The Adoption Option

Couples describe their adoption experiences and recall the excitement and awe at seeing their adopted children for the first time.

Hear Dennis Rainey, John Piper, and Danny Oertli talk about the joys and challenges of adoption. View Show Notes →
Three couples share their tales of not-so-perfect adoptions that still had a happy ending. View Show Notes →
Hear couples describe their adoption experiences. View Show Notes →

Meet Series Guests

Danny Oertli

If you were to know one thing about Danny, it’s that he loves the journey. That’s a good thing, because for two decades Danny has played in more than 1,000 different venues around the world– stadiums, arenas, churches, and even a few barns. Mixing his unique storytelling ability with song and guitar, Danny engages audiences of all ages. He has also made a bunch of CD’s, recorded a live DVD, and authored a book.

Danny’s journey began as a pastor’s kid. His dad planted a church in the eastern suburbs of Denver. Each Sunday you could find Danny and his sister, Susie, helping to set up the chairs, taking down the chairs, stacking the chairs, placing the cutout Jesus on and off the flannel graph for the kids in the nursery, and finishing off the leftover grape juice from communion. It was a simple, sincere introduction to a life of ministry and family and one that would shape his music for years to come.

As Danny entered high school in Colorado Springs, his life consisted of sports and music. Basketball and U2 took up the majority of his time. In his senior year, Danny began to gravitate toward the gritty, woody sound of the acoustic guitar. As a freshman in college at Colorado State University, Danny began to lead worship for Campus Crusade for Christ. One night a concert promoter came to their weekly meeting and asked Danny to be an opening act for an artist coming through the region. Danny had never written any songs but naively wrote a few to fill his fifteen minute set. That first gig in a cold theater in Laramie, Wyoming, set in motion Danny’s career as a musician and storyteller.

Over the next few years, Danny’s journey was far reaching, not only geographically, but spiritually as well. One by one, churches, conferences, and festivals began to invite him in to perform music at their events around the country. Danny had found his voice in ministry and song and as an extreme extrovert, was enjoying every mile of the ride!

In February of 2002 tragedy struck as Danny’s wife, Cyndi, died of a heart attack at the age of 30 after a long battle with cancer. Danny was left with two little kids (Grace-4 and Jack-1) and an uncertain future. But it was during this time that God proved his faithfulness and mercy once again as He continued to encourage the family in ways they couldn’t have imagined.

Navpress approached Danny with the idea of sharing his story in a book to encourage others dealing with loss. After nearly a year of writing, Danny finished Mommy Paints the Sky, a story of God’s faithfulness.

Two years later, the journey took yet another turn. Danny was performing in Washington D.C. when he met Rayna, who was working for Compassion International, helping children find sponsors. The two quickly fell in love and were married in 2004. Soon to follow was little Maggie.

These days, Danny continues to perform wherever God opens a door. In talking with him, his laid back demeanor would never lead you to believe that he’s played in 47 states and in 10 countries and that he’s performed for large arenas with thousands of people as well as the back of an old pickup truck, standing on hay bales. But, Danny is very much like the little kid who grew up stacking chairs in church. . .he still loves people and he still loves music.

With his newest recording Just Beyond the Door, Danny celebrates yet another leg in his long and remarkable journey. If you listen closely, you’ll hear a recurring theme: the journey is long and hard, but magical and worth every step.

Dennis Rainey

Dennis Rainey cofounded FamilyLife®, a ministry of Cru®. Since the organization began in 1976 through 2017, Dennis’ leadership enabled FamilyLife to grow into a dynamic and vital ministry in more than 109 countries around the world helping families discover the joy God intended for their relationships with God, spouse, and kids.

Dennis has authored or co-authored more than 35 books, including best-selling Moments Together for Couples and Staying Close and has received two Golden Medallion Awards from the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association. In addition, he served as the senior editor of the HomeBuilders Couples Series®, which has sold over 3 million copies and has been translated into 47 languages.

A powerful and effective communicator, Dennis hosted the nationally-syndicated radio program FamilyLife Today® through early 2019 on more than 1,300 radio outlets in all 50 states. During his tenure on the program, FamilyLife Today was recipient of the National Religious Broadcasters Radio Program of the Year Award three times. Dennis serves on the Board of Directors of Dallas Theological Seminary.

Dennis and Barbara have been married since 1972 and love laughing with their six children and growing number of grandchildren. In his spare time, Dennis enjoys helping Barbara in their garden, reading great books, and pursuing his passions for hunting and fishing. They live near Little Rock, Arkansas and retired from FamilyLife in 2017.

John Piper

John Piper serves as founder and lead teacher at Desiring God and is chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, Piper served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church. He has authored more than 50 books, and more than 30 years of his preaching and writing are available free of charge at Piper resides in the Minneapolis area with his wife of 51 years, and has five children and 14 grandchildren.

Various Guests

FamilyLife Today features marriage and family experts who have devoted their lives bringing biblical principles to people in ways that positively change their lives. With each program, we are continually reminded that people throughout the world are receptive to the messages of love and hope offered by our radio guests.