UP Catholic 09 01 2017 E Edition Page 12

BY JAMIE GUALDONI THE U.P. CATHOLIC We both have the understanding that this vocation is not meant just for us. Its meant also to give life to our children, to our parish family, to our friends, stated Audra Buchmiller in regards to marriage as a voca- tion. Not only are we trying to lead one another to heaven, but also our children, and as many people as we can by being that public witness as a married couple. In their nearly five years of mar- riage, Audra and Matt Buchmiller of Escanaba have recognized that their vocation of marriage is much more than serving one another. Its also to serve and help those around them, with one way being through foster care and adoption. To me, a vocation is the specific way that God calls you to live out his life in the life of others. To show his mercy, to show his love and sacrifice in a very public way, said Audra. Foster care and adoption is a way for us to do that. The couple has been blessed with three children one son, along with two daughters that spent time with them in foster care before they were eventually adopted by Audra and Matt. For us, the voca- tion of marriage and the vocation of foster care and adoption are closely related, stated Matt. The way we approach it as foster parents is knowing the children that come into our homes, their hearts desires are to go back with their families. According to Matt, in the cases they have been a part of, they have worked with the parents of the chil- dren to help show them what a healthy marriage and family can be. When were trying to live out that vocation, its strength- ening families. Not just our own, but the families of our community, added Matt. The Buchmillers believe that their work as foster parents is to help strengthen their community, in any way that they can be a positive exam- ple. The life given through this voca- tion is not just physical life, but spir- itual life, said Audra. We have been able to teach the children we have fostered about God. It hasnt been just the spiritual life of the children, but also for their families, trying to be that witness for them of how it can be, how God intended it to be. The idea of foster care and adoption was relevant to Audra and Matt early on in their relationship when Audra found out she would not be able to get pregnant in the future. Audra experienced secondary infertility fol- lowing the birth of her son, Jacob. I struggled with that for a long time because I had tied part of my identity as a woman, and part of my 12 September 1, 2017 THE U.P. CATHOLIC VOCATING www.upcatholic.org Hearing God's call to the vocation of marriage, adoption COURTESY PHOTO Matt and Audra Buchmiller with their children (left to right), Serenity, Lola and Jacob. COURTESY PHOTO SEE VOCATION, PAGE 13

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