Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Hear Ye... Hear Ye!!
Over the past few years, Tim and I have had our lives turned upside down and our hearts completely ransacked-- in a good way-- because of orphans. These children who are alone, without a family, without a home, without good medical care, without love. They have changed us. They have forced us to step out of our comfort zone, make bold moves we would have never dreamt of before, learn to do things we never thought imaginable, WANT to do things we never thought we would. They have also drawn us into a closer relationship with God, a truly faith-based relationship built upon doing HIS will instead of always catering to our own. This has been an incredible blessing to us and to our family.
To put it mildly, our eyes have been opened, and our hearts have been broken because of the orphan, and we wouldn't have it any other way.
That all being said, let me introduce you to a very special young man. He is listed as "Ianto" on Reece's Rainbow, and he is going to be Our Son!
Our road to Ianto has been an interesting one, one full of twists and turns. It has been formed over time with amazing details, as only God can do.
You see, I originally met this young man during our first trip to EE for the adoption of Charlotte and Atticus. Tim, Schuyler and I went to visit the older children's orphanage as some of you might recall me writing about, the same orphanage where our kids Bronwyn and Leo would eventually be adopted from, and now where we will return for this adoption as well.
I remember vividly the first time I laid eyes on him. A tall, skinny boy with a mullet ;) who thought he was so cool. But he was polite and respectful, sat with us and a bunch of other children, happily eating the goodies we had doled out- fruit, candies, cookies. Treats these kids seldom received. Yet he wasn't greedy, he took only his share and no more, he passed treats back to the other kids. We could tell he was a really kind boy.
Schuyler and I had the privilege of hanging out with him more when she and I returned again with our friend Natalya to the orphanage for a weekend visit. Natalya and her church friends were there to hang out with the children as they did every Saturday... playing games, teaching Bible lessons and giving many much-needed hugs.
This Saturday Natalya was also coming with a little extra something for the kids- some new socks. I cried as she passed out one pair to each child and saw the gratitude in their faces, over receiving one. pair. of. socks.
And again, there was Ianto. He hung out with the group on those Saturdays we went to visit, eager for a little attention and affection just like all the other children there. Here he is in the torn blue shirt.....
When Tim and I traveled back to EE that following fall for the adoption of Bronwyn and Leo, we again got to spend lots of time at the orphanage. Much more time than on the previous trip as our kids were actually at this particular orphanage this time. We visited every afternoon playing games and soccer with the kids, doing crafts and just hanging out. There was always a crowd of boys and girls there with us but one thing remained constant while I was there..... Ianto.
He was quick with a smile and a hug. You could tell he just craved the affection. He told me many times how he wanted a family, how he wanted to go to America like so many kids from that school already had.
But for now he was happy to spend his afternoons with us, playing the iPad and wrestling with Tim ;)
We talked about Ianto a lot while we were there... about what a good kid he seemed to be and how if we had been approved for three at the time I would have begged to take him home with us as well. And Tim often remarked about Ianto's uncanny resemblance to his childhood friend Jamie. Even showed me a picture of him when we got home so I could see the similarities. :)
So as time went on and we were back home now getting the newest members of our family acclimated to our home life, we saw several months later that Ianto was listed with RR. One of our good friends who had been in EE with us during the previous adoption had returned to the orphanage with a mission team and had compiled lots of information about him so that he could be listed. First and foremost on that info sheet was about how much he wanted a FAMILY.
Shortly after, one stepped forward for him. I was happy that he would now have a Mom and Dad of his own, but inside a part of me still wished it had been us. Shortly later, due to some different circumstances, the family that had committed to him had to back away. When we found this out Tim and I knew it was time to talk. We both knew this amazing boy, we both loved his quirky and fun personality. And we felt fairly certain that he had taken a liking to us as well.
Would we? Could we go back again??
We approached our kids about the possibility of having another brother, especially the two who had lived there at the orphanage with him for many years. Bronwyn in fact has known him since she was very little and the two of them were in a different orphanage together. Both Bronwyn and Leo attested to the fact that he was a good kid. He hated the orphanage and never felt like he fit in. He didn't like being around the rough kids, or the ones who smoked and drank. They knew he wanted outta there.... bad.
So again, as they have now four times before, our children gave us their approval and with that we committed to bringing home a new SON!!
Now what would be an adoption without its complications?? Especially an international one!
Well I am happy to say that we hit the ground running, and luckily have not encountered any roadblocks so far. Praise God! And, half of our dossier is already in his country being translated! Yeah!
However, we recently found out some news which causes us great concern.
You see, children in this country age out at the age of 16. That means they are sent away from their orphanages having "graduated" and the lucky ones get enrolled into some sort of trade school.
Well unfortunately for Ianto, even though he just had his 15th birthday in June, he was somehow ahead a grade and therefore graduated this past spring.
We had NO idea that this was going to happen.
So now, the director has informed us that unless we can get there by the end of August, Ianto will be sent to a trade school.
There is no way that we can get there that fast. The various papers for our dossier have all been sent off to the respective "powers that be" and now all we can do is wait for their completion. To top it off, we have been told that some things like USCIS and FBI clearances are running a little slower right now. So, as best we can, we have no choice but to be patient.
BUT, once those papers do arrive they are being sent off immediately to EE for submission. We don't want our precious boy to have to wait any longer then necessary for his family. As it is, by the time we get there, he will already be out on his own... living who knows where, having to take care of himself, being responsible for himself completely at the ripe old age of 15.
With that said, we need your help.
I can't even stress this enough.
We have been blessed over and over again when we adopted in the past.
We have seen God's people spring into action, helping those of us who are trying to give a father to the fatherless.
And this time our need is just as great.
Actually, more so.
We are starting from scratch.
Having completed three international adoptions in the last 2 1/2 years we know we will need financial help to bring Ianto home where he belongs.
This is our sweet boy's last chance. Literally.
Over the next couple months we will be fundraising as we did with our previous adoptions. We are brainstorming right now on some different ideas and will make sure to let everyone know what we come up with!!
In the meantime, if you feel lead to make a donation, our FSP is up and running on the Reece's Rainbow website. As soon as I get a linky button, it will be posted in the top right corner of this blog. For now you can go HERE and it will take you directly to our FSP.
Please remember, no amount is too small!! It all adds up and gets us where we need to go- to our son. We are grateful for any amount that you feel lead to give.
As always, we covet your prayers as we begin yet another amazing journey in our lives. It is a journey born out of love for these children and a commitment to do all we can for them, and as always it is God lead.
We know that He is in control of this, as with everything.
We thank everyone in advance for their love and support. We know you will be behind us just as before and we are so grateful.
It is never easy to step out and do that which is considered unpopular, or even "crazy" by some. But knowing that this is what God would have us to do makes it all worth it. HE is the one we strive to please. He is the one who gives us the strength to do what we know in our hearts is the right thing to do.
Thank you again to everyone, and we look forward to sharing this journey with you!