ALAPPUZHA: They are a couple having no house anywhere in the world, but support nine children, four of them adopted. The four and one of their own are special needs children. The couple in their fifties-- husband Brent N. Stacey from Philippines and wife Jean Inion from Sweden — are world travellers and have adopted the children from Asia, one each from India, Indonesia, China and South Korea. Their own fifth child suffers from abnormalities and all of them belong to the age group of six months to 18 years. This unique family, which started a roadtrip from the US in 2007 after selling their assets in their home countries, has covered over a dozen nations, including Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, Belize, Mexico, China, India, Egypt and South Korea.
They have come to Alappuzha and had a houseboat journey in the backwaters on Thursday. Sharing their experiences with this paper, they said they were excited by the beauty of the Venice of the East. “For the first time, we have seen the beauty of Kerala and it has been a unique experience,” they said. “Travel will open the world to your children,” Brent said. They call themselves global citizens and the followers of the Bible and take care of special children considering it as their duty and privilege.
“We spent our early married and parenting years among the Amish and Old Order Mennonite groups of Lancaster, Pennsyl-vania (North American ethno-religious groups). Our goal is to help people with humanitarian aid and encourage families spiritually while preserving the best of their culture,” they said. According to them, travel gives the children a global education that cannot be gained in any other way. “Travelling together builds relationships and a family bond. Our ultimate aim is to make our children global citizens through travel. We all have something to learn and something to give,” they said. “There will come a time when travel will not be possible for some of our children. For now, they are thriving in the warm sunshine, excellent medical care and a Latin American culture known for embracing children,” Brent said.
The couple do tailoring, including quilting blankets, to make a living. They are also interested in travel photography and sell them occasionally. They worked as volunteer park rangers in the US and the children helped to protect baby sea turtles and taught young children about conservation. They will tour Kerala for a few days and leave for another destination on Friday....