The Vandalia Leader

Follow Us On:

Curryville Baptist Church welcomes Luke Trower after 4 years of legal battles

Posted on Thursday, September 7, 2023 at 11:13 pm

By Gabriel Maier

In 2018, Jill and Adam Trower of Curryville, Mo., met a 1-year-old boy in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He was living in an orphanage at the time, and when Jill and Adam first got to hear his story, it touched their hearts. That’s when they decided to adopt him. They even had a name picked out for this extraordinary young man—Luke. However, what started as a wonderful story of love from across the ocean turned into a four-year legal battle with the U.S. government.
Jill and Adam battled in court, pitted against the U.S. Department of State, to allow them to adopt Luke and bring him here. Although the U.S. and the Democratic Republic of Congo first approved the adoption, the Trowers received a letter on Dec. 22, 2021, telling them the adoption had been denied. The Trowers spent nearly a year and a half in the courts just trying to figure out what had caused this turn of events.
But eventually, after few more years of legal wrangling, a federal judge decided in favor of the Trowers, and Luke was able to come to the U.S. Although he has only been here a short time, his family already feels as if he’s been a part of their family for years.
“I think that there have been challenges, but I think those come even with your own biological kids,” Jill Trower said. “I think we’ve all adjusted pretty well.” Even his new big sister, Nora, has taken to Luke.
“It’s good (to have him home),” Nora said. “It’s not boring anymore. Sometimes (it can be challenging), but not all the time. I missed him a lot (while he was in Africa).”
“We can’t imagine him not being home now,” Jill said. “He’s adapted to our family really well. Our biggest challenge is finding foods that he likes to eat. He doesn’t really like a lot of the food that we have here.”
“He’s settled in very well, and now he’s just part of the family,” Adam added.
This past Sunday, the Curryville Baptist Church decided to hold an ice cream social to celebrate Luke joining his new family and new community. Nearly every member of the church came with food and ice cream. Betty and Bruce Scherder, Judy and Dale Lindsay, and Dale and Nancy Pilliard gave Luke an art easel with lots of art supplies as a welcome-home gift.
“He’s been here just over four months, and his English is developing. He started daycare a couple of weeks ago and he’s transitioned into that well,” Jill said.
Thankfully, it seems that the Trowers’ legal troubles are over. Their case has set a precedent in the federal court system.
“Once we settled our case, (the courts) handled everything there,” Adam said. “We’ve done all the legal stuff, so our part is done now. We’ve set a legal precedent, which will make it a lot easier (for other families) to adopt.”
Luke had tremendous fun playing with the other kids at his welcome home celebration, and everyone got to enjoy music from the children who went to VBS. Games were played, food was shared, and everyone had fun.
Luke is now five years old, and yet he has already helped set a legal precedent in the U.S. that will affect international adoption for years to come. From watching Luke at his celebration, one can be certain that he is not done changing the world.