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Seeing the beauty in waiting children

I’ve been MIA the last few days–and with a consistent writer like me–that usually means one of two things. Either something BIG has happened in our lives–OR something is heavy on my heart. It has been the latter of the two, and for me–this is a hard post to actually POST. But I am prayerful that THIS is part of His plan and He will use it for His glory. You see, we recently got an email about a sweet little girl…who needs a family…and although she is not with our agency and we are no where near done with our home study–she has melted our hearts. As we have prayed for her, we have tossed and turned at whether she is our daughter or brought to us to advocate for her. We went on a time of family retreat this weekend, and for now–we know we must let her go and ask others to pray…and trust in His perfect plans…

Every child deserves a family…to have a mommy and daddy…someone to love them and nuture them. And while thousands ARE loved by nurses and nannies in orphanages–deep down I just believe that every child knows the difference in having a mommy and daddy OR not having one…and many have to wonder, “Will anyone ever want me?”

I think of my children upstairs sleeping as I write. What if it were them. What if tonight they were sleeping in a bunk room full of beds…wiping away tears from their own eyes…sad when the bed beside them is empty because their little friend left with a family–and they wonder…if it will ever be their turn. While it seems babies have many waiting in lines for them–and they are too little to even really know…it is often the older children whose hearts ache–and who desperately long for someone to wait in line for them. I am quite sure–that ONE of them is OUR child…and I can’t wait to bring home a waiting child to our family.

When we decided to adopt–one thing I just never felt called to…was to WAIT in LINE when there are thousands WAITING. Not because I’m impatient (although I can be–for us, it just didn’t make sense.) We signed on with our last agency before knowing their birth order policy which made our perimeters tight and tough–BUT ultimately that was God’s will for us…and to put us out of the line we just didn’t feel called to, we inquired about EVERY waiting child on our old agencies list–and we got “turned down” for those children because of their birth order policy (we started our first adoption with a 5 year old, 4 year old and 8 month old–not leaving much room for age ranges with a wee one already here). We also called frequently (probably annoyingly often) to remind them our family was open to special needs, and we are so thankful for how our eyes continue to be opened. SO–for this adoption we are using a different agency as we feeled called to ADOPT AGAIN–but with thousands of WAITING children, we feel called to bring home a child who is WAITING–to stand where no one is standing and to persue a child who is ALREADY waiting for a family…and to fight for that child–forever.

Now, let me say this–some families will be called to adopt newborns and babies–and I’m so thankful for these families who quickly open their hearts and homes to tiny ones—and I rest knowing that are so many families willing to bring home these sweet ones! What a blessing!!! (Now–if you are one of those families called to bring home a healthy baby–thank you and I PRAISE HIM for your family’s open arms and open hearts!)

BUT–if there are MORE families WAITING in line for babies—with MORE waiting children with NO families–I have a feeling that as the Lord calls more to adopt–that more and more families are going to open up their perimeters and ultimately their hearts to precious children just like the one we have been praying for. I really believe that these waiting children were created to be in FAMILIES–and that the Lord wants to raise up a family for EACH one–to be fought for, brought home and deeply loved. Choosing to stand where no one is standing may be uncomfortable–but it just may be that no one is standing there, because it was a line created JUST FOR YOU.

And I can’t promise much–but I can promise that bringing home a waiting child will be the GREATEST blessing you ever step out on faith in!) RIGHT NOW–there are thousands of waiting older children and special needs children. I think about children like little Isaac in China who put his hands on his hearts when he once thought of family and said “no have, no have”…who NOW has a family stepping out in FAITH to persue him…God in His amazing soverignty called a very normal family who already had 3 healthy children (one adopted from Ethiopia) to bring home this boy…who in less than a years time will be able to finally meet his mommy and his daddy!!! You can read about his JOY here and I’m going to be sharing more of this family’s story later this week.

Last week, we got an email about a little girl–who our hearts continue to pray for. I believe in my heart that there IS a family out there for her–and I have to confess she has changed our family’s perspective as we have prayed for her. It is almost hard to even step out in faith and advocate for her, because part of my heart really wants/ed her to be our daughter–but we feel the Lord right now telling us to ADVOCATE for her and PRAY for her.

We want to humbly ask any one reading–who has just happened to read this far so far…to pray for her. And to pray that God brings her a family…

Meet Jaelynn

This August, Jaelynn will have been at Maria’s Big House of Hope waiting for 3 years. I read a precious article about her heart for others HERE and her heart for family HERE. In one of the articles, the nanny at the orphanage writes about how Jaelynn plays with Little People and knows EVERY ONES role…the mommy and daddy and sister and brother and grandma…YET she has never had any of these of her OWN. Have you ever heard the question about knowing the desire of your heart??? You simply ask: Where does your heart and mind go when it wonders? Seeing how little Jaelynn plays–I just know the desire of her heart is to have a mommy, a daddy, a brother, a sister, a grandma…and I desperately want this sweet girl to have these things too.

So, if you are reading this today–will you PRAY with us…

Pray that a Christian family will be led to inquire more about Jaelynn–and ultimately fall in love with her and bring her home.

Pray that God will heal her and ease any pain she may have (if you feel led to Jaelynn you can email me and I will share more about her needs). She just turned 5 years old–and her needs are big–but not too big for God to work through.

Pray that God would not only raise up a family for Jaelynn–but for EVERY child who RIGHT NOW…sits and waits and wonders–if they will ever have someone to persue and love them.

As we prayed for Jaelynn, God has truly opened up our eyes and hearts to the need of families for these children. I admit, part of me wants to check special needs on the special needs list that are easily treatable and don’t require much care. HEART CHANGED. Life is so short…the Kingdom of Heaven so LONG–and life is just too short NOT to have a family. To love one of these most treasured ones–is to love Jesus. And I know this little girl’s family has so many blessings ahead of them as whoever they are…pray for her and then step out in faith to bring her home. Will you pray for a family for her???

Jaelynn has needs that may be permanent–but she has PERMANENTLY changed our hearts as we have prayed for her. I know in my heart she is one special little girl!!! Will you join me in praying? Will you share this opportunity with a family who the Lord may place on your heart as you pray for her??? You NEVER know whose heart may be touched as we pray for her where ever we are!!!

I have to tell you…this little girl has changed our family–as well as our perimeters. We know now that we are open to so much more than we ever thought…and that although we might look like we are crazy to think we could handle MORE–we serve a God who can do anything through willing hearts and hands…and lots of love. I pray that the Lord brings to our family one as dear and special as Jaelynn. Our children are already hoping and praying that they will have a sibling with a wheelchair to push–and I’m 100% okay with that…although this momma will always be in the business of praying for miracles for her children too.

If you would like to know more about Jaelynn, please email me through my contact page. We are praying for a Christian family for this sweet girl, and for the Lord to bring a family to her quickly. This August will mark 3 years at her current orphanage–wouldn’t it be AMAZING if she got news before then that she was coming home!!!

If you would like to know more about children with special needs who are already waiting–you can visit these sites to see child profiles:

Children in foster care who are now available for adoption: ADOPT US KIDS –
Children with special needs both domestic and international: Adopt A Waiting Child –
Waiting Children with special needs, older children, HIV: Rainbow Kids –
Every agency also has access to the 2,500 waiting children in China and also in other countries. If you already have an agency, be sure to ask for access to the waiting children listing.

April - June 13, 2011 - 11:31 pm

We will join you in praying for Jaelynn!!! She is a beautiful girl and deserves a family. Our hearts ache with you for the children out there who are waiting. Best wishes to you in your journey to find a child who is meant to be with you. XOXO!!!

Kim - June 14, 2011 - 5:44 am

Be. Still. My. Heart.
Praying for Jaelynn from Hong Kong,

Jen - June 14, 2011 - 7:08 am

My husband and I are in the process of adopting two waiting children from Ghana. These siblings were on a list and immediately melted my heart. It is hard to go through the process knowing the children are waiting, they are old enough to see the world around them for what it is and I want them home now. We met them a couple of weeks ago, and I am confident that we are the ones that will be blessed by having these children join our family. I am glad we didn’t join a waiting list for a specific gender or age, God brought us these children after they were able to be loved by the birth mom for those crucial developmental years. They have bonded and they will bond again. I would encourage all adoptive families to pray for and search these waiting children. God will stir our hearts for the right child regardless of any disability, age or gender.

sarah - June 14, 2011 - 8:28 am

I love your blog and read it frequently. We adopted a waiting child from Ch*na in November 2010. She is the sweetest little girl and our lives have been changed because of her. I think about our first SN list, we were so conservative. I read so many stories of these waiting kiddos and realized that SN do not define a child. I was so scared of the CL/CP need, but I felt God telling me our child would have this. So, we revised our list including many more needs. A month later, we had our little girl with cl/cp and VSD. All her surgeries are complete and she is living a happy, healthy life with a FAMILY. Next time we adopt, we will be even more open to different needs as our perspective has changed greatly!!!! Good luck! We had an amazing experience with our adoption from Ch*na.

Kim - June 14, 2011 - 9:00 am

Andrea. Admittedly, I have remained too silent about my thoughts and feelings regarding waiting children and families that HAVE opened their hearts, hands and homes and yet sit at 100+ on a waiting list. It is simply something I cannot wrap my head around let alone my heart. Having our 4 yr old join our family and looking at the giftedness God has given her for His Glory (as He has so given each of these precious children) my heart struggles. With the slow downs in Ethiopia that will undoubtedly have a lasting impact, I see a waiting 11 or 12 yr old girl and think…”this precious one who longs for a family is potentially the birth mother of the families that are sitting on a huge list.” And I just ask God to change hearts as only He can do.

Dawn - June 14, 2011 - 7:01 pm

Very well written- can totally see God’s Heart!!!

There is sooo much need for all adoptions from everywhere. In fact for those who feel that adopting an infant isn’t enough- let me tell you- it is! Our Joanna would have gone into foster care if we hadn’t been ready and willing within a day to go get her! Why- because she has dark skin- make you want to vomit- it should!!!

And I am all about older children really desiring a home!!! My heart breaks for them. I hear them in my heart crying out. So please if this is where you are called don’t ignore that!!!!!!

She is soo very beautiful- and I will be praying!!!

***Also for anyone reading this – speaking of a need there is a boy sibling group of 3- ages 3,4,5 that need a home now. If you want more information go to my blog, and go to my e-mail. They have been on my heart and I really know God has a home -wish it were mine, but I know it can’t be right now 🙁
So if you would mind praying for them- I would really love it!

Thank you Andrea for your heart felt post! God is WORKING!!!

Shelly - June 15, 2011 - 8:14 am

Andrea, you said it so well. This post is humble, gentle and full of truth. Just like you.

Rory Cookman - June 15, 2011 - 1:33 pm

Wow. Thought provoking and heart moving post. I think it’s really great that you are causing people (us included) to double check God’s plan, to investigate further, and be willing to go wherever God leads to bring children home, not just sign up on a waitlist because that’s what everyone is doing. I can totally see your heart in all of this, so I hope this comment doesn’t come off as rude or insensitive because that’s totally not how I mean it!:) It’s just hard sometimes to read some of these posts (from various folks) and want to help EVERYWHERE and yet know that God has specifically told us to get in line for Ethiopia. (And not that I get this sense from you, but sometimes I get it from others that there is almost a judgment towards those on a wait list…which I totally understand they probably don’t mean it that way, but it still hurts a bit. I hope this is coming across the way I mean it and not defensively!:)) In my rational mind I hate the idea of being on a wait list, but we know that’s where God has called us to go for this adoption. I know you probably went through this when you guys were waiting for Isaac too, so I think you totally get where I’m coming from. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I am compelled to always go where the need is “greatest” in my heart and mind…I mean honestly that would probably send me to the Congo or Sudan right now or to adopt a down syndrome sweetheart from Russia…but my point being that it’s hard for me to sit back and feel like others might look at our adoption journey with any sort of disdain (don’t know if that’s the right word to use–and again I don’t think you’re doing that, just got me thinking of all the posts I’ve seen from others regarding this issue recently.) And I guess I sometimes I want to respond to those posts by saying, “Isn’t God the only one who can determine where the greatest need is? And aren’t all orphans in need?” Well, shoot, this comment feels like I’m trying to hijack your blog. So sorry! Keep the great posts coming. I know God is using them.

Teresa - July 13, 2011 - 7:52 pm

I found your blog by searching for Jaelynn at Maria’s Big House of Hope. My 18 year old daughter was part of a Show Hope group that went to MBOH on June 17th. She came home changed and head over heels in love with Jaelynn. We have been praying for Jaelynn and whether or not our family could be the answer for Jaelynn’s forever family. My husband is a pastor and we have asked our church family to also pray for her and for a forever family.
The website link I listed is my daughters blog and has her journals from her trip to MBOH.