The air hung heavy and thick, the humidity so dense you could cut a knife through it. Sweat, earth and the sweet scent of tropical flowers scented the air while the ground left a perpetual covering of a deep red dust. Laughter and shouts filled the air as groups of kids ran and played, begging to be picked up, thrown in the air, spun around. A dark, chubby little hand rested on my thigh, a bright smile with big dimples smiled back at me. His name was Moses and he was an orphan, living in one of the Watoto villages, a small grouping of building that held 8 orphans and one housemother. Almost all of the occupants were affected by the AIDS crisis in Africa. Widowed, orphaned, left alone all due to the severe outbreak of the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
Moses’ bright eyes lit up when you talked to him, his smile wide and inviting. Next to him sat his house brother, another orphan. He did not smile back. His eyes lacked sparkle, as if staring into a deep abyss. He had missing fingers on one of his hand and he kept close to his house brother. Two boys, both orphaned through no fault of their own. Both having seen things that no child deserves to see.
It was then, in 2002, in Kampala, Uganda that my eyes were opened. I could not pretend I did not know. I had seen with my own eyes, felt with my own hands, hugged with my own arms. The plight of the orphans was not just a moving commercial for partnership. It was bright happy eyes and very, very sad eyes. It had touched my heart, grabbed my soul and never really lost it’s grip.
Fast-forward 13 years. It was August of 2015 and I was at the playground. It was a hot and sweaty evening and my children were tearing around. Somehow, Ryan and I started talking about kids, our kids and what our future was going to look like.
We both took a deep breath and shared our hearts.
After four pregnancies, three beautiful, healthy children and almost 9 years of marriage, we both separately had been praying for our next step.
On our own, individually, we both came to the exact same conclusion.
We were ready.
My heart had felt the call years ago, the tug and the pull always intensified with every adoption story that I heard. Ryan has his own journey towards adoption and maybe one day I will have him share it here.
But for now, we were united.
We wanted to add to our little family. We wanted to bring a child in.
So, almost one year later we are FINALLY and HAPPILY able to announce.
WE ARE ADOPTING FROM CHINA!!
We have our approved and sealed home study, our request to the United States Immigration for the approval to adopt sent and we are wrapping up the last of our dossier, which will be sent to China.
Many, many things have happened before we got to this place. I will share more of how we got here later.
But for now, celebrate with us! We are adopting a child from China. Pray for our little one. Pray for us!
Here are some quick facts so far.
1. We are adopting a special needs child from China. We do not know if it will be a boy or a girl, and we do not care. We have no preference. Boys, however, wait much longer than girls. We love boys! We don’t want them to wait for a family, but if we are matched with a girl, there is a very excited sister waiting for her.
2. Special needs?! What does that mean? We don’t know. It could mean anything from missing digits, some mental or physical delays to cleft lip and palate. Maybe less, maybe more. We just don’t know until we receive our referral.
3. The cost of an international adoption to China is around $35,000. It is a daunting number that gets broken down into lots and lots of small (and a few very large) payments. A large part of the cost is traveling to and from China and the lodging.
4. How are going to pay for it? Well, we have been saving and not taking vacations for the last year. We can also now start applying for grants. We are also hoping to do a few fundraisers as well. The Lord has been so faithful. Every time we had a payment due, we were able to cover it. So far, we have put in around $5,000.
5. How can you help? Pray with us! Pray that we keep meeting our financial goals. We are working with Nightlight Christian Adoptions, a non-profit agency, so all payment given to us are tax deductible! Own a business and need a tax write off? Consider donating to our adoption. We are on the site AdoptionBridge.com and all donations will go 100% to our adoption. You can read our profile here. Feel free to post and share it with your friends! Every little bit helps.
Many thanks for reading this far and for celebrating with us as we welcome a new member into our family!