Chapters in our Story


My wife and I knew very little about houseparenting before we came to Cookson Hills. We knew that we were interested in a ministry that we could do as a family. When we heard a missionary come to our church and talk about houseparenting, we began to look at places in the United States that had a houseparenting model of care. If I am completely honest, it wasn’t just my interest in service that led me here. At the time, I was struggling in my corporate position and was ready for a change. It wasn’t the best motive to start, but I think I am evidence that God can work with the desires of the heart. Over time the Lord shaped my motives and I began to love this place for what it really was – the opportunity to provide children with rest in the midst of their chaotic lives.

It has been a privilege to work at Cookson Hills over the past five years. Life here has been a journey and we have achieved many milestones. My wife and I spent our first couple years as houseparents. During our time here, we have seen our children mature and develop. Following the birth of our second child, there was an opportunity at the school and I transitioned from houseparenting to school teaching. I also continued my involvement in the athletics department, coaching boys basketball each winter. Perhaps the biggest milestone of all came in April of 2017 when we were able to finalize the adoption of two twin boys who had been placed in our home early on in our houseparenting journey. Having Ethan and Noah join our home forever has brought such joy to our family!

God has worked in our hearts during our time at Cookson Hills. He’s shown me how much of a challenge a childhood can be for children and how much they need stability. When I first started hearing about the kids’ backgrounds, I realized how fortunate I had been growing up. This fueled my passion to provide a safe haven for children and try to teach them how to turn over a new leaf in their life.

I also learned how much of a provider our God is. There were some difficult times during our houseparenting years and it always seemed like a neighbor would lend their hand at just the right time. There were also some very difficult personal moments, such as a major medical scare, as well as setbacks during the adoption process. Through it all, we learned that God is with us all the time and that He is faithful.

I’ve also grown in my understanding of family and my role as a father. I’ve stepped into leadership positions in my family and been much more intentional about the spiritual formation of my children. I’ve also spent some time in this last year planning the future vision of our family. I’m preparing to launch into a new career as a financial advisor while also providing new opportunities for my children with their grandparents. My chapter at Cookson Hills has been extremely influential in my role as a father and husband and I’m very fortunate for it.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR — Seth Spading, along with his wife, Christine are proud parents of Noah, Ethan, Elijah, and Adelyn. Seth and his family are moving to Osceola, WI in June of 2018 to be closer to extended family and to start his career as a faith-based financial advisor.