It all began for me when I was around 14 years old. Growing up, we only had a few TV stations. One night I watched this TV program about orphans in Romania. I am not even sure what program it was, but that night, as I watched these kids, my heart ached for these orphans. I was stricken by the conditions for orphans in Romania and I think it was the first time that I really understood that there were children in the world that would grow up without an earthly father and mother. This seemed unimaginable to me. My parents were divorced, but I knew I not only had a mom and dad, but I had a stepdad, grandparents, aunts, uncles, sisters, and cousins who loved me unconditionally. If I wanted someone to tuck me in at night, I had someone. If I wanted a kiss or hug, I could have one at any time. And if I just wanted to talk to one of my parents, they were there. As I watched that TV program that night, my heart changed for the orphan child and I knew the path of my life would change. I had no idea what I would do when I grew up, had no idea who I would marry, but I KNEW I would adopt children someday.
Fast forward several years, Michael and I are engaged and talking about our future together. Part of that future included children. We knew we wanted to have children and we knew adoption would be part of our family. The Lord ended up blessing us with two amazing boys. Aidan and Keenan were healthy, handsome, and they had amazing little personalities. But not long after Keenan was born, we decided that our family was not done yet and we started to look into adoption. After waiting 2 ½ years from the time we started filling out the first piece of paperwork, we brought Isabella home from China. Our life was again, forever changed. Then once again, in February 2013, we were blessed to bring home Elijah, our never ending little ball of Joy! Through it all, God has pushed us, challenged us, stretched us, but above all, he has blessed us.
From the time Aidan was born, I have always wanted to stay at home with the kids and we have recently been able to make that happen. A little over a year ago, we started a new business where we buy houses that need some major help, fix them up and then sell them. This business is to serve two purposes. One, to allow me to stay at home with the kids. And two, to give us the means to help support and advocate for adoption. Part of the proceeds from each of the homes goes to help orphans. This is another dream of mine … to advocate and help the orphan child. We know how much adoption can cost, so our hope is to help as many families in the adoption process as we can. We also want to sponsor children who have no hope for adoption. The business name is Chosen Properties because we believe each child is chosen to be one of God’s children. This business is both exciting and scary. It has been a HUGE leap of faith … and we have seen so many blessings through this leap.
One of those blessings was being able to lead a mission team to Mexico this summer, to work with the orphans in Monterrey. Aidan went on the trip as well, and it was great to be able to share this experience together. Each person in our group was paired up with a child. Our sole purpose for the week was to play and be with the kids. These children live in a children’s home, and while they try to make it as much like a home as possible, it is an institution. We played games, ate good food together, went swimming, took the kids to a safari and went to church with them. Our visit allowed all of these things to happen. I recently received a drawing from the sweet little girl that I spent the week with. We have been asked not to share pictures of their faces to help protect their privacy, but I was able to get creative with some of the pics. Our church is planning to send another team again next year and I think Michael will be going this time.
I just recently completed the courses and passed the exam to obtain my real estate license. We hope this will help us with both buying and selling our properties. Plus, I LOVE to look at homes, see their potential and I hope to be able to help others do the same. It has been so neat to see how God has worked through the homes we have bought and sold already. We have been able to help several families with their adoption expenses and at the same time we have seen buyer’s excitement about their new home. We have so many hopes and dreams and pray that with the Lord’s help, we are able to see more children come home to families, see more children get sponsorship, and see more people understand the needs and open up their hearts and homes to the orphan child.
We know what adoption can mean for a child. We have seen the transformation first hand. Our sweet boy was so malnourished, weak and withdrawn when we met him. He is now the happiest little guy who runs and jumps and is just all boy. We have seen friends adopt and have seen the light enter into a child’s eyes for the first time. There are unknowns, but when aren’t there?
We believe that the Bible calls us all to care for the orphan child (James 1:27). There are so many ways to do so. One that has been recently placed on our hearts is through an orphan hosting program. We have decided to host a child from China for a month over the Christmas break. The child we are going to sponsor is 12 years old, and his name is Lai. He is listed as healthy and is available for adoption through CCAI (www.ccaifamily.org), the agency who helped us bring Eli home. You can go to the website to see more photos and a brief synopsis. He sounds like he is a great kid and we can’t wait to spend some time with him. Our hope and prayer is that we can help advocate for him and that his forever family will find him before he ages out at the age of 14. No child should be without a family and no 14 year old should have to be told their time at an orphanage is up. We will be speaking at churches and advocating for him in the months leading up to his arrival and while he is here. If you know anyone who may be interested in adoption or a church or organization that may be open to us coming to share about this sweet boy, please let us know. CCAI has even more information and you can request to see his file. Statistics show that children this age have almost no chance at adoption through the normal channels, but if they are hosted and people are able to meet them, the chances for adoption go up to 70%. That’s HUGE! We are praying for Lai’s forever family, praying they will find him, and that he will be Chosen!
God has called us to care for the orphans and the widows (Isaiah 1:17). For us, this is a personal commandment, something that God has woven into our hearts. There is not a day that goes by that I am not grateful for the children that God has placed into our lives. While we can’t adopt all of the orphaned children in the world, we can make a difference for 1, 2, 3 or more. Please join us in prayer as we host Lai. Praying that his family will find him, praying that his visit will be a good one for him (and us), and mostly, praying that one day there won’t be any orphans in the world. It might seem like an impossible task, but with God, all things are possible!