God's Providence on Display

The Arbo Family Story

One early morning in May 2016, a small group of people gathered in a little South Carolina courtroom. That room is probably what you imagine it to be—wood panel walls, rows of benches, a judge in his black robe perched front-and-center. A typical courtroom.

But this was not a typical day.

On this day, when the judge banged his gavel, a family was formed. The Arbo family grew by three.


Their story began years earlier.

When Patrick and Jennifer went on their first date, they talked about their dreams for a family.

“An awkward first date conversation? Yes,” Patrick said. “A necessary first date conversation? In hindsight, absolutely.”

They couldn’t have imagined where life would take them from that first date. After several years of waiting while Patrick finished school for his Master of Divinity, the Arbos decided it was time to start a family. But they experienced several years of infertility.

“We had gotten into that gray area between—we trust God, we know he’s good, we know this is part of his plan. And that other side of—we don’t understand this, and we’re confused,” Patrick said.

While in school years earlier, a specific sermon given in chapel had placed adoption on Patrick and Jennifer’s hearts. They had already felt the Lord leading them to adopt, and that was affirmed through their journey together.

“There was a peace and excitement that this was going to be pretty amazing,” Jennifer said. “I don’t know what it’s going to look like, but God’s definitely got a plan bigger than we could ever ask or imagine.”

They decided on the path of domestic adoption and began the process. They were selected for a sibling group of three.

“We just kind of stepped back and looked at our family—it’s just amazing the way God has put it together,” Patrick said.

The journey from their first date to the judge’s gavel has been a testament to God’s provision and faithfulness. He watched over this family as Patrick and Jennifer came together, as they walked through the pain of several miscarriages, and as their family was formed through adoption.

“In every one of the details, God’s providence was on clear display,” Patrick said.

Today, the Arbo family has found a home in east Tennessee, and their children are thriving.

There’s Anna, the artist. She’s full of creativity and grace. She’s kind and doting, looking after her siblings with a tender heart. She’s also a great runner. She recently won a 5k for her age group to help raise funds for adoption.

There’s Amos, Anna’s twin. Patrick calls him the quintessential big brother. He’s protective of his family. He’s athletic, and loves to play baseball and football. He’s picked up reading and writing incredibly well for his age.

There’s Colt, the ball of energy. Patrick and Jennifer both laugh when they start to talk about him. Patrick says he’s tough—it doesn’t matter if he falls on pillows or pavement. He keeps going. He’s also kind, and he always wants to share.

And then there’s Elli, God’s beautiful surprise for Patrick and Jennifer. One month before their court date in May 2016, they found out they were expecting.

“God’s timing is perfect,” Jennifer said. “It’s so much better and so much more than we could have ever put together or imagined.”

The Arbo family of six isn’t necessarily what Patrick and Jennifer had in mind when they went on their first date, but there’s nothing else they could imagine now.

The Arbos’ story is one of love, pain, waiting, loss, and hope. Show Hope has had the honor of playing a part in this story. The Arbo family was awarded an Adoption Aid grant thanks to the generosity of many donors.

“It’s a huge blessing,” Jennifer said.

“We could never repay the gift Show Hope gave us,” Patrick added. “It’s been an amazing experience, and it wouldn’t have been possible without Show Hope. We’re just eternally grateful.”