In honor of National Adoption Month, OPTACorp is paying recognition to a very special active service member who exemplifies the character of our nation in both his personal and professional life.
Lieutenant Richard A. Laws has been a Coast Guardsman for nearly 6 years. Richard began his military career as a non-rank service member. Determined to become an officer, Richard earned his Bachelor’s Degree and attended Office Training School while serving his country.
On November 4th, Richard accomplished this goal, as he was promoted to First Lieutenant of the United States Coast Guard.
Richard’s wife, Joy, sings praises of her extraordinarily patriotic husband, “He is such an old-school American. He truly believes in what our country stands for. You should see our house…it looks like an American Flag!”
Though it has become the bedrock of their lives, Joy explains the military was not always a part of their plan.
“We had originally planned to move to Haiti and serve as Missionaries.” Shortly before their scheduled move date, Richard and Joy learned they were pregnant. Feeling it was best to remain in the U.S., Richard joined the Coast Guard. On March 10, 2006, their daughter ,Sophie, was born.
Four years later, Richard and Joy decided it was time to continue to grow their family. However, Joy
learned she was too high risk to carry another child. “I had some tests done and I was told it was not in my favor to become pregnant again.”
Joy states she and Richard had decided adoption was in their hearts long before conceiving Sophie. For the Laws, the news from their doctor was an indication of perfect timing.
In March of 2014, Richard and Joy Law connected with Destiny Adoption Services & Consulting, Inc. in St. Petersburg, Florida.
“Destiny Adoption was a Godsend to our family. I still remember walking into their office for the first time and seeing that painting on their wall. It was identical to the one my grandmother had in her home.” Joy, who was very close to her late grandmother, recognized this as a sign they were on the right path in their adoption journey.
On October 9, 2015, baby girl Willow was placed with Richard and Joy for prospective adoption. On May 9, 2015, their adoption was finalized.
“It was because of the military we were able to adopt. We are all family in the Coast Guard. The other ‘Coasties’ helped Richard get additional work time and helped by pulling their money together so we could make adopting Willow possible.”
Currently, Richard is stationed aboard the U.S. Coast Guard cutter, RELIANCE.
When asked what message she felt Richard would wish to relay to our military veterans if he were home to speak on his own behalf, Joy responded without hesitation, “Oh, those men and woman are his heroes! Richard is an old soul and he believes with all his heart that our veterans are the reason his children have the opportunities they have today. He would say thank you.”
Richard, Joy, Sophie, and Willow are stationed in Kittery, Maine and they are beginning to prepare to adopt again.
Joy now has a copy of the painting she recognized in Destiny Adoption’s office hanging in her home.