As most of you know if you have read my blog before, our family truly has a heart for adoption. This has come about mostly at my urging and I will readily admit that I have been the catalyst for this adventure and transformation of our hearts. But I must say, I am thankful that my husband and my children have been very quick to follow. They too have had their eyes open to the needs of orphans and are desiring to help too.
My husband originally saw this need of mine to reach out to orphans and children in need over 3 years ago when I approached him tearfully. I had always wanted to adopt and had expressed this desire to him when we were dating, so I think he knew it was only a matter of time. I had approached him previously too, but we were still in the throws of creating our "biological family" and he asked me to wait until we had finished having our own children.
Well at this time 3 years ago when I approached him again, we were finished having children, settled in a new home, and we both decided that this was the time to take our plunge. We wanted to become foster parents and take in children who had possibly never experienced the love of a family or a stable home life. So after completing our homestudy and training, we got our foster license.
This is how Kierstyn came to our family, and we are so overjoyed that she is on her way to becoming a permanent member of the Rowe clan! Hopefully her adoption will be finalized next month and we are so excited for that little piece of paper to arrive in the mail which decrees that she is legally our child! Big party to follow!! (And she is super excited about that!)
So, with all that said, many might think-- "Wow, well.... 5 kids. Surely they are finished with their family now!" We however think that God has other plans. As I have posted here many times before, I have only recently come to recognize the plight of special needs orphans around the world and the immense need there is for people to come to their aid. Over 140 million orphans is a huge statistic to ignore. So we are not going to.
We will not be a family who chooses luxuries over the needs of children. We will not be a family who tries to forget the orphans we have met who desire the love of a family. We will not try to fool ourselves into believing that we can't make a difference. We will not let something like money get in our way, because we believe that if our hearts are right and our motives are good, and we truly strive to follow God's will, He will provide. He can move mountains. He will make a way.
With all that said we would like to announce that we are on the road to adopting a special needs child from China. We never had intended to go to China, we actually had several other countries in mind that we felt lead to adopt from instead. But China came to the forefront of our minds because of one particular boy. One 13 year old boy who is aging out of the system in January on his 14th birthday. We wanted so badly to rescue him from an uncertain future where at only 14 years old he would be declared "unadoptable", taken from the orphanage and put out into the countryside to fend for himself with no means of making a living and no family or resources to rely on in times of trouble. So we thought we had to try to become his family.
But in this unfortunate instance, we have simply run out of time. Our international homestudy is not complete. There would be no way for us to act fast enough to have all the paperwork to his country in time for us to get him before his 14th birthday. We pray for him earnestly and hope that God guards him for the future. We know that God has a plan for this boy and have to trust in Him and that plan, even though it is not what we wanted.
However, we know God has a plan for our family too. He did not lead us down the path of discovering more about children in China with special needs for nothing. We believe He still wants us on this path, and will lead us to the right waiting child in His time.
So with all that said, at the request of some I have added a chip-in to our blog. Any money donated to this fund will go directly toward the adoption of a special needs child. We have not found that child yet, but after Kierstyn's adoption is finalized we will begin looking again at all those precious faces needing a home.
The children we have found have different needs ranging from cleft lip and palate, to missing or deformed limbs, to blood disorders. Things we might not look at as severe in our country, but things which make these children get looked at as second-class citizens in their own country. It is for these "deformities" that these children are sent away, forgotten in orphanages and aging out because no one wants them for their own. We want them. We want the opportunity to give them a loving home in which to grow and flourish, to know God's love for them, and to become the individuals He intended them to be. We want them to know they are special, cherished, loved people.
We pray that people's hearts will be opened to helping us in this endeavor. It is definitely not a journey we can make on our own. Everyone's support, prayers and love as we travel down this new road of adoption are appreciated. Pray that we can complete our homestudy in a timely manner, and that God will lead us to the child intended for our family. Please donate above to our chip-in if you can! Feel free to send us fundraising ideas! And please participate in our upcoming fundraisers if you are able. I will make sure I post about them on here.
What a difference we can make in the life of a child if we only try! Thanks to everyone in advance for helping enable our family to make that difference-- to be the change we want to see in the world.
There are a few favorite lines I have from the Nickleback song "If Today Was Your Last Day" that I have playing first on this blog, but the following ones I think are most appropriate for what I think about when looking at adoption--