Franklin County family adopting 6-year old recovering from cancer

Family doing unique fundraiser to raise money for plane tickets

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Va. – All children need love. One family in Franklin County is going around the world to bring home a new son.

"We had always planned to adopt," said Karen Marable, mother to three children and soon to be four.

Karen and Michael Marable's oldest son is adopted and now they're getting ready to adopt a 6-year-old from China, who's recovering from cancer.

"He was left at the orphanage at the age of 2. He had been raised by his biological parents for the first two years. In China, as opposed to here you have to have the money to treat upfront. Who has the money to pay for years of chemo and surgery and hospitalization after hospitalization? They lovingly did the only thing they could to save their child, which was leave him at the orphanage on the steps one night," said Karen Marable.

"It's what we're supposed to do. It's meant for us at this time in our life so I think that's reassuring to me," said Michael Marable.


Medical issues are nothing new to this couple. Karen is a pediatric nurse. Their oldest had medical issues, they fostered children with medical issues and looked for another child needing help, finding Sullivan.

"He had gone through his year of chemo, he had a right nephrectomy so he does not have his right kidney. He had been hospitalized so many times," said Karen.

Sullivan is now in remission and the family's ready to bring him home. Landon remembers when he found out he was finally getting a brother, after asking for two years.

"I remember I was really, really, really, really excited," said Landon, who is 11.

"He'll have a little brother to care for and he'll have that bond that the girls have. They've just embraced it beyond any kind of expectation I could have as a person or a dad," said Michael.

The brothers will share a room.

"I think it's going to be really fun because it's a sleepover every night. We can have fun!" said Landon.

"It's really amazing as a parent to see their enthusiasm. I'm proud of them. I'm proud of what we're doing for them and what they're doing for us," said Michael.

Sullivan will be the newest addition to the Marable family.
Sullivan will be the newest addition to the Marable family.

Karen's had people ask why adopt from China instead of the United States?

"We just felt drawn to China. I have a niece who was adopted from China and we love the people and the culture," said Karen. "Our answer is that's where our child is. Children in China age out of the system at age 14. Just the thought of these children with special needs, medical needs just being kicked out, left to their own devices made us nauseous. I know there are kids that age out of the system here but we felt like given our government and resources, they have more resources here."

The Marable kids are stuffing plastic Easter eggs with candy for a fundraiser where you can get your yard "egged" with candy on Friday, March 30, or Saturday, March 31.  All the money will pay for plane tickets so they can go to China in May or June when they bring Sullivan home.

If you are interested in getting the Marable family to egg your home you can reach her at knmarable@hotmail.com or through PayPal at the same email address.

It's 30 eggs for $25, 40 eggs for $35 or 70 eggs for $50. They will be egging yards in Boones Mill, Moneta, Roanoke, Salem, Vinton, Blue Ridge, Daleville, and Troutville.

"We decided we started this as a family, it was really our kids that started us on this journey so we're going to finish it as a family," said Karen.

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