In 2008, I started working for a non-profit organization that serves orphans and neglected children in West Africa. I am a nurse by training, so my role as their Healthcare Coordinator was a natural fit. I worked abroad in this role full-time for 5 years, before transitioning back home to the States. Even though I was home, part of my heart remained in Africa and with the people that I met there. I’ve continued to make shorter trips back for the last several years. I watched these children grow up over the last nine years. Many were so small and sick when I met them, but now they are thriving. These children, and the people I met while I lived in West Africa, have become my extended family–hundreds of children call me “Auntie.” I was satisfied with that title until the winter of 2016, when I was finishing up a four-month stint there. The nature of the work I was doing at that time led me to work closely with a little boy JD, who had been living in a safe home for his protection. A few months prior JD was playing with some of the other children at the home where he lived, when he fell and broke his arm. His arm hadn’t healed correctly, and I was in the process of trying to get him in to see the only orthopedic doctor in the country. We spent countless hours together stuck in traffic and waiting rooms. He required hospitalization, and I cared for him in my own home as he was recovering. It was also during this time that I started having visions of JD living with me in the States—playing soccer and graduating from college. At this point I had been working with orphans for eight years, yet never once thought adoption would be something I would do. This forced me to really pray and seek God, and as I did so, it became more and more clear to me that He was leading me to pursue adopting this little boy.
Shortly after that it was time for my return to the States. Before I left, several of my friends asked me when I would be coming back for JD, to take him home. This shocked me since I had never mentioned to anyone that I was considering the possibility of adopting him, and never in all my time working there had anyone asked me that question before. I took this to mean that the connection that I felt with him (and I believed he felt with me) was also seen and felt by those who saw us together. After returning to the States in March of 2016, I continued to pray and seek God about how to proceed and finally decided that I could not ignore this call any longer. I knew I was supposed to pursue this adoption and bring JD home as my son. For this one child, my role as Auntie would change to that of Mother.
It has been a long, hard and sometimes frustrating journey to this point. I have finished the home study and dossier process. As soon as I can get the finances together, the paperwork can be sent over and this process can continue. Lifesong and their partner, Pathways for Little Feet, have graciously granted me a $5000 interest free loan. This generous gift will continue the process, but in reality it covers just a fraction of the estimated $19,000 that I still need to complete this process.
Psalm 68:6 says that God sets the lonely in families… JD is already a part of my heart–Would you please consider partnering with me to make him part of my family as well?
The first thing I ask for is your prayers: prayers for continued wisdom and provision in this journey, for favor and quick responses from those who make the final decisions, as well as health and safety for JD as he remains waiting in an orphanage while this process continues.
There are several ways to give if you feel led to do so financially.
You may make a tax-deductible gift through Lifesong— Donate online above, clicking the red “DONATE” button.
Or you may give by personal check– Please make checks payable to Lifesong for Orphans In the memo please write: Preference to 7169 Dezutter. Mail checks to– Lifesong for Orphans PO Box 40, Gridley, IL 61744
You can also help by buying coffee or other products through Gobena– https://my.gobena.org/stories/dezutter-adoption-fundraiser/?id=237 50% of sales through my fundraising link will go towards covering adoption costs. This option is a win-win! Who doesn’t need another cup of coffee? (And if you are going to caffeinate, you might as well help bring a child home while you do it, right?!)
Thank you for helping me to bring JD home!
STRIPE charges an online processing fee (2.2% +.30 USD per transaction). Your donations will be decreased by this amount. You may also send a check payable to “Lifesong for Orphans”. In the memo line please write “Dezutter 7169”, to ensure it is credited to our account. Please mail to Lifesong for Orphans, PO Box 40, Gridley, IL 61744.
Lifesong has been blessed with partners who underwrite all U.S. administrative and fundraising costs (TMG Foundation and other partners). That means 100% of your donation will go directly to the adoption.
- In following IRS guidelines, your donation is to Lifesong for Orphans. This organization retains full discretion over its use, but intends to honor the donor’s suggested use.
- Lifesong is a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization. Individual donations of $50 or more and yearly donations totaling $250 or more will receive a tax-deductible receipt. Receipts for donations under $50 will gladly be sent upon request.