166th Aviation brigade adtops

Stephanie Oravetz, her husband, Chief Warrant Officer-4 John Oravetz of Division West’s 166th Aviation Brigade, their daughter, Valerie, and their younger son, Joseph, relax after legally adopting Joseph and his brother, Evan, at the Coryell County Courthouse in Gatesville.


GATESVILLE — Even with four back-to-back deployments, fertility issues, timing constraints and an 8-year-old daughter, Chief Warrant Officer-4 John Oravetz of Division West’s 166th Aviation Brigade, and his wife, Stephanie, “felt a calling to adopt” another child to add to their family.

Then the adoption agency the couple was working with referred them to not just one child, but two: brothers Evan, 4, and Joseph, 2. As far as John and Stephanie were concerned, the boys came as a package deal, and that was all right with their daughter, Valerie.

“Once the boys came around, I couldn’t let them go,” John Oravetz said.

Stephanie Oravetz is well-versed in the adoption process, since she has worked with Court Appointed Special Advocates as a volunteer for three years. “So many great children out there need homes, so that they are not raised in the system,” she said. “Children are a gift given to us, whether we have them biologically or adopt.”

After the adoption process was well underway, Stephanie Oravetz became pregnant with their fourth child, a boy.

Last month, on the day the boys became the Oravetzs’ legally adopted sons, the couple and their extended family arrived at the Coryell County Courthouse wearing red, the color of love. Mother, father, grandmother, daughter and soon-to-be adopted sons, Joseph and Evan, all sported some article of red clothing.

Among the attendees at Evan and Joseph’s adoption ceremony were Stephanie Oravetz’s supervisor from CASA; the boys’ godfather, Chief Warrant Officer-4 Jim Campbell, who deployed twice with John Oravetz; Stephanie Oravetz’s mother, Valerie Garland, of Arlington; and the couple’s pastor, David McMinn.

Michael Lackmeyer, the couple’s adoption attorney, took care of the family’s legal matters. Although emotional, the proceedings were quick and went off without a hitch.

“The best part was when the judge officially declared them ours,” John Oravetz said.

The Oravetz family and their friends and supporters were all smiles as the two little boys were officially received into a welcoming new home and support system.

“God chose us to love and raise these children,” Stephanie Oravetz said.

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