At an age when most couples are wondering what in the world are they going to do with their empty nest, Kris Zoeller and her husband, Bruce, did the unthinkable: they refilled it. That was 11 years ago. Today, Kris divides her time between homeschooling her two children, Daniel and Eliza, both adopted from Azerbaijan, and her role as OCA Director of Adoption Advocacy.
To trace Kris’ history with OCA, we need to go back to the beginning of OCA. Three families got together and formed a partnership to help reach orphans both locally and abroad. They named it the “James Gang.” One of the members enlisted funding from Southeast Christian Church, at which time the name of the partnership was changed to Louisville Orphan Care Initiative. It’s at that time when Kris and her husband joined.
Kris’ work at OCA entails producing adoption and orphan care seminars, which includes securing speakers, host churches, and volunteers—in addition to everything else that goes into planning the half-day events. The seminars cover everything from how to begin the process, to finances, fostering, transracial families, international and domestic adoptions . . . the list goes on. The seminars are a comprehensive how-to guide on fostering and adoption. Kris and her husband are also producers of the Empty Bedrooms video. The video presents the adoption testimony of four families, which serves to reach more of the Christian community with the message of God’s heart for the orphan.
Though Kris’ life is a balancing act between ministry and kids, she still finds time to enjoy reading, gardening, and hiking. Kris also has two stepchildren, Chris and Tyia, and four grandchildren. Kris’ greatest passion is for the fatherless. It started with missions, when Kris saw a way to reach into countries closed to the gospel but open to international adoption.
“That led us to adopt from a Muslim country,” Kris said. “Now there are two precious children who love Jesus and are being raised by a dad and a mom who love them instead of growing up in an instituion. God is repeating this story in thousands of Christian homes.”