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Adoption Rally Spotlight: Jonathan and Jessica Duranceau

Friday, December 02, 2011

Jonathon and Jessica Duranceau are Adoption Rally grant recipients for the Lipscomb men's basketball game against Kennesaw State this Saturday, Dec. 3. Game time is noon in Allen Arena. The Duranceaus will receive all admission fees from single game tickets on Saturday as part of the fundraiser to help defray their adoption costs.

The Duranceaus have a 22-month-old daughter, Emory, and will be adopting for the first time. They are adopting from Ethiopia through the Holt International Agency in Oregon and expect placement in December of 2012.

"We're open to having either a boy or girl," said Jonathon. "There's a good chance it will be a boy due to the number of boys waiting for adoption in Ethiopia."

Mission trips to Africa were the fertile ground where the seeds of considering adoption first took root.

"My wife went on a mission trip to Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya when she was in college at Trevecca," Jonathon continued. "She started to have a passion in her heart for the people of East Africa. She felt like God was putting it on her heart to adopt from that region even then." Jonathon and Jessica both finished their undergraduate work at Trevecca in 2004 and have completed advanced degrees at the school in the years since.

Three years ago Jonathon and Jessica went on a six-month mission trip to Nairobi, Kenya. There they worked in an orphange and with Trevecca's sister school, Africa Nazarene University.

"Neither one of us had a job or anything tying us to stay here so we connected with some people at Trevecca and area churches and were supported on that short term mission trip," said Jonathon. "It was then and there that my heart was led to consider adoption too."

The Duranceaus are active members at Concord Community Church of the Nazarene. Jonathon is employed by HealthStream in Nashville as an advisory account manager. Jessica works as a part-time youth pastor at Concord Community.

Lipscomb University's Adoption Rally program was created to help families in middle Tennessee raise money to defray some of the mounting costs of adoption. At each men's basketball home game, an adopting family is chosen as the beneficiary of all of the single-game ticket sales revenue for that game. The families are chosen by the Adoption Rally Advisory Board made up of Lipscomb alumni and friends who have either adopted children or were adopted themselves. Families that are chosen simply try to get as many people to attend their game as possible. The larger the crowd, the more money that goes towards their adoption. For full details or to apply for an Adoption Rally grant, visit