You never know when one decision will begin a chain of events that completely changes your life.

When Jan and Craig Druckenmiller first talked about adopting a child 16 years ago, they didn't have an inkling that they would someday have an international household of four children.

And they certainly didn't plan on one day changing careers and founding a nonprofit foundation to help others adopt underprivileged children from China and elsewhere.

"It's become our whole life really, as far as what we're doing and what we think," Jan Druckenmiller says. "It's just completely satisfying and fulfilling."

She's seated in the living room of their comfortable home south of Bozeman. Maddi, the newest addition to the family, plays with a set of toy logs on the carpet at her feet, while Sadee plays make-believe with dolls on the dining room table in the adjacent room.

Jan is a tiny woman with short, curly brown hair. Her voice is small, too. She talks quietly about how her life changed over the years.

The Druckenmillers had a biological son, Javan, 22 years ago. But the couple had trouble conceiving again.

They were talking about all the medical options, how far they should pursue their wish for another child - that's when Craig suggested adoption.

"My first response to it was pretty negative," Jan says.

Then while grocery shopping one day she saw a woman with a "beautiful little Asian girl" perched in her shopping cart.

"I stopped her and I said, where did you get that child?" Jan says.

Two years later, they adopted Kalie, now 14, from Korea at age 5 months.

"That was a response to infertility, and really wanting to have another child," Jan says.

"(Sadee's adoption) was more a response to all the things we were hearing about the conditions in China," Jan says. "The second time around the motive had changed. It was more a matter of wanting to help."

By now, the story of China's notorious one-child policy, a 20-year-old attempt at population control, is well documented.

Coerced abortions, female infanticide, forced sterilizations, houses bulldozed because the families who lived there had more than one child. By the mid-1990s, those cases drew the attention of news programs such as "20/20" and for a time focused the glare of international media attention on the problem.

Males are valued because in Chinese culture they are the ones who can provide for their parents in old age. Women, once married, have no obligation to their parents, and families strive for a male heir. Girls are abandoned.

Although abortion for sex selection is illegal (doctors aren't even allowed to tell parents the sex of the fetus), the ratio of male to female babies is higher in hospitals where ultrasound equipment is used to monitor pregnancies, suggesting selective abortion is exactly what is happening.

The Washington Post reported last year that the one-child policy is being unevenly enforced, and practically ignored in some rural provinces. And Western researchers report that China has improved its human rights record relating to the one-child policy.

But the policy continues to have widespread social impacts, the Post reported.

One result is a swelling population in Chinese orphanages.

And some people, like the Druckenmillers, are drawn to help.

"We started thinking, there is something more that we can do," Craig Druckenmiller says. "We have a big enough house that we could take another child or two, and we actually have something that we can share."

They went to China to adopt Sadee in 1999 when she was 3 years old.

In December they traveled to China again, bringing home Maddi, who they think is about 6 years old. The youngster was abandoned at the orphanage and no birth records exist. The Druckenmillers were told Maddi was 4, but after medical exams here they believe she's closer to 6.

"She says she's 5," Jan says. "She was at the orphanage a little over a year."

Jan and Craig Druckenmiller are both nearly 50, raising preschoolers when most people their age are socking every available dime into 401K plans and looking toward retirement.

And international adoption is expensive. It typically costs anywhere from $15,000 to $25,000, depending on the country and the agency involved, Jan Druckenmiller says.

"You make a choice about what you want your life to be," she says.

Craig gave up his property management business in May. Jan turned the nonprofit child care business she'd run for 22 years over to others.

They've created a nonprofit organization, The Sacred Portion Children's Outreach, which seeks to improve the care of orphaned and abandoned children.

Eventually, they hope to become a child placing agency.

"Our goal is not really in numbers, but really in just wanting to become visible in our community as far as being a resource for people," Jan says. "We run into a lot of people … they're thinking about adoption but they don't ever get started. They don't know where to turn."

Rebecca Ruefer is on the Sacred Portion board of directors and went with Jan Druckenmiller to China in July 2000.

They joined a team of volunteers at an orphanage in Changzhou, where they worked for two weeks to build and equip preschool rooms and to help train preschool teachers.

Ruefer and her husband, Bruce, have two biological children, two adopted children and they're in the process of adopting another child.

"These kids we bring in bring huge joy and fulfillment to our lives," Ruefer says. "It's a two-way street."

Ruefer says she and her husband realized, "We could do more. That becomes a real passion, particularly where it involves a country you've traveled to to get a child. It changes you."

It's a passion the Druckenmillers share.

"There are times when I feel selfish," Craig Druckenmiller says. "I go through those periods. You want to go pick up the guitar and play it without having a hundred little fingers in there trying to help you find a chord."

But those thoughts quickly are swallowed by the joy of having the kids in the home, he says.

Is there room in the home for another child?

"Actually, there's a little girl in Kazakhstan," Jan says, looking at her husband. "We feel pretty compelled to see that she gets a family."