degree in the Human Services field here at Vol State, but they have a unique story beyond that, one that goes deeper than students in class together. India is an adult learner who has returned to school to finish up her degree in sociology, and Karlee is in the middle of her second semester at Vol State hoping to work towards a career in social work.

Karlee was in a youth group led by India’s husband, and that is where they first met. Over the past six months, they have built a deep relationship that has led them to become a family. India and her husband are now in the process of adopting Karlee. Marbry was the last name given to Karlee at birth, but she desires a last name representative of her new family. “Marbry is part of my testimony.” Karlee said. “I got confirmation from God saying, ‘it (Marbry) is part of who you are, and this (Goostree) is who you are going to be.’”

Between the time of meeting Karlee and her moving in, India and her husband lost contact with Karlee after she graduated high school, because she was no longer in the youth group. India and her husband hosted an event last August for the students in the Vol State Collegiate Ministry Club, and that is where they reconnected with Karlee. India said, “If it was not for me being a student at Vol State, having a heart for Vol State, and Karlee being at Vol State, I do not know if we would have ever connected again. God used Vol State to intersect our story, and it is so fun because now we go to Vol State together.”

India and Karlee are currently in statistics class together. “It just so happened that we would be in school at the same time, which is just absolutely wild” explained India. “What is beautiful too is that I was already feeling called to do foster care and orphan care (as a career focus), and now that Karlee is in our home, she has realized she wants to do it too for people who have her story.”

- Winnie Combs

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