Interview Emily Christensen, PhD
Topics of conversation:
Adopting a Special Needs Child
Informed Patient Care for Foster Parents
Living Your Vocation
Dr. Christensen earned her Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy, and has two Masters Degrees: an M.S. in Professional Counseling and an M.Div. in Pastoral Counseling.
The only thing better than writing, she says, is being married to a writer. Nathan Christensen married Emily in the Oklahoma City temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on 13 October 2012, and have since fostered more than eighty-five children. In 2015, they adopted the six children who stayed, and are totally and completely and helplessly in love as a family - now sealed together for time and all eternity.
How much can a life change in just five years? For Emily Christensen, that span began with her conversion to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and ended with the adoption of six children with special needs. But the highs and lows between those two points are almost too hard to believe: enduring cochlear implant surgeries, meeting and marrying the man of her dreams, grieving the death of both of her parents, becoming a chaplain, and fostering more than seventy children. At the core of the story is an account of her ongoing efforts to save the life of her youngest daughter, Kyrie (pronounced keer-ree-ay). Born with captivating eyes and a full head of curly hair, Kyrie also came into the world with Pierre Robin Sequence, a disorder where her lower face and airway were not properly formed. First as a foster mom and then as an adoptive mother, Christensen has fought her way just to help her daughter breathe.