Brian and Angela Anderson move forward after tragedy. Photos by Keith Borgmeyer As you turn down the long gravel path toward the Andersons’ home...
Photo by Keith Borgmeyer
Heather Wall, the regional director of Lutheran Family and Children’s Services of Missouri and mother of six, shares what faith and family mean to her and why she’s so passionate about adoption.
I just celebrated my 41st birthday in June. 40 is most definitely the new 30, right? Please say yes . . .
Years in Columbia:
I moved to Missouri three years ago from Omaha, Nebraska. I know I’m in Tiger country, but I will always be a Husker at heart. Good thing we’re no longer in the same conference.
Tell us about your family.
Family is so important to me that I have made it my life’s work to support, advocate, and counsel families. I’ve always viewed family as more than just blood, so I shouldn’t have been surprised that I would build my family through adoption and add some bonus children through marriage. For several years, it was just my son Ean and I, but, in June 2016, I married Brandon and was blessed with five more children: Peyton, Dylan, Trinity, Noah, and Dane. So, like The Brady Bunch, we’re a family of eight and never have a dull moment.
What does it mean to be a strong woman?
A strong woman is able to face trials with genuine confidence. A strong woman acknowledges she may need help and shows emotion, if that’s what is needed. Growing up, I often heard that crying was a sign a weakness. Well, I now know that it’s the complete opposite — crying is courageous and healthy.
What is a moment in your life that defined you personally or professionally?
My life was forever changed when I put my trust in the Lord during a time in my life where trust was destroyed by someone I loved. Having that trust and faith, I not only got back on my feet, but I was blessed beyond words. It was this defining moment that strengthened me as a woman and got me to Missouri, where I have the privilege of working at my dream job.
What are five things that inspire you?
-When someone comes to the aid of someone else who needs help and random acts of kindness.
-Not giving up, no matter how many times we fail.
-Going out of your way to make other people happy and showing unconditional love to everyone.
-People who don’t let their age define what they can or cannot do.
-Farmers and soldiers.
On a typical weeknight, we could find you doing what?
No matter what time it is or how much time we have (kids in sports often limit this), you will find me circled up at the dining room table with my family for dinner. Then, after tucking all my children in bed and during my short window of quiet time on the couch with my husband, I will fall asleep.
What are your biggest passions?
One of my biggest passions is adoption. I love my son’s birth mother because without her courageous decision, I wouldn’t be a mom. I find joy in sharing our adoption story with other adoptive parents and birth mothers. My son’s birth parents and grandparents are family, and we look forward to visits together. It is wonderful to see so many people loving my son.
What songs would be included on the soundtrack of your life?
“You are My Sunshine” for sure, and possibly an ’80s hair band hit or two. Yes, this may show my age a bit — and the fact that I may have used Aqua Net hairspray.