It has been said that some people are angels in disguise. Lee’s Summit residents Ted Sibley and his wife Erin most certainly have invisible halos over their heads. While their humble hearts of service might readily dismiss such a notion, there is no denying the fact that they are living testament to the idea that the most inspiring sermons in life are lived, not preached.
As an emergency room doctor for Truman Medical Center for both the Lakewood and the downtown Hospital Hill campuses, Ted is no stranger to helping people in challenging situations.
“In the emergency room, treating and saving lives is what I do,” he says, not with any sense of bravado but with the confidence that he is simply fulfilling his purpose and serving a greater good. A graduate of the University of Minnesota Medical School, he and Erin, an Iowa native and graduate of Northwestern University, which is where the couple met when both were pursuing their undergraduate degrees, relocated to south Kansas City in 2009.
Serving a greater good seems to be a continuing theme with the Sibleys, as evidenced by their love for and commitment to children who might not otherwise find a happy and loving home.
Eager to start a family, they turned to international adoption and were fortunate enough to find a care center in Colombia, South America, that worked with an adoption placing agency in Minnesota.
“Within nine months, we had three-month-old Lucas,” recalls Erin, who actually lived in Bogota, Colombia, for six weeks until the adoption process was completed while Ted remained in medical school. She brought Lucas home in September 2008.
By the summer of 2011, the Sibleys brought home one-year-old Ben from Ethiopia and two years later Samuel, now an active three and a half year old, arrived from Colombia. The couple is now eagerly anticipating the arrival of a fourth son, Trenton, from Ethiopia. While this addition will present with some exceptional challenges as Trenton was born with cerebral palsy, the couple is clearly up to the task and remain unwavering in their commitment to give a lifetime of love to their children.
“We knew what we were saying ‘yes’ to,” says Erin, whose heart of compassion for children, especially those who are more difficult to place, clearly knows no bounds.
In addition to their expanding family, the Sibleys have also opened up their hearts and home to several foster care prevention children. As a result, Erin has become a spokesperson for Safe Families for Children through the Kansas City, Missouri, Orphan Justice Center for Kids.
Now that she has appreciable experience with the international adoption process, Erin enjoys assisting other families as they wade through the intricacies involved with bringing home a child from another country.
“It’s a whole different world bringing an adoptive child back from another country than it is bringing a newborn home from the hospital,” she says.
When not busy with work and family, Ted and Erin are involved with organizations that speak to their commitment to always give back.
Dr. Sibley is the Medical Director for the Amazon region of the Medical Ministry International Foundation and has volunteered his time, talent and services rendering medical care to people in remote regions around the world, having served on nine medical mission trips to date, including visits to Uganda and the Dominican Republic. He anticipates traveling to the Amazon in May. As a result of these experiences, he has become involved with Team 5, a volunteer group of individuals who travel to international locations by boat, river or other means and stay in the villages, treating people on site and providing much-needed medical education.
Still, there is no place like home, and the Sibleys have happily embraced their new hometown.
“It feels like home,” says Ted. “There is a true community feeling to this place. We love the parks, the community centers and all of the various things to do.”