It all started with Kristen and Adrianna a sibling duo whose laughter and mischief filled every nook of Kellie Sanders' home in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Their playful energy was infectious and bright. Then came Allie, a spirited teenager whose arrival seemed to seal the family bond.
“We all just hit it off and became family.”
- Kellie Sanders
For three and a half years, Kellie nurtured them as her own, even initiating the adoption process in hopes of offering them a permanent place in her heart and home.

Kellie Sanders, 34, is a single woman who grew up in Bowling Green, Kentucky. After learning early on in her adulthood that she had Endometriosis, a chronic disease that occurs when endometrial tissue grows outside the uterus, usually on or around reproductive organs, Kellie realized that she wouldn’t be able to have kids. So she made it her life mission to give herself and her blessing to others.

"A disorder in which tissue similar to the tissue that lines the uterus grows outside the uterus in places where it doesn't belong.

With endometriosis, deposits of tissue that act just like the tissue lining the uterus develop outside the uterus. This tissue thickens, breaks down, and bleeds with each period. But the blood has no way to leave the body and becomes trapped."


She began this sharing of love by fostering teenagers.

“They really just want a safe, loving home and to feel like they have a family. God's just done something in my heart to give me that gift.”
- Kellie Sanders
As the adoption process with Kristen, Adrianna, and Allie progressed and Kellie’s hopes rose, a huge blindside occurred that left Sander feeling empty once again.

The siblings’ biological family expressed a desire to have custody of the kids, and they were moved out of Kellie’s home permanently.
“I couldn't even walk past their bedrooms. For six months, my home just felt empty.”
– Kellie Sanders
Ever since the relocation of her foster kids, Kellie decided to close her home for a while and focus on fulfilling her life in a different way as she grieved them being gone.

Kellie’s full-time job is as a Foster Home Provider (FHP) for adults in need of placement homes. During this limbo period of her life, she focused on turning her home from something negative to something positive.
Every week, Kellie works with an array of adults with disabilities.

During her time with her clients, Kellie tries to make their time together as special as possible.

One placement named Anastasia has developed a close relationship with Kellie. During her visits with Anastasia, Kellie spends quality time with her either going on walks or cooking meals together. Anastasia met Kellie in September 2023, and they have been friends ever since.

Kellie works with one of her Adult Placements, Anastasia. Anastasia and Kellie have know each other for a while now and Anastasia especially loves it when Kellie takes care of her whether that means making a meal for her, or brushing through her hair. “She’s my sissy,” Anastasia said.
Renae, Kellie’s mom, Kellie, and Anastasia pray before a meal that Anastasia and Kellie prepared late Monday night. Religion is a huge part of Kellie’s life. She attends New Life Church on Scottsville Road in Bowling Green, Kentucky. It is here where she has found a loving community and she enjoys introducing this community to her adult placements like Anastasia, so they often go to service together on Sundays.
Anastasia and Kellie enjoy iced coffee outside on Monday evening. “Iced Coffee is sissy’s speciality,” Anastasia said. For most of her adult placements, Kellie always makes her special iced coffee for them as a special treat when they come and visit. “It’s just something fun we do,” Kellie said.
Right behind Kellie’s Bowling Green house is a small backyard that she often uses to sit outside and relax or play with her dog. When her clients are over she likes to sit in the back with them and talk about how their days went. Kellie’s neighborhood has always offered her support in many ways. Just across the street, lives Kellie’s sister and her mom only lives 30 minutes away in Glasgow so, her family is close if she ever needs some extra support.
Another one of her clients, Christina, has been working with Kellie for a while as well. Kellie often takes Christina to her church called New Life in Bowling Green. Here, Christina is tasked with cutting up the papers for the services and putting out the offering baskets.

Another one of Kellie’s Adult Placements is Christina. Kellie and Cristina often work together at New Life Church. Here, Kellie makes sure Christina always has a task to do like cutting ups the leaflets for Sunday services. “The lord gave me. A servants heart, and I just want to lift his people up,” said Kellie.
Although these tasks are small, for her clients or adult placements, it means a lot for them to spend time outside of a normal environment and to interact with loving people like Kellie.

“I just hope they know that I will always be here for them, I try to be there for as many people as I can in my life.”
- Kellie Sanders.
While working with adults like Anastasia and Christina, Kellie began longing for those kids who were running all around her home bringing light to her life again. She felt a desire to open her home back up again to those teenagers in need.

Around the same time, something life-changing happened.

Kellie found out that she was pregnant.

“I never ever expected it. I wasn't even supposed to be able to have kids. And then here I am, healed from, Endometriosis and all this craziness that I've dealt with my whole life. So now it’s time to get ready for a whole new family.”
- Kellie Sanders

On April 8th, 2024, Kellie and her mom Renae attended an obstetrician gynecologist appointment at Graves Gilbert Clinic in Bowling Green, Kentucky to hear the heartbeat of her child for the first time. A few weeks prior, Kellie found out she was going to have a baby girl but since then she has been unsure if the baby girl has maintained her health.

For Kellie, a whole new life was ahead of her.

“I have no idea what I'm doing. I feel like I'm having to figure things out as I go. Sometimes I guess that's when you grow the most being uncomfortable.”
- Kellie Sanders

During this time, however, Kellie believes that she has more support now than ever. She has gained an amazing family of people at New Life Church, and her entire family lives near her.

Her mom even came down after she heard the news that she was pregnant and that the father was not going to be in the picture.

She even went with Kellie to an OBGYN appointment where Kellie heard the heartbeat of her baby girl for the first time.

A nurse places a Doppler ultrasound device onto Kellie’s baby. Once placed on her stomach, Kellie was able to finally hear her child’s heartbeat for the first time. “It’s just been so scary the uncertainty of it all and not know if she was doing ok or not,” Kellie said.
After hearing the heartbeat of her child for the first time, Kellie finally broke down and praised God for the miracle of having a healthy baby girl. “Everything happens for a reason,” Kellie said.
“Everything sounds normal, she is healthy”
-Graves Gilbert Nurse

Renae and Kellie embrace after hearing the heartbeat and knowing everything is going to be ok. Since finding out her daughter was pregnant and knowing that the father chose not to be in Kellie’s life, Renae temporarily moved into Kellie’s house to help support her in any ways necessary. “There was one night I was crazing Waffle House at 2:00am and I asked mom if she could drive me there and she said yes,” Kellie said.
After hearing her child's heartbeat only a few weeks later, Kellie received a call that they had found a foster placement for her home.

And once again, Kellie’s family began to grow.
Adanane Elisabeth Escobar-Pena, 15, arrived at Kellie’s small home in Bowling Green, Kentucky for the first time the morning of April 22nd, 2024. “Most of these foster kids only have a small amount of belongings sometimes only a garbage bag full because they are always moving around from different homes,” Kellie said.

Adanane Elisabeth Escobar-Pena, 15, moved into Kellie's home on April 22, 2024.

Adanane Elisabeth Escobar-Pena see’s her new home for the first time. “It’s beautiful,” Adanane said. Adanane had been placed in 3 different homes before being placed with Kellie. This was also the first time Adanane and Kellie met each other in person. The way the foster system works, kids are assigned randomly to their homes, this is a way for the process to be streamlined.
“It's a miracle at this point. I just know that his word is true. And when we can't understand or imagine what he's doing, he's doing something great. So if I'm going through it, I know there's a reason to grow me. And, at the end of the day, he's going to make sure I have all that I need.”
- Kellie Sanders

In Kellie’s home, Adanane is able to have her own room. Together Kellie and Adanane embrace on her bed as they both take in their first months living together as mother and daughter. “These kids they teach me, and help me grow every day,” Kellie said.
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