We looked through hundreds... maybe thousands... of waiting photos of children and sibling groups before we even contacted a local agency about a home study this past May. Some were perfectly posed. Some were what I call "intake" photos. Rarely you would see one that looked like a genuine snapshot of the child. While searching, I came across one with a video link. A sibling group of 4 waiting in the DRC. They were sitting on a sofa smiling for the person taking pictures. Hands being placed on top of one another. Arms being positioned lovingly around the younger siblings. Then the one doing the videoing began to ask questions through a translator. What happened to your mother? Your father? How long did you live on the street? Tears poured down the eldest boys face and then were choked back as he answered each question. He was maybe 9. My tears began to fall too. I watched and cried as I sat alone just me and this computer screen. I watched and cried again as my children saw it and later again when Matt watched. When I contacted the agency, they were only accepting paper ready families. These were not to be our children, but the video that this agency created would help them find a family. Those moving images of those four children in Africa will never leave me. They are the children God used to place a huge chunk of my heart on the other side of the world. Theirs are the voices and the tears that let me catch a glimpse of the world we were heading into.
Our plan was domestic adoption. Matt and I agreed a sibling group that fell within our current kids ages was what we we hoped for. Adopting them out of foster care would have been ideal because of the lower cost. They would have spoken English. We could have met them first. It sounded like a good plan. That all changed after that video and LOTS of prayer and reading of books (like Kisses from Katie) and fasting and YouTube videos of "gotcha days" and adoption stories from Africa and more prayer.
We were sent 5 photos of the children we now call ours. One girl, Margaret, and her two younger brothers, Joel and Kenneth. In the photos, their shoes were broken, but more than that the photo captured their broken hearts. Margaret was picking at her nails and staring at the camera mouth tight and eyes fixed. Joel almost had a grin in one of them, but only because he was looking up at his sister. Kenneth looked in shock with his mouth open and his body positioned as if he was hoping to slowly move behind his brother. We didn't have to see a video of them to know we had found the ones. The only question now was HOW were we going to get them home. Our children had brought out their money and searched the house and cars for change. $125.61. It was everything they had! (You can read that blog post here and their video to get more change here.) We had to step out, give it all (like our kiddos did!), and trust that God would provide.
Fast forward. <Yes. I know. Corny "motion picture" reference.> We have raised over $10,000 and have $27,000 to go in the next 4 to 6 weeks.
Over the past 15 weeks, we have watched a new video each Monday on an amazing blog that has a goal of helping bring orphans into families. Give1Save1 encourages each person who watches the video to give $1 to the family. $1... it may not sound like much when you need 37,000 of them, but each George Washington will help bring kids a little closer to home. And. Well. That is immeasurable. You may remember a few post back where I mentioned making a video for this "one life at a time" changing blog??? They picked us! We will be the family of the week on MONDAY THE 7TH. The video tells our story and also has a our kids taking the idea of it being a battle to bring them home literally.
Here's what I need from you, blog followers. Monday. Go to Give1Save1. View it. Pray for us. Give $1 (or more.) Share the Give1Save1 blog that includes a link to our video and fundraising page. We need it seen everywhere. Facebook addicts. Share it. Tweeters. Tweet it. Pinterest people. Pin it. Googlers. +1 it. Bloggers. Post about it. Only use email. Email it. Got a mouth. Talk about it. Help us tell everyone! News stations. Newspapers. Coworkers. Friends. Family. Enemies. Pray for us. Then go to bed. Wake up Tuesday. Do it again. My goal is to be
We need your help and wouldn't ask if we didn't.
We got to see a video of the kids at our orphanage this week. I heard their voices!! Margaret was looking down at her hands singing quietly with a smile. Shy. To herself. Joel was off on the other side of the group in a bright blue shirt with his hands up by his mouth most of the time, but he seemed to be enjoying singing of "Jesus his Savior." We only caught glimpses of the one we think is Kenneth. I haven't gotten any word about his personality or his demeanor. It's as if he stays hidden... just like he was trying to get behind Joel in the original photos. I am so thankful for those that have gone this journey before us and sent back word and I can't wait to do the same. Help us go. Help us bring them home one dollar at a time!
Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen and called its name Ebenezer; for he said, “Till now the LORD has helped us.” (1 Samuel 7:12, ESV)
... and we know He will continue. Our hope is in Him.