The Good To Be Crazy Crew

We’re heading to P-Dub’s place today, so while we’re easin’ on down the road to Osage, I’d like to share with you a guest post written by my new e-friend, Shelly. She and her hubby blog at, and their adoption story video is one of my all-time favs.

Take it away Shelly…


Hi everyone! We’re Team Owens – Dan, Shelly, Madeline, Davis, Hannah, Joseph and Charlotte. In the blog world, some know us as the “Crazy Crew.” And it’s true – we tend to march to the beat of a different drummer!

We’re a homeschooling, multi-racial family of seven. We love our God, we’re passionate about orphan causes, and we’re committed to our ministry in Eastern Africa, called SixtyFeet. But life wasn’t always this way. Five years ago, we were an average American family — just a Daddy, a Mommy, a little girl and a baby boy.

Then, in early 2010, Dan and I learned about a facility in the East African country of Uganda, called “M.”

M is a prison for children.

Yes, you read that correctly. A prison for children.

Fewer than 5% of all children in the main M facility are true delinquents. For the most part, their crime is this- they’re simply unwanted. They’re street beggars who have been rounded up by the police because they “make the city unsightly with all their begging”. They’re handicapped and mentally disabled orphans who no one wants and no orphanage will accept. They’re step-children who have been dropped off by a new step-parent, eager to rid their home of “ old blood. They’re refugees who have fled war-torn countries in Africa.

This was something we just could not ignore. We felt that we had to take action, and within weeks of that decision, several Atlanta families rallied with us and we formed the ministry of SixtyFeet — an organization working to bring hope and restoration to the imprisoned children of Africa.

A few months after we created SixtyFeet, Dan and I forged a special relationship with two young children living in M. We learned they had been in the facility for over a year, abandoned by their parents and dropped off by the police on several occasions.

We had no family or health history on either child. Hannah & Joseph had been living in such a horrible place that we couldn’t imagine what kind of emotional or behavioral issues they might bring into our home. But at the end of the day, we knew we just couldn’t leave them there. God sets the lonely in families “ and God works through people. So that was that. We took steps to begin the adoption process in July of 2010 and never looked back.

(Dan with Joseph and Hannah)

In December (2010), we brought them home, to be our son and daughter, forever.

It’s a decision we have never, ever regretted. Hannah & Joseph have blessed our family IMMENSLEY and they’ve rescued us way more than we could have ever rescued them.

Click the play button below to view our (5 minute) adoption video, Home At Last

(Film by Michael Lines ; Photography by Griffin Gibson ; Music: All Things New by

Team Owens is just one little family, and we know we can’t change the whole world, but by God’s grace, we believe we can help to change one little corner of it!

(Hannah, Davis, Shelly, Charlotte, Dan, Joseph and Madeline)

For more information about, click here, and to read Shelly’s blog, click here!

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  1. says

    Wow! What a beautiful story and an amazing video. I just put on my makeup for the day and now it’s ruined! Thank you for sharing.

  2. says

    Beautiful story and I’m sure like most it brought tears to my eyes. We are doing a Unit Study on Africa right now. I have been torn about how much to teach the children on what is going on. This is not the first “nudge” I have gotten to share mor with my kids. THANK YOU and God Bless.

  3. Teresa says

    The joy of this video moved me so much.
    I thank God for hearts like the Owens’ – this is love like God loves.
    Thank you so much for sharing this with us.
    Beauty for ashes – love.

  4. says

    I can’t stop crying looking at thier eyes in that first photo. They are so beautiful and innocent. It’s so unfair. I’m truly happy that you shared this story with us today. What a wonderful organization. Blessings to you all.

  5. andy says

    was that video supposed to elicit so many tears!?! happy tears :) wow!!! what a beautiful story of a loving, God-centered family! thank you, thank you for sharing!!

  6. says

    This video brought me to tears, what an amazing gift God gave these precious kids (and the Owens family)! Their smiles show it all. :) Thanks for sharing!

  7. says

    Thank you Layla and Kev for sharing this and to the Owen’s family for their beautiful ministry. The video had me in tears! As did learning about ‘M.’ I won’t be going to sleep tonight the same person I was when I woke up this morning. God Bless you all!

  8. says

    That video… it has me in a heap of tears. May God bless the Owens family. And may those two little ones find happiness in a family that loves them endlessly.

  9. says

    You will, I am sure, receive countless comments today of people telling you how much they were moved by this video. I am no exception. I currently am doing the very attractive hiccupy sob. :)
    As someone who grew up in foster care and was never adopted, it always warms my heart SO much when I hear that an older child adoption had taken place. YAHOOOOOO! These children are all the more precious given their circumstance. Yes, yes indeed may the Good To Be Crazy Crew be blessed 1000 times over.
    As you continue on your own adoption journey perhaps you will consider an older child adoption. Be blessed.

  10. megan says

    WOW!! Thank you for sharing such a beautiful story- a story that did not start out as so. We may not be able to change the world to a place it SHOULD be- but with the love of a family like the Owens’- a mark of love will be left- by changing the lives of those two gorgeous., precious children, they may be able to leave their mark on this world. Thank you Layla and thank the Owens family for sharing this awesome story- it has profoudly affected me in so many ways.

  11. says

    Thank you for sharing their story! My husband had the privilege of building their website and he was so happy when I told him you had highlighted this wonderful organization!

  12. says

    thank you for sharing layla. the tears and chills are still coming as i watch the video. so excited for your future and the family you will soon have!

  13. Tina Catoe says

    Thank you for posting this video. My heart is filled with the love that the Owens are giving to their children. This is very touching.

  14. says

    What a fantastic and inspiring story. It warms my heart when children of a less fortunate life are rescued and brought into a loving and safe environment that will allow them to grow and blossom. I cried tears of joy watching your video, bless your family.

  15. Tina K says

    This took me completely off guard today. I wasn’t expecting to cry in my cubicle just now, but wow. What an amazing story. Thank you for all you are doing for those children. I don’t even know what else to say. Just wonderful and may God continue to bless you and your endeavors.

  16. says

    Thank you for sharing this, Layla! Like the others, I’m also without a dry eye. What an incredible reminder of OUR adoption as children of God! It was so inspiring and encouraging to see Christ’s love so clearly lived out in the Owen’s lives!

  17. says

    This is such an amazing story! All of the children are precious but that little Charlotte reminds me of a little Cindy Loo Who!

  18. says

    I want to crawl through this screen right now and have a dance party with that crazy crew. (I hope you’ll join us, El.) :)

    Thank you for sharing your story, Shelly! God’s redemption stretches wider than I can comprehend. The journey of just starting to love like He loves has been the gift of a lifetime and I love seeing it in you.

  19. says

    I’m not a christian, but tolerant of others’ religious-or non religious- choices. I love the work that you do, and that video moved me to tears. As a SpEd teacher, well…I have a soft spot for kids who have the odds stacked against them through no fault of their own. A donation is on it’s way-namaste.

  20. Lorrie says

    My what a wonderful family!! God is great. Thanks for sharing and I pray for you on your adoption journey.

  21. says

    Wow! What an incredible story. Your video brought tears to my eyes. Such joy and hope in their hearts. I wish you and yours an amazing, love-filled life.

  22. says

    What a precious testimony to the beauty God brings from ashes again and again and again. This family is beautiful as they reflect the love of God. I love what they said about not being able to save the world… but changing a little corner of it. If every family felt that way… if every person felt that way… our world would look very much different and be much brighter. I just returned from Uganda. I have just held and loved some of these children. And God has made me a voice for them. We are also hosting a child right now from Latvia… and God has just called his forever family. THANK YOU for posting this. I love checking in on your decorating talent from time to time… but THIS is what our life is really about and I am so very thankful you shared. It sadly won’t generate over 1000 comments like a contest… but you have no idea how God will use it! :0)

  23. Shay says

    Sitting here so heavy hearted and yet happy for two little lives that have changed. What a family!

  24. Jude says

    it’s a good thing i work in an office all by myself – that was a tearjerker from the start!! hope you are having safe travels :-) love ya’!

  25. says

    I am just BLOWN AWAY! Wow you are an amazing and inspirational family beyond words can say. Who can watch that and not be totally moved and inspired? I am teary eyed but moved wtih incredible sense of admiration and total awe in what you have done, the fact that have taken two innocent lives and completely changed them forever. And what I love is that you didn’t just change THEIR lives you have enriched you and your childrens so far beyond anything else could. I love waht you said about them rescuing you way more than you could have them….that is so beautiful and really sums up who you are and how you look at this experience. You are a beautiful family and I wish you a lifetime of happiness, love, smiles and endless laughter. Thank you for sharing this……..I will certainly be sharing it.

  26. says

    What a beautiful story! God is SO good! Thanks so much for sharing. I love adoption stories, and I’m hoping to have my own some day.

  27. says

    Omgoodness!!! What a beautiful story and video! I loved watching it (also, nice for this GA-moved-to-IA girl to see bits of Atlanta again). Just one thing to put as a warning to viewers: Mascara alert!
    Congratulations to the Owens and to the many beautiful families out there!

  28. Tiff says

    I was so glad to be able to show my 2 girls your story – I had tears streaming down my face and they were asking if we could adopt! (we are foster carers in Australia and they do not encourage adoption here).
    I love that you saw a need and did not ignore the urging in your hearts from God. If we all did something, even just a little something, we could help eradicate so much heartache in this world and shine God’s light into souls who need his unconditional love. Thank you for sharing your story.

  29. Ashley says

    What a lovely, beautiful story. My husband and I feel that God has called us to adopt a child (or two!) someday. I was blessed a lot by this story :)

  30. Jan says

    It’s heartbreaking to realise that children live in such conditions but so heartwarming to know that there are families like the Owens that are willing to open their homes and hearts to them. Their video touched my heart and made me cry.

  31. says

    I am so moved by this story and the video. God bless those who are willing to go help those children who by no means of their own are in those situations. Thank you so much for sharing.

  32. Alicia says

    thank you for sharing. I could not stop crying at such a beautiful depiction of His redeeming love–even for the smallest of His children.

  33. says

    This phrase is what would give me pause: “…we couldn’t imagine what kind of emotional or behavioral issues they might bring into our home…” Yet in faith you obeyed. What a wonderful example of living in the grace of Christ.

  34. Melanie says

    wow beautiful story! that pure love touched my soul and brought tears to my eyes! god bless them! your story will be just as precious and im praying for Gods perfect plan for your dreams as well! thats so cool that they video taped it through out the day!

  35. Beverly Palmer says

    How deep is the grace of God that he can touch unwanted, and forgotten children out in the middle of nowhere! It’s a reminder that we are ALL His children no matter where we come from, where we live, and where we are going. It’s ministries like the Owens that stir my heart and makes me what to be a part of the bigger picture. God bless them and the children.

  36. Allison A says

    So touching and so sweet. Tears of joy for all of you and the little lives you touch every day. My 2 small children watched this with me and they were even moved by the spirrt of this video. Thank you. Thank you for showing us that in this world there are still people that inspire and are good. What a wonderful lesson to start the day!

  37. Olivia Juenke says

    Great video! Tears in my eyes on an early Friday morning… but great tears! Y’all are doing a wonderful thing for wonderful innocent people!

  38. Cheryl F says

    Just beautiful! I love their smiling faces when they are tucking the kids in for the night. I can’t imagine what would be going through those kids minds being in a childs prison then a safe and loving home. Amazing. God bless this family!!
    You guys take me to a happy place and inspire me daily with your posts and this one brought happy tears. Thank you both for everything you do and best wishes for your own adoption process.

  39. Suzanne says

    Just amazing.! An amazing ‘hope’ story. God bless your journey as your family grows. Thank you Layla.

  40. Cynthia says

    such a great story! I was totally unaware of this, thanks for letting us know and god bless you and your family for adopting these sweet kids.

  41. Tina Paulson says

    What an amazing video! I cried throughout at the pureness of the emotions! Thank you for sharing your story.

  42. Joanne B. says

    How beautiful that this family has found it in their hearts to love these 2 children! What a heartwrming story… such an inspiration to others to see beyond our own world. Much love and blessings to you, Layla and Kevin, now that this path is one you too have chosen! May God continue to bless you and guide you as you journey on this similar path for a better world. You will surely be blessed, I just know it!

  43. beth says

    Through my tears I want to express the gratitude of my heart. Thank you for sharing this. Today, I felt like giving up, after almost 8 years of raising my 3 grandsons (now 7, 10 7 13). Today was the day I was going to have my nervous breakdown and loose my mind. Instead, my teenaged grandson and I read the article, and we were both filled with appreciation. God works in many mysterious ways!

  44. says

    What a lovely story. The video brought tears to my eyes. God bless the Owens team, they have been blessed with loving hearts.
    Thank you Layla for sharing their story.

  45. says

    Mat 25:37 “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink?
    Mat 25:38 Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing?
    Mat 25:39 When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’
    Mat 25:40 “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’

    This scripture passage came to life for me when I read your story and saw your video..God Bless you for your love and your ministry.

  46. Theresa says

    In a gentle way, you can shake the world. ~ Mohandas Gandhi
    You given us all a reminder about what’s really important…your family is amazing!

  47. Sandra says

    Layla, thank you for posting this.

    To the Owens – God bless you. The difference in the eyes of the children is how the positive effects of this can be seen. Amazing.

  48. gb says

    Thank you for sharing. I have sent the link to several of my friends and family. God is working mighty wonders even through the internet!

  49. says

    What a beautiful story! I am so thankful for people who care about others so deeply. I would love to adopt a child one day. Good luck to you, Kevin and Layla, as you work to bring your own little ones home with you!

  50. says

    I was crying before I watched the video… after, streaming tears of thankfulness for such a beautiful family and their love!

  51. Leone says

    Wiping tears from my face. Oh my, what a wonderful gift adoption is. My children and now grown but there is still something in me that wants to reach out and adopt several children. God bless!

  52. says

    What an amazing story! As someone who is seriously considering international adoption right now, I silently sobbed through the whole video. I love hearing about others’ adoption journeys. God bless their family and thanks for sharing!!

  53. says

    LOVE this post. I’m in Savannah GA both my pastor and associate pastors have adopted kids.. and a new associative pastor and his family are in the process of a very very tricky one. God reigns.
    How wonderful. I can’t wait to adopt myself!! Looking to foster in the next year or so.

  54. says

    First off all, Shelly is awesome because we have the same name. Duh.
    Secondly I spent over an hour and a half last night reading through all the posts since the adoption and a few before and loved getting to know the Owen family.
    One post said Hannah is insanely beautiful and it’s funny because at that very moment, I had turned to my husband and said, “Wow, that little girl is stunning”
    All of your children are beautiful but it’s not just because they look like it on the outside, but because when you feel love, and strength from within, you glow and everyone around you FEELS how beautiful you are, they don’t see it.
    Thanks for sharing, and for allowing the Owen’s to gain support for their organization and family by putting a true Christ centered family on the front line here on TLC.
    Thank you Layla and Kevin!

  55. Stephanie says

    I am so blessed by your story. Like so many others I sat and wept tears of joy. To know that two children who may never have heard about the Lord will now have his love displayed for them in such a real way is amazing. Thank you for your obedience to God and your willingness to live the truly abundant life that he has for you.

  56. Kolleen says

    This has to be one of the most incredible videos I have ever watched. I cried like a baby just thinking of the blessing and hope this family has given those beautiful children!

  57. Alexe' says

    I am selfishly hoping this video will be yet another seed planted in my husband’s heart to yearn for the same hope I have: to bring home God’s children from all over the world into our forever family.

  58. Hilary says

    Crying as I watch your beautiful video…both of our kids are grown, happy, and educated. I’m feeling like we have more to offer…but we’re both 50. Wishing we weren’t too old to adopt.

  59. Strobelh says

    What a touching story!! I cried and then I showed my mom this story and she cried (with me crying again)! Then I showed a client at my work and she cried! So Beautiful and the song in that video rang true!

  60. says

    hi layla! i’m so glad that shelly sent me the link here saying that you featured them. i love that i call shelly and dan friends after being bonded through ugandan adoption, a love for the kids at M and the pursuit of Him. they have been such a blessing and encouragement to our family.

    i love your blog. i adore homes and interior design. my husband builds homes so we build a new home every couple years to kept our model home current. i love what i’ve peeked around and seen here!

  61. says

    Oh, geez. I’m sitting here weeping – not what I expected to be doing this morning. Thank you for sharing this family’s story; I’ll be carrying it through my day and week.

  62. Sally says

    BEAUTIFUL story! I have an adopted son and love to see others stories! A child does not have to grow in your womb to be loved..some love grows in the heart alone….

  63. says

    Just wanted to say I read your sweet blog and love your hearts. Show Hope is another way in which people can apply for adoption grants and help. just wanted to let you know… Check out our work sometime… god is good. God Bless,

    Mary Beth Chapman
    President and Founder, Show Hope

  64. Paula Lusk says

    As I watched your film, my eyes were full of tears. Good tears. The Lord has surely blessed you, and your children. Blessings to you all

  65. Jennifer says

    God bless this family. I am crying thinking about the blessing bestowed upon this family. I remember the day we brought my own two bundles home from that airport.

  66. Diane says

    Amazing ~ beautiful video! I smiled the whole time! God bless you and your precious family! I hope more children are adopted because of your sharing your heart <3

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