Sound of Hope: The Story of Possum Trot Success Stories & The Power of Faith
< Back

Sound of Hope: The Story of Possum Trot Success Stories & The Power of Faith

by Angel Studios | July 4, 2024

Sound of Hope: The Story of Possum Trot Success Stories

Angel Studios’ latest film, Sound of Hope: The Story of Possum Trot, follows the unbelievable true story of Donna and Reverend Martin who encouraged 22 families in Possum Trot, TX to adopt 77 children in the foster care system. Their incredible movement of compassion changed the lives of dozens of children and garnered media attention nationwide. 

Read on to discover the true story behind the movie and where the children of Possum Trot are today.

Faith as the Center of Success

As shown in the film, faith played an integral role in encouraging and sustaining the families of Possum Trot as they adopted children in foster care. In fact, Kathleen Belanger, a former professor at Stephen F. Austin State University, began researching the Possum Trot community soon after the first adoptions. She found that the families relied heavily on their faith to reduce their stress in tough times. This is portrayed throughout the movie when Reverend Martin gives an impassioned sermon and says, “If we can't wrap our arms around the most vulnerable among us then what do we really have?! Noise! Noise is what we have!”

An Outpouring of Support Brings Visibility

The adoption movement kickstarted in Possum Trot in the late 90s began garnering national media attention from major outlets including People magazine, Oprah, Good Morning America, The Today Show, and several others. Oprah was so moved by their story that she even donated Christmas presents to all the families.  

Check out these stories on Possum Trot from Orphan’s Promise and The Today Show:  

There’s been a resurgence of interest in this story thanks to Sound of Hope: The Story of Possum Trot. Thousands of people have already seen the film and been moved to join the fight for vulnerable children all over the country. 

Where are the Possum Trot Kids Now? 


A lot has changed in the 25 years since the Martins ignited a movement of compassion in their small church community. Read on to discover what has become of this remarkable community. 

Donna and Reverend Martin

The Martins are the parents of six children and 10 grandchildren. They still lead Bennett Chapel in Possum Trot today and continue to speak and advocate for ending the foster care crisis in America.  

Martin Family in Possum Trot, TX 2024. Photo courtesy of Sound of Hope filmmakers.

Martin Family 2024

Susan Ramsey

Susan was like family to the Possum Trot community. She received the distinguished Child Welfare League of America’s Outstanding Service Award in 2000. She passed away from cancer in 1999. Donna Martin gave her eulogy. 

Elizabeth Mitchell as Susan Ramsey in Sound of Hope.

Elizabeth Mitchell as Susan Ramsey


Terri is the mother of two daughters and lives in Shreveport, Louisiana. She previously went to cosmetology school and recently bought her first home. She excels in retail management and oversees management for a national convenience store chain. She visits her parents in Possum Trot often. 

See the real Terri connect with Diaana Babnicova, the actor who played her, at the Sound of Hope premiere in this touching Instagram post.

Martin Family with their six children: LaDonna, Terri, Tyler, Joshua, Mercedes, and Princeton.

Martin Family Photo


Mercedes studied criminal justice in college and lives just outside Possum Trot. She has two daughters and manages a restaurant.  


Tyler lives near Possum Trot and became a father in 2022. He works in construction. 


LaDonna is married and is a stay-at-home mom to three children. She is the organist for Bennett Chapel. 


Princeton is the favorite and the most faithful member of the Bennett Chapel praise team. 


Joshua lives in Houston and is a father of two. He co-owns a national wine label.

Diann Sparks

Diann is mother to Shanta and adopted sons Randy and Nino. She is the grandma to twelve. 


Randy previously worked for a company that rents out commercial building equipment and lives close to Nino.


Nino and his wife have four children and twins on the way. He works as a machinist and his wife is a nurse. 

Support Sound of Hope: The Story of Possum Trot 

Sound of Hope: The Story of Possum Trot is in theaters now! Support the remarkable resilience of this community by purchasing tickets today. Help others experience the power of this film by Paying it Forward so someone else can see it for free! America’s Kids Belong, a foster care nonprofit, partnered with Angel Studios to provide foster parents a viewer's guide for the film.  

Angel Studios has also partnered with the Sound of Hope filmmakers to help you join the fight for kids. Learn how to start helping children in foster care today at

After you see the film, share your thoughts on social media and encourage your friends and families to see it. You can also rep your fandom with exclusive Sound of Hope merch.

The fight for kids is just getting started. 

Donna and Reverend Martin. Photo courtesy of Sound of Hope filmmakers.

Donna and Reverend Martin in front of Bennett Chapel

Pay it Forward.
Your choice to Pay it Forward keeps Sound of Hope: The Story of Possum Trot free around the world.