I seem to be completely immersed in the world of adoption recently. Friends in real life are also journeying on this path, it seems everywhere I turn online, I'm greeted with another person who's either in the process of adopting or advocating for adoption. I'm sure it's just because I'm more aware of it now - it's striking close to home - but it reminds me of when I first found out I was pregnant. I remember walking down the streets of Charleston, South Carolina (where we were vacationing at the time), and seeing pregnant women EVERYWHERE.
The more I read and see about the plight of the orphan, the more I feel that God truly was calling us, as a family, to this role of adoptive family. I feel more and more strongly that we are truly stepping out on the path that He has determined for us, no matter how scary or overwhelming that path may feel.
The more I read and learn about the multitudes of children who need a home, who are hoping for forever families, the more convinced I am that we all - regardless of ability to actually CARE for the child, physically - are being called to step forward and help the orphan. We all have a responsibility to care for and nurture our brothers and sisters throughout the world, regardless of faith, ethnicity, or even socioeconomic status.
But, how, can I help? you may be wondering. I understand that not everyone has discretionary income - we don't, really, either. We're saving up our money for Peter's adoption by sacrificing other things we could use/want (such as no more going out to eat, no new clothes unless they're from Goodwill, etc). That's why we're fundraising, to be totally honest! I completely understand feeling like you can't help because you don't have the financial ability to adopt or donate at this time. What I want to emphasize though is that helping the orphan doesn't HAVE to mean that you spend every last dime either adopting yourself or paying for someone else to adopt. It could be as simple as raising awareness or praying for a particular child. God can do all things through us - if we just give Him room to move.
Now, believe me, I am so incredibly appreciative to those who have donated money to our adoption. I truly am. I'm not writing this post as a way to claim that their support isn't worthwhile, or that we don't feel an immense gratitude towards them. That's not true at all. Because of your support, we will be able to bring Peter home more quickly (hopefully), while still being able to eat and feed our family. I can never put into words how grateful I am for that financial support.
What I'm trying to say is that I am just as thankful, and feel truly blessed, knowing that so many of you out there are holding us up in prayer, sending good vibes and well wishes on a daily basis. You're donating something just as precious as money (in my eyes!!) - your time. I know how hard it is to take even a few minutes out of our busy daily lives to think about someone else - to compose and send a quick email to friends and family who might be interested in hearing about Peter - to hand a friend a flyer about the BBQ - and so on. I appreciate these donations of time just as much as I appreciate the donations of money. You are truly important to our adoption journey, as well. Without you - Peter would not be wrapped in prayers on a daily basis, and that support for him means more to me than I could ever truly express.
This experience over the past few years has made me realize just how many people out there are working tirelessly to try and raise awareness for the orphan and help them find forever families. I've learned more about what it takes to adopt from different countries than I ever thought it was possible. I've learned more about what gives a child the best chance of finding a family......and what often holds people back from taking the leap of faith that is adopting a child.
It seems that the children who have the least chance of finding a forever family are those with special needs, boys, and those who have an incredible cost attached to their adoption. Organizations like Reece's Rainbow work around the clock (seriously - we've talked to them at all times of the day/night!!) to help to raise funds and awareness for these children who often have the smallest possible chance of finding a home outside of an orphanage or institution. I am in awe of advocacy groups like RR.
I'm also in awe of ordinary people, living ordinary lives, who are working incredibly hard to do the same thing, in a grassroots-type of advocacy. Last week, I saw a little boy, Malcolm, have his grant increased to over $5200, from barely $2000, in the course of one weekend......all because of the dedication of one blogger.
Today is no different. A friend, Leila, at Little Catholic Bubble, is stepping out in faith for another orphan, Oliver. Oliver is almost 5, and is facing a life of being bed-ridden in an institution, unless he is adopted. Leila, in an act of incredible generosity, is offering to match any funds donated to Oliver, because she can't adopt him herself at this time. (Matching is up to a pretty nice dollar amount, by the way. Her goal is to get him onto the "Sizable Grants" page at Reece's Rainbow over this weekend).
Do you think you can help Oliver come home? Can you spread the word, say a prayer, or donate a few dollars to his fund? Leila (and I) would be over-the-moon if Oliver was able to come home soon. Let's help him get there!
iPad update: We are waiting for the list of donors from Reece's Rainbow. I will give away that iPad as soon as possible!!!! Stay tuned!