International Adoption 2014
In 2014 we awarded grants to help 125 children to be adopted from 16 different countries. Some of their wonderful pictures and links to their adoption experiences are below.
Jackson - Ethiopia 2014
It is with great joy that we are writing to share the news that we brought our little boy, Jackson Koket Weeks, home from Ethiopia on July 25. June and July was a time of great anticipation and rejoicing as we traveled to meet him for the first time and a second trip to finally bring him home. The generosity of donors through “A Child Waits Foundation” played a huge role in the final months of our journey in helping us to travel and bring him home without incurring debt and without a delay in meeting the payments in order that we could be cleared to travel. The last few months of our journey to bring him home were filled with unexpected challenges of moving our family to a new home/city, job changes, and adoption agency closings/changes. Your giving helped us to persevere and move forward as new and unexpected challenges arose. Your giving helped bring Jackson home into his forever family. We thank you and pray that the Lord will bless each of you for how your giving has changed a life and touched our family so deeply.
Jackson has continued to blossom and change each day that he has been home. We have already seen so many “new” things that he is learning and enjoying: learning to walk and climb and play; learning to feed himself and slowly learning that he will have plenty; learning to talk; learning to share and interact with others. We have been extremely blessed with how well he has bonded with us as parents and with his four new siblings. He has overcome the health challenges and illness that he first came home with and has a clear bill of health for now due to the health care that he has been able to receive here.
Your generosity and giving has helped in bringing this little boy home. You have helped the life of one orphan and touched every heart of this family of 6, now 7. You have touched many lives. This little boy has been read bedtime stories, he has been hugged and loved on by 4 siblings, he has been held and comforted, he has played outdoors and felt the warmth of the sun. He has laughed. He has heard God’s word read to him and has hummed along to sweet songs of Jesus’ love. A life changed. Our lives changed. We thank you.
Miheret - Ethiopia 2014
A Child Waits Foundation,
We often get told that our kids are "Lucky", especially our children who were adopted. I have heard "They are lucky to get such a good family", "they are lucky they can come to america and have a chance at life"or " they are so lucky I bet they are really grateful."
We are quick to let people know that WE ARE THE ONES THAT ARE BLESSED. We are blessed they are part of our family. We are blessed to watch them grow. We are blessed to share in their culture and heritage. We are blessed to see the joy and excitement in their eyes as they experience lifes "first's". When they take their first bubble bath, learning to ride a bike, swimming in a pool, running and playing with their siblings, snuggling up reading a book or watching a movie, or being tickled while laughing hysterically and begging for more. We are blessed to guide our kids through these exciting times.
We get to comfort them in difficult times as well. When they pinch their hand in the door, when they need tylenol to ease the pain of all the shots they have had to get, when they are scared to sleep at night and being rocked and soothed is just what they need for sleep to come.Each time meeting their needs and building trust into a relationship that is brand new.
We get to teach. We teach them how to wear a seatbelt. We teach them not to throw trash out the car window. We teach them not to spit food on the floor while eating. We teach them not to eat the chicken bone. We teach them not to run in the road after the ball. We teach them what not to climb on or out. We teach them that the grill is HOT! Through every lesson growing in understanding and trust.
We get to experience joy, excitement, comfort, trust, learning all through the eyes of our children. We also experience the pain, sadness and despair. WE ARE BLESSED! We are blessed to be able to parent our children , especially from hard places. We consider it a joy to be a part of their lives.
We THANK YOU for the part you played in growing our family through adoption. Mihret is adjusting wonderfully and is a great addition to our family. We are grateful for organizations like yours that help families like ours. We are humbled and honored for the BLESSING you have given us. Thank You!
Be rooted in Love
Christian - China 2014
Thank you so much for the grant you gave us last summer to help us bring our son home. Thanks to you and others like you we were able to afford adoption and to make our dreams a reality.
We officially began the adoption process the summer before (applied in July 2013), but had contemplated adoption for years. After years of infertility we were blessed with two biological children. Melissa joined a Bible Study group to help cope with the losses we experienced and to have peace with our family being complete. Instead of a sense of peace, Melissa felt more and more led that our family was not complete and that we needed to give a loving home through adoption.
There have been so many wonderful moments over the past year, but my favorite moment was when we arrived home to Minnesota at the airport. Our other two children were standing by the entrance with a sign. They ran up to Peng Peng and he ran up to them. We had been skyping every morning and every night and the kids had become familiar with one another throughout the process. It still brings tears to my eyes thinking back on that day – when we were all there together as a family. The most challenging moment was right before we met Peng Peng when we were in China. It was such a scary feeling to think that there was a chance that something could go wrong and we could lose him. We had already fallen in love with him, but he didn’t have a clue of who we were. Fortunately we have had an incredibly smooth process and he bonded with us almost immediately.
An obstacle was finding the funds to adopt. Fortunately there are agencies such as yours that help families like us. We were also blessed to have family and friends be extremely supportive. We raised over $6,000 through two garage sale fundraisers. We also received over $2,000 through personal donations. It was very humbling to ask for help in such a personal manner, but the responses were overwhelming and it really opened my eyes as to how blessed we are to have such a support network. I look forward to paying everyone’s generosity forward.
Peng Peng was born in China and we adopted him at 21 months old in Beijing. His American name is Christian Peng and he will take on that name when he wants to and is ready. For now we continue to call him by his Chinese name (even though on paperwork he holds the name Christian). We chose that name when our son had suggested we give him the name because we are Christians. Our children learned about how China has very few believers and it really opened their eyes to how not everyone holds our same faith.
Adoption has immensely impacted our lives. It brought a greater appreciation to life, both in our family as well as globally. The love we have for our boy is so intense it makes my heart want to burst, but I constantly think about the love his biological mother must have had for him too. She chose to carry through her pregnancy and acknowledged that she wanted something for him that she was not able to give, whatever those circumstances might be. We don’t know anything about his birth parents, but we do know he was found when he was around 18 days old.
To A Child Waits Foundation and the donors who gave us this amazing gift – I want to say thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I cannot express to you how deeply thankful I am for people like you to give your time and finances to bring families together. Adoption was expensive – not only the adoption and travel expenses we filled out on paperwork, but I chose to take a full twelve weeks off, which cost us lots of money. We also met our deductible plan for health insurance within a month of coming home because our son had a parasite and had intestinal complications, not to mention he needed cleft palate surgery and has a minimum of three more surgeries in his future. If we did not receive your grant and the other grant we received I would not have been able to have this precious time off to be home with my kids, and for that I will be FOREVER thankful. You were an answer to prayers – many prayers.
Thank you from the bottoms of our hearts
Candice - China 2014
It’s been two months since we’re are back in US. We came back on September 11 2014 after spending almost 2 weeks in China. We name our daughter Candice and she has been a blessing for our family and we feel very lucky to have her in our life. She is a beautiful, smart, happy and healthy child. Has a lot of energy, and always curious about everything.
Candice just celebrated her 4 th birthday last month. She was so happy, she was showered with a lot gifts from our friends. She is always active, love to play, singing and dancing. Her favorite song are “Mama Hao”, the Chinese children song, which means mama dear and “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”, and now has become her bedtime songs.
She eats everything and not picky at all. She love veggies, fruits, noodles, and rice. Her favorites are broccolis, carrots, squash, bananas, watermelon, grapes, and strawberries. Our dogs, Dundee and Mocci has become her best friends and she always helps me during their feeding time. She likes to help her mom around the house, such as unloading the clean dishes and dry laundry. Candice has become the center of our family, and we just can not imagine our life without her.
Again, we would like to say thank you so much to A Child Waits foundation, for the biggest gift that we have ever received. It was like a dream come true when Ms. Cynthia Nelson called us that day let us know that we are receiving a grant. The grant was a big help for us and we will never forget your generosity.
Micah - S. Korea 2014
We are in awe that God called us into the adoption journey a second time. With 3 kiddos already, who
are all in school, me (Mary) finishing college and being a stay at home Mama, Michael working and
running the family farm, and reaching our goal of being debt free....we felt okay with life. But God was
about to pull us out of our comfort zone once again.
While researching an assignment online back in April 2013, I received an email from the adoption
agency we used in our daughters' adoption. The email had pics and info on a waiting boy in South
Korea who had been waiting for almost 3 years to find his forever family. I quickly erased it from my
mind and went on with my work. Days later I mentioned it to Micheal and he said, “That's not right
that he's had to wait so long.” I hastily pointed out that we had just become debt free, and that the
Korea laws had changed drastically over the past 10 years. Our daughter was escorted, but now 2 trips
were required. “That would cost a fortune...there's just no way!”, I exclaimed.
Days past, and whatever I was doing, the nagging possibility of having a 4 th child would not leave
my mind. All the things that seemed so impossible wouldn't leave my mind either. The travel, the cost,
adjustments, adopting and older child who had bonded for the last 3 years with his foster family,
language barriers, and the impact on our other 3 children. Michael and I agreed to take some time to
pray about it and see what the Lord had to say about such a huge decision.
It wasn't long and the Lord answered. Michael came downstairs from studying his Word and praying.
With tears in his eyes, he looked at me sitting at the table, and said, “Do you want to know what the
Lord has said about adopting this child?” I was unsure and afraid of what he might say next. Through
the tears, he said softly, “The Israelites did not get blessed by standing on the bank, they had to step
into the water to receive from the Lord.” I began to weep as I realized what God had spoken to my husbands' heart. I had been in turmoil, not knowing if this was possible or right for our family. In that moment I knew and it became clear what we must do. Over the next few weeks, God confirmed his promise to us over and over again through our ministers' sermons, His Word, radio, and friends. There was no doubt this little boy was supposed to be ours and we were to become his forever family.
As we began the process in May 2013, things began to happen quickly and doors began to open for
our family. God provided every step of the way in ways that we never imagined and some we didn't
even know about until recently. It was a long process and our son was getting older. Finally we had our court date for August 13 th and our first visit with our son scheduled. When meeting our son, Jeong, Minkyoo, all the fears and doubts were washed away. He quickly claimed us as his family. Gotcha Day was September 22 nd on our second trip to South Korea. It amazes me how perfectly God put this wonderful story together. Minkyoo is a perfect fit to our family! He is so laid back and has adjusted incredibly well. He loves his siblings and is very affectionate towards me and Michael. And the language barrier I was worried about....God's taking care of that too! He picks up new English words each day and is good at showing me what he needs. He will be turning 4 in November this year, and we are so excited to celebrate this special day with him! Adopting an older child can be frightening, but the blessings are immeasurable! This has changed our hearts in such a spectacular way and has taught us more than we could imagine. Thank you God for the blessing of our son.
Lina - Albania 2014
When God Makes A Family
At the age of 14 when I returned from my first trip to Albania, after working at an orphanage for 8 weeks, I knew that one day God would grow my family through the adoption of a daughter from Albania. The people, the beautiful country and the children had captured my heart in a way that I knew Albania would always be a part of my life.
In college, 5 years later, I met twins from Albania (Eranda, a girl and Ermal, a boy) who had grown up in the orphanage that I had worked in. I even had a picture of Eranda and I from 6 years before at the orphanage. We became best friends and for the last 17 years my family has adopted Eranda and Ermal into our loves. The confirmation continued that God was making Albania a part of my life and my family.
I returned to Albania twice at the ages of 20 and 21 to work in an orphanage with the children. My love for the country and people was renewed and refreshed. I felt peace that God was preparing me to be the mother of a child from Albania and my excitement and anticipation began to grow. Over the next 15 years I completed my education, bought a home, secured a stable career and made a life that I was proud of. But something was missing. My life was not complete and my heart felt a longing for the daughter from Albania that I had been dreaming of and waiting for, for 20 years.
I began the adoption process and began praying every day for my child, that God would protect her and surround her with love and caring caregivers. Praying that God would prepare me to be her mother and prepare her to be my daughter.
Eighteen months later I received my referral. Lina was 14 and was waiting for a family to love her. She was a beautiful girl who had been cared for in a small privately run orphanage that had been teaching her about God. The referral included that Lina had accepted the Lord as her Savior 18 months prior and had been more confident and peaceful since that time. I was struck by this and wanted to know what had been happening in my life at that time when Lina made such a large life decision. I counted back the 18 months and discovered that she had made this decision when I began the adoption process and began praying for my daughter. I had been praying for my daughter, not knowing who she was, for 18 months and Lina’s life had been changing during those months. This was my daughter! I had perfect peace and knew God had brought us together as a family. I accepted the referral and couldn’t wait to bring my daughter home.
Lina and I began emailing each other in July 2014 and I went to see her in September, spending 3 weeks bonding and having the adoption finalized in Albanian court. I returned in November to bring Lina home. We have been home for 4 weeks and are preparing to celebrate Christmas together as a family. We are working on becoming a family and getting to know each other. It is a process and we are both excited for what God holds in our future. Lina is a sweet young lady who is so happy to have a family that includes grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. One of her favorite aunts is her Aunt Eranda who speaks to her in Albanian and can understand the feelings Lina has about leaving an orphanage as a teenager and becoming a member of a family. God has designed my child’s life since before she was born, knowing what she would need. Twenty two years ago God began building this family, 8 years before my daughter was born. And if He has spent 22 years building this family then I will trust Him with the next 22 years because while I cannot see them, I know that He already does. Because God is in the business of making forever families! Thank you for the role that you played in helping Lina come home.
God used you to be a part of our story and I am forever thankful.
Cai - China 2014
We recently completed our first adoption from China! We adopted our new son, Cai James, who is five years old. God had put adoption on both of our hearts approximately five years ago. During the summer of 2013, we were blessed to participate in an orphan hosting program with China. We hosted an awesome eight year old boy from China that we all fell in love with and enjoyed having as part of our family. That precious boy was what allowed us to put all fear aside and to plunge ourselves into this amazing process! We unfortunately were not able to adopt our host child due to issues with his paperwork but we were committed to adopting a child in need. We are very excited that we listened to God’s voice and proceeded to adopt our son, Cai. We started our process in September 2013 and traveled to China on November 1, 2014. The financial demands of the adoption process were very challenging and we were so grateful to A Child Waits Foundation for the adoption grant! Our trip to China and our transition home has honestly been more challenging than we anticipated. However, we are really seeking God with all our hearts and watching Him bring redemption to Cai’s life. We are growing in our faith each day as we press into God and learn to love Cai with the love of Jesus. We are being stretched in new and exciting ways, which can be challenging, but we are confident that God is working it for our family’s good. We are grateful to A Child Waits Foundation and to the donors for helping to ease our financial burden during this process. God Bless You and we pray that other adoptive families will be blessed by A Child Waits Foundation’s generosity as we were.
Joy - China 2014
We would like to begin by thanking you for your financial support during our adoption journey. Friends and family donations, personal savings and grant moneys were pivotal in helping us bring home our daughter this past year.
Our heart for adoption began even before my husband and I were married. We have always been open to adopt. Our adoption journey for Joy began in December 2013. A friend of ours had just returned with their 2nd daughter and had an active advocacy blog that I would check from time to time. Most of the children on her blog were younger aged children and we felt called to help older children. We saw our daughter’s profile and picture and I just knew she was our daughter.
We began our documentation process in January 2014 and spent the next 6 months completing our home study, training, and document collection. We learned to trust God to open doors at the right time. There were times when we didn’t know where the funds would come from even the day before a fee payment was due. God always provided, even at the “last minute".
A Child Waits Foundation grant helped us cover extra costs for our travel. We were able to travel as a family and meet Joy together. It was so helpful to have our son and daughter with us to help Joy feel comfortable as she transitioned to her new life with her new family. We are so thankful for the donors who make this grant possible. We are grateful for those who help families on their journey to open their homes to children in need. Thank you so much for your giving hearts!! We appreciate you!!
Ana- Ukraine 2014
After many years of conceding that we might never ever get another daughter through foster care or adoption, we came across a hosting program for older orphans. A face stood out to us, mostly because she looks like our daughter, but also because we believe she was meant to be ours. Not initially were we this sure, but we have had several confirmations (not coincidences) that we are led to help this precious orphan.
Her name is Snezhana.
She is from a country we were not even well informed about at the time (I had to look it up on the map)…Ukraine. I didn’t notice her name at first. Her favorite things to do matched ours and she even liked small children so we thought she might be a good match. Then we realized her name, not just her face and her beauty mark, was similar to our daughter’s. Snezhana and Christiana, two Ah-nas, makes for a great pair and a catchy title to our story, Another Ana for Christmas! But then while searching for more about that name, Ukrainian transliteration led us to see her name as has been seen to her all her life.
So now she doesn’t just look like Christiana, even her name is so similar that it is kind of one of those “moments” that really gives you pause.
So we move forward raising money to host our new Ana for Christmas. We later learn when her birthday is! Something funny about our family is that they are each month September through January. Chris-September, Caleb-October, Debbie-November, Charlie Mac-December, Christiana-January. So now guess when Snezhana’s birthday is…?
February 23, the day before my Mom’s birthday just to add a little extra fun! Reading through the family names, did you notice that the children’s names all start with the letter C? Now look back up at Snezhana’s Ukrainian name, she fits right in already right?
Our children also have the same middle initial M, so they are all CMR. I often write that on lunchboxes and things they might ever share. The night we were to greet her at the airport for her holiday with us, we were given basic information and health insurance for emergencies. That is when we learned her last name. Most Ukrainians do not have middle names, but many orphans who have fond memories from their families use their last names as their middle names when adopted. If she chose to be adopted, her name might then be Snezhana Melnichuk Rowan, or Сніжана мелничук Rowan, or CMR.
They had told us what her size would be, and that often orphans were thin depending on their orphanages ability to have enough food. Luckily Snezhana’s orphanage is in a wonderful village and food is not an issue. This meant that she was larger than we thought, she was instead, our daughter’s size, within 2 inches and 10 pounds.
We have been blessed with so many friends’ stories of adoption. All very happy endings until recently when our new pastor and wife were in the process to adopt from Russia when international adoptions to Americans was stopped. When we fell in love with Snezhana’s face and started our journey, we had no idea that we would be praying against Russia again. Shortly after starting our home study, news began to trickle in about Ukraine and unless you live under a rock you have surely heard Russia is trying to take them over.
So now we have a race against time. You see, in Ukraine it is the older orphan’s choice whether or not to be adopted and Snezhana was unsure. We were content with her decision and just planned to have her back for summer.
Until Monday morning while messaging online, she asked to be part of our family forever. Now we race for her life and future. It is a race of paperwork and fundraising all while our lives with children, school, church, bills etc… ticks down the clock of each hour, day, week.
We know our Lord is sovereign and through His many confirmations that she is ours in heart whether she is ever ours in home again. But we will still ask you to pray for her and for us. Pray for Ukraine and Russia and all the other countries and politicians who affect all of this. I would ask you most of all to pray for a happy ending, but you see, it already has a happy ending. Before she left we had a talk about Jesus and I believe that she is saved and we will see her again one day in heaven, if not again on this earth. That is my most urgent prayer for my children, that they know Jesus. And I praise my Lord that I know she is my child in her heart, and our hearts, and in HIS!
My life verse, Debbie
For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39
Pierce - China 2014
Our family lives and serves in China working as teachers with our primary mission being Kingdom work. After spending time volunteering in 2 orphanages we found God leading us to adoption, but frankly we didn't really want to. We had long decided that our family was complete, not to mention our long list of (in our mind) valid excuses why adoption wasn't for us. Life was comfortable and we were quite satisfied with our numbers (2 biological children).
But, thankfully, He kept tugging at our hearts. We found ourselves knowing that we SHOULD adopt but didn't have the desire.
We just decided to bring it before the Lord. A few months later He moved mountains inside of us and completely transformed us. That is a long but great story! We went from being willing to adopt out of obedience to adopting, to a total passion for orphans and desire to bring a family to the fatherless.
We completed our first adoption in May 2014 (from China) and have been with our new son 6 months now. He was involved in a terrible accident at age 2 and nearly lost his life. Four years later all the paperwork was completed, funds paid, and we were finally able to scoop him up into our arms and whisper in his ear, "You are ours.....forever."
His joyful spirit has been a blessing to our family. How can such joy come from a little guy who has encountered so much difficulty? This we don't know but we are so grateful for his adjustment and temperament. As his English develops he has been able to verbalize more about his accident, 6+ month hospitalization, abandonment, and years in the orphanage. Recently he told us in his best Chinglish that a long time ago he had many mommies (caretakers) in the orphanage and no one ever hugged or kissed him.
We also just completed our second adoption 6 weeks ago (Sept 2014). The second little boy (also Chinese) was abandoned at 6 months and weighed just 5 pounds. We gave him the English name, Pierce because when we first met him in our local orphanage he 'pierced our hearts'. He is 6 years old now and has had a tough transition but we are seeing beauty from the ashes. On our 'gotcha day' he begged us, screaming and crying to take him back to the orphanage and let him grow up there. We are seeing a lot of smiles and good times now but the hard times are quite difficult.
We are quite grateful to A Child Waits and the assistance provided by your foundation. The grant was invaluable to our family. Our personal funds were quite minimal considering our jobs in China and we needed a lot of help financially. God and His provision has wowed us during this process!!
Lara Anne - China 2014
In June of 2006 we fell in love with the daughters of China. It was not the best time to do that. Wait times were beginning to grow. Our adoption agency at that time tried very hard to persuade us to select another country. We tried but never once did we feel released for China once we fell in love with it. Our agency encouraged special needs but at the time those words seemed scary and without a direct word from God we were unsure about that so we took our place in a long line waiting for a "healthy" daughter from China. We waited, we did fundraisers, we waited, I started cleaning the church to raise money, we waited, my husband started cutting the church grass to make money, we waited. All the time we were getting older, our sons were getting older. Finally, after much seeking about whether to go special needs or not God spoke these words to me: "What is special needs?" and with those words I understood to Him who is all powerful what fear is there in special needs, He could meet any need and He would help us to overcome. With this new understanding we changed our homestudy and moved forth with a new purpose. On New Year's Eve we saw our oldest daughters face on a waiting child list. By April we were the parents of a delightful 2 year old. As Sara settled into her new life her medical needs were addressed. She had three surgeries in the first 19 months home. She has a series of cast's to repair a club foot. At three Sara walked with the help of a brace for the first time. At four she walked without the brace. Even today Sara's healing journey continues and with each new victory God is revealed once again as her loving father.
Even on the flight home from China with our oldest daughter we knew our family was not complete. In January 2013 we once again began the paperwork to bring home a daughter from China. We selected Bethany Christian Services Adoption Agency for the adventure. Once again we were very aware that the biggest obstacle would be the financial needs, once again we set about to do all we could and trust God to do the heavy lifting. We had yard sales, we hosted a murder mystery dinner event, and we had Bunco parties, created another cookbook, and made homemade canned relish to sell. Whatever we could find to do we did, but it fell short of the needed amount. In the late winter/early spring 2014 we saw the face of our second daughter, Lara. She was on waiting child list. There was some confusion about what her exact medical diagnoses were. But we had been there before so we prayed for God to turn our hearts toward her if she was our Lara Anne. Sure enough He was faithful and soon we knew she was to join our family. More paperwork, more planning, more insurmountable financial needs. There comes a time when everyone you know has given what they desire to give. When it is just not possible to hold one more yard sale...when you run out of self. At that point we stood, We filled out three grant applications, and we prayed. We moved forward with the travel plans and we prayed.
This is the point when A Child Waits enters our story. They were one of the three foundations that we applied for a grant. A Child Waits did more than just give us a monetary gift for our daughter. They brought forth a refreshing word of encouragement at a time when it was much needed. Raising a special needs child is one of the most rewarding experiences there is. But it also comes with a drain on resources, to say otherwise would be misleading. and as we stepped out this time we had a better knowledge of what laid ahead of us and therefore more in need of encouragement with this grant A Child Waits lifted a portion of the burden and offered refreshment at a crucial time. We will be forever grateful for this gift.
Jennifer - Colombia 2014
We are very thankful for A Child Waits Foundations generous donation to help us adopt our beautiful and amazing 13 year old daughter from Colombia in October 2014. We had begun our adoption journey in the United States in 2007 looking for a young girl in the foster care system but did not find a match. In 2008 we found out about a hosting program called "Summer of Hope" that brought older international children to our hometown to be hosted by families for a month in hopes of finding a forever family. We participated in helping that year and then decided to host an 11 year old girl in 2010 from Colombia. After hosting her for 4 weeks, we proceeded with our paperwork for a year before receiving our referral. At that time it became evident that she was not a good fit for our family so we had to make the difficult decision to not proceed.
During that time, our daughter became available in the foster care system in Colombia in 2011 but we did not find her until October 2013 when they decided to bring older children from Colombia to the United States for the "Christmas of Hope" program. We hosted her in December 2013 and she was a perfect match for our family. We were able to go to Colombia 9 months later to pick her up. We had a lot of extra expenses updating paperwork and having to change agencies from our first adoption attempt so we were out of funds. We were able to receive a grant from A Child Waits one week before we left for Colombia which paid our legal expenses. The journey to find our daughter was at times very difficult but she was so worth the wait! God took care of every detail and knew what was best for us if we kept trusting Him!
Peyton - China 2014
It was just over nine months ago that we were eagerly awaiting the travel approval needed to go to China and bring our little boy, Peyton, home. The time has passed so quickly and we wanted to write and update you as to how the Lord has worked in the last several months.
Peyton's adjustment has been amazing and we thank God for the grace and kindness that He has extended to all of us. He continues to grow in trust and in learning to have a mama and baba to care for him. He loves his big brother and sister, going outdoors, playing with trucks and being held and cuddled on. We have been more than happy to give him all of the affection that he is seeking!
We cannot imagine our lives without this special little boy in it. Thank you so much for being a part of helping us to be obedient to God's call to adopt by providing an adoption grant. Not only has A Child Waits Foundation made a difference in the life of this one orphan, you have made a difference in the hearts and lives of our whole family!
We are grateful for the work that A Child Waits Foundation is doing to help bridge the financial challenges of adoption for families that also believe that every child deserves a family!
Mia - India 2014
We are thrilled to let you know that our sweet girl is Home! Mia is doing great! She is so lovely and has such a special personality. She giggles all the time and loves her brother! I think he's been a big help for her transition. Mia is smaller than we were told so we have to buy her new clothes (one size smaller) and she has done so well shopping. She loves doing her hair, and mine! Mia loves pushing her baby doll around in her stroller. She is a girly girl for sure! I can't wait for her to learn English so we can talk about what she is feeling and thinking. She's catching on really quickly, so I know it will be soon.
We thank God for the grant you gave our family so that we were able to bring this amazing little girl home. Thank you just doesn't seem enough, but from the bottom of our hearts, we thank you.
Hong - China 2014
Chris and I agreed before we were married that we would allow the Lord to determine our family size.
God eventually lead us to adopt our first daughter from India. He led both of us to the point of knowing this was His plan for growing our family. Our first daughter has been home with us almost four years. A year and a half ago we added to our family again, this time a daughter from China. The second transition was much easier, but still one that drove us to the Lord for grace, wisdom and endurance. In the midst of the challenges, God called us to adopt once again. God led us to another daughter from China.
God’s timing is so critical and we are so thankful He did indeed call us to adopt again. God led us to a beautiful young lady who only had 8 months left before aging out of the China adoption program. Once God led us to her, we had a strong sense that she would have otherwise been overlooked and left without a family for the remainder of her life.
We have been home from China for two weeks and are daily amazed with how Hong is attaching to us. We know we had/have incredible prayer coverage for this adoption and God has blessed Hong with a peace to walk into our family.
We would like to thank you, A Child Waits Foundation and your donors, for your commitment to adoption. You were specifically part of God’s plan to help make our third adoption possible. We were still in the midst of paying off our second adoption when God called us to adopt again. We did not have the resources to do so, other than our retirement funds, but knew God would provide for us. Thank you for being a part of the life changing impact adoption will have on our daughter Hong. May God continue to bless you and give you a strong heart for orphans. People like you are needed in the adoption journey.
Daniel - China 2014
We want to thank you so very much for your very generous grant given towards the adoption of our new son. Everyone involved in our grant process, from beginning to end, was so wonderful, and for that we are also so grateful.
We spent 12 days in China in December, and returned home on Christmas day as a family of 7! An older child has been more difficult than our first adoption experience. Our son has experienced many traumas in his 11 years of life, but we are daily witnessing how God's love and the unconditional love of a new family can redeem years of heartbreak. Some days are pretty tough, but we wouldn't trade this privilege for anything!
As with our first adoption, we are so amazed at how God provided at every step. Your part in His provision is one we celebrate and honor. Thank you! Thank you for your part in making our family complete.
Mia - China 2014
Dear A Child Waits Foundation,
Your grant came at a critical, yet extremely busy and difficult period of the adoption process. I'm sincerely sorry for the fact that it has taken me a few months to personal thank-you for your amazing gift to our adoption process. I can't begin to explain to you how much it helped us and our journey to bring Mia home. My wife Betsy and I left on November 19th for China with our two boys, ages 9 and 4 and it was extremely important to us to take them with us to pick up Mia in China. We felt it was really important to begin our relationship with her as a whole family. We hoped that it would make her feel more comfortable seeing other children with us in our initial meeting and in the coming weeks and at the same time introduce her and begin the relationship with the boys at the very beginning.
This was such a critical time in our family, one that would begin a new path in the direction life was taking us and we wanted to begin that journey together. I never doubted that decision (even in the midst of airport craziness and the travel stress that comes along with taking two small children to China) but as I was getting ready in the early morning hours following Mia's first night with us and looked over to see our oldest son's hand through her crib panels holding her hand as she woke up, I knew even more so that we had made a good decision. That bond and relationship that begin immediately with her and them (as well as us) continued and grew with each passing day we were in China. The first few days were really hard for our family and especially for Mia but, by the third day, I'll never forget her lying on the bed being tickled and just laughing as hard as she could. Love was growing in her as well as our boys and you were a huge part in making that happen. Thank you.
The other major reason that we wanted to take our boys with us to China is to expose them to the needs of the orphans of the world and to see that the rest of the world isn't like America in so many ways. We love and care for our children greatly, but don't want to shelter them or lead them to believe that there aren't major needs in the world that we don't face here. Our adoption has never been about Mia alone but a quest to make caring for and loving the orphans of the world a major part of our family make-up. We want to seek various opportunities to love and secure orphans but to hopefully instill those same values and ideas in our children. We felt taking them to China and seeing situations like Mia's would hopefully help in that belief and effort. You were a huge part of making that happen as well. Thank you! We came home from China on December 3rd and have continued adjusting and growing as a family each and every day. We had settled in and gotten over our jet lag in time for Christmas and what a gift it was to our entire extended family to have Mia with us. We never thought at the beginning of 2014 that we would have a child matched with our family AND home for Christmas! What a blessing it was!
I am headed back to China in October to serve on a mission team through our agency. At the time I signed up to go, I felt lead to return to China to serve orphans there in any way God had for me, but I never in a million years thought I would have the opportunity to serve in Mia's own orphanage. I was blown away when I found out that is where I will be serving. I can't wait to help and love on those children that are currently in her orphanage awaiting a home. I also feel so blessed to have the opportunity to live and serve in the place that she spent the first 18 months of her life. One day I know she'll ask me to tell her about China and her orphanage and I can tell her first hand. I'll also have the chance that day to tell her about the many people and organizations that God used to help us bring her home and how many people loved her before even meeting her.
You gave us such an amazing gift with your grant and not only supported our efforts to bring one less orphan to the world but you are a critical part of Mia's journey and story of her life. Words can't begin to describe our gratefulness to you and your organization. If it weren't for people like you, we could have never made it through this journey. Thank you in partnering with us to love and care for the orphans of the world. If our family can ever help you in any way, please let us know, We love to share Mia's story and are constantly looking for ways to help and encourage others to adopt or support families in their quest to adopt.
Anya - Ukraine 2014
We first met Anya in December of 2012, when we participated in an international hosting program. The goal of the program is to bring orphaned children from Eastern Europe, and now Asia, to live with families for 4-6 weeks during the winter and summer. The hosting program introduces children to loving families and many children, around 80%, that are available for adoption are later adopted by their host family or by another family they met during hosting. Most of these children are older or are part of a sibling group. When we met Anya, she had just turned 15. She had lived in the orphanage for 9 years and no one had ever asked her if she wanted to be adopted. She told us that she had dreamed of living in a family and being adopted for a very long time. We could not believe that no one had ever given this amazing girl a chance.
Without New Horizons for Children, we would have never met Anya, and she would have never been given her dream of being adopted. ln Ukraine, once kids reach the age of 16, they "age out'' and are turned out of the orphanage, some go to trade schools that offer limited opportunities and do not provide the same support that the orphanage did. Essentially, these kids are on their own and many of the children that age out, can't make it on their own.
There was just something about Anya's picture that stood out to me. I knew that if we hosted, this was the girl God was telling me to pick. We knew from the beginning that Anya fit right in with our family, we waited a couple of weeks to make sure, and then we asked for special permission from the hosting program to ask Anya if she wanted to be adopted into our family. We received permission to ask Anya if she wanted to be adopted on our way to spend the day with the host chaperone, who happened to be Anya's orphanage director. Lyudmila was very supportive of us adopting Anya, and Anya was very excited that we asked her to be part of our family. The first picture is of their arrival at the airport, then our first family picture. We are a very active family and did a lot of activities with Anya while she was here. Here are just a few of the many memories we made with her.
We started the paperwork for her adoption as soon as she left. We tried to complete the paperwork as quickly as possible, we could not wait to have her back in our home, she was part of our family. It seemed like the quicker we tried to make things go, the longer the process took. There were multiple delays that slowed things down and when summer came around, we wanted to host Anya again so that we could spend more time with her while waiting for her to come home. Our time in the summer was short, but we had a lot of fun!
We had so much fun with Anya, and again, it was hard to say goodbye, but we knew we would see her again soon. We continued working on paperwork, completing our part as quickly as possible. There is a lot of waiting for approvals, and then everything has to be perfect, so any mistakes cause delays. We ran into a few delays from mistakes and just because things were "taking longer". After much waiting at the beginning of November we finally received a travel date. Our SDA appointment to get the referral for Anya's file was scheduled on December 2nd. It was hard to leave our children behind, even though they were in good care with family and a close friend, but we were very excited to see Anya. We arrived in Kiev, Ukraine just as protesting had begun for political issues. The people of Ukraine desperately wanted an agreement signed with the European Union, and when the President refused to sign, protesting began. The country was still much under the Soviet mindset of Russia and needed to become more like the rest of Europe to have a true Democracy and freedom. Our adoption was not affected by the protestors and we received Anya's file and the "okay'' to go "meet" our daughter. We officially met Anya on December 4th. Anya has an older brother who did not want to be adopted. He wrote a letter saying it was okay for them to be separated and that he supported Anya being adopted. We got to stay at the orphanage and enjoyed meeting all of the wonderful children. The caregivers all really do care for the children and the director is amazing, she really does love all of the children.
The first picture above is us with Anya and her brother, next is the front of the orphanage, third is Anya with her bed at the orphanage (she hung up pictures that we had sent her) and the last picture is with our facilitator and translator. We enjoyed our time at the orphanage. Anya showed us around town, we went to the outdoor market, to different clothing and shoe stores, and to the grocery store. We ate most of our meals at the orphanage. We spent a lot of time with some of the many kids in the orphanage and gave them socks, toys, candy, and small crafts. The kids are so generous; many of them gave us small gifts in return. We spent about 5 days at the orphanage before it was time to return home. We were told that with the holidays, court would be delayed and most likely would be at the end of January. Again we had to say goodbye and wait, but we knew it wouldn't be as long this time. We were told a week or two after returning home that our court date was January 11th, so we booked flights and started preparing for our return. Our kids missed us, but had fun while we were gone. They were sad for us to leave again, but were so excited to have Anya as their big sister that they didn't mind us going. There were some problems with our paper work that required extra work for our facilitator and she needed more time to fix the problem and complete the paper work, so our court date got pushed back to January 20th. Again we had to wait, but luckily it wasn't too much longer. Anya was going to be our daughter very soon! We were fortunate that our court date was changed to the same date as another family adopting from the same orphanage. We enjoyed traveling with another family and have already started making plans to get the kids together once we are all home.
Anya Elizabeth officially became our daughter on January 20, 2014. We celebrated with a sardine sandwich!! That night we played in the snow with all of her friends, and went sledding, Ukrainian style! After court there is a 10 day wait until the paperwork is complete. We decided to come home during that time and we completed all the paperwork that I needed to sign while in Ukraine so that Jim could complete the last trip by himself.
Lillianna - China 2014
On October 19, 2014 in Shaanxi, China I finally cradled my daughter Lillianna safely in my arms. Ashen with a blue tinged face, breathing shallow breaths and heavy with the odor of severe malnutrition she looked up at me for just a moment before closing her eyes again. Her left arm was casted from the shoulder to the elbow to still a newly fractured bone. Her heavy cast brushed against my chest and I clasped her closer kissing her pale forehead. I could not imagine all that my little one had endured up until this moment and the only comfort l could offer in that first hour was a whispered promise that she would never be alone again. Behind those eyes I saw she was a tiny child who had truly given up hope. She had surrendered to a coma-like state of consciousness, disconnected from her surrounding environment other than to cry out infrequently with a raspy weak mew for food. Lillianna's appearance grieved me. As I gingerly unwrapped the layers of clothing she was encased in I could see her skin stretched tightly over her bones while the odor of severe malnutrition and failing organs intensified.
By the first bottle feeding I discovered that Lillianna had completely lost the sucking reflex and had been accustomed to having milk poured down her throat through a nipple with a wide opening cut into it. It wasn't long before I realized that as I had feared my daughter was definitely suffering Refeeding Syndrome. After just the first few feedings I witnessed her chest expanding to accommodate her overtaxed liver and spleen. I responded to this by feeding my little one with a syringe, drop by drop, since that was the only way she could cope with the gentle infusion of nutrition. During these first ten days together in China, Lillianna experienced episode after episode of emergencies and should have been hospitalized to address the severity of her level of dehydration and malnutrition. However, it was not advised and the hard decision was made to maintain her as well as possible until our family returned to the United States for medical attention. Weeks passed before Lillianna awakened from the heaviness of her coma like state and began to respond to me and her new sister in even the smallest way. She was so weak that our first goal was to reawaken her sucking reflex in order to establish a normal bottle feeding routine.
During those first weeks together it was her sister who was successful in restoring the sucking reflex by tirelessly stimulating Lillianna with the pacifier. When we finally touched ground on U.S. soil with our beautiful new baby girl she had begun to make a turn for the better. Within the next few months after extensive medical investigation and testing, some of the unknowns of her medical history began to be clarified. Our Lillianna had suffered a serious injury to her brain sometime in the last twelve to fifteen months before I had received her. She also had a paralyzed digestive system and the signs of a mild case of Cystic Fibrosis Related condition. At last I knew what had weakened my precious new daughter and I could take the necessary steps forward toward her healing. Before and since then I have supported Lillianna with a long list of therapies, supplements, and dietary adjustments to meet her very specific nutritional needs. To my delight, she has responded beautifully!
Now two years after that first day in China, Lillianna is bright, responsive and thriving. Her eyes and hair shine, her skin is smooth and her laugh is contagious. She continues to bring so much joy to our little family and truly enjoys her new role as a treasured little sister. She is strengthening and developing more each day until now I can see her future shining before her brightly. She continues to touch so many lives and hearts. I believe her special purpose on this earth is to spread love. Though her physical skills are developing slowly, her curious mind, silly sense of humor and sweet personality are definitely blossoming. She loves cuddles, stories, tickles and ice cream. She is a social butterfly and enjoys greeting all familiar faces. Lillianna is surrounded by friends who dearly love her but it is during the time at home with her family that she really shines. Snuggling atop a pile of cushions giggling face to face with her sister is what she loves most and cuddling in Mama's arms gazing deeply into one another's eyes is where she finds peace. There, all the long held tension drains out of her little body. It is in these moments that I remember so clearly how easily her life, her healing and all of this beauty could have vanished.
I remember the hurry of the sudden need to medically expedite her adoption and the incredibly heavy burden of not having enough funds at hand to travel immediately. It is due to the compassionate and generous hearts who support A Child Waits Foundation that I hold my daughter today. My daughter waited indeed and now she waits no more. Her life was ebbing quickly away and now her health and strength are being restored. She had lost all hope and now she lives joyfully. She knew only the darkness of solitude and now she thrives in the love of our family. She had no voice and has now found herself, her voice and her hope. Her very birthright has been restored to her, to know she is heard, she is loved and she is cherished. We are so blessed to call her our own.
A Child Waits will always be a part of Lillianna's life story. Thank you for stepping in, responding to such urgent need and making it immediately possible to board a plane and bring our Lillianna Grace home forever. With my deepest heartfelt appreciation.
Revathi - India 2014
It is finalized. As of December 19th, 2014, Revathi is now a part of our family. We traveled to India in March of 2014 to appear before the Indian court in Hyderabad. After some initial miscues we were granted guardianship but we had to return home without Revathi.
We returned to India at the end of May 2014 and took her with us to New Delhi to get her visa so she could come home with us. She arrived in America on May 29th.
Revathi has been growing in her understanding of English and how to live and function in America. There have been some hurdles, both relationally and developmentally, but she is very resilient and is making great progress. Due to some negative experiences in India, we chose to homeschool her along with our other school age daughter, She is starting to make friends and interact with other kids at homeschool enrichment classes, church and dance classes.
Moving forward our focus is going to be on continuing to build relationships within our family and helping her fill in the educational gaps. Thank you for your support and doing all that you have to make this story happen. We are, and continue to be, incredibly grateful.