The Ethiopia program is thanking God this week for another child being matched with their forever family! “Derek” was referred and accepted this month, join us in rejoicing with his family and pray for a smooth process for them to bring him home!
We are so excited to journey with the Thompson family as they prepare to bring their daughter home from India. We are honored to walk this road with them.
It's been almost four years since my husband and I had our first real conversation about adoption. Until then, it had been this abstract thing -- this thing that was a noble thing to do, a good thing to do, maybe for us, someday, but probably reserved for other people -- people richer than us, more established than us, more ready than us.
And then suddenly it was us.
We were fairly new parents, with a big stack of bills and an insecure job future. If a list existed of people equipped to adopt a child, especially one from halfway around the world, our names weren't near the top. We maybe weren't even on the list.
But we forged ahead, sometimes not looking at the millions of steps we needed to take, but just looking at the next one. We filled out paperwork, we filled out more paperwork, and we wrote a couple small checks and a couple bigger ones.
We picked a name for a girl who we didn't know hadn't even been born yet. We weighed every penny spent against whether it was more important than giving her a home, and in the process learned how much we can do without.
We prayed. We held fund-raisers. We became humbled by the generosity of our family, our friends, and people we barely know.
And then, after almost two years of paperwork, and thanks to some efforts by our adoption agency, AWAA, we were matched with a little girl. A little girl, six months old at the time, a little girl with the most piercing dark eyes and the bravest little smile, who didn't yet know that she needed someone to take care of her.
We didn't know that we needed her, too.
This little girl, whose picture melted me then and melts me now, ignited in us a fire, a passion, to stand up for her, and the estimated more than 150 million orphans in the world, who have no one to tell them they matter.
Because she matters.
When we filled out the initial application, four years ago, sitting in a condo in Destin, FL, we could barely wrap our minds around the final result -- that we would actually bring a child home. We just did the next thing, and then the next thing, and then the next thing.
And it was hard. Oh my goodness, it was hard. Some days it was really, really, really hard. The paperwork. The endless questions. The paperwork. The sometimes painful checks we wrote. The paperwork.
But then we saw her picture, and the work didn't matter anymore. She didn't have a say in how she was brought into the world, or the circumstances surrounding her situation. She was born innocent, just like my son and every other child, into a world where people make bad choices.
How could I not do the hard things for her? How could I not?
And now here we are. In a couple days, we will get on a plane, and we will go get her. And we will bring her home and she will be ours. She will be raised by an ever-patient father and a mother who tries really, really, really hard and stumbles a lot along the way. She will know the love of so many people, who have fought for her, advocated for her, prayed for her, and believed in her.
In the last few days, I've been getting caught up in the details. Travel arrangements. So. much. paperwork. Tying up loose ends. Packing. Finishing work so I don't have to work in India. Making sure my son gets enough attention.
And then, I remember. I remember that soon there will be one less orphan. One less. We cannot do it all, but for our daughter, for one... we can.
The Benton family recently celebrated 9 years home with Alex! Toni Bention, shares,
"Alex went from a scared 21 month old to a vibrant, funny, energetic, amazing 10 year old (and all the fun ages/stages in between). Just see what God can do (and kept on doing) with a little love and willing hearts!! Family changes everything!!"
(Alex, middle, between sister and dad, Bill)
Thank you, Benton family, for sharing and allowing us to celebrate with you!
Our friends at Adoptive Families will be presenting a free webinar, "Adopting When You're Already Parenting" and we wanted to pass this on to you!
Wednesday, September 28 at 1:00 PM (Eastern) EXPERT: Beth Friedberg, LCSW
If you’re already parenting and are considering growing your family through adoption, you may face a few questions and decisions that didn’t surface when you first became a parent. How do we decide on the right path? Should we consider adopting out of birth order? How do we prepare our child for a new sibling through adoption—or, possibly, for an adoption plan that falls through?
In this webinar, Beth Friedberg, LCSW, Associate Director at Spence-Chapin Services to Families & Children, will address common questions and concerns about adopting while already parenting. Join us for this presentation and a chance to ask your questions.
The Expert Q&A Webinar with Beth Friedberg, LCSW: "Adopting When You're Already Parenting" will take place on Wednesday, September 28, 2016 from 1pm to 2pm ET (12pm-1pm CT; 11am-12pm MT; 10am-11am PT).
“Naomi” is estimated to be 8-years old. She has sacral caudal dysplasia and she walks with an artificial limb. Sacral caudal dysplasia means the bottom portion of her spine did not fully develop in-utero and, in turn, effected the development of her lower limbs. Despite her physical challenges, she is agile and enjoys dancing. “Naomi” is a bright and clever child with a mind of her own.
Please pray for “Naomi” who is in need of a family who will help her thrive with her medical needs. Will you share her story?
This is a shared referral. For more information on “Naomi” or other waiting children in India, please contact India@awaa.org.
Today was a very special day for two America World families and these two precious children! Both families received Letters of Acceptance from China today, which means these two cuties now have forever families! Congratulations to all!
Do You Feel Called to Adopt a Waiting Child? Start Here.
Will you help us share "Selah's" story today? She is waiting for her forever family.
Selah is 19 months old and dances with joy when she hears music. She is in foster care and enjoys outdoor activities. She has been diagnosed with developmental delays and cerebral palsy. She can reach for toys and stand for brief periods of time with assistance.
She is from an AWAA orphanage partner and her file is designated as special focus, so families at any stage of the process can be considered.
If you would like more information about sweet "Selah" contact email@example.com
“Ari” is a 6-year old boy with exstrophy of the bladder. Exstrophy of the bladder is a congenital disease where the bladder protrudes through a defect in the abdomen wall and “Ari” needs further surgeries to correct this. He is a handsome boy described as confident and independent. “Ari” is protective of the younger children. His caregivers say he will flourish in a home where he receives undivided love and attention.
Please pray for “Ari” who needs a special family to love him and care for his medical needs. Will you share his story?
This is a shared referral. For more information on “Ari” or other waiting children in India, please contact India@awaa.org.
It is a blessing to continue our work in Ethiopia with the Nanny Sponsorship Program. Many families and individuals have stepped forward to financially support the amazing caregivers that give their days and nights to ensure the children in the transition home are well-cared for. We continue to see the fruits of this generosity in their lives. The nannies are encouraged and able to care for their families.
There are still many caregivers who do not yet have sponsors. If you are interested in supporting a caregiver in the Ethiopia transition home check out our sponsorship page to read and enter their stories.